Solved - windows cannot access the specified device path or file
Windows is an extremely popular operating system with hundreds and millions of users. Despite being user-friendly, sometimes errors and bugs can appear. One such error which the users are getting is windows cannot access the specified device path or file. While opening files or apps like photo viewers or any other programs you see a message saying you cannot access the specified device path or file. How to fix this error?
While trying to start a program or open a file, you might sometimes receive an error message that implies, “Windows cannot access the specified device path or file, you may not have appropriate permission to access the item.” There might be various reasons for which Windows might have made those files unapproachable. Below, we’ll discuss the possible cause of the error and try on fixing those errors with the help of five possible ways of gaining access to those files again.
What is the error windows cannot access the specified device path or file?
Windows cannot access the specified device path or file is an error that you get while opening a file or program because your windows cannot find the specific file or don’t have permission to open the program. There are lots of reasons which can cause this issue. Sometimes files might be removed from their original location due to which windows cannot access the specified file or path. Today we are going to list out the possible causes for this error along with the possible solutions.
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Possible cause of “Windows cannot access the specified device path or file” error messages?
There might be various reasons why these error messages are emerging on your PC every time you’re trying to open up a file. We will list out some of the major causes which cause windows to show an error message saying it cannot access the specified device path or file.
- The very common reason for this problem is because you may not have permission to approach or access the file.
- The antivirus software might have blocked the file which blocks your access.
- The file might have been deleted or moved to another location. If the file doesn’t exist then you cannot access it.
- Windows might have blocked the file.
- The shortcut file might have been corrupted.
- Files might be modified by malware or virus.
Fixes for Windows cannot access the specified device path or file error
What methods can fix the “Windows cannot access the specified device path or file” error? As we are very familiar that the cause of the error might vary with one another, so we might not know which can be the appropriate way of fixing the error.
Hence, we will go step by step to get the error fixed. Here, we’ll now move to method 1 for fixing the error and then continue to next if that doesn’t work and so on. We will discuss the solutions as per the cause so that this issue can be fixed for everyone.
Method 1: Modify the permission of the file/folder you want to access
You can face the error saying “windows cannot access the specified file or path if the permission to access some files and folders has been changed or overnight due to some updates your PC made. You should first check your permission and fix the permission so that you can access the desired file. Follow the steps given below.
- At first, right-click over the folder or file you want to access and click on properties.
- Now go to the security tab from to tab labels and there you will see your windows user account user Group or user names section.
- Click on the edit option to modify the permission and uncheck all the permissions from the deny column.
- Allow all the permission for the user from the Allow column by checking the box.
- At last, click the ok button and save the changes.
- You might now access the file or folder which was previously not accessible.
Method 2: Change the file location
Sometimes windows don’t allow you to open shortcuts and show your error message saying “windows cannot access the specified path or file”. It is because a shortcut doesn’t lead to a location that doesn’t exist. If the file path is invalid then you cannot access it. So, you need to check if the actual file location is available and fix it.
- To check your file location right-click on the shortcut and then go to properties.
- Now from the shortcut menu check the target line. There you will see the location or path to your file.
- Now copy all the text from the target and open your file explorer. Paste it in the header section of file explorer.
- Now see if it leads to your file or not. If you cannot find your desired file then the file might be deleted to moved to a new location.
- Just browse the file from file explorer and create a new shortcut.
- This will fix your windows cannot access specified device path file issue.
Method 3: Create a new shortcut of the file or program
If you are having a problem with the shortcut of the file and cannot access the specific file then this fix is for you. Sometimes the path might be changed and your shortcut for the program might be corrupted due to which windows cannot access the specified file or path. You can delete your old shortcut and create a new one in order to fix this issue. Follow the steps given below to create a new shortcut.
- At first, delete the shortcut file which wasn’t working before. Then right-click on the empty space on the desktop.
- After that choose a new option and then click on the shortcut for creating a shortcut to the file you want to access.
- Now you will see the browse button. Click on it and browse the file.
- Locate the file you want to access and then select it.
- After that click next.
- Now name the file and click finish.
- Now for accessing your file open the shortcut and see if this fixes your problem with your shortcut. Your windows cannot access the specified device path or the file issue should be solved now.
Method 4: Unblock the file for accessing
If you’re still having a problem accessing your file then the file or program might have been blocked by Windows itself in order to protect your computer. This can cause “Windows cannot access the specified device path or file issue. Follow the process below to unblock your file and access it.
- Right-click on the blocked file which you cannot access.
- Now go to the properties and click on the General tab.
- After that check, if you see the text, “This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help this computer.”
- Now go to the security section.
- You will see unblock option. check the unblock option and click ok.
- Now your windows cannot access the specified device path file issue should be solved and you can access the file which was blocked before.
Method 5: Temporarily disable your antivirus program
Sometimes antivirus thinks that the file you’re trying to access is destructive and disables you from reading the file, causing an error. You can fix this issue by disabling your antivirus program.
- Press CTRL+shift+Esc key at the same time and open the task manager.
- After your taskbar opens. Go to the startup and find your antivirus program.
- Right-click over your antivirus program and click on disable. Your antivirus apps will not open on startup now.
- From the process of the taskbar, find your antivirus program, right-click over it and end the task.
- You can also open your antivirus program or windows defender and disable them from their respective settings.
- Now open the file and check whether the issue is solved or not.
- You should be able to access the file and your windows cannot access the specified files or the path issue should be fixed.
Note: After fixing your problem, you should soon re-enable the antivirus program if not done so the destructive viruses might take over your system
Windows cannot access the specified device path or file error can appear at least once in someone’s windows using experience. It can cause you a headache if you cannot find the specific cause and fix it accordingly. I hope our methods help you to solve this issue. If you are still having an error then leave a comment below and let us know your problem.
Also if any of the above fixes worked for you then comment below so that others having similar issues can know the appropriate fixes. Share with your family or friends who are facing this issue and let them know the solutions.
[…] June 10, 2021 […]