Fixed: Windows cannot Access the Specified Device Path or File Error


Summary: If you ever encounter “Windows cannot access the specified device path or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item” then you are facing Windows permissions errors. This article is all about solving this.


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If you are wondering why you do not have permission to open this file or can’t access the computer on windows 7, 8, 10, the reason may be one of these:

  • The file is the shortcut file in the external drive or a network location that is not connected appropriately to the PC or maybe not available.
  • The file is already deleted, moved to another partition or its shortcut is corrupted.
  • Windows or anti-virus program block the file you are trying to access.

Windows cannot Access the Specified Device Path or File Error

Want to know how to do next? Relax, we offer the practical methods that can solve Windows cannot access the specified device path or file in a snap.

7 Solutions to fix Windows cannot Access the Specified Device Path or File Error

Ensure Permission of the File or Folder

Firstly, check if you have the permission of the file or folder when Windows cannot access the specified path windows 10. With this, follow the steps below.

Step 1. Right-click the inaccessible file or folder and select Properties.

Step 2. Click Security Tab and select your name in the Group or User. Ensure that Permissions for Administrator – Full control, Modify, Read and Execute, List folder contents, Read and Write are all checked in “Allow” column.

If ever you don’t have the permission, click Edit and tick the checkboxes of all the permissions. Then click OK.

Step 3. After finishing step 2, then open the file or folder again.

See if this method works. If not, then proceed to the next.

Enable the Hidden Administrator Account

Also to consider when prompted “Windows cannot access the specified device path or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item” means your current account doesn’t have the Administrator permissions.

Step 1. Put your Windows in Safe Mode.

Step 2. Type “cmd” in the search box when opening the Start Menu.

Step 3. In the popup window, type “net user administrator/active: yes.” Click Enter. Hidden Administrator now enabled.

Step 4. Restart your computer in Safe mode. Select the Hidden Administrator account.

Step 5. Go to Control Panel and view the files in a small icon. Find and select the User Account.

Step 6. Select Manage another account and click your account.

Step 7. Select Change Account Type and click Administrator and change account type.

Step 8. Restart the computer, after that, log in with your account. See if the file can now be opened.

If otherwise, proceed to the next method in solving windows cannot access the specified path windows 10.

Ensure the file is unblocked

Windows are blocking some files; thus, Windows cannot access the specified device path or file error message appears. To check the file if unblocked, go to its Properties.

Step 1. Right-click on the file or folder, and then select Properties.

Step 2. In the General Tab, check if “this file came from another computer and might be blocked” is present, select Unblock.

See if the file can now accessible If not, then go to the next method.

Ensure the File or Folder is in the appropriate Location

File from the external or network drive will not be launched or opened in Windows unless the original location of the file is connected to Windows. When you do not have permission to open this file shortcut, check the location of the target file if inaccessible. To do this, follow the two steps:

Step 1. Right-click the shortcut and go to Properties

Step 2. Check the path in Target in the Shortcut tab.

Disable or Uninstall Antivirus Software

At times, anti-virus software blocks file to protect the Windows; thus, windows cannot access it while you don’t have the permission to access the file or folder.  In this situation, momentarily disable antivirus software to open the file or folder. After disabling the antivirus software, check whether you can access the file. If yes, then the culprit is the antivirus software. Disable the antivirus whenever you need to open the file or uninstall it and change to another software.

Recreate the Shortcut File

When desktop icon settings windows cannot access, it probably caused by Shortcut file is corrupted, you would probably receive “Windows cannot access the specified device path or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item”. To fix this error, recreate the shortcut file.

Step 1. Right-click on the empty area of Windows desktop. Choose New and click Shortcut.

Step 2. Click Browse and select the file to create a shortcut. Click Next.

Step 3. Type the name of the shortcut and then click Finish.

See if this works, if not proceed to the last method.

Recover Deleted or Corrupted File (If necessary)

Bitwar Data Recovery, a software tool most reliable in recovering lost, deleted and corrupted data especially when prompted you don’t have permission to access this device. For a simple guide on how to use this tool, follow the steps below.

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Step 1. Select a device or drive where contains your lost data.

Step 2. Choose a specific recovery mode and then select the target recovering file types (e.g., document or photo)

Step 3. Start to Scan and then preview the data, after that, hit the recover button and save the data into different device or partition.

How to Recover Data from Formatted Hard Drive 5

Easy as that, you get your files back. You can also save your files ahead of performing the methods presented in this article when windows cannot access the specified path windows 10.


“Windows cannot access the specified device path or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item” is just one of the many errors in Windows. It may be caused by antivirus software or no permission to access the file.

To make sure that files are saved first, download and install Bitwar Data Recovery to secure the data from any crisis due to error messages. We hope that this article has helped your today’s problem.

For more articles in solving other error messages, visit the official website of Bitwar Data Recovery.

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  1. This happened so many times to me, finally decided to look it up for a solution and honestly, didn0t though it would be so easily! Bitwar worked perfectly in my computer and I could recover all the corrupted files!

  2. OMG I had this issue so many times! A bit complicated for me to fix it but I must say the tutorial was very simple to follow with the steps, thank you for the help.

  3. Tried different software on the internet about data loss but non of them could deal with corrupted data or issues about the permission acces, Bitwar did all that in a clean and fast way, highly recommended!

  4. I’m having this situation, I can’t find a file, so I use the document search and I can open it, but if I go the folder that said it was, I can’t find it or open it. I was wondering if the Bitwar Data Recovery could help me to finally get the file. Thank you for your help.

    • Hello, Antony, you can download Bitwar and give it a try. Use Quick Scan mode for the first time, and if this mode doesn't work, try with Deep Scan Next. Have a nice day!

  5. HUGE help this tutorial! I had to recreate the shortcut file, managed to follow the steps and it worked! Luckily I didn’t had to use the Bitwar software but would definitely keep it in mind, thanks!

    • Hey, Sandra, you can be 100% relaxed, as Bitwar Data Recovery Software works under read-only mode that only accesses the lost data from your drive without damaging it. We can't create data for you nor modify the data on the drive. When you are using the Bitwar, the program only scans the drive and lists all of the accessible data for you, hence, it's important to preview the data before recovery, this helps you identify whether the data is available to be recovered. Thank you.

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