How to Fix File Access Denied When Copying or Moving Files Windows 10

How to Fix File Access Denied When Copying or Moving Files Windows 10

Have you ever met the case that file access denied error taking place when you are trying to move or copy files? This issue has been raised a lot on some forums by many Windows 10 users, and it has a little difference between different users, including not copying multiple files/folders and can’t move files between folders.

To be specific, this error file access denied can be divided into several categories:

  1. Windows 10 can’t copy or move files/folders.
  2. Windows 10 can’t copy or move files/folders that are opened in another program.
  3. You can’t move or delete files/folders in Windows 10.
  4. You are not allowed to copy files/folders to USB.

Take it easy when encounter this case. Here, I’d like to introduce some useful solutions to these cases of file access denied in Windows 10. Please go on reading the following parts.

Case 1. Can’t Copy or Move Files/Folders

When you can’t copy or move files/folders to local hard drive or external hard drive, just try the methods below to fix it.

Fix 1: Check Account Permissions

① Press Windows + S buttons to launch the Windows search bar.

② Input control panel and press Enter.

③ Tap User Accounts, on which check if the Administrator is under the target account name.

Fix 2: Get Windows Explorer Restarted

You can finish this work in these steps:

① Go to Task Manager by right-clicking blank space on the taskbar.

② Select Processes > Windows Explorer > Restart.

Fix 3: Run SFC scan

① Launch Windows search bar and enter cmd and choose Command Prompt.

② Make sure to choose Run as administrator.

③ Type this command: sfc/scannow and click Enter.

Case 2. Can’t Copy or Move File/Folder Opened in another Program

When you intend to copy or move files/folders to another place on the local drive, you may be informed by an error message that tells you can’t complete the action because the file/folder is being opened in another program. How to solve this problem?

Fix 1: Close Applications

First of all, you should check running programs currently on your Windows, then, exit the programs that are using the item that you want to copy or move.

Fix 2: Empty Recycle Bin

This operation is pretty easy. Open Recycle Bin and click Empty Recycle Bin to finish the work.

Fix 3: Delete the Temp Files

① Open Run dialog and enter %temp% in the textbox. Hit Enter.

② Select all items by pressing Ctrl + A. Delete them permanently with pressing Shift + Delete.

Fix 4: Run Disk Cleanup

① Press Windows + S and key in disk cleanup. Hit Enter.

② In the Disk Cleanup window, select the target drive to clean by clicking OK.

③ Wait until the scanning process ends. Check Thumbnails and click OK there.

Case 3. Can’t Move or Delete Files/Folders

There is another situation – you can’t delete a file/folder even by using Shift + Delete. On this occasion, you should confirm the programs using the file are shut down. Then, if the issue still exists, just try the following methods.

Fix 1: Use Command Prompt.

① Run Windows search box and enter cmd. Then, click Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.

② Key in del and locate the target file/folder, such as E:\Test\text.txt.

③ Then, hit Enter to begin the operation.

Fix 2: Delete Files in Safe Mode.

① Press Windows + I to open Settings.

② Click Update & Security option and check Recovery in the left.

③ Find and choose Advanced startup > Restart > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings.

④ Then, go to Windows Explorer to find the target file. Delete it and restart your computer.

Case 4. Can’t Copy Files/Folders to USB

It happens occasionally that you can’t copy files/folders to an external USB drives. How did it take place? This is mainly because the USB drive is write-protected. Then, you are not able to edit or add new data to it.

In this case, you just need to cancel the write-protection on the USB drive to make it editable.


I have shown you the different cases of file access denied and corresponding solutions to each case. So, it’s your turn to choose a suitable method to fix this problem based on your actual situation.

If you have any questions or ideas about it, please leave a comment below to share with us. Hope you can solve the issue successfully.

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