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Summary :

Windows cannot access the specified device path or file

When you are trying to open a file or start a program, you might receive an error message that says Windows cannot access the specified device path or file. This post will show you 5 solutions to solve this problem. In addition, this post will introduce an effective and reliable way to keep data safe, which is using MiniTool ShadowMaker to create a backup image.

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Windows Cannot Access the Specified Device Path or File

You may receive an error message ‘Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file. You may not have the appropriate permission to access the item.’ when you are trying to start a program or open a file. And the error message is shown as the follow:

windows cannot access the specified device or path

You won't be able to access the file or the program when you receive the error message. Do you know the reason behind and how to fix this?

In general, there are various reasons that cause the issue Windows cannot access the specified device. For example:

  • The antivirus software may block the files.
  • Windows has blocked the files.
  • The file is corrupted, hidden or deleted by antivirus.
  • The shortcut of the program is corrupted.
  • Or you don’t have the permission to access the item since you are not the administrator.

Of course, some other reasons may also give rise to the issue that Windows cannot access the specified device path or file. Meanwhile, the most important part is how to solve this problem. Thus, please keep on reading.

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5 Solutions to Windows Cannot Access the Specified Device Path or File

In this section, we will list 5 solutions to solve the problem when Windows cannot access the specified path. You can try them one by one to fix this problem when you may not have appropriate permissions to access the item. You can also watch the following video to fix the problem Windows cannot access the specified file. 

Solution 1. Disable the Antivirus Software Temporarily

The issue Windows cannot access the specified file may be caused by the antivirus program. Therefore, in order to solve the problem, you can temporarily disable it. You can follow the steps below to disable your antivirus program.

Step 1: Press Windows key and R key together to open Run dialog and type msconfig in the box, then click OK or hit Enter to continue.

type msconfig in the box and hit Enter to continue

Step 2: In the System Configuration window, go to the Start up tab and click Open Task Manager to continue.

click Open Task Manager to continue

Step 3: In the popup window, find the antivirus program and choose it. Then click Disable button at the right bottom to continue.

Now, you can open the program or the file again to check whether the issue Windows cannot access the specified path Windows 10 is solved.

Note: When you have solved the problem, you should re-enable the antivirus program as soon as possible since if the antivirus is disabled, the computer is vulnerable to attack.

Solution 2. Check Permissions of the File or Folder

Now, this section will introduce the second method to solve the issue when you may not have appropriate permissions to access the item. To fix this problem, you can try checking the permissions of the file or folder.

You can refer to the following detailed instructions.

Step 1: Select the file you want to open and right-click it. Then choose Properties from the context menu.

Step 2: Go to the Security tab and choose your name under Group or user name and click Edit to continue.

select your name to see your permissions

Step 3: Then under Permissions for SYSTEM in the popup window, you can check the permissions you want to have in Allow column. After that, please check whether the issue Windows cannot access the specified path is solved.

Note: Please note if all boxes are grayed out with a checkmark in it, it means that the permissions are enabled. In this situation, this solution does not work for you and you need to move on to the next method.

check the permissions

Solution 3. Unblock the File

Windows cannot access the specified device path or file may occur if the file is blocked by Windows. To fix this problem, you can try to unblock the file. You can look at the specific steps of operations below.

Step 1: Right-click the file which has the problem Windows cannot access the specified path and choose Properties to continue.

Step 2: In the popup window, go to the General tab. Then you will see a message The file came from another computer and might be blocked to help to protect the computer if the file is blocked by Windows. Thus, you can check Unblock and click OK to continue.

check Unblock to continue

Now, you can check whether the issue Windows cannot access the specified path Windows 10 is solved.

Solution 4. Check the Location of File

If you are trying to access a file via a shortcut which is on an external hard drive or a network location that it is no longer connected to your computer, Windows might not be able to access the specified device path or file. Thus, you can check the location of the target file and see if the file is in an inaccessible location based on following instructions.

Step 1: Right-click the shortcut of the file on your computer and choose Properties from the context menu.

Step 2: Under the Shortcut tab in the popup window, check the path in Target is available or not.

check the path in Target

Solution 5. Recover the Removed or Deleted File

Windows will not be able to access the specified device path or file if the files are removed, deleted, or hidden by an antivirus. In a situation like this, you can recover the data to solve this problem.

In order to recover the lost data, you can take advantage of the best data recovery software – MiniTool Power Data Recovery. It is a user-friendly program for Windows users, which can be used to recover lost data due to various reasons, such as mistaken deletion, virus attack, mistaken formatting and so on.

As a read-only software, it will not bring any damage to the original data. So if you have lost data, you can download the Trail edition to scan the lost files.

Free Download

Here are the specific instructions to recover the lost data from the inaccessible folder or partition.

Step 1: Download and install the best data recovery software and launch it to enter its main interface.

