While copying files or folders from one location to another location on a Windows computer, some users encountered the You’ll need to provide administrator permission to copy this file error. This error also occurs while copying or moving the files to an external storage device. If you experience this error, the solutions provided in this article will help you fix it.
You’ll need to provide administrator permission to copy this file
The error message “You’ll need to provide administrator permission to copy this file” clearly states that you do not have enough permissions to copy or move the targeted file or folder. Use the following solutions to fix this error.
- Make sure that you are signed in with the administrator account
- Take ownership of the file or folder
- Temporarily disable your antivirus
- Add Everyone as a new user
- Disable the User Account Control
- Enable the hidden administrator account
- Use a third-party tool or software
Let’s see all these fixes in detail.
1] Make sure that you are signed in with the administrator account
The error message clearly indicates that you must have administrative rights to copy or move the targeted file or folder. Hence, you must be signed in to your Windows computer with an administrator account.
If you are signed in with a local account, sign out of your PC, then sign in to Windows using an administrator account.
2] Take ownership of the file or folder
If you are already signed in with an administrator account but, despite that, are not able to copy or move files or folders, you have to take ownership of the file or folder. After taking ownership, do not forget to enable Full Control for that file or folder.
If you are copying or moving a folder that contains subfolders, enable the Replace owner on sub containers and objects checkbox while taking ownership. This option will replace the owner of all the files and folders inside the parent folder.
3] Temporarily disable your antivirus
The issue you are facing might be occurring due to the antivirus. You can check this by disabling the antivirus temporarily. If this works, contact your third-party antivirus vendor to fix this issue.
4] Add Everyone as a new user
If you cannot copy or move the files or folders, you can try this fix. Add Everyone as a new user and grant Full Control to it. The following steps will help you with that:
- Right-click on the file or folder and select Properties.
- Go to the Security tab.
- Click on the Edit button.
- Now, click Add.
- A new window will open. Type Everyone and click Check Names. After that, Everyone should be underlined automatically.
- Click OK. This will add Everyone as a new user. You will see it under the Group or user names box.
- Select Everyone in the Group or user names box and then select the Full Control checkbox under the Allow column.
- Click Apply and then click OK.
Now, you should be able to copy or move the file or folder.
However, once your work is done, we recommend you reverse the change made.
5] Disable the User Account Control
In some cases, the User Account Control can cause issues. Disable the User Account Control and then try to move or copy the files or folders. This fix has worked for some users. Hence, you should also try this.
The User Account Control window pops up while performing administrative operations on a Windows computer. Hence, it protects a user’s computer from unauthorized changes being done by third-party software. If this fix works for you, do not forget to enable the User Account Control again.
Related article: You need permission to perform this action on Windows.
6] Enable the hidden administrator account
Windows 11/10 comes with a built-in Administrator account. This account is hidden by default. You can use it to perform administrative tasks on your system. If the problem still persists, we suggest you enable the built-in administrator account. To enable it, you have to sign in with the existing administrator account on your computer and then execute the required commands in the elevated Command Prompt.
You can also set a password to the built-in Administrator account. But we do not suggest it because you may need it in troubleshooting issues on your computer, like when you are unable to sign into your computer.
You should be able to copy or move the files or folders after logging in to the built-in administrator account. When you are done, disable the built-in or hidden administrator account to prevent other users from making unauthorized changes to your system.
7] Use a third-party tool or software
You can also use third-party software to copy your files and folders. There are many free software available on the internet that will copy your files and folders easily at a faster speed.
How do I give administrator permission to copy a file?
To give the administrator permission to copy a file, you should be signed in with an administrator account. After that, you have to take ownership of the file or folder and grant Full Control to yourself (administrator).
Why does Windows say I need administrator permission but I am administrator?
Despite being an administrator, you do not have Full Control over all files and folders. That’s why you may see this error message while modifying some files or folders, especially the protected ones.