Windows 7 – How to Delete Files Protected by TrustedInstaller

Did you know that a lot of files in Windows 7 are not owned by you, even if you are the Administrator? They are instead owned by an entity called the “Trusted Installer”. Such a wonderful sounding name eh!

So that’s not a problem most of the time, unless you need to delete certain system files and folders. You’ll end up getting a message like:

You do not have permission to perform this action.

or something like:

You need authorization from TrustedInstaller in order to perform this action.

Thanks Windows! So in order to delete a file that is owned by TrustedInstaller, you have to first take ownership of the files or folders and then grant yourself full control permissions and rights!

You have to do all of that just to be able to rename, delete, or edit these files and folders. In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps in order to do this.

First, go to the folder or set of files that you need to change permissions for, right-click on them and choose Properties.

windows 7 trustedinstaller

Next click on the Security tab and then click on the Advanced button at the bottom:

cannot perform action

Next click on the Owner tab and you’ll now see that the current owner is TrustedInstaller.

trustedinstaller windows 7

Now click on the Edit button and choose who you would like to change the owner to, either your account or the Administrators. If your account is an Administrator account, I would suggest just picking Administrators.

change owner windows 7

You can also check off Replace owner on subcontainers and objects if you need to delete more than one file in a folder. Go ahead and click OK. Now you will see that the Current owner is the account you picked.

cannot delete files windows 7

Click OK until you have closed all properties windows and are back to the Windows Explorer screen. Then right-click on the folder or file again and choose Properties again.

Now click on the Security tab again, but instead of clicking on Advanced, you need to click the Edit button.

windows 7 permissions

Now click on the user name in the list that you want to change the permissions for, which should be the same as who you changed the current owner too. If the user name is not in the list, click Add, type in the name and click OK.

change persmissions windows 7

Since I had changed the current owner to Administrators, I clicked on Administrators here and then clicked on the check box next to Full Control. When you do that, all the other boxes get checked too.

Click OK once and then click OK one more time to get back to Windows Explorer. Now you can delete those files without any UAC messages telling you that you can’t! Enjoy!

  1. RANCID FC says:

    Many thanks pal. I have followed the instructions above and it works a treat. Take care.

  2. noxfiend says:

    tried exactly what you said and even after changing to admin rights etc still get the same error message saying i dont have permission only it doesnt say trusted installer now it says administrators… so your advice seems pretty much useless although it may only be me…

  3. noxfiend says:

    i take my comment back, i apologize, a small error on my part stopped me from getting anywhere… your advice couldn't have been better, cheers mate!

  4. jim jones says:

    Now it just says that I need the administrators permission. Goddam Windows.

  5. […] can read my previous article on how to edit files that are protected by Trusted Installer. Basically, take owernship and then give the Administrators group Full […]

  6. Paul Watson says:

    I started using Live Mail while I was on Vista-64 (upgrading from Windows Mail). After upgrading to Windows 7 64-bit, Live Mail had a lot of glitches and doesn't receive all of my emails. On my C drive I have two program folders: "Program Files" and "Program Files (x86)"; each folder has both "Windows Mail" and "Windows Live Mail" folders, and I found some of my recent missing emails in one of the "Windows Mail" folders.

    So, I am trying to delete both of the old "Windows Mail" folders (thus leaving the "Windows Live Mail" folders in both program file folders). However, I cannot seem to effectively change the permissions so I can delete them. I followed your instructions step by step to change permissions on both of those "Windows Mail" folders, but when I close everything and come back to the C: folder and right-click on "Windows Mail" and click "Delete", it says it needs permission from "Paul Watson PC/Paul Watson", which IS what I am logged in as.

    The same thing happens if I try to delete the folder content files, even one at a time. For some reason "Windows Mail" is active enough to intercept emails that should be going into Live Mail, so is there any way to deactivate or delete those old Windows Mail files?

  7. […] to delete files or need authorization from TrustedInstaller, read my previous post on how to delete files protected by TrustedInstaller. Enjoy! AKPC_IDS += "4992,";Enjoyed this post? Subscribe to Help Desk Geek via RSS Feed or via […]

  8. DENZO says:

    You my friend, are the F***in MAN!! Thank you. I was wondering what the hell "Trusted Installer" was and why it was preventing me from deleting files on my own computer!

  9. djmicu says:

    Thanks for the detailed instructions!!

  10. Tomo says:

    Excellent Info! Many Thanks! TrustedInstaller was the problem!

  11. ReneF says:

    Excellent. Was able to delete 40GB of junk. Thanks

  12. Chatula says:

    Hi Aseem, thanks for the great help! I killed TrustedInstaller:)

    However, right after a new problem emerged… error633 the modem is alerady in use or not configured properly….I checked the modem and it really has a problem (red triangle and exclamation mark), it sais, its no ok, because I made some changes in the computer?! i tried to remove the modem, but i cannot. It drives me mad.

