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How to delete System Files or a System Folder in Windows 7 using the Windows Interface

Windows System Files in Windows 7 are owned by Trusted Installer which ultimately prevents users from removing or modifying them. If you try deleting System Files you would normally receive the following error message – ‘You do not have permission to perform this action’. In order to manage the particular System File you will need to obtain ownership of it and assign yourself the ability to modify or delete the files.

Procedure

In Windows Explorer, navigate to System32 folder where you need to change permissions. Right-click on it and select Properties from the drop down list.

1_Windows_Explorer_-_System32_folder

The System32 Properties dialog box opens. Click on the Security tab and then select the Advanced button.

2_System_Files_-_Security_Tab

Click on the Owner tab. Currently the name for Current Owner is Trusted Installer. To change the Owner, click the Edit button. Select the account you would like to change the Owner to which would normally be your account or the Administrators account.

For our example, we decide to choose the Administrators account. Tick the check box Replace owner on subcontainers and objects if you want to delete more than one file in the folder. Click OK to continue.

3_System_Files_-_Owner_Tab

The Current Owner should be the account you selected.

4_System_Files_-_New_Current_Owner

Click OK until you have exited out of System32 properties dialog box and returned to the Windows Explorer screen. Right click on the System32 folder and open the Properties dialog box. Navigate to the Security tab and select the Edit button.

5_System_Files_-_Edit_Permissions_

Click on the Username in the list you want to edit the permissions for, which should be the same as the Current Owner (in our case, Administrators account) of the folder. Tick the box to allow Full Control and click OK to continue. Select OK again to return to Windows Explorer.

6_System_Files_-_Full_Control_Permissions

You should now be able to delete those files or folders without any further issues.

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