How to take Ownership of a File in Windows Vista

By Partho, Gaea News Network
Wednesday, April 22, 2009

windows-vistaFor those who have always imputed Windows Vista for its anomalies, may also denounce it’s security features. Well, it must have occurred to you that when you are trying to move or delete some files, Windows clogs you with an error. Either it gives an error message or prompts that the file is in use. Not only in Vista this even occurs with Windows XP. In order to tweak Vista’s system you have to modify some system files. Vista has these system files locked and you can’t access them. For this you require ownership of the file. You need to take ownership of the files and grant a username full control of the file. I’ll let you know how to take ownership of Vista system files.

In order to take ownership of Vista system files take the steps below

Step 1: First access the command prompt

Click the on the start button>All Programs>Accessories


Step 2: Right Click on the command prompt

Step 3: Select Run as administrator.

Step 4: When the UAC Prompt appears, click Continue.

Once you have your elevated command prompt, follow these steps:

For our example, we are going to use the Bubbles screensaver file (Bubbles.scr)


At the command prompt, input takeown /f filepath (takeown /f c:\windows\system32\Bubbles.scr).

Now, press Enter on the keyboard.

You will get a message displaying that this completed successfully.

Step 4: Now input icacls filepath /grant yourusername:f (icacls c:\windows\system32\Bubbles.scr /grant shamanstears:f).

Step 5: A message will be displayed that this completed successfully.

You are done, now you can modify or replace the file. When you are done, simply remove the permissions to keep the file secure.


August 3, 2010: 12:15 pm

Respected authorities:
Tremendous effort ! Most appreciated…


July 27, 2010: 12:30 pm

Hi, I’ve tried endlessly to take ownership of the proof.en file but it keeps prompting that the “system cannot find the file specified”. I’ve noticed several people had the same issue so I hope that by writing I can get it resolved. Thanks in advance.

C:\Users\Admin>(takeown /f C:ProgramFilesCommonFilesMicrosoftSharedOFFICE12Offic
ERROR: The system cannot find the file specified.


July 19, 2010: 5:33 pm

how do i remove the permission now ??? ii need help !!!

July 19, 2010: 4:45 pm

ok so i am stuck on step 4. i kept on typing takeown/f but still getting a message saying its invalid. Need Help Please!

July 13, 2010: 10:29 pm

Thanks Altaf, you are a savior. Whatever you said worked great for me:) thank u so much

July 10, 2010: 5:40 am

How to install external EDGE modem M-2G3 (2.75g) in windows 7 ?

July 8, 2010: 8:51 am

In Vista If you are trying to own the Proof.xml for Microsoft office, then no need to go through all the above steps to own the file….. just right click on Proof.xml and go to ‘properties’ and select the ’security’ tab and click on ‘edit’. and grant full access to all the Groups and Usernames.

You should now be able to modify the Proof.xml
It worked for me!!

July 8, 2010: 4:18 am

great Says:
June 14th, 2009 at 10:37 am

Hi all,

copy the proof.xml file from proof.en folder to the desktop and then change that file content to neverinstalled.
once done replace the proof.xml file in proof.en folder with the altered file in desktop. It works.

look fwd for replies.


Worked for me too! (after trying the command prompt, but failed)

thnx great! =)

June 15, 2010: 12:44 am

I type in the takedown /f and put the file after, but it says ‘takedown’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable file or batch file.

can someone please help?

June 2, 2010: 4:20 pm

After a little struggle I have taken ownership of the file in Windows7. But i am still unable to save the file and getting access denied!!

Any suggestions?