    Any idea?

  13. donshazly says:

    Why does Microsoft have to always add new annoying crap to each version of Windows! TrustedInstaller is a major pain for someone like me who knows what he is doing and routinely edits and deletes system files. Can I turn TrustedInstaller off somehow?

  14. Arrowman says:

    Aseem, thanks very much! That was very helpful. It took me a couple of tries to remember to select inherit permissions from the permission change but then worked great.

  15. collinsjr says:

    Thanks that was very helpful and worked exactly as above!! Finally able to delete a system file protected by TrustedInstaller!

  16. Marley says:

    Didn't work for me says the same but now i need permision from the adminstrator and thats me ??? plssssssss help!

  17. jimR says:

    Did not work for me, even as Administrator. It cannot descend into the directory to change permissions. I always have to change ownership to me, run chkdsk, and reboot. Then I can remove it.

    And now all updates are failing because they cannot delete their own files.

  18. Rimco says:

    I followed all the steps for several times, but it does not work! Now I need permission of Administrator. But I still cannot delete the sample files in Windows Media player! In my previous Vista PC, it was no problem at all to do so. What can I more do, to get rid of this ANNOYING TRUSTED INSTALLER problem??? Maybe you have more suggestions? Thanks in advance.

  19. Gustav says:

    I have the EXACT problem as jimR, Rimco, Marley and initially noxfiend…

    Noxfiend, please let me know what error you corrected in order to finally delete the folders/files ?

  20. Geek1945 says:

    Thanks for showing how to swim in MS shark infested waters.

  21. saife says:

    I did what you said and it didnt work! The same message about files being protected by TrustedInstaller shows up again!

  22. SW says:


    What was ur small error when you did it?

    Cuz I have the same problem as you…I have changed the admin name but I still can't delete the file


  23. Marcelo says:

    Thanks for the detailed instructions!!

  24. MarkoPolo says:

    Your advice was very helpful. I had a problem with wmpnetwk.exe in Windows Media Player 11,this process slowed my computer down(it consumed almost whole memory) and I couldn't get rid of it. Thanks!!!

  25. christianv says:

    i followed your instructions yet it still says i need permission from trusted installer, also when i try the second step of this i get an error message saying access denied. Please help me out with this, i need to delete files off my computer i don't have any room left on this thing.

  26. daniel says:

    Attn: jimR, Rimco, Marley, noxfiend, Gustac, chirstianv, SW.

    I fixed the problem you were having since I was having it too.

    so right click file/folder choose properties > advanced > change permissions > check box that says 'replace all child object permission with inheritable permissions from this object.'

    Also make your user account is set to full control. After that it should apply permissions to all subfolders and it should work. It took me forever to figure out but now I got it!

  27. bobl61 says:

    Works a treat…if you're having trouble, make sure you have applied the second step, or it will not work!

  28. james says:

    Gracias, las instrucciones son claras y funciona.

  29. Keilin says:

    Thank you, Aseem! I am also still having trouble though, it says I need permission. I am having compatibility issues with my all-in-one after upgrading to 7. It says ".NET Framework 2.0 is required to continue." However, after re-downloading, it says 2.0 is already installed as part of the OS. I figured if I could delete then re-download .NET, I would be fine, so I tried this. But it is still telling me that I require permission from myself, the only person that uses this computer. If anyone could help with this, I would greatly appreciate it! I'm in Interior Design student and I can't afford to keep paying to have my projects printed out at a store. Thanks!

  30. Woody says:

    can i take trustedinstaller off without messing up my system on windows 7. Also i seem to check folders with pictures in it and they are gone or at least some of them. I use kapersky antivirus and i hope its not a virus. i beleive it might be trustedinstaller? Any reply?

  31. manny600 says:

    hey man i did everything u said and deleted some files but after i restart my pc all the files i deleted are back like nothin ever happen

  32. BraveToast says:

    It seems for me that the 2nd step (changing admin to have full control) needs to be applied to all subfolders.. then I was able to delete them without being told I need permission from Admin.

  33. Skyefyre says:

    Thank you so much for posting this information. I have been trying to rewrite a simple windows file for weeks now but could not figure out how to get around this roadblock! With every new /facepalm I reconsider owning a Mac… lol

  34. franc says:

    works – had to follow the same instructions for the containing folder – thanks

  35. thisandthat says:

    Thanks! Very good advice.

  36. hotelmason says:

    I finally learned! There was a problem with mcupdate.exe, which is the update client for Windows Media Center. I tried deleting it, but trusted installer came up! So, I followed the info, then poof! It's gone!

    Thank you very much!!!

  37. Vishal says:

    while checking all tabs under permissions for users,full control is available but special permissions check box is faded gray,and it cannot be checked…i have installed windows 7 in 2 different drives,and now i wana delete windows folder in one of the drive.above method isn't working,any suggestions?Also,at boot time,control DOESN'T ask me which window to log in,thats means windows in one drive is active in which windows is also installed(which i wana delete) is NOT marked as system drive.any help available??

