TWEAK: Take Ownership Context Menu

Working as a system administrator, I have had several experiences and encounters wherein I tried to reason out that functionality takes precedence over security. Often times this is a futile campaign. You will only end up having to resort to painful workarounds. It is true, the IT industry has generally come to terms that security is serious and functionality stepped back to the end of the queue.

Security comes at a price -- painful and sometimes expensive workarounds. And starting with Windows Vista, there are several file permission implementations that were too complicated. If one gets to change or delete a file without the proper permissions, errors are prompted. This happens even if one is a member of the Administrator group. The same elevated security mechanisms were carried over to the successor Windows 7.

The above scenario was among the many reasons I skipped the upgrade to Vista. There were just too many complications. The opposite of what technology should accomplish.

To illustrate how painful it is to take ownership of a file or folder, the steps are below:


[1] Locate the file or folder on which you want to take ownership in windows explorer. Right click on file or folder and select Properties from context menu.

[2] Open the Security tab. Click on Advanced.

[3] Now click on Owner tab in Advance Security Settings for User window.

[4] Click on Edit button and select user from given Change Owner to list if user or group is not in given list then click on other users or groups. Enter name of user/group and click ok.

[5] Now select User/group and click apply and ok. (Check Replace owner on subcontainers and objects if you have files and folder within selected folder.) Click OK when Windows Security Prompt is displayed. Now Owner name must have changed.

[6] Just click OK to exit from Properties window.

You have just taken ownership of a file or folder. After this you would have to grant yourself full control of the file or folder. Previously (in XP), you didn't have to do that. I can't recall an instance of having to do that to change or delete a folder.

It was good that someone from the Winmatrix Forums posted an easier way to workaround this stressful clicks.

Simply save the code below in notepad (or your favorite text editor) and save as a file with .reg extension.

########## start copy here ##########
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\takeownership]
@="Take Ownership"
"NoWorkingDirectory"=""

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\takeownership\command]
@="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F"
"IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\takeownership]
@="Take Ownership"
"NoWorkingDirectory"=""

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\takeownership\command]
@="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" /r /d y && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /t"
"IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" /r /d y && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /t"
########## end copy here ##########


Right-click on the .reg file you just saved. And Merge to insert the code in the registry. Confirm when asked.

To make this job safer and easier, download Ultimate Windows Tweaker (UWT). Under Additional Options tick Show "Take Ownership" and accept the change.

Take ownership.. A not so painful workaround.

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