When you try to save a file on the desktop or the documents folder on your Windows 10 computer, it may show the “File not found” error message. Here is the full error message verbatim:
File not found.
Check the file name and try again.
.. with the “Unauthorized changes blocked” error in the Notification area and the Action Center.
For each error, an action center notification along with an event log entry is created.
Here are the related event log entries (Event Id:
Log Name: Microsoft-Windows-Windows Defender/Operational Source: Microsoft-Windows-Windows Defender Date: Event ID: 1123 Task Category: None Level: Warning Keywords: User: SYSTEM Computer: DESKTOP-JKJ4G5Q Description: C:\Program Files\Tally\Tally.ERP9\tally.exe has been blocked from modifying %userprofile%\Documents\ by Controlled Folder Access. Detection time: User: DESKTOP-JKJ4G5Q\ramesh Path: %userprofile%\Documents\ Process Name: C:\Program Files\Tally\Tally.ERP9\tally.exe Signature Version: 1.291.266.0 Engine Version: 1.1.15800.1 Product Version: 4.18.1902.2
Log Name: Microsoft-Windows-Windows Defender/Operational Source: Microsoft-Windows-Windows Defender Date: Event ID: 1123 Task Category: None Level: Warning Keywords: User: SYSTEM Computer: DESKTOP-JKJ4G5Q Description: C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe has been blocked from modifying %desktopdirectory%\ by Controlled Folder Access. Detection time: User: DESKTOP-JKJ4G5Q\ramesh Path: %desktopdirectory%\ Process Name: C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe Signature Version: 1.291.266.0 Engine Version: 1.1.15800.1 Product Version: 4.18.1902.2
The above symptoms are observed in Windows 10 build 1709 and higher. It’s because of “Controlled Folder Access”, an anti-ransomware feature first introduced in Fall Creators Update v1709, is preventing untrusted programs from writing to protected areas like the Desktop or Documents folder.
Microsoft doesn’t tell which programs are “untrusted”. For instance, the above error may occur when saving to .txt files on the Desktop using EditPad Lite or similar program. When I tested with Notepad++ in Windows 10 v1809, the issue didn’t appear. It could be possible that Windows 10 has a built-in list of “trusted” programs, and the list may get updated now and then.
Fix: Unable to Save Files to Desktop and Error “File not found”
Option 1: Turn Off Controlled Folder Access
To turn off Controlled Folder Access, use these steps:
- Open Windows Defender Security Center
- Click Virus & threat protection
- Click Virus & threat protection settings
- Scroll down to Controlled folder access
- Turn the setting off
Option 2: Allow Specific Programs for Controlled Folder Access (having the option Enabled)
Occasionally, an app that is safe to use will be identified as harmful by the Controlled Folder Access feature. This happens because Microsoft wants to keep you safe and will sometimes err on the side of caution; however, this might interfere with how you normally use your PC. You can add an app to the list of safe or allowed apps to prevent them from being blocked.
If you don’t want to turn off Controlled Folder Access, you can instead whitelist specific programs so that Windows 10 doesn’t block those apps from writing to the desktop, documents or other protected folders.
To whitelist (allow) programs for Controlled Folder access, refer to the article How to Configure and Use Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10 for a detailed information. Note that you can use PowerShell to toggle on/off the setting. Be sure to whitelist
That’s it! Hope the article helps.
About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.