  38. Mey says:

    It didn't work for me at all. I did all that crap and nothing helped.

    I'm trying to fix my windows live messenger, and it wont let me delete the files.

    I changed it to the Administrator, and it tells me the same message, but it says Administrator instead of trustedinstaller. Yet my account is the administrator.

    Any help?

  39. Insomnolence says:

    Isn't it just wonderful and ridiculous that I have to go through this lengthy and seemingly pointless exercise in order to "own" (whatever that means) certain files on my OWN computer?!
    Go MS!
    Now for the author: thank you for this information. You helped me out!

  40. lili says:

    Perfect, I get the best answer ever! Thanks a million!

  41. Caleb Withers says:

    Didn't work for me when I used Administrators, but did work when I used my username.

    Just thought I'd put that out there for anyone getting error messages.

    But thanks for the advice – I've deleted GBs of redundant Program Files and Windows.old folders.

  42. Donney says:

    Thanks a lot, mate. Great explanation, great pictures. Just perfect!

  43. David says:

    Thanks, Aseem, you save me!

    Now I can delete rescache in Windows & reset default icons.

  44. Ngoko says:

    Thank you. You have helped to restore my dignity.

  45. Sarah says:

    It worked! That dang trojan horse is banished from my autochk.exe. =) I kept getting error messages that I couldn't change the settings, but it still gave me access.

  46. Stormbow says:


    I was trying to replace the Windows 7 Sound Recorder with the older (better) version from Windows XP and ran into this TrustedInstaller garbage.

    Your walkthrough was perfect for taking ownership of the file, renaming it to SoundRecorder.Win7 (as a backup) and then I could copy the SndRcdr.exe (or whatever it was called on my wife's Windows XP machine) over the network to my computer.


  47. Julie says:

    Thank you so much for this. I am the sole administrator user of my laptop and I was frequently getting blocked by this TrustedInstaller ownership. I can't tell you how much of my irritation you eliminated with these instructions. Finally, I can modify system files like I want to without laptop backtalk. You are the man! Thank you!

  48. mell4753 says:

    This worked for me on a windows old file in windows 7. although it is painstakenly slow, because many of the files have to be done one at a time. I could not get it to delete complete folders. there has got to be a more advanced way to do complete folders. If you find one, please let me know. But thanks. I will finally get rid of this pesky folder. :)

  49. mell4753 says:

    Works good , but slow. will not do complete folders.

  50. harish kumar says:

    I used all the methods but I'm still getting the message to get permission from the administrator even though I am logged in as administrator.

    Please, tell me the solution.

  51. RieRie says:

    Thanks so much. This is exactly what I needed!

  52. Rowlini says:

    Worked for me. Then, I also found this, which was pretty nifty.

    At the cmd prompt, as admin:

    takeown /f "C:Path Name" /r /d n

    icacls "C:Path Name" /grant administrators:F /t

    rd "C:Path Name"

    I'm saving this one!

  53. Rokxstar says:

    Hey @daniel , Dude, your advice worked !! Thanks a Million!!!

    RT Daniel:
    I fixed the problem you were having since I was having it too.

    Right click file/folder and choose properties – advanced – change permissions. Select the check box that says ‘Replace all child object permission with inheritable permissions from this object.’

    Also make sure your user account is set to full control. After that it should apply permissions to all subfolders and it should work. It took me forever to figure out but now I got it!

  54. ocharlie4 says:

    Still having trouble. Coming up with code saying, "Cannot delete file. File is in use or open with another file. Close and try again."

  55. hideyoshi says:

    Thanks. You saved me from ads from an adult website.

  56. sou~ says:

    I got rid of the file, but I still don't have full control even though I'm admin. TrustedInstaller still has the power over my computer, hence I cannot access certain parts of Task Manager.

  57. hk1997 says:

    I have reloaded my Win7 and it left a "Windows.old" folder on the C drive. I tried almost all the ideas explained above, but I'm still getting the same message while deleting the folder "You require permission from administrator to make changes to this folder" even though I am logged in as administrator.

    Can anybody tell me to how to get rid of this as I am really frustrated with this because this "Windows.old" folder contains half of my hard disk memory.

    Please help me to get rid of this :Windows.old.

    Thanks in advance for the help.

  58. indianacarnie says:

    Thank you! Worked like a charm. I'm not a total noob to working on my machine but still learning. Wanted to delete a winsxs folder and was repeatedly denied due to Trustedinstaller being the owner. Followed your steps and voila! Deleted with no problem. Thank you, again. I have bookmarked the page/site and will be back.

