Learn How to Change the Ownership to Fix “The Requested Operation Requires Elevation” Error

When you install Windows 7, you require saving a bunch of files and folders. However, many users complain that when they attempt to access these files, they get prompted with the error message “The requested operation requires elevation.” This article describes the troubleshooting steps for repairing this error message that crops up in a scenario when you have newly installed Windows 7.

A Possible Scenario Where the Error May Occur

If you have recently updated to a new version of Windows, then while trying to access certain files stored on your external hard drive, you might get the “The requested operation requires elevation.” As a result of that you won’t be able to open the file or folder, you intend to open. If you right-click on that file/folder and go to ‘Properties’ -> ‘Security’ tab-> ‘Group or User name,’ then you may see a red question mark.

If you are also into the same scenario, then the following tutorial will help you in understanding the intricacies that have probably caused the error.

Understanding the Error

Under the Security tab, in the list of user accounts, the long row of numbers that you got to see are Security IDs, also known as SID. The SID gets displayed when Windows fail to recognize the security identifier associated with the access control list or permissions.

The purpose of describing the SID is to make you understand that the referred error occurs when Windows has some difficulty in identifying the permissions related to the files. The error might have occurred because the original access permissions associated with the files (that you are trying to access now) have got changed. After you have updated to a new Windows version, now your Windows considers those files as foreign files, and thus not giving your user account the necessary permissions to access the files.

How to Troubleshoot the Error?

If you are finding difficulty in understanding the error and its cause, then probably opting self-troubleshooting won’t be a good choice for you. In that way, you might end up changing certain settings that can adversely affect the parent programs or files. Thus, it will be wise to go for online tech support services. Professionally trained online computer support engineers can help you in repairing the error. Thus, you will be able to access the files.

However, before you dial to an online computer repair engineer, you can refer this article as it explains the troubleshooting process for this error taking place in the scenario mentioned above. That will help you in understating the troubleshooting approach of the computer support engineer.


The error occurs when your Windows considers that your user type doesn’t have the right permissions to access certain files. In this scenario, Windows is considering certain files as foreign files if it is not able to identify the permissions associated with those files. 

Therefore, to repair the error, first you need to take ownership of those files, and then avail the permissions to read/ write/modify/delete the file. For changing the ownership and to avail the permissions, you need to perform the following steps:

•    Log on to your computer from the ‘Administrator’ account.

•    Now, right-click the folder that is giving the error.

•    Now, go to ‘Properties.’

•    Click the ‘Security’ tab.

•    Then, click ‘Advanced.’

•    Next, click the ‘Owner.’

•    Here, click ‘Edit.’

•    Now, go to ‘Change owner’ section.

•    Here, select the user account name to which you want to give the ownership.

•    Next, check the box against ‘Replace owner on sub containers and objects.’

•    Then, click ‘OK.’

That will give your select user account the ownership of those files. Thus, while logging in from that particular user account type you will be able to open those files without getting the error “The requested operation requires elevation.” That simply happens because that user account type has the requisite permissions and ownership to access those files. 

However, to perform the troubleshooting steps mentioned above, you need to log into your ‘Administrator’ account. Without administrative privileges, you can’t change the ownership of a single file or folder on your computer. Once you have given a user account the ownership to read/ write/modify/delete a file, and then that file or folder gets accessible only from that user account and the Administrator account. From other user account, you won’t be able to access that file or folder. On attempting to do so, you will again get the error “the requested operation requires permissions.”


If you think that you won’t be able to perform the steps mentioned above to change the ownership of a file or folder on your computer, then take help of a professional tech support engineer. However, even the computer repair engineer will require your Administrator login credentials. That is because, first he has to obtain the admin privileges, and then only he will be able to change the ownership.

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