Fix: Failed To Enumerate Objects In The Container Error On Windows 10 & 11

“Failed to enumerate objects in the container. Access is denied.” error on Windows is can be a frustrating issue. Luckily, here are tried ways to fix it.

Opening a file on your PC seems rather simple, but many processes are happening in the background that the average user may be unaware of.

When it comes to the “Failed to enumerate objects in the container. Access is denied.” Windows error, it’s safe to say that it’s a relatively common one, but still frustrating to deal with.

If you’ve recently encountered this error, keep on reading to learn more, as we explain both the reasons and the solutions in the following guide.

Let’s get into it.

Table of ContentsShow

The Problem Explained

Problem

This error mostly occurs when a user tries to change the access permissions of a shared folder or a file.

For example, if you’re on a corporate computer network and some files are shared with you, that means you can access them but you can’t modify or change any permissions. When you try to do so, you’ll likely get the “Failed to enumerate objects in the container” Windows error.

However, this is how the permission system is intended to work. If someone doesn’t have administrator privileges, they shouldn’t be able to access/modify specific files they don’t have access to.

The real reason this error is frustrating to deal with is that sometimes even users with administrator privileges that created the files cannot change the access permissions. This can lead to a myriad of problems and concerns, but luckily, there are helpful methods that can fix it.

Fix 1: Use These Commands In The Command Prompt

Command

The Windows Command prompt is beneficial for many things, and we can often use it to solve different problems with our operating system.

In this case, we’ll use it to execute the “takeown” and “icacls” commands.

We’ll try to keep this as simplified as possible so it doesn’t seem daunting to less-experienced users. To briefly explain, what you’re ultimately doing with these commands is re-grating permissions to your user so you can access the folders or modify permissions for other users to allow or deny access.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Simultaneously press the Windows and S buttons on your keyboard to open the Windows Search Box.
  2. Type in Command Prompt, then right-click the first result and choose Run as Administrator from the list of offered options.
  3. Now what you need to do is find the right path (address) to the folder you cannot access. To do this, open the Search Box again and type File Explorer and click on it. Navigate through your computer’s files to find the folder. Since you cannot access it to copy the full address, copy the address where you are currently without accessing the folder, and then you’ll simply add the folder’s name to the full address.

    Here’s an example of this:
    Let’s say I cannot access the Resources folder shown in the image below.
    Windows Resources folderI would just copy the “E:Riot GamesRiot Client” address, paste it in Command Prompt during the next steps you’ll see, then add a “Resources” at the end, because that’s the final path of the folder we’re targeting.
  4. Once you put that together, type the following commands in Command Prompt, one by one:

takeown /F X:YOUR_FOLDER’S_FULL_PATH

takeown /F X:YOUR_FOLDER’S_FULL_PATH /r /d y

icacls X:YOUR_FOLDER’S_FULL_PATH /grant Managers:F

icacls X:YOUR_FOLDER’S_FULL_PATH /grant Managers:F /t

If, for example, we were targeting the folder shown in the screenshot above, the commands would look like this:

takeown /F X:E:Riot GamesRiot ClientResources

takeown /F X:E:Riot GamesRiot ClientResources /r /d y

And so on…

If you can access the folder, you can just make all this easier by copying the full address and not having to add anything manually, then just paste it along with the commands in Command Prompt to execute them.

Windows copy full address

This method worked flawlessly for many users, and it should help you fix the problem.

However, if it doesn’t, there are still other approaches you can try.

Fix 2: Manually Grant Ownership

Administrator

If the Command Prompt method didn’t work for you, or you find it too difficult to complete, there’s another, simpler way of granting ownership for files and folders using only the Windows interface.

Here’s what you should do:

  1. Find the troublesome folder using Windows File Explorer.
  2. Right-click the folder and choose Properties.
  3. From the menu on the top, click on Security, then click Advanced.
  4. In the “Owner:” row, click on Change.
  5. Enter the Windows account username that you use to log in. You can use the Check Names command to find the right one, and upon selecting it, click OK. You can also use the Advanced button below to open a list of all usernames and find yours.
  6. Now that you’ve chosen your username, you need to check the boxes next to both the “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects” and “Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object” options, then click OK and Apply to save the changes.

If the instructions above weren’t clear enough, you can watch this short and useful video that presents the whole process from start to finish, following each step.

This should solve the problem, as you’ve now made your user account the owner of the files you previously couldn’t access or modify.

For many users, this solved the problem instantly.

Fix 3: Change The User Account Control Settings

Settings

This is another simple fix that doesn’t always work for everyone experiencing this error, but it helped many users and since it’s so quick to do, we recommend trying it.

This is what you must do:

  1. Press Windows + S simultaneously on your keyboard. In the search bar that opened, type in Change User Account Control Settings, then click on the first matching result.
  2. Drag the vertical slider to the bottom to set it to “never notify” and then click OK at the bottom to save the changes.

For certain users, this resolved the issue, but it’s an unusual fix and it’s not entirely obvious why and how it resolves the “Failed to list items in the box” error.

Conclusion

That’s everything you need to know about this permission-related Windows error that’s relatively common yet frustrating to deal with.

If you cannot access, uninstall, or copy files due to it occurring every time you try to, applying the methods listed above should help you overcome it without much effort.

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Bojan Veselinovikj
LinkedIn

Bojan is a video-game developer and a tech enthusiast. Combining these two passions allow him to keep you informed on everything that's new in this fast-paced digital world.