  59. JamesL says:


    When you follow the first step and change the owner, make sure you also have "replace owner on subcontainers and objects" checked off at the "advanced security settings for program files" window where you add your user/administrators groups as owner of the directory. This will add you as the owner of all of the subfolders in the windows.old directory. After that, you can follow the next steps in the guide to take full control of windows.old and get rid of it.

    Good luck!

  60. Sheldon Rudie says:

    Thank you for your excellent explanation. It worked like a charm!

    As a suggestion, you might consider putting the icing on this task by detailing what's necessary to remove the "deadwood" from the registry. (I was able to remove most but not all the keys pertaining to the deleted files which were formerly protected by the Trusted Installer.)

    Thanks again, Aseem. Your effort was very much appreciated.

    Sheldon Rudie

  61. andy ray says:

    Thanks, and more thanks. On my own, I got as far as the take ownership bit, but was using the wrong sequence. Thanks for clearing up the fact that you have to use the Advanced button and Then come back to edit permissions. I had been pulling my hair out for an hour; found your solution and saved a lot of hair!

    One more thanks!

  62. Devinder says:

    ** If for some reason someone is still not able to delete try this **

    I was facing the same issue and tried all the steps. Even Rowlini's steps didn't work. It kept saying "You need permission from Administrators". I right-clicked the folder and removed the check mark in the 'Read Only' attribute and it worked.

    You may also do the same using cmd |attrib -r "path name"|after performing what Rowlini's steps.

    If you like the little cmd windows then try what Rowlini said (given below) and remove the read only attribute. It would work.

    Worked for me. Then, I also found this, which was pretty nifty.

    At the cmd prompt, as admin:

    takeown /f “C:Path Name” /r /d n

    icacls “C:Path Name” /grant administrators:F /t

    rd “C:Path Name”

    I’m saving this one!

  63. zean says:

    Thanks a lot. Vista/7 is getting really really annoying. T_T

  64. nicbirch says:

    daniel Said,April 29th, 2010 @3:22 pm
    Attn: jimR, Rimco, Marley, noxfiend, Gustac, chirstianv, SW.

    I fixed the problem you were having since I was having it too.

    Right click on the file/folder -> choose properties > advanced > change permissions > select the check box that says ‘replace all child object permission with inheritable permissions from this object.’

    Also, make your user account is set to full control. After that, it should apply permissions to all subfolders and it should work. It took me forever to figure out but now I got it!

    Thank you so much.

  65. Jeremy says:

    You actually do not need to do any of the above. Rather, use this:

    It does the whole job for you in one click. Delete the offending folder. Job done! :)

  66. hegwig says:

    I just got a new laptop with Windows 7 and their are a lot of questions rolling around in my head right now, but I guess this post sums it up. This fix works for some folders. What about the folders with my user name that say access denied when I click on them? Do I need to restore this thing to the factory state, or just return it and get a full refund? Didn't have this much problem with XP. Tell Microsoft that I became the "trusted user" when I paid 9 bills for a new computer w/their OS.

  67. Reclop says:

    Can you use this for multiple files at the same time?

  68. George Gething says:

    I am trying to remove Internet Explorer.

    Your advice is wonderful, to say the least, and easy to follow and understand. I have done what you have said and cleared most of the files. I am left with 9 files and the IE 8 Folder which I cannot remove because it says I need Administrators approval etc. I have tried to remove these files using the command prompt but I am refused access.

    Please be so kind as to let me know how I can go about removing these left over files from IE 9 and the folder. I have absolute faith that you will be able to help me over this frustration.

    Thank you very kindly. I look forward to your email reply to –

    George Gething
    77 year old pensioner

  69. Ivana says:

    I did all that you wrote in the instructions and now, when I click Delete button, in order to delete the file, it says something like "This file cannot be deleted because it is open ore used in another program. Firstly, you have to close that program." And the problem is that no other programs use that file, and the file is not open! I tried restarting my computer and automatically the owner is changed back to TrustedInstaller. I replaced it to Administrator again, but again it does not want to delete the file. :(

    What should I do? Please help!


  70. Haney says:

    I wrestled with this a little as well.

    When you take ownership, if doing it at a folder level with files/sub-folders under it, you have to check the option to replace the permissions on the contents. Also, ensure that you give ownership to the account you are logged in with, or the local administrators group, if you are a member of that.

    Once you have taken ownership, you have to select OK to each of the dialog boxes, closing the properties. * You cannot take ownership and change the permissions in the same instance, you have to take ownership, close the properties, reopen the properties, change permissions and then close the properties (otherwise only the take ownership will be applied and not the permissions change). Then, reopen the properties and change the permissions for the account you just gave ownership to, and give that account at least Modify, if not Full Control.

    *** I had one folder it didn't work on, and I had to go into the folder and give permission to each file individually. But I think I had a properties dialog window open for the folder, and minimized, so I didn't notice it. So that was preventing the permissions from propagating down to the items in the folder.

