Access is denied when opening the Shared Documents folder ?

Published: Sep 16, 2005
Updated  : Dec 12, 2007
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When you double-click the Documents (Shared Documents) folder in My Computer, you may be denied access to the folder.


This happens if one of the administrators in your system has taken ownership of the Shared Documents folder, or due to incorrect Permissions assigned to the Shared Documents folder. You can resolve the problem by assigning the following Permission levels for the Documents folder, which is located here:

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents

User / Group Permissions
Owner Full Control
Administrators Full Control
Users Read
System Full Control
Power Users Modify

Method 1: Using command-line tool to assign Permissions

Open a Command Prompt window (CMD.EXE) and execute these commands one by one. Alternately, you can copy the contents and run as a batch file.

cacls.exe "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Documents" /T /G BUILTIN\Administrators:F
cacls.exe "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Documents" /T /E /G System:F
cacls.exe "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Documents" /T /E /G BUILTIN\Users:R
cacls.exe "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Documents" /T /E /G Everyone:R

For Windows XP Professional, type the additional command below: (Power Users group is not available in Windows XP Home Edition)

cacls.exe "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Documents" /T /E /G "BUILTIN\Power Users":C

Method 2: Using the Security tab to assign Permissions

For more information on assigning file and folder permissions, refer to article How to set, view, change, or remove file and folder permissions in Windows XP from the Microsoft Knowledgebase.

The above corresponds to Level 3 access level, which is explained in this article. To share the folder in the network, you must configure the share Permissions additionally.