How to Fix Windows Cannot Access the Specified Device Path or File Error. Easily!

By Camilla Mo in Common ErrorsOthers

If you can’t access your file or folder due to error: Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file, don’t panic. You can follow steps in the methods of this post to fix the error. 

Try all methods starting with Method 1. If that method doesn’t work, try the next method until you have the problem solved.

Method 1: Check the permission of the file or folder you want to open

If you don’t have permission to access the file or folder, you would encounter this error. So check what you can do with the file or folder. Before that, please make sure you’ve loginned to you computer as an administrator.

You can follow these steps to check the permission. 

1. Right-click on the file or folder that you wish to open and select Properties.

2. Click Security tab. Under Group or user names, select your name then click Edit button.

3. Under Group or user names, select your name. Then under Permissions for Camilla, in Allow column, check the checkbox next to the Permission you wish to have (For example, if you want to Modify the file or folder, check the checkbox next to it). If you are not sure which Permission you should select, check all boxes.

Note if all boxes are grayed out with tick in it, it  means the permissions are enabled. In this case, this method doesn’t work for you, move on the next method

Method 2: Make sure the file location is available

If you’re opening the file or folder through their shortcut, It’s possible that location is not available especially when the file or folder were saved in a networked or a removable drive.

Follow steps below to check for it.

1. Right-click on the shortcut and select Properties.

2. Click Shortcut tab. Then you’ll see the target location is available or not.

Method 3: Check if the file or folder has been removed

It’s also possible the file has been removed if you’re opening the file or folder through shortcut. You can get the location of the file following Method 2. If the location is available, browse to that location and check if the file or folder is in that location.

Method 4: Disable or uninstall any antivirus software

This error may occur if the antivirus software blocks the file or the folder. If you have installed any antivirus software, try to disable or uninstall them and see if the problem resolves. 

Method 5: Recover the data

Data corruption can be the cause of the error. If above methods don’t resolve the problem, try to recover the data in the file or the folder. 

To recover the data, you can use a data recovery software. If you know little about these kind of software, we recommend using Wondershare Data Recovery, a well-known trusted data recovery tool which allows you to recover the data with a few mouse-clicks. 

Hope you have the problem resolved with these methods.

If you have any questions, please leave your comment below. I’d love to answer your questions.

  • navyjax2

    I had to log in as a local admin from a fresh reboot, then go to HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionProfileList, then find the subkey that corresponded to my login. Delete that. Rename the folder for that account in C:Users to [user_old]. Reboot. Login as my “user” account. It will re-create the registry entry and folder structure. Then you copy the files from “user_old” into those new folders, and eventually when satisfied, delete “user_old”. Don’t get everything, though – just Desktop, Documents, Favorites at first. The rest could be corrupt and what is causing the issue. You’ll find many programs will act like it’s the first time you ever opened them, but that’s ok. You can hang onto things in “user_old” until you’re satisfied everything’s ok. If you run Outlook, you’ll want to grab the “Outlook” folder that will probably be in C:UsersuserAppDataMicrosoftOutlook, or C:UsersuserApplication DataMicrosoftOutlook, or similar. A search on “Outlook” should find it. Similar applications in the AppData folder, if you have special settings, could be copied back there on a one-by-one basis, as they could be causing the problem. If you don’t back up the new folders that are created, and copy back over top of them, and they cause the problem, again, you have to start all over with these instructions.