    If you are concerned about restoring the permissions on a folder after changing them and/or the contents, an easy way to set them back is to move the folder in question to another drive and then copy them back. As long as you move them to another logical drive, when you move them back, they will inherit the permissions of the folder you moved them into (in the case of the "winsxs" folder, they will inherit the "TrustedInstaller" permissions back, without whatever changes you made). IE: Move the folder off to a thumb drive and then move or copy the folder back, the permissions will be restored to what they were before you changed them.

  71. Phomie says:

    Thanks for this info. I just upgraded to Win 7 from Vista and I could not send email from my MSN mail account. After reading this article, I checked the permissions and found “TrustedInstaller” had full control of this program. After denying “TrustedInstaller” permissions and giving myself full permissions, everything worked great and “TrustedInstaller” no longer shows up in security permissions box.

    Thanks again.

  72. RON says:

    Thanks so much. And, yes, I'm screaming for joy.

    Thanks a bunch. Worked like a charm.

  73. luksss says:

    I did all that stuff with user and permissions, but still I can't delete any file or folder. Also I can't un-check ReadOnly with TakeOwnership. Unfortunately, nothing is working for me.

  74. smokes says:

    Thanks, dude. :D

    You saved my life.

  75. Bob J says:

    Success. I was able to delete Microsoft Games! However, I had the same problem reported by others, about still asking for permission. It took me several attempts by changing the Properties -> Security -> Advanced -> Owner from Administrator to User (Apply > OK) and back to Administrator (Apply > OK, again), and following the same process on the Properties -> Security -> Edit screen, before I could right mouse click/Delete a Game. Initially, I was not able to delete the Microsoft Games folder, so I deleted one game at a time and then deleted the folder. It was a little time consuming but the games and folder are gone and I am very happy.

    Many thanks, Aseem!

  76. Wilkin says:

    WOW!!! Thanks. I really needed help and this really helped me a lot. I was starting to get a little mad because I couldn't do it. =)

  77. Renron says:

    Thank you so very much. It Worked!!! Wahoo.

    Happy Happy Joy Joy.

  78. jim Arnold says:

    Thanks. It works for me. :)

  79. awolwall says:

    Yay! Many thanks. Very precise instructions. I really had to concentrate, but when executed properly, success!

  80. rodger says:

    I did this step by step, and nothing. There was no change. I still can't delete the files or format the drive.

    I did one step then read the next step and did that. I repeated this until I got to the last step, so I missed nothing. Still, there was no change.

  81. kegan32 says:

    I must have been to a dozen places trying to solve this problem without success. Then, I found your solution, tried it and it worked fine.

    Move over Bill Gates and let Aseem take the helm.

  82. NJ says:

    OMG!! Thank you so much!!! You have no idea how much you helped me. I was going out of my mind.

    Thank you!! ^___^

  83. Vlad says:

    Thank you for the article "Windows 7 – How to Delete Files Protected by TrustedInstaller"! It was a life saver. :-)

  84. Vlad says:

    Oh, I see, the text is actually "Vlad said:". I was mislead by the capitalization. :-)

  85. Robski says:

    Thanks for taking the time to post this. It's very helpful.

    Now, I can clear the useless crap off my install drive and add some decent programs!

  86. RandyJS says:

    I just wanted to add that I created Mounted_images to view an .img file and it killed me. This thread helped so much. Geez, saved 12 Gig of backup and time!!!

  87. RandyJS says:


    Be careful of being "administrators". Be local administrator (no s).

    Try to log in without domain and then try to make sure you change owner to Hostnameadministrator. Make sure to go to Advanced. Do what this thread says and especially inheritance.

    Great link. "helpdeskgeek"

  88. dsrezvf says:

    Hey, guys.

    If you want the permissions for deleting old Windows files, simply use disk cleanup. It takes less than 2 minutes.

    Have a nice time.


  89. denislouisb says:

    It does not work because I can neither change owner nor give Full permission to Administrators.

    Typical of MicroSh*t.

  90. dannybull says:

    when you choose to be the owner click the box that says "replace owner on subcontainers and objects" so all the files become yours not just the main folder.

  91. Shazif says:

    This is really awesome, I was struggling how i could give full control to a file by removing from TrustedInstaller protection.

  92. Aldo Kim Boa says:

    thanks bro…….now i can delete my old windows folder…

    ty ty very much…

  93. Essensian says:

    Very helpful – thanks!

  94. kittekatt01 says:

    Hi, I did try that example but it was not working for me. I tried to delete wmp cause it’s not working at all, some files have already been deleted. I can’t start the player and I cant delete it. I tried to download a newer version of wmp but i got the error message that I already have the program, but it’s not working! grrrr! what shall I do? Best

  95. ChiefDrakula says:

    Your advice worked quite well. I followed them step-by-step. Now when I tried to delete "System 32", now an error message comes up saying that "The folder/file is opened with another program" or something like that. It could be my own error, but I could really use some assisstance. Please and Thanks

  96. BigStu says:

    I tried this for a game that wouldn’t uninstall and it does even give me permission to change the ownership of the files, how can I get rid of it?

