How to fix Drive is not Accessible “Access is Denied” Error in Windows 11,10,8


Are you worried about what to do with the “The drive is inaccessible. Access has been restricted” error? Reformatting the partition will help, but it will come at the cost of data loss.

To keep data safe and restore deleted data after formatting the drive, try Advanced Disk Recovery. This data recovery tool helps get back data even from a formatted drive.

Why Does the Error Say D:\ Drive is Not Accessible

Note : The Drive D: is just taken as an example. The error can vary depending on the Driver letter the problematic drive uses.

Users usually think that the “Drive is not accessible – Access is denied” or D:\ Drive is not accessible, is encountered due to a hardware issue, or is because the drive is in use. They are not wrong as they are a potential cause. However, that is not always the case. There are several other reasons that cause the error. Here, we enlist the core factors -error occurs due to the following reasons –

  • The drive does not have the required permissions.
  • It is infected with a virus.
  • It is locked by BitLocker.
  • The hard drive is corrupt or damaged.
  • Outdated Drivers
  • User Permission Errors

Therefore, before following the troubleshooting steps, ensure the drive is not locked.

How do you unlock the BitLocker encrypted drive?

To unlock the drive locked by BitLocker, right-click the drive > Unlock drive > type the password, and that’s it.

system drive

Once you are sure it is not locked, follow these steps to fix the issue.

How To Fix Inaccessible Hard Drive Partition?

Fix 1 – Fix Drive Is Not Accessible via Properties

When the external hard drive displays location is not available, access is denied, or “The drive is inaccessible. Access has been restricted, ” it means you don’t have the correct privilege settings. To fix the issue, you need to take ownership. To do so, follow these steps:

1. Go to My PC.
2. Right-click the inaccessible hard drive > Properties

drive proprites
3. Click the Security tab > Advanced > Edit > click Change > enter the user account name and click Check Name > modify the ownership.

advanced setting

local drive

user group

Read HereHow To Recover Lost Files After Upgrading Windows

Fix 2- Run CHKDSK Command

When the “drive is not accessible” issue is followed by the “Access is Denied” message, the possible reasons for this problem are disk errors, bad sectors, or a corrupt file system. To fix this, you’ll need to run the CHKDSK command. To do so, follow these steps:

1. Connect the external hard drive.
2. Open the elevated Command Prompt. Type Command Promot > right-click > Run as administrator.
3. Type chkdsk D: /f /r in the Command Prompt window. (Here, D is the disk’s drive letter, which shows the “drive is not accessible” error.)
4. Click Yes to proceed.

Now, try to access the drive; you should not face any problems. However, if you still face the problem, you must format the drive. In such a case, we recommend using Advanced Disk Recovery to get back the data that will be deleted.

Must Read- How to Recover Deleted PSD Files

Fix 3 – Assign a Different Drive Letter

If changing properties and running the CHKDSK command on the disk does not work, you should probably try to reassign a drive letter.

To do so, follow these steps –

Step 1 – Press Win+X to bring up the quick access menu.

quick access menu
Step 2 – From the menu, click on Disk Management to open the tool.
Step 3 – In the Window, select the partition of the drive that you cannot open and right-click on it.

Disk Management

Step 4 – Find the Change Drive Letter option in the menu and click on it.

click on change
Step 5 – Click on Change to initiate the process and select the drive letter.
Step 6 – Select a letter from the dropdown that has not already been used.

choose a letter

Step 7 – Click OK to save the change. 

Restart your PC after changing the driver letter. This way, you can resolve the accessibility issue if it was due to the assigned drive letter. If not, do not worry, as we have one more fix left. 

Fix 4 – Format the Drive

After you have tried everything, you should save the drive and keep it usable. If the current data on it has gone corrupt and is not allowing the drive to open, you may not have a choice other than formatting it. Use the NTFS file system to format the drive; you should be able to use it again.

Step 1 – Press Win+X to bring up the quick access menu.
Step 2 – From the menu, click on Disk Management to open the tool.
Step 3 – In the Window, select the partition of the drive that you cannot open and right-click on it.
Step 4 – Find the Format option in the menu and click on it. Select NTFS file systemStep 5 – Ensure that the NTFS file system is selected and click on OK to complete the process.

After successfully formatting it, you can find that the drive is now accessible. However, the data you had will be lost. To get the data back, you can try data recovery software, as it is possible to recover data from formatted hard drives. 

How To Recover Files from a Drive that Shows Inaccessible Hard Drive Partition

With the help of Advanced Disk Recovery, the data recovery software for Windows PC, you can restore files from an inaccessible or formatted drive.

For the best outcomes, never store the retrieved data on the same drive you are scanning and avoid using it.

Here are the steps to use Advanced Disk Recovery.

1. Download, install, and launch Advanced Disk Recovery.

2. Select the storage type and drive letter from which you wish to recover data.

Advanced Disk Recovery
3. Next, choose from the two scanning modes – Quick Scan & Deep Scan

The quick scan identifies files from MFT, while the Deep Scan performs sector-wide scanning.

Advanced Disk Recovery scan modes

4. Click Scan Now and wait for the drive to be examined.

Advanced Disk Recovery scan files
5. Analyze the scan results. Select the files you want to recover > hit the ‘Recover’ button.

Advanced Disk Recovery scan result
6. Pick a different location where you want to restore the file.

Advanced Disk Recovery file recover in drive
7. Advanced Disk Recovery will show a confirmation message after recovering the files.

This is how, using Advanced Disk Recovery, you can get deleted files from the drive back, which shows the Access is Denied error.

Also Read- How To Recover Unsaved Word Document On Windows 10


Q1. Why is my hard drive detected but not accessible?

