Why do I get an Access Denied error when trying to save my files?

In Windows Vista, the programs that you use are always opened with "normal user" permissions, even if you are an administrator. This has some unfortunate side effects that you normally wouldn't encounter in Windows XP when logged in as an administrator.

(For more information on this behavior, please read an overview of UAC and What's changed in Vista)

One major side effect is that it is very difficult to modify files that you did not create from within Windows Vista.

Most files cannot be modified unless you created the file, or the program you are using to modify the file is running with "administrator" permissions. This can be a bit of a pain when upgrading from Windows XP or dual booting, as you will generally not have full access to files created from another operating system.

The solution to this problem is to give yourself full access to your files. This can be done very easily by following these steps:

Part 1: Open an Administrator Explorer window

  1. Click Start
  2. Type: explorer
  3. Right-click Windows Explorer
  4. Click Run As Administrator

This will open an "Administrator" explorer window. Every action that you take from this window will be executed with full Administrator permissions.

Part 2: Change security settings

  1. Find the folder you need access to from the Administrator Explorer window
  2. Right-click it
  3. Click Properties
  4. Click the Security Tab
  5. Click Edit
  6. Click Add
  7. If you are the only one that needs modify access to this file, type your username and press enter. Otherwise, type "Users" and press enter.
  8. Click the checkbox under Allow next to Full Control
  9. Click OK
  10. Click OK

You will need to repeat Part 2 for every folder that you need modify access to.