How to fix "You require permission from SYSTEM to make changes" in Windows?

Issue: I wanted to delete some files and turned out I couldn't. The message reads “You require permission from SYSTEM to make changes to this file.” Why is this happening and how can I fix it?

Solved Answer

Permissions in Windows are a set of guidelines that control user access to system files and directories. This framework is vital for the security and management of the operating system, preventing unauthorized modifications and ensuring that sensitive system files remain protected. Each file and folder has its own set of permissions, which can be tailored by system administrators to fit specific security requirements.

In some cases, users might run into issues when trying to open, delete, or move certain files or folders – “You require permission from SYSTEM to make changes to this file” is one of them. The message simply means that the action you are trying to perform is restricted by the system's permissions settings.

The SYSTEM account in Windows is a high-level account used by the operating system to control access to critical system files and resources. If you see this notification, it means that the file or folder you are modifying is protected by the SYSTEM account, and regular users cannot make changes that might compromise the integrity of the system.

This restriction is often applied when working with system files and folders that are critical to the operation of the operating system or when special security measures are applied. To resolve this issue, you may need to change the file or folder permissions. It is important you do not touch files that are system ones, as it may result in instability and even collapse of the OS.

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How to fix "You require permission from SYSTEM to make changes" in Windows?

Fix 1. Enable administrator's account

Enabling the administrator's account can grant you access to files and folders that are otherwise protected by system permissions. This account has the highest level of access on a Windows system.

  • In Windows search type cmd.
  • Right-click on Command Prompt in the search results and select Run as administrator.
  • When UAC shows up, click Yes.
  • This will open an elevated Command Prompt window.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and press Enter:
    net user administrator /active:yes
  • You should see a message confirming that the command was executed successfully.
  • Log out of your current user account and you will now see an Administrator account available for login on the login screen.

Enable administrator

Fix 2. Take ownership of the file or folder

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Taking ownership of a file or folder allows you to change its permissions and access it without encountering the “You require permission from SYSTEM” error.

  • Right-click on the file or folder in question and pick Properties.
  • Go to the Security tab and select Advanced.
  • Under Owner, click the Change button.
  • In the new window, type in your account name (Microsoft account email) or simply use Administrator (make sure you are logged in as one) and click Check Names.
  • When shown, select your account and click OK.
  • Mark the Replace owner on subcontainers and objects checkbox and click Apply and OK.
  • Now go back to Properties > Security tab of the folder and select Edit under Permissions.
  • Select the group that you are using (for example, User group) and make sure that Full control is selected.
  • Click Apply and OK.

Grant permissions

Fix 3. Change file/folder permissions to Full control

Changing the permissions of a file or folder to “Full Control” allows you to have complete access to it.

  • Right-click on the file or folder you want to modify and select Properties.
  • In the Properties window, go to the Security tab and click on the Edit button.
  • In the Permissions for [file/folder name] window, select your username from the list of Group or User names.
  • In the Permissions section below, check the box next to Full Control.
  • Click Apply and then OK to save the changes.
  • You should now have full control over the file or folder and should be able to make changes without encountering permission errors.

Take full control

Fix 4. Check Group Policy settings

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  • Type Group Policy in Windows search and press Enter.
  • Press Enter to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  • Navigate to the following location:
    Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > User Rights Assignment
  • Look for policies that might be affecting your access, such as Deny access to this computer from the network or Deny log on locally.
  • Double-click on any policy that seems relevant and check its configuration.
  • Make necessary adjustments to policy settings if needed.
  • Restart your computer to apply any changes made to Group Policy settings.

Fix 5. Use Safe Mode

Boot your computer into Safe Mode to access files and folders without some of the usual permission restrictions.

  • In the Windows sign-in screen, press and hold the Shift key, then click Power > Restart.
  • After a reboot, you will be presented with several options – pick Troubleshoot.
  • Go to Advanced options > Startup Settings and then pick Restart.
  • After a reboot, pick either 4/F4 for Safe Mode or 5/F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.
  • Safe Mode often allows you to perform actions that may be restricted in normal mode.
  • After you've completed your tasks, restart your computer again to return to normal mode.

Enable Safe Mode

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About the author
Jake Doe
Jake Doe - Computer technology geek

Jake Doe is the news editor at UGetFix. Since he met Ugnius Kiguolis in 2003, they both launched several projects that spread awareness about cybercrimes, malware, and other computer-related problems.

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