  97. schabergm says:

    Thanks for providing crystal clear instructions. Hoping to be able to get my computer to recognize an ipod, and maybe this last file to be deleted was the solution. we’ll see.

  98. Implosion says:

    Works flawlessly, cheers man.

    PS: I’ve been searching for a solution in the past…two weeks, and so far only this worked.

  99. KhangDo says:

    Thanks for sharing ! But Windows still asks me for user permission even though I followed all of your advice above ! Help me !

  100. Sanah says:

    I tried the way given but it did not seem to work. My WMP keeps crashing very often. Until I delete the old one I can not install another one.

    Your help would be appreciated.

  101. bdavis14123 says:

    Wow, this is the best article I have seen. Well done on the step by step whitepaper here. Awesome!

  102. ohlmans says:

    Champion mate – had these icons left behind in Control Panel and they are now all gone. FANTASTIC!!

  103. MarthaLoraine says:

    I did everything this said to do and it seemed like it was going to work but now i can't even open the file. does is not work if the file you are trying to delete is explorer?

  104. adamsworld says:

    When setting permissions for any system folders, you have to click on apply after taking full control before clicking ok! You may get a couple of security windows that will ask for your permission to take ownership, click yes. After all folders are done transfering to your selected permissions, then you click ok. All done-works like a charm…

  105. Mitch says:

    Did all this and still wouldn't delete at all until I held down the SHIFT key while trying to delete it.

  106. Max says:

    Dude, awesome..!!
    Thanks a lot for posting this..
    And please tell me how did u figure it out??

  107. hengki zak says:

    thanks so much :)

  108. doh says:

    Doh, when I try to change the owner/creator away from trustedinstaller i just get a big access denied message and everything closes. :[ I do not have any sort of virus crap or anything that could be interefering, its a fresh computer

  109. jasina says:

    Thanks a lot.

    steps i had to do:

    1) change ownership

    2) give full control to the new owner

    3) right-click – properties – security – advanced – permissions tab – change permissions – Tick Replace all child …… – apply – ok – ok – ok

    then the junk went to recycle bin :) and saved lot of GB's

  110. anotheronewhohateswi says:

    Windows doesn`t allow me to do anything in the “properties” window, so how I will be able to delete the file?

  111. kawubiri wilberforce says:

    I have followed the instructions very well and i managed to change the authority to my account. But deleting the file, they ask permission from my account which i don't know. So still the file is not deleted.

    I would like to learn how to give permission.


  112. jacques says:

    I tried all those procedures…….refused…..all is blocked by trusted installer…impossible to change something

  113. GeePee59 says:

    Great, many thanks. Thought i was dumb and now i know it's Microsoft's twisted way of thinking …

  114. jess says:

    I've done all of this, and it still tells me error I don't have access or my favorite so far, access denied.

  115. ~S says:

    I t didn't work for me! All it did was change who I needed to get permissions from, which ironically happens to be me!

  116. hoo says:

    I used all the methods but I'm still getting the message to get permission from the administrator even though I am logged in as administrator.

    Please, tell me the solution

  117. Jordan says:

    Thanks so much! I didn't realize it was so simple! =)

  118. Pete says:

    Lots of people have said it before but I am going to say it again: Thamks for posting this, brill…..

  119. Sophaloaph says:

    I did the steps, but what happened was that when I tried to delete it, there was a pop-out message saying "You require permission from JinkyPC to make changes in this folder."

    What do I do now? :(

  120. janet says:

    wont let me delete wmiprvse.exe still says after all that file can only be deleted by trusted installer

    compaq windows 7 laptop

  121. Erlend Walle says:

    This is simply brilliant! I have 3 different win 7 installations because some crappy installing before, and w7 takes ownage of every single installation. Stupido W7, thanks again!

  122. boo says:

    hey have same problem , but they have admin control in registry too and will not allow me to change any more of the files as the control panel is locked to them only for admin settings….anyone have any ideas…thanks


  123. John Caruso says:

    Oh, man! You guys are amazing. I'm not an experienced user of Windows but with your perfect instructions I was able to delete the Windows folders on my old System disk dive after replacing it with a new one with Windows 7 on it. Please keep up the great work helping us users.
    I will save your site in my Favorites for further use. – Regards, John Caruso

  124. Nauman says:

    damn awesome dude million thanks :)
    searched the whole internet, tried this one! pretty great stuff.
    thanks again

  125. MR_gecko231 says:

    i did the instructions exactly as said, but it's not working. it's saying i need permission from a specific account (the only one on my computer, the one i'm signed in on) and i cannot fathom how to change it. i have almost successfully got full control of my computer, but it will not let me check the "special" checkbox at the end of the permissions editing, and it also will not let me uncheck Trusted Installer's.

