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How do i get full access of my win7 system files / folders ?

Last response: in Windows 7
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June 7, 2012 8:19:15 AM

not sure this should be the right category or not. but i need full access to my OEM win7 pro. all system files. just moved from XP. never got a problem as admin in XP. but cant get any in win7 even as admin.

system folder examples:

  • 1. c:\documents and settings
  • 2. c:\users\xxxAdmin@AllUserProfile\application data

    access is denied
    June 7, 2012 8:29:27 AM

    Windows 7 works a bit different to XP.

    Some folders in the C:\Users are only shortcuts to the actual folder and that is why you get the Access Denied error.

    e.g. Application Data is actually AppData in Win7
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    June 7, 2012 8:38:03 AM

    mmm.. not sure. but yes i did manage to monitor n secure any temp data in AppData instead of application data. googling
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    Related resources
    a b $ Windows 7
    June 7, 2012 8:46:29 AM

    In explorer, you have to change the view to 'Show hidden files, folders, and drives'.

    Open windows explorer
    Press the alt key to make the menu you're used to seeing (from XP) visible
    Click 'Tools'
    Click 'Folder options...'
    Click on the 'View' Tab
    Under 'Files and Folders' in the lower window, uncheck the 'Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)' box
    Under 'Hidden files and folders', choose the 'Show hidden files, folders, or drives'
    Click the 'Apply to Folders' button and you will be prompted as follows:
    'Do you want all folders of this type to match this folder's view settings?'
    Click 'Yes'
    Click 'Ok'

    Above will give you access to see files and folders.

    To see things in the 'Documents and Settings' folder or 'Users' folder, you have to grant members of the local administrators group full control access to the folder under the security tab for a folder's properties.
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    June 7, 2012 9:19:34 AM

    TQ for your concern. but this is not the case.

    ubercake said:
    In explorer, you have to change the view to 'Show hidden files, folders, and drives'.

    Open windows explorer
    Press the alt key to make the menu you're used to seeing (from XP) visible
    Click 'Tools'
    Click 'Folder options...'
    Click on the 'View' Tab
    Under 'Files and Folders' in the lower window, uncheck the 'Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)' box
    Under 'Hidden files and folders', choose the 'Show hidden files, folders, or drives'
    Click the 'Apply to Folders' button and you will be prompted as follows:
    'Do you want all folders of this type to match this folder's view settings?'
    Click 'Yes'
    Click 'Ok'

    Above will give you access to see files and folders.



    but this might be helpful to unlock the locked folders.

    ubercake said:
    To see things in the 'Documents and Settings' folder or 'Users' folder, you have to grant members of the local administrators group full control access to the folder under the security tab for a folder's properties.


    Now, i think this is the proper answer for locked folders.

  • How to Take Ownership in Windows 7
  • 1. Locate the file or folder on which you want to take ownership in windows explorer
  • 2. Right click on file or folder and select “Properties” from Context Menu
  • 3. Click on Security tab
  • 4. Click on “Advance”
  • 5. Now click on Owner tab in Advance Security Settings for User windows
  • 6. Click on Edit Button and select user from given Change Owner to list if user or group is not in given list then click on other users or groups. Enter name of user/group and click ok.
  • 7. Now select User/group and click apply and ok. (Check “Replace owner on sub containers and objects” if you have
  • files and folder within selected folder)
  • 8. Click ok when Windows Security Prompt is displayed
  • 9. Now Owner name must have changed.
  • 10. Now click Ok to exist from Properties windows
  • Once you have taken the ownership of file or folder next part comes is Granting Permissions to that file/folder or object.

  • How to Grant Permissions in Windows 7
  • 1. Locate the file or folder on which you want to take ownership in windows explorer
  • 2. Right click on file or folder and select “Properties” from Context Menu
  • 3. Click on Edit button in Properties windows Click ok to confirm UAC elevation request.
  • 4. Select user/group from permission windows or click add to add other user or group.
  • 5. Now under Permission section check the rights which you want to grant i.e check “Full Control” under the “Allow” column to assign full access rights control permissions to Administrators group.
  • 6. Click Ok for changes to take effect and click ok final ok to exit from Properties window.
  • Now you can access files of folder in windows 7 with full permissions and take full control.


    n this is answer to the system files such as application data nearly as zander1983's answer

  • Microsoft does not explain to the user that many of these files and folders which are seemingly locked and do not come up in third party search engines are actually "Hard Links." (i.e. symbolic links, or junctions.)

  • It is my understanding that they are very similar to shortcuts with more power. So I can't open "Application Data" because its not there! It is a junction to C:\ProgramData, put there for older programs that reference XP's old path.

    an answer from a customer and microsoft's support engineer

    Thanks ubercake & zander1983

    Now. how do i select the best answer? hopefully there's an explanation with the 'XP's old path references'
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    Best solution

    a b $ Windows 7
    June 13, 2012 5:50:52 PM

    As mentioned before, there are several locations which have been moved from their previous location in Windows XP when using Windows Vista or Windows 7. As you have noted, there are still hidden folders in the Windows XP locations which cannot be opened, this is because these hidden folders utilize a technology built into NTFS, the file system used by modern versions of Windows, called Junction Points which allows a folder to be a point which is redirected to another folder. For example, if an application attempts to write data to C:/Documents and Settings/$username$/Application Data, the data will automatically be directed to C:/Users/$username$/AppData. This helps older applications to maintain compatibility with new versions of Windows without modifying the applications themselves.

    You can learn more about Junction Points from Microsoft Support:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/205524/nl
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    June 13, 2012 6:14:41 PM

    oh. that is acceptable. make sense. Thanks Brandon
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    June 20, 2012 3:14:19 AM

    Best answer selected by aminroy.
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    !