Unlock Solutions for "Access Denied: Copy or Move Files" Error

Delve into the world of Windows file management as we tackle the "Access Denied: Copy or Move Files" error. Uncover the reasons behind this inconvenience and explore five diverse methods to overcome access denied challenges


By Ivy / Updated on February 1, 2024

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Access Denied: Copy or Move Files

 Encountering the "Access Denied: Copy or Move Files" error can be perplexing and inconvenient. Whether you're transferring important documents or organizing files, this issue can disrupt your workflow. In this guide, we'll dissect the possible reasons behind this error and present practical solutions to ensure a seamless file management experience on Windows.

Possible Reasons for "Access Denied" Error

Encountering the "Access Denied: Copy or Move Files" error can be perplexing, and understanding the underlying reasons is the key to resolving this issue. Here, we explore the potential culprits in an unorganized fashion:

­čö╣Inadequate Permissions:

  • Limited user permissions might restrict the ability to copy or move files.
  • Users without the necessary rights encounter access denied errors.

­čö╣File in Use by Another Program:

  • If a file is actively being used by another application, Windows might prevent its movement.
  • Check for open applications or processes that have a lock on the file.

­čö╣System Restrictions:

  • Certain system-level restrictions can hinder file operations.
  • Windows security features or group policy settings may limit specific actions.

­čö╣Corrupted User Profile:

  • A corrupted user profile can lead to unexpected errors, including access denied problems.
  • Create a new user profile or troubleshoot the existing one.

­čö╣Damaged File System:

  • A corrupted or damaged file system on the drive can impede file transfers.
  • Run a disk check utility to identify and fix file system issues.

­čö╣Third-Party Interference:

  • Antivirus or security software may mistakenly identify file operations as malicious.
  • Temporarily disable security software to check if it's causing the access denied error.

How to Fix the "Access Denied" Issue

1. Adjust Permissions

Adjusting the permissions associated with a file or folder can resolve access denied problems. This method allows you to grant specific permissions to your user account.

  • Navigate to the file or folder.
  • Right-click and select "Properties."
  • Access the "Security" tab and modify permissions.

2. Use the Elevated Command Prompt

Sometimes, the access denied issue is due to ownership conflicts. Changing the ownership of the files ensures that you have control over them and can manipulate them freely.

  • Open Command Prompt as an administrator.
  • Utilize commands like "takeown" and "icacls" to override file restrictions.

3. UnlockFiles with Safe Mode:

Booting into Safe Mode ensures that no third-party applications or unnecessary processes interfere with file operations. It provides a clean environment for copying or moving files. So please try to attempt file copy or move in Safe Mode.

4. Utiliz Robocopy for File Transfer

  • Run cmd as administrator. Type command based on the robocopy syntax.

robocopy source destination [options]

  • To copy all files from C: drive to D: drive, type as follows and press Enter.

E.g., robocopy C:\Source D:\Destination /MIR

5. Create a New User Account

Creating a new user account provides a fresh profile, potentially bypassing any permission issues associated with the existing account.

  • Press Windows + I to open the Settings menu. Then,  select "Accounts."
  • In the left sidebar, choose "Family & other users."
  • Scroll down to the "Other users" section. Then, click "Add a user" under "Add someone else to this PC".
  • A window will prompt you to enter the new user's email or phone number. Choose "I don't have this person's sign-in information."
  • On the next screen, select "Add a user without a Microsoft account."  Enter the desired username and password for the new account.
  • Click "Next" and then "Finish" to complete the setup.

Recover Deleted Files with MyRecover

Accidentally delete files during troubleshooting? Fear not! MyRecover, a robust data recovery tool, comes to the rescue. With user-friendly features and a straightforward operating process, MyRecover ensures the retrieval of lost data effortlessly. Explore its capabilities and witness the restoration of your valuable files.

  • Download and install MyRecover on your computer.
  • Connect the affected external hard drive to your system.
  • Launch MyRecover and select the ESDUSB drive for recovery.
  • Initiate the scanning process and preview the recoverable files.
  • Choose the files you want to recover and proceed with the restoration.


Navigating through "Access Denied: Copy or Move Files" challenges requires a strategic approach. By addressing permissions, utilizing command-line tools, and considering third-party interference, users can triumph over access denied obstacles. Enhance your file management journey on Windows with these practical solutions. Additionally, MyRecover adds an extra layer of assurance, promising successful file recovery even in the face of accidental deletions.


Q: Can adjusting permissions affect other users?

A: No, modifying permissions typically applies to the specific user or administrator making the changes.

Q: Is MyRecover suitable for recovering files from external drives?

A: Yes, MyRecover is versatile and can recover files from various storage devices, including external drives.

Q: What precautions should be taken before using Robocopy?

A: Ensure you understand the Robocopy commands and their impact to avoid unintended data loss.

Q: Can I recover files deleted a long time ago with MyRecover?

A: MyRecover is designed to recover recently deleted files as well as those deleted some time ago, depending on various factors.

Q: Should I permanently disable antivirus software for file operations?

A: It's recommended to temporarily disable antivirus software during troubleshooting, but remember to re-enable it after resolving the issue to maintain system security.

Ivy ┬Ě Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.