5 Fixes | My Documents folder and Settings Access Denied

Learn to fix My Documents folder and Settings access denied via five useful fixes on this page. You can also recover the missing Documents folder and get relevant tips about Documents folder.


By Penny / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Why is My Documents folder and Settings access denied?

My Documents folder serves as an integral part of the user profile, offering a centralized location for storing personal data (Desktop, Start menu, favorites & specific application files). By default, this folder is included in the user’s profile and acts as a default storage location to save documents.

  • To locate your Documents folder, press Win + E to open Windows File Explorer and follow this default storage path C:\Users\UserName\Documents.


  • You can also press Win + R to open the Run box and enter %userprofile%Documents. Then you can open this folder directly.


Obviously, the My Documents folder provides great convenience for Windows users, but some of them encounter the Documents and Settings access denied error, which can prevent users from accessing path C Documents and Settings folder and its sub-folders, hindering managing and freeing up disk space.


I’ve tried logging in as Admin and checked all my permissions. But I still can’t access this folder. So why is My Documents folder and Settings access denied? What’s more, how do I allow access to My Documents folder? Thanks.

- A user from Seven Forum

Why is your access to Documents and Settings denied? All in all, encryption protection, insufficient folder ownership, inadequate read permissions, antivirus settings, and User Account Control Settings are also responsible for denied permissions.  

Before solving access to Documents and Settings denied

Please note that modifying/organizing these files could cause unintended consequences within the associated applications.

» Therefore, before proceeding with the fix for the Documents and Settings access denied error, you’re advised to make a file backup of this folder and store them in another safe place. This precautionary measure ensures the preservation of valuable data stored within the Documents folder.

Part 1. How to fix the access to path C Documents and settings denied?

According to the above factors, this part lists five fixes to fix the My Documents folder and Settings access denied. You can try them one by one.

Fix 1. Cancel the Encryption Protection of My Documents folder

It’s recommended to verify whether encryption protection has been applied to the folder because activated encryption protection definitely renders the Documents folder and its contents unreadable as a means of safeguarding sensitive or confidential information, particularly during transmission over the Internet.

Please refer to the following steps to cancel the encryption protection feature.

Step 1. Press Win + E to open File Explorer > right-click on the Documents folder > select Properties > click General > Advanced.


Step 2. In the Advanced Attributes interface, don’t tick “Encrypt contents to secure data” and click “OK” to save changes.


Fix 2. Modify permissions to access My Documents folder and Settings

Insufficient permissions is one of the main reasons behind the Documents and Settings access denied error. To solve this problem, you need to grant the necessary permissions to this folder.

Similarly, if your desktop icons reappear after deletion, it’s also relevant to insufficient permissions.

Step 1. Right-click on the My Documents folder in File Explorer > select Properties > Security.

Step 2. Locate your username and click the “Edit” button.


Step 3. Check the Allow box next to Full Control. After clicking the “Apply” button, remember to click “OK” to close it.


Fix 3. Change system permissions to access My Documents folder and Settings

Help! The above fixes can’t fix access to path C Documents and Settings denied. When lacking sufficient ownership of the Documents folder, accessing the Documents and Settings folder on Windows 10 becomes impossible. These steps describe how to regain ownership of the Documents folder.

Step 1. Right-click on your Documents folder in File Explorer> select Properties > click Security > tap Advanced.

Step 2. Click the “Change” button beside the Owner.

Step 3. In the Select Users or Groups window, type your username to replace Everyone. Then click Check Names > OK.


Step 4. Go back to the Advanced Security Settings window, and click the “Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this project” and “OK” buttons.


Fix 4. Windows 10 change Documents location to access My Documents folder

Another method to fix the Documents and Settings access denied error is to relocate its path outside of the C drive and move My Documents folder to another drive in Windows 10 computer.

» Press Win + E to open File Explorer > right-click the My Documents folder > select Properties > Location > set a new saved path according to your situation.


Fix 5. Check your antivirus settings

In some cases, your antivirus settings can prevent access to the Documents folder. Thus, you need to see if your Documents folder and Settings have been shielded with antivirus settings (Windows Virus & threat protection or other third-party antivirus software) or not.

Let’s take in-built Windows features as an example because Windows Defender could automatically delete files after turning on real-time protection.  

Step 1. Press “Win + I” to open Windows Settings. Then click Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection.


Step 2. Turn off the Real-time protection.


After disabling real-time protection, please see if you can access your Documents folder and Settings or not.

Part 2. How to solve My Documents missing Windows 10/11?

If you didn’t have a chance to back up your Documents folder before resolving the issue and ended up losing data in the process, can you recover deleted or missing files stored in the Documents folder?

Or if your Documents folder missing Windows 10 or 11, what can you do to retrieve it?

In this case, seeking assistance from professional data recovery tools like MyRecover seems like your second-to-none choice because third-party tools can exempt you from essential backups and recover deleted & lost files from computer hard drives.   

Key features of MyRecover: 
All-inclusive: Apply to a variety of data loss scenarios such as deletion, disk formatting, system crashes, or virus attacks.
High-efficiency: Recover 200+ types of files such as folders, Microsoft Word, Excel, PPT, and WPS files, compressed files, photos, audio, songs, videos, and websites from internal & external HDDs, USB sticks, SD cards, etc.   
Advanced scanning method: MyRecover runs Quick Scan & Deep Scan automatically to search all the recoverable files. Specify the filename, saved path, date, or size to filter your needed files.
Convenience: Retain the original filename, path, and format for the deleted files.   
Excellent compatibility: Support NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS file systems.

Download MyRecover on your Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, or Server PC to retrieve them!

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch MyRecover > Hover the mouse over C drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.


Step 2. MyRecover will automatically scan your C drive and detect all the recoverable folders and files.

Filter your needed Documents folder or saved files according to Document Type, Name, Date, or Path.

  • Name: Type the relevant filenames in the search bar to locate your desired deleted/lost files quickly.
  • Date modified: Set a customized date (today, yesterday, last 7 or 30 days, etc.)
  • Size: Filter the file size (<128KB, 128KB~1MB, 1MB~512MB, etc.)


Step 3. Go to the Deleted Files/Recycle Bin/Other Missing Files folder and select your desired folder or files. Then click “Recover x files” to start Windows data recovery.


After recovery, please remember to store your retrieved Documents folder or its files in another drive instead of the original hard drive.
MyRecover can recover your 500MB of files for free in total. If you desire to recover a large number of deleted & missing files from local hard drives, upgrading MyRecover to the Professional or Technician edition is a more cost-effective choice. 

FQ&A about Windows 10/11 Documents folder & access denied

My Documents folder and Settings access denied! You can get feasible ways from the above part. Besides, there’re related tips about the Documents folder and access denied.  

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.