Change File Access Rights With Take Ownership

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 4, 2010
Updated • Jun 12, 2016
Windows, Windows software

File permission problems are more common on Windows Vista and Windows 7 than on machines running Windows XP.

That's something that Windows XP users for instance notice when they migrate the XP system to a newer operating systems.

A common problem encountered by many users is for instance the inability to write specific files like the Windows hosts file, or settings of portable programs that have been transferred to the new operating system.

The standard way of dealing with file access rights is to change them so that files can be edited in Windows. This is done by right-clicking the file or folder, selecting properties from the context menu that is displayed, and switching to the Security tab in the window that opens afterwards.

This window displays a list of user names and groups, and their file access rights. Setting the file permissions this way is a lengthy process that becomes more than a nuisance if it has to be done for a lot of files and folders.

Take Ownership

Take Ownership is a portable software program for Windows Vista and Windows 7 that adds an entry to take ownership of selected files or folders to the context menu of Windows Explorer.

Changing ownership of a file or folder basically gives the new owner full access rights so that the files can be modified or deleted.

It is possible to change file ownership in the Properties menu as well but this requires quite a few clicks before the changes can be made.

Take Ownership simplifies that process making it extremely easy to change the owner of a file or folder.

The program displays a small window upon execution that can be used to install the shell extension so that the Take Ownership context menu entry appears in Windows Explorer. The application will automatically switch the install to an uninstall button after installation which can be used to uninstall the shell extension again if it is no longer required.

The software program is mostly helpful for users who encounter file access rights errors regularly on their operating system. Take Ownership can be downloaded directly from the developer's website.

Update: The developer website is no longer available. We have uploaded the latest version of the Take Ownership shell extension to our own servers. To download the program, click on the following link: (Download Removed)

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Author Rating
2.5 based on 4 votes
Software Name
Take Ownership
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  1. Martin Paquet said on September 20, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Ref.: « …The developer website is no longer available. »

    Seems the original developer of Ownership is back online. A newer version is available.

    Ownership x86-x64


    1. Diego said on July 19, 2017 at 8:19 am

      Thanks for notifying!

  2. Jeffrey said on November 18, 2012 at 1:46 am

    All the research I do I find tech blogs everywhere and none of them work they way I want, its either because they just copy and paste from another source and that source was not 100 percent correct and it does more harm than good for your PC, so I always end up here on GHACKs and the information is the BEST, I have used lots of info from this site to fix computers and I owe it all to the GHACK Professionals…

    I find very easy to follow instructions for almost everything I have wanted to know, somehow its like GHACKs knows me and provided the tools to learn more about windows than all the books on my shelf. This is the right place to be if your want to solve problems and need the correct technical data for the task at hand. I love this website so much its at the top of the bookmarks list.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 18, 2012 at 10:07 am

      Jeffrey, thanks, that is really nice of you to say.

  3. Anonymous said on February 19, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    You want ordinary user to be the administrator?
    You must not change access rights and file owning in such a way! You should log in as administrator, then perform any administrating tasks and only them and then re-log as non-admin user!
    Otherwise any program (including malware) can do anything with these system files without notifying you.
    Even guys from Microsoft realized that ordinary internet user must not be superuser (administrator) as it make viruses less destructive and harder to distribute.
    You can make a look at POSIX systems (MacOS, Linux) to realize why this ‘problem’ appeared, and that it’s actually not a problem, but feature :)

    1. MyndziMom said on June 4, 2012 at 7:07 am

      I must advise you that when all of a sudden you are not the administrator of your own computer, and a hacker has come in and taken over all of the files, leaving you without any rights at all, it can be very frustrating. If it weren’t for Ghacks I would be lost totally. I an greatful for their geneosity and their huge hearts for not charging me huge money.
      When you are a disabled single mom with a disabled child, and depend on the internet for your bread and milk…you wouldn’t make it without people that offer info and knowledge for free. Programs to cut corners are a blessing for people that don’t have enough years left to spend it reading and learning how to perform these tasks. I am greatful. Very greatful.

  4. DanTe said on January 4, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Wish you would have done this article on Saturday :) I spent the entire day changing ownerships because I had to install a new harddrive. And the old harddrive files are “owner not found”.

    1. Martin said on January 4, 2010 at 4:35 pm

      Now that must have been unpleasant ;)

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