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FIX: OneDrive Access Denied error


Be sure to check the list of users that you share your files with, and make sure that everything is in order. In addition, you might want to change your sharing settings and make your files public.

This isn’t the best method, especially if you’re using OneDrive to store sensitive documents, but it’s a solid troubleshooting method to check if the security permissions are the problem.


4. Take ownership of the problematic file

  1. Locate the directory that you can’t access, right-click it and choose Properties from the menu.
    onedrive access denied error
  2. Go to Security tab and click the Advanced button.
    onedrive access denied error
  3. In the Owner section on the top, click Change.
    onedrive access denied error
  4. Enter your username and click the Check Names button. If everything is in order, click OK to save changes.
    onedrive access denied error
  5. Now check Replace owner on subcointainers and objects and click Apply and OK to save changes.
    onedrive access denied error

After making these changes, you’ll have full ownership over the problematic directory and the Access denied message will be gone.

Change ownership using the command line

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu and choose Command Prompt (Admin) or Powershell (Admin).
    onedrive access denied error
  2. Now enter the following commands:
  • takeown /f “C:WindowsReport” /r /d y
  • icacls “C:WindowsReport” /grant %username% :F /t /q

Of course, be sure to enter the correct location of the directory you want to access.

Although this method is a lot faster, it requires you to enter the exact location of the directory you’re trying to access, so be sure to double-check everything before running this command.


5. Assign Full control to your user account

  1. Locate the directory you’re trying to access, right-click it and choose Properties from the menu.
  2. Navigate to the Security tab and click Edit.
    onedrive access denied error
  3. Now click the Add button.
    onedrive access denied error
  4. Enter the name of the user account that you want to use to access this directory, click Check Names and OK.
  5. Select the desired account, and make sure that you check Full control in Allow column.
  6. Next, click Apply and OK to save changes.
    onedrive access denied error

After doing that, you should have full control over the selected directory and everything will start working again.

If you keep getting OneDrive Access denied error message on your PC, the problem might be the lack of Full control privileges.

In order to protect your files from unauthorized access, you can assign different privileges to different users.


6. Make sure that the file isn’t encrypted

Check your boot priority in BIOS

In some rare instances, OneDrive Access denied error message can appear due to file encryption.

Encrypting your files is a great way to protect your privacy, but sometimes you won’t be able to access certain files if they are encrypted.

To fix this problem, you need to first decrypt the files and then try to access them.


7. Create a new administrator account

  1. Open the Settings app. You can do that quickly by using Windows Key + I shortcut.
  2. When the Settings app opens, go to the Accounts section.
    onedrive access denied error
  3. Select Family & other people from the left pane.
  4. Click on Add someone else to this PC.
    onedrive access denied error
  5. Choose I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
    onedrive access denied error
  6. Now click on Add a user without a Microsoft account.
    onedrive access denied error
  7. Enter the username for the new account and click Next.
    onedrive access denied error

After creating a new user account, you need to change it from regular to the Administrator account. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. In the Settings app go to Accounts and select Family & other people.
  2. Locate the account that you want to promote to Administrator, select it, and click Change account type.
    onedrive access denied error
  3. Set Account type to Administrator and click OK.
    onedrive access denied error

After doing that, switch to the new administrator account and try to access this directory again.

OneDrive Access denied error messages can prevent you from accessing your files, and the issue is usually caused by a lack of privileges, but you should be able to fix that problem using one of our solutions.


8. Use pCloud

Our last solution goes in recommending you to use pCloud as a backup storage tool. This tool has some fantastic features and it will bring a lot of value to you.

It comes with generous storage space, trash recovery, and automatic sync across multiple devices.

Moreover, with pCloud, you’ll have access to built-in video and audio players, including video streaming.

The file management options are also available, and you will be able to perform actions such as data recovery, remote upload, or even the feature that will allow recovering accounts that have more than 30 days.

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in August 2018 and was revamped and updated in January 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.



This post was written by Milan Stanojevic and was first posted to WindowsReport

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