How to Fix “Windows Cannot Access the Specified Device, Path or File” Error

Whenever you try to install, update a software or open a file, you might come across this error saying Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file. You may not have the appropriate permission to access the item.

Following are some of the reasons behind this error:

  • Lack of file permission
  • Windows has blocked the file
  • The file location is inaccessible, due to its presence on the external hard drive or a network location which is not connected to the file.
  • Antivirus blocking your file

Following are 5 simple solutions to fix this error:

Solution 1:  Do you have permission to access the file or folder?

Permissions are rules that are associated with the file, which determine the access to file and actions are taken on it. Follow these steps to check the permission of the file or folder:

  1. Right-click on the file or folder whose permissions are to be checked.
  2. Go to Properties and click on Security.
  3. In the list of names present on Group or Usernames section, click on your name.
  4. Click on Edit and you can set permissions according to your requirements.

Solution 2: Check if the file is blocked by Windows

You can check if the file is being blocked by Windows by selecting the file and going to its Properties.

Select Unblock option from General section if it is available.

Solution 3:  Verify the file location

This error might occur when you are trying to access a file through shortcuts or installation. Verify the path of the file that Windows cannot access and ensure that the location is accessible. Follow these step to verify file location:

  1. Select and right-click on the file whose location needs to be verified
  2. Go to Properties and click on the Shortcut tab
  3. Verify the location specified in the Target section is correct

Solution 4: Disable your Antivirus for a while

Usually, Antivirus in your system will not allow you to access files by blocking them due to security issues. You should consider disabling your Antivirus for a while and try accessing your file and see if you can access it. Make sure that you re-enable Antivirus after you have got access to your file. Disabling Antivirus can make your computer vulnerable to attacks.

Solution 5: File has been deleted, moved or hidden by a virus

Sometimes, Windows display this error (Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file) due to corruption, deletion of file or file hidden by virus. A file cannot be accessed if the hard drive, pen drive or memory card having the file is infected by the virus.

When you lose your data or it is inaccessible due to virus attack. A software like Remo Recover will solve your problem by helping you to recover deleted files from corrupted hard drive, pen drive or memory card.

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