Generally in Windows, you cannot access or modify the system files or folders. If you ever want to, you need to take ownership of the said file or folder. For instance, to get access to the WindowsApps folder in Windows 10, you need to take the ownership of the folder. Typically, taking ownership of a system file or folder is pretty simple and straightforward.
However, there will be times when taking ownership of a system file, folder or even a registry key can cause some problems and make your system unstable. In those cases it is better to restore the ownership to TrustedInstaller, the default owner of system files and folders. Here’s how to do it.
Restore Ownership to TrustedInstaller
Changing ownership back to “TrustedInstaller” is pretty simple and straightforward. In my case, I want to restore the file permissions and ownership for the WindowsApps folder.
To start, right-click on the folder or file you’ve changed the ownership of and then select the option “Properties.”
The above action will open the Folder Properties. Here, navigate to the “Security” tab. As you can see from the below image, I have full permissions over the folder. Just click on the “Advanced” button to continue.
Once the Advance Settings window has been opened, the first thing you need to do is modify or remove your username in the Permissions tab. To do that, simply select your user name from the Permissions tab and then click on the “Remove” button.
Note: if you have not provided yourself with full permissions, then you won’t see your username on the list. Just skip this step and follow on.
Now, click on the “Change” link next to “Owner” appearing at the top of the Windows. This is what allows you to change the owner of the file or folder.
As soon as you click on the link, it will open the “Select User or Group” window. Here, simply copy “NT Service\TrustedInstaller,” paste it in the “Enter the object name to select” field and then click on the “Check Names” button.
When you click on the button, Windows will automatically turn it into the actual object name. Just click the “Ok” button to continue.
On the main window, select the checkbox “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects” and then click on the “Apply” button.
With that, Windows will start to apply the changes. Depending on the number of files and folders, it may take some time to apply the changes.
Once the changes are applied, Windows will let you know the same. Click on the “Ok” button to close the dialog box. Don’t forget to restart your system to make the changes take effect completely.
After restarting, you can check whether the ownership has been restored or not by simply checking the properties. As you can see, the default owner, TrustedInstaller, has been restored.
If you are frequently changing the ownership of different files and folders, then it is recommended you use a simple application like TakeOwnershipEx. This application makes it easy to take and restore ownership with just a click or two.
Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above methods to restore the ownership to TrustedInstaller in Windows.