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Tip: Learn How to Take or Assign Ownership of Files and Folders


The owner of a file or a folder has the right to allow or deny access to that resource. Although members of the Administrators group and other authorized users also have the right to allow or deny access, the owner has the authority to lock out non-administrator users, and then the only way to regain access to the resource is for an administrator or a member of the Restore Operators group to take ownership of it. This makes the file or folder owner important with respect to what permissions are allowed or denied for a given resource.

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The default owner of a file or folder is the person who creates the resource. Ownership can be taken or transferred in several ways. The current owner of a file or folder can transfer ownership to another user or group. A member of the Administrators group can take ownership of a file or folder or transfer ownership to another user or group—even if administrators are locked out of the resource according to the permissions. Any user with the Take Ownership permission on the file or folder can take ownership, as can any member of the Backup Operators group (or anyone else with the Restore Files And Directories user right, for that matter).

Taking Ownership of Files and Folders
If you are an administrator, an authorized user, or a backup operator, you can take ownership of a file or folder by completing the following steps:
1. In Windows Explorer, open the file or folder’s Properties dialog box by right-clicking the file or folder and then clicking Properties.
2. On the Security tab, click Advanced to display the Advanced Security Settings dialog box.
3. On the Owner tab, click Edit.This opens the Advanced Security Settings dialog box for editing.
4. In the Change Owner To list, select the new owner.If you’re taking ownership of a folder, you can take ownership of all subfolders and files within the folder by selecting the Replace Owner On Subcontainers And Objects option.
5. Click OK twice when you have finished.

Assigning Ownership
If you are an administrator or the current owner of a file, you can assign ownership of a file or a folder to another user or group by completing these steps:
1. In Windows Explorer, open the file or folder’s Properties dialog box by right-clicking the file or folder and then clicking Properties.
2. On the Security tab, click Advanced to display the Advanced Security Settings dialog box.
3. On the Owner tab, click Edit. This opens the Advanced Security Settings dialog box for editing.
4. Click Other Users Or Groups to display the Select User, Computer, Service Account, Or Group dialog box.
5. Type the name of a user or a group, and then click Check Names. If multiple names match the value you entered, you’ll see a list of names and can choose the one you want to use. Otherwise, the name will be filled in for you, and you can click OK to close the Select User, Computer, Service Account, Or Group dialog box.
6. In the Change Owner To list, select the new owner. If you’re assigning ownership of a folder, you can assign ownership of all subfolders and files within the folder by selecting the Replace Owner On Subcontainers And Objects option.
7. Click OK twice when you have finished.


From the Microsoft Press book Windows 7 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant by William R. Stanek.

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