  126. Fats says:

    I told my grandtmhoer how you helped fix my computer problem. She said, “bake them a cake!”

  127. carolyn says:

    Thankyou so much damned installer filled my drive up with useless short film clips and stuff I never asked for, so useful am sharing to facebook. Again thanks for making it so simple to understand even for me, and I still had to try a few times LOL

  128. Tan TH says:

    I tried to delete Internet Explorer 9 from C dirve despite follow the procedure to first owned the folder. But still cannot delete to keeps receiving the prompt
    that I need usuer permission. I don't know what to do next! Please help to advise. Many helps

  129. Pam says:

    Thanks! Even I could do this and take back my computer!

  130. Jake says:

    It almost works, but it's telling me that I need to contact myself before deleting the file… Help???

  131. Tom says:

    Thanks a lot I removed that darn Security Defender but kept getting pop ups upon start-up that certain files could not be found. I could close the notifications but they were driving me crazy! This removed the offending folder and now no notifications! Thanks a bunch. TK

  132. Peter in UK says:

    Explorer is an intrinsic part of all recent versions of Windows. In XP at least, it was used for both Internet access (via iexplorer interface with Address bar etc) and for viewing files (as Explorer). Removing Explorer would remove ability to do MS updates (as MS wants you to use MSIE as browser).

    Assuming Explorer used in Windows 7 etc in similar way, you cannot delete / rename it because Explorer is the software in use to give you the display of the files (ie useful !!) and you cannot delete a software item when it is in use (which will always be the case if viewing files from Windows rather than from DOS / Linux)

  133. Amanda says:

    NOT WORKING – I already own the folder!

    I was cut/pasting files in my new computer to do some organization. A folder developed this problem – but none of these solutions are working. There are two things that set this apart:

    1. I am NOT trying to change system folders. I am in “my documents” working with regular folders and files, such as Word, Excel, etc.

    2. According to the properties, my username is ALREADY the current owner and has full permission.

    However, no matter what I do, it tells me that I need permission from “myusername” or sometimes it tells me I need “administrator” permission to change the file. I am, like everyone else here, the only user on this computer and have an “administrator” account.

    I noticed that a sub-sub-folder of the problem folder lists “owner cannot be identified at this time” as the owner. When I try to make changes to the owner, it tells me I can’t, because I need administrator permission. When I do not use properties, anything I do tells me I need my own username permission.

  134. Dave says:


    Amazingly easy to follow instructions and well organized.

    (you da' man)

  135. Zoom says:

    It doesn't work. After changing the "permission" from trustedinstaller to your own name, it merely tells you that you need permission from yourself.

  136. Ogbonna Ifeanyi says:

    Thanks very much

  137. sebi says:

    THANKS SO MUCH!!!!!!! :)

  138. Sharon says:

    I just bought a laptop after having a pc for over 6 years, and the first problem I came up against was “trusted installer” Who are they trying to kid. I felt like I didn’t have any control over my own computer. I want to thank you so so much. I have been fighting with this “guy” for over a week. I was about ready to take this laptop back to the store. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  139. Peter says:

    FYI, the Disk Cleanup operation (window\system32\cleanmgr.exe) should remove all previous install files from the selected drive. Includes “windows.old” and any leftover windows upgrade files.

  140. John Marshall says:

    Is there a Windows Protected Files List? Where is it? John

  141. Nero says:

    Thank you. That was extremely helpful and much appreciated.

  142. Raman Ghai says:

    thanks . That was very helpful.

  143. kdiane says:

    I love you! thank you so much! I spent hours following the instructions here but nothing worked for me and then I saw your comment, copied the link and.. Boom! how simple! Thank you so so much! Why did I have to go through such complicated process w/c wasn’t working when there is something that I can download and will do all the work for me?! And oh! Thank you to Aseem too! It may have not worked for me but you had helped a bunch of people.. Thanks to all of you guys! :)

  144. Robert B. says:

    Hi. tried to delete internet explorer,but it won’t let me. i followed these steps and on the creators owner tab not letting me do the full controll. This means not letting me do the deleting. Any ideas please! Thankx in advance!

  145. Pengo says:

    Sorry to put a damper on all this, but I have done everything suggested in this forum and many others I found on Google, and not a single one of them actually allows me to change or delete the files in my system32 directory, some of which Windows is reporting as corrupted but appears unable to replace.

    What is the point of all this jumping through hoops to accomplish a simple task like changing a system file? Isn’t that the whole point of being an ADMINISTRATOR?

    So pissed off…. I could throw Windows in the bin, if it wasn’t for the fact that Linux is a thousand times worse.

  146. Barry says:

    Good explanatin, worked well, thanks.

  147. Fraxtil says:

    Thank christ someone figured this out. I needed to move Windows’ “convert.exe” utility so that I could run the ImageMagick utility with the same name from a script (which, bizarrely, refused to honor the order of directories in the PATH system variable). This is the only guide that got it right.