May 30, 2010: 4:10 pm

it is also working on window7 64bit…i did it…
thnx dude…

May 30, 2010: 12:54 pm

C:\Windows\system32>takeown /f c:\program files\common files\microsoft shared\OF
FICE12\Office Setup Controller\Proof.en
ERROR: Invalid argument/option - ‘files\common’.
Type “TAKEOWN /?” for usage.

how to deal with this error to get pwnership. i have tried typing as well copy paste but same error

May 24, 2010: 4:22 am

Why go through all this when there is an easier way? Right click the folder, go down to properties, click the “security” tab, select your user name from the top menu, click “edit”, select all of the white check boxes, click “apply”, click “ok”. This should allow you to have full access and control over the folder and all items contained within. You may also want to change the folder from “read only”. (Can be done on the “General” tab of the folder properties). Hope this helps everyone.


May 19, 2010: 3:47 pm

i was trying by reading every single comment
i was able to change the always to NEVER
Even though office 2007 is asking me to have the product key…
i am trying since 2 hrs

May 18, 2010: 3:11 am

Tried to take ownership to change the Proof.XML file. My input was “takeown /f c:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\OFFICE12\Office Setup Controller\Proof.en\Proof.XML” and it comes up with:
“ERROR: Invalid argument/option - ‘Files/Common’.
Type TAKEOWN /? for usage

Some help? =]

May 17, 2010: 7:49 pm

dude this doesn’t work this is crazy what in the world is this I can’t get this to work to save my life. ooooooooooh help I need the right answers

May 11, 2010: 2:05 am

Hi, im looking for the way to avoid the product key window, each time i open Office 2007 (vista).
Does someone know about something about that? please.
Or someone has the key product or something?


May 5, 2010: 12:34 pm

Hi there..Is there any other way to hack for Microsoft Office 2007 with product key??

For ur info, my trial period already expired and it always prompt to convert with product key…

Please help me

May 4, 2010: 6:12 pm

Hey, i have the same problem as Ryan:

# Commenter Ryan Says:
June 6th, 2009 at 12:21 am

This is what I typed in

TAKEOWN /F C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\OFFICE12\Office Setup Controller\Proof.en

And it says Error: Invalid argument/option - ‘Files/Common’ .

What am I doing wrong?

Please help

April 27, 2010: 6:15 pm

I type in takeown C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\microsoft shared\OFFICE12\Office Setup Controller\Proof.en and i get a message that says ERROR: Invalid argument\option - ‘Files’. Type “TAKEOWN /?” FOR usage
can you tell me what to do please

j 575
April 27, 2010: 5:44 pm

hi i tried taking ownership and i got “was unexpected at this time” what am i doing wrong plz help
this is exactley what i typed (takeown /f C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedOFFICE12Office Setup ControllerProof.en)thank you

April 7, 2010: 1:50 pm

Thank you so much! This worked out great!!! :D

April 3, 2010: 11:14 am

for those of you that it worked for can you help me take over this file right here, if you have windows vista can you do it on you computer and copy and paste everything you typed on here thanks it would be alot of help

C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\OFFICE12\Office Setup Controller\Proof.en

March 29, 2010: 12:21 am

Hey guys,

I want to know how I am able to remove permission to keep file secure

March 24, 2010: 9:58 am

Hi every one, the easy one is the editing by copying the file proof.xml to desktop, then replace it backin the original location. this is easy and guaranteed!

March 21, 2010: 6:47 am

Just take the easy option of copying and pasting the proof file. This worked fine for me on Vista with office 2007 Professional.

March 18, 2010: 4:51 am

Works for me thanks :)

March 15, 2010: 12:31 am

the product key is DDY79-433JV-2RXGX-MQFQP-PFDH8

March 14, 2010: 6:33 pm

hey ok for everyone asking the question what
“ERROR: Invalid argument/option - ‘menu\programs\microsoft’.
Type “TAKEOWN /?” for usage” means basically all you have to do is put quotation marks around the filepath for ex: takeown /f “C:windows\system32\Bubbles.scr” if you don’t put those quotation marks the computer won’t allow you to take ownership.

March 13, 2010: 11:01 am

when I’m taking ownwership of a file at: c:\program files\common files\….
te system says that “files\common” is not a valid command

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