How come I cannot access files in another administrator account from my administrator account?

by on January 6, 2010

Q: Recently I had to reset (or whatever it’s called) my computer to factory settings. Basically the problem is, my computer created a profile/account for administrator but the original one is still there and I can’t access it which means I can’t get to any of my files. I know the files are there because they come up when you search for them. So basically what I’m asking is how can I access the files again and if I can’t is there at least a way to delete it?

12 Responses to “How come I cannot access files in another administrator account from my administrator account?”

    What happens when you try and drag one of the files that comes up in search onto your desktop or try to double click on one of them?


    When I drag and drop a file it shows the progress bar for transferring it but the file never appears, and when I open a file it shows it as empty but if I open something like a video it plays.


    In that case this isn’t an issue with user permissions, you would get some kind of ‘access denied’ message if that was the case.

    If you right click on one the files there should be an option to ‘open file location’, this will open up the folder where these files are stored, are these files all over the place, or is everything in a single folder? Have you tried just dragging and dropping the whole folder to your desktop and/or deleting it?


    I can’t seem to find an ‘open file location’ option on the files. Oh and there are many files in different folders such as Music and movies etc. I tried to drag and drop a file onto my Desktop and it didn’t appear so I tried ‘send to’ My Documents and although it said it was doing so and after when I search for it it shows up, when I got into My Documents it isn’t there.


    I just remembered though when I try to access the entire account file it does say access denied. Just in case you don’t know what I mean (not sure if I explained it correctly) by account file I mean an XP account, when I reset my computer it made a “My Account.1” but the original “My Account” is still there, with all my files inside it.


    Sorry, I’m not sure what would cause that kind of problem. Best I can suggest is to have someone else take a look at the PC.


    aaah, so you are getting access denied.

    In that case, right click on that root folder that contains all this data you care about.

    Click Properties > Security > Select your current username from the list and give yourself full control. Use Edit but to add yourself to the access list if needed. Click okay and try again.

    If still having trouble, go back into the security tab, click Advanced> Owner, and change the owner to your current user account. Save and try again.


    That seems to have led me to another problem, there isn’t a security tab in properties for this file all I get is General, Sharing and Customize. Unless I’m missing something. By the way, thanks for all your help, I really appreciate it.


    1. Open Windows Explorer, and choose Folder Options from the Tools menu.
    2. On the View tab, scroll to the bottom of the Advanced Settings and clear (click) the check box next to “Use Simple File Sharing.”
    3. Click OK to apply the change, and you should now have a Security tab when viewing the properties of a file on an NTFS volume.


    For some reason that still hasn’t worked, I ended up putting the entire C: Drive in full control to everyone and yet it still says access denied!

    Picked as best answer

    Are all your files on the C drive, or are they stored elsewhere?


    As far as I know they’re all in the C: Drive in subfolders. Anyway I finally managed to get into it but I can’t change owner and I have to change permission for each folder individually even though I keep choosing all subfolders. Oh well, BIG thanks, saved me a lot of time and money trying to get everything back again.