  148. Ramesh says:

    Thanks you so much. Great job explaining this. Worked like a charm.

  149. Malcolm says:

    Thanks for this. I hit a brick wall… even files tranferred onto an external hard drive, could not be deleted.

  150. David H. says:

    Great explanation! I’ve been searching for how to do this for days … the M$ site says it can’t be done .. um, what I was trying to do was stop/delete “help and support” (which I find useless) from popping up for no apparent reason. Many thanks!

  151. George says:

    I took ownership, and full rights. Still, am asked for Admin permission while I’m the Admin (and only user).

    When tried to check ‘Replace all child object permission with inheritable permissions from this object.’ or remove the blue blur in the ‘Read Only’ attribute, as suggested above, again access was denied, for Admin permission.

    I use Win 7 ultimate 64 bit.

    Anything that may work for me?

  152. joe says:

    thank you for this info i had a very very annoying virus which i couldn’t delete it would not let me gain admin role and i was stuck for what to do but this sorted it and i will definitely remember it for future viruses trojans

  153. Saeed Neamati says:

    This article ended a 3-hours of frustration (including server restart). I greatly thank you guys.

  154. JeffK says:

    I was having trouble with web page files not saving embedded controls. vendor said to open permissions on Program Files directory. I gave it admin permissions which did not work. Then I found this advice of yours which worked perfectly. Your explanation and graphics are superlative. Thank you for your help!

  155. RoscoJones says:

    I have Win 7 64 bit

    When I right click on the file I want, there is a “Take Ownership” selection on the menu.

    Just click on that and rename, delete or whatever you want.

    It’s a lot easier.

  156. Emmy says:

    I am the Administrator, and I also have an account with admin rights. I used both accounts to no avail. I am the administrator and it is asking me to provide admin rights.

  157. James Brown says:

    The suggestions here are right on the money but you may still find errors like file in use by system, access denied. The fix for that is to rename the file and reboot then delete your newly named files. And even for that, to make sure windows has the least chance of locking the file just hit f8 on reboot and choose safe mode with command prompt or to make sure absolutely no files are used use the repair cd, and choose the ms-dos prompt repair tool just take note that in that case it will likely assign different drive letters to your drives.

  158. LAURENCE says:

    sir, ive tried this but on the last step it always denies me to grant full control. It says “access denied”. what could be the problem.. help :(

  159. Anthony says:

    NOTE: For all of you that do not already know this does work under the condition that there are not folders within the folder that you are trying to delete, you MUST repeat the process to all the other folders within the folder. Soo if there are folders within folders within folders within folders then it may take you a while :/

  160. TrustedUNinstaller says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I am finally free of a pesky little file that would interrupt whatever I was doing with a screen wide notification about every 10 minutes..seriously annoying while watching Netflix.

  161. Jay says:

    Hey Man, Thanks soooo much. It took me a while to work it out but I got it. A TIP FOR EVERYONE ELSE, I began by trying to change the permissions for the main folder. I found after a while that it was only 2 files in a sub folder that the SYSTEM had control of and not me. Followed the inst above to change these and then I could delete the whole thing.

  162. Ben says:

    Thanks a lot ;)

  163. Steve says:

    daniel says:
    April 29, 2010 at 9:22 am
    Attn: jimR, Rimco, Marley, noxfiend, Gustac, chirstianv, SW.

    I fixed the problem you were having since I was having it too.

    so right click file/folder choose properties > advanced > change permissions > check box that says ‘replace all child object permission with inheritable permissions from this object.’

    Also make your user account is set to full control. After that it should apply permissions to all subfolders and it should work. It took me forever to figure out but now I got it!

  164. martinec says:

    Daniel, it works, thanks for sharing!

  165. Ralph says:

    This was the thing. Did this and it allowed me to delete the file. Effng finally thanks a lot.

  166. Rick says:

    Emmy… I, too, had a small amount of difficulty doing exactly what I wanted to do.
    Try following his steps, but at different levels you may have to retrace some steps to give yourself Full-Control.
    Don’t assume that just because to “gave yourself” rights that Windows ended up giving you those rights on ALL sub-folders. It is a pain, but it can be done. Good luck.

  167. mark says:

    Thank you so much jeremy! legend! Worked straight away!

  168. Sefai says:

    Didn’t work. I’m afraid its a virus :(

  169. Robert Raines says:

    I am trying to change permissions in TrustedInstaller in order to eliminate IE from my HP pc. The method described above does not allow me to access any of the allow/deny check boxes. Just how deep is the hijacking job that HP did after I recently did a system recovery?

  170. Robert Andre says:

    To delete the windows.old folder under windows 7 or Windows 8 (protetected by Trustedinstaller) just type “Diskcleaner” in you Windows “SEARCH