How to take ownership of a file or folder in XP Home edition

If you’re denied access to a file or folder, it may be because your user account doesn’t have the proper permissions. If your user account is an administrator, you can take ownership of the file or folder and change the permissions. But in XP Home edition, how to do that isn’t obvious because the Security tab on the file’s properties sheet is hidden during a normal logon session. Here’s how to get around that:

  1. Reboot the computer and press F8 to invoke the startup menu.
  2. Use the arrow keys to select "Safe mode with a command prompt" in the startup menu.
  3. Log on with your administrator account.
  4. Navigate to the file whose permissions you want to change.
  5. Right click the file and select "Properties."
  6. Click the Security tab. If a security prompt appears, click OK.
  7. Click the Advanced button.
  8. Click the Owner tab.
  9. In the Name list, click Administrators group.
  10. Click OK.

Now the administrators group owns the file and anyone with an administrator account can change the permissions on it. You can also take ownership of a folder, which makes you owner of the files in it.

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