There could be several reasons why hard drives are detected but not accessible. Some of the common ones are:

  1. Technical glitch on the operating system.
  2. Drive’s internal hardware failure.
  3. Bad sectors in the hard drive are caused due to inappropriate disconnection.
  4. The drive is infected by malware or a virus.
  5. Software glitch.

Q2. What should you do if a drive is not accessible?

Quick Fix for Drive not accessible error.

1. Right-click the inaccessible drive > select Properties.

2. Click the Security tab > Advanced > Edit> Click the Owner tab and change the ownership.

Now, try to access the drive. If you still face problems, use chkdsk D: /f /r. (Here, D is the disk’s drive letter, which shows the “drive is not accessible” error.) command.

For more steps, you can read the complete post.

Q4. How do I check hard drive access?

Press Windows + R and open the Run window.

Type Cmd to open the command prompt app.

Now type “CHKDSK” on the command prompt window and hit enter.

This will run a scan and show you the status of your HDD

Fixed – The drive is not accessible

The drive is not accessible. The error is caused by data corruption, malware infection, lack of permissions, and other reasons. Luckily, with the help of the fixes explained above, you can fix the issue. Using Advanced Disk Recovery, you can retrieve deleted files. You can use it to recover deleted files from Windows 11 & 10. We hope you like the information we have shared.

Please share your feedback with us in the comments section. For any product-related questions, you can send an email to

Must Read:

How to Restore Missing AppData Folder on Windows 11,10

How to Recover Data from a Wiped Hard Drive on Windows

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About The Author

Preeti Seth
Preeti Seth

A UX writer who loves explaining technical details in a clear, crisp, and concise manner. She loves writing about technical troubleshooting, How-To's, product reviews, etc. In her free time, she loves reading, meditating, and traveling.

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12 thoughts on “How to fix Drive is not Accessible “Access is Denied” Error in Windows 11,10,8

  1. Avatar for Neil Horan Neil Horan says:

    2. Click the Security tab > Advanced > Edit> Click the Owner tab and change the ownership.

    when I do this,there is NO security tab


  2. Avatar for Preeti Seth Preeti Seth says:

    Hello Neil,

    Regarding your query, please note if the drive is formatted with the NTFS file system, only then can you see the Security tab. To check the file system, open the elevated command prompt and type get-volume.

    You will be able to see the file system.

    If it is FAT32 or exFAT Security tab will not be there.

    However, if your driver is NTFS, use PowerShell to get the value of the NoSecurityTab registry parameter:

    Get-ItemProperty -Path “HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer”|select NoSecurityTab

    If the NoSecurityTab is set to 1, the Security tab in the properties of files and folders in File Explorer is hidden from the user.

    If that is the case, let us know, and we will share steps to enable it.

    Thanks and Regards

  3. Avatar for Jimy Midy Jimy Midy says:

    Changing the ownership worked. Thank you for the information

  4. Avatar for Ray Ray says:

    I cant acces the properties

  5. Avatar for Preeti Seth Preeti Seth says:

    Dear Ray,

    To help you fix the problem we request you to please share the exact error message and if possible share the screenshot. This will help us to assist you better.

    Thanks and Regards

  6. Avatar for Babajide Okulaja Babajide Okulaja says:

    Thanks this works real good.

  7. Avatar for Jorge Mendoza Jorge Mendoza says:

    I tried the “What to do if a drive is not accessible?” – when I right clicked on properties – I do not have the “Security” tab up on top.

  8. Avatar for Preeti Seth Preeti Seth says:

    Dear Jorge,

    Thank you for writing to us.

    To get the Security tab please follow the step by step instructions given below:

    1. Press Windows + R to open the Run window.
    2. Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter key.
    3. This will open Windows Registry Editor.
    4. Here, navigate to – HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
    5. Now, in the right-side pane, right click > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
    6. Name it NoSecurityTab and set its value to 0.
    This will immediately add “Security” tab for all files and folders properties window.
    If it doesn’t help restart the PC and check.
    Now that you have the Security tab you can follow the steps given in the post to fix Drive is not accessible “Access is Denied,” error.

    Thanks and Regards

  9. Avatar for Ernest Ernest says:

    Good Job very helpful


  10. Avatar for david tran david tran says:


    2. Click the Security tab > Advanced > Edit> Click the Owner tab and change the ownership.

    when I do this, there is NO Owner tab. Please help; I’m running Windows 11 Home

  11. Avatar for Preeti Seth Preeti Seth says:

    Dear David,

    Thank you for writing to us.

    To change ownership of a file or folder on Windows 11 follow these steps:

    Step 1: Right-click on the file or folder you want to change the ownership for.

    Step 2: Select Properties from the context menu. Under Properties click on “Security” Tab.

    Step 3: You will now be able to see permissions. If you cannot see any permissions to change, to Take Ownership of the file or folder, click on “Advanced”.

    Step 4: Next, in the window that appears, you have to click on “Change” and enter the object name. Type on your Windows username to which you want to grant permission.

    Step 5: Click on “Replace owner on subcontainers and object” and click Apply.

    Step 6: Once you click on Apply, you’ll see this warning message. Click on Yes to proceed.

    Step 7: Click “OK” twice click Advanced.

    Step 8: Now under the Advanced permissions, you will see a change, and you will see the option to add Multiple Objects

    Step 9. To add multiple objects and to inherit permission, you can click on “Change Permissions”.

    Step 10. To inherit permissions, click on “Enable inheritance”. To add a new object, click on “Add” and click on “Select a Principal” and type in the Object name.

    Now you can enable the Basic Permission. If you want to enable advanced permission, click on “Show advanced permissions”.

    Once you have made all the changes, click Ok and exit the window.

    Try these steps and see if it works.

    Thanks and Regards

  12. Avatar for Rishabh Muley Rishabh Muley says:

    Thanks Ma’am changing the properties worked.

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