Step 2: Next, you will see four options and choose This PC module to continue. Then choose the partition which you have lost the file and click Scan to continue.

choose the partition and click Scan to continue

Step 3: When the scan is finished, you can see all files are listed here in order and you can open each path to find out the file you need.

the scan result

Note: If you know the name of the files you have lost, you can use the Find feature to find them quickly. If you know the type or other features of the file, you can use Filter feature to continue. These two features can help you to save the scanning time.

Step 6: When you have checked the lost files, you can choose a destination to save the files by clicking Save button. Here, you will receive a warning message that tells you a license key is required to activate the program since you are using the Trial edition. Thus, you can click here to get here to buy a license. Then activate the program and complete the recovery.

click Save to continue

When you have recovered lost files, you can check whether the issue Windows cannot access the specified device path or file is solved.

I have successfully solved the issue Windows cannot access the specified path or file by using the method in this post. I’d like to share it with more friends.Click to tweet

Useful Suggestion

When you have solved the issue when Windows cannot access the specified path Windows 10 or successfully recovered the lost files, it is recommended to back up the data so as to provide better protection.

Here, MiniTool ShadowMaker, the best backup software is another product of MiniTool® Software Ltd.

MiniTool ShadowMaker is a user-friendly program which can provide protection for your data and computer. With its powerful features, it can back up a file, folder, disk, partition, and the operating system.

Besides the backup feature, it can also provide recovery solutions when there is a need so as to help you to restore the computer or data.

Thus, you can download MiniTool ShadowMaker Trial to create a backup image for the data so as to provide better protection for them when you have recovered the lost data or solved the issue Windows cannot access the specified file.

Free Download

Here, we will show you how to back up the files with MiniTool ShadowMaker. ou can continue according to the following instructions.

For backup the operating system, you can refer to this article: Easily & Free Create a Windows 10 Image Backup Now - MiniTool

Step 1: Install the program and launch it, click Keep Trail, and click Connect in This Computer to enter its main interface.

click Connect in This Computer to continue

Step 2: In the main interface, go to the Backup tab and click Source module to continue.

Step 3: In the popup window, choose Folder and Files to choose what you want to back up.

choose Folders and Files to continue

Step 4: When returning to the main interface, you need to click Destination module to choose where you want to save the backup image. It is advised to choose an external hard drive as the destination.

In order to provide better protection for data, there are three important things you need to pay attention to.

  • MiniTool ShadowMaker enables you to create an automatic file backup. Thus, you just need to click Schedule button to set the backup task on a regular basis.
  • There are three different backup schemes offered, including Full Backup, Incremental backup, and Differential backup. You can change the backup scheme by clicking Schedule.
  • You can also set some advanced backup parameters by clicking Options.

Step 5: When you have selected the backup source and destination, you can click Back up Now to perform this backup task immediately or click Back up Later to delay the backup task.

click Back up Now to perform the task immediately

After having successfully created a backup image to the data, you can keep data safe and even can restore them to a previous state when there is a need.

MiniTool ShadowMaker is a user-friendly program that can help me to create a backup image with ease so as to keep data safe.Click to tweet

Bottom Line

After reading this post, we learned that Windows cannot access the specified device path or file because of many reasons such as antivirus software, corrupted shortcut, file deleted by antivirus and so on.

However, this post has listed 5 solutions to solve the problem when Windows cannot access the specified file and you can try them out.

After successfully solving the problem or recovering the lost files, you should use MiniTool ShadowMaker to back up all important files so as to provide better protection for data.

By the way, if you have any better solution to the problem you may not have appropriate permissions to access the item, you can share it one the comment zone.

Or if you have any problem about MiniTool products, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the email [email protected].

Windows Cannot Access the Specified Device Path or File FAQ

How do I fix Windows cannot access the specified device path or file?
  1. Disable antivirus software temporarily.
  2. Check permission of the file or folder.
  3. Unblock the file.
  4. Check the location of the file.
  5. Recover the removed file or deleted file.
How do I fix you do not have permission to access?
  1. Change the owner.
  2. Change security permissions with Command Prompt.

For more detailed instruction, you can refer to the post: You Need Permission To Perform This Action: Solved.

How do I get full permission on Windows 10?
  1. Open File Explorer and select the file or folder you want to have full permission to right-click it.
  2. Choose Properties.
  3. Go to the Security tab.
  4. Click Advanced.
  5. On the next page, click Change.
  6. Then click Advanced.
  7. On the Select User or Group page, click Find Now.
  8. Then select your user account and click OK.
  9. On the Select User or Group page, click OK.
  10. Click Apply,
  11. Then click OK.

You can refer to the post How To Take Ownership Of Folder In Windows 10 By Yourself to learn more.

How do I fix access denied folder in Windows 10.
  1. Take the ownership of the file or folder.
  2. Get the proper permissions.
  3. Recover your data.

For more detailed instruction, please refer to the post: It's Easy to Fix Access Is Denied Error (Focus on Disk and Folder).

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