How To'sWindows

FIX: You need permission to perform this action

The way Windows works is that if a folder, program or a file is being used by another process, then the user will not be able to make any changes to it. If you are getting the error “You need permission to perform this action” while  trying to  delete or move the file/folder, then it is most likely caused by a permissions issue or that file/folder is being used by another program. For example: The folder or file within the folder is being backed up or is being scanned by your AntiVirus program. If the permissions are changed, then you will still be presented with this error – even if you are the administrator. In this guide, i will walk you through a couple of methods to address this issue.


Method 1: Restart Your Computer in Safe Mode

Safe Mode loads windows with those programs and services that are windows-related, and loads with minimal settings. If the reason for the “permission issue” is due to the file being used by another process, then you will be to delete it via Safe Mode. To reboot your system in safe mode, do the following:

To reboot a Windows 8/8.1/10 system in Safe Mode click (here).

To reboot a Windows 7 / Vista  in Safe Mode Restart your computer and repeatedly tap F8 until you see the Advanced Boot Menu. If you do not see this menu, start over again and repeatedly tap F8 key on your keyboard until you see this. When you see this select Safe Mode with Networking. You will be able to login into safe mode fine.

On the Advanced Boot Menu, select Safe Mode with Networking using the arrow keys on your keyboard. Hit Enter to start computer in Safe Mode with Networking. The picture below shows Safe Mode only, but you need to select “Safe Mode with Networking”

you need permission to perfrom this action

Method 2: Check Permissions

To check and modify the permissions, follow the steps below.

Right-click the file or folder and click Properties.

You need permission to perform this action-1

Navigate to the Security tab and click Advanced.

You need permission to perform this action-2

Make sure that your user account has “Full control” of the folder and subfolders. If you see that your username doesn’t have the full control, click Change or Change Permissions after selecting your username.

You need permission to perform this action-3

Check the checkbox labelled Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this object. If you are using Windows 7, uncheck the checkbox labelled Include inheritable permissions from this object’s parent. If you are using Windows 8 or later, you will see a button for the same purpose. Click this button.


Click Add. In Windows 7, type your user name in the Enter the object name to select. In windows 8 and later, click Select a principal and type your username in the Enter the object name to select. Click OK.


Click Full Control in the resulting dialog box and click OK. Now, you have the full access to the file or folder while you have successfully removed all the permission for other users including system. If this error was due to the permissions, you should be able to delete this file or folder now.

Method 3: Use Unlocker

You can also use Unlocker by Empty Loop. Once downloaded, run the program and while installing the program, choose Advanced option and make sure to uncheck third party softwares that comes bundled with Unlocker. When the installation completes, close the installer.

Right-click the folder you want to delete. You will see a new option called Unlocker. Click this option. It will open an Unlocker window. It will show you whether the file or folder is locked by a process. If it is, Unlocker will show you the list of all such processes. Choose Unlock All, or any other option as needed.

Unlocking will allow you to delete the file or folder easily.

Method 4: Create a .bat file that takes ownership of the folder

If Windows won’t recognize your permissions for the file, you can create a .bat file that will take full ownership of the folder, and run that as administrator.

  1. Right-click on your desktop, and create a new text file, named anything.bat.
  2. Open the file with a text editor, and add the following lines inside:
  3. Replace C:\Locked Directory with the name Path the Folder having permission issues.

SET DIRECTORY_NAME=”C:\Locked Directory”


ICACLS %DIRECTORY_NAME% /grant administrators:F /t


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Expert Tip

FIX: You need permission to perform this action

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Reimage Plus which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage by clicking the Download button below.

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