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Fix: Windows Cannot Access the Specified Device Path or File Error

Windows 10 is the most popular and majorly used desktop operating system across the world. Microsoft is working really hard to push security patch updates and the latest build updates quite frequently. But somewhere it’s lacking and plenty of errors are still bothering a huge number of users. Windows Cannot Access the Specified Device Path or File Error is one of them. If you’re also facing the same, this guide is for you.

As mentioned, in spite of bringing plenty of improvements and additional features, Windows 10 has a fair amount of bugs or errors that users may experience in daily usage. Talking about this particular error, it may occur while a user tries to open, modify, or delete an application or even a file. It says “Windows cannot access the specified device path or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item.”

What is Windows Cannot Access the Specified Device Path or File Error?

Just like other Windows 10 errors, there is no definitive reason known which can cause such an issue. However, according to multiple reports surfaced online, it seems that the particular error may appear due to not having the right permission to access the file most probably. Whereas even the error message indicates that whatever specific device path or file you’re trying to open/edit/delete, isn’t possible due to admin rights.

Fix: Windows Cannot Access the Specified Device Path or File Error

So, there are a couple of possible reasons that can be found in such scenarios something like:

  • You don’t have the right permission to access the file.
  • The file location either isn’t available anymore or you don’t have access.
  • The file already has been modified or deleted by malware or virus.
  • Maybe an antivirus program is blocking your access.
  • The file is placed in an inaccessible external drive or a network location and can’t be accessed may be due to currently not connected to the PC.
  • The file or shortcut either is missing or corrupted.

Fix: Windows Cannot Access the Specified Device Path or File Error

As we’ve now all the possible reasons clear in mind, we can follow some of the recommended solutions by the Microsoft Support Forum officially that should definitely resolve such an issue. So, without wasting any more time, let’s jump into it.

1. Check the file or folder permissions

Please Note: Ensure that you’re using your Windows 10 computer as an Administrator or you’re a part of the Domain Admins Group (if you’re in a domain).

Here ‘Permissions’ stand for the admin access rules that are associated with programs, files, etc in order to manually create, open, edit, or delete items on the system. It basically determines whether you can access the specific file or not and even what things you can do with that file. In order to check the permission of a specific file or folder, you can follow the steps below:

  • Right-click on the specific file or folder which is troubling you.
  • Now, select Properties.
  • Click on the Security tab > Under the Group or User names, make sure to click on your name to see the permissions that you’ve.
  • Click on Edit > Select to enable the checkboxes for the permissions that you want.
  • Once done, select OK to save changes.

2. Check the file location

If you’re receiving this error message quite frequently while opening or deleting or even modifying any of the specific file/folder then the chances are high that the shortcut or the installation is attempting to access a location that’s currently not available on your PC.

Here the inaccessible file/folder location can be like a networking location or a removable drive. So, checking out the proper path of the problematic file is essential before jumping to any conclusion.

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3. Check if the file has not been moved or deleted

Sometimes you may also receive the cannot access error if the file has been either moved or deleted permanently. So, check properly whether the file has been moved to another location or removed from the storage. If it’s moved to a different location then you can access the file from there.

But if it’s deleted, either you can restore it from Recycle Bin or download/copy it again from its source. This is how you can easily fix the Windows Cannot Access the Specified Device Path or File error.

4. Create the shortcut again

If your file or folder becomes missing or corrupted for some unknown reason, make sure to create the shortcut file again.

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However, if the shortcut of an application or other file type is corrupt, you will need to repair it or reinstall it in most cases. Take a look at it.

5. Unblock the file

Some files may be blocked by Windows in some scenarios. Make sure to check out the properties of the problematic file. Some unfortunate users may also receive an error message that says “This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer.” In order to check for the file and unblock it, follow the steps below:

  • Right-click on the blocked file > Click on Properties.
  • Here in the General tab, select Unblock (if the option is available).

6. Check your antivirus software

The chances are also high that may be your antivirus program is blocking the file due to security reasons or if the file type is considered to be malware. So, you can easily fix this issue by temporarily disabling the antivirus software on your PC and then try opening/editing/deleting the file.

In another way, you can whitelist the particular file or application on your antivirus program to tell your antivirus software not to conflict with it. Once done, you can again remove it from the whitelist or enable the antivirus program as usual.

Note: Make sure that during the antivirus program is turned off, your PC may become vulnerable to malware attacks via online files or exchanging files to a third person.

That’s it, guys. We assume this guide was helpful to you. For further queries, let us know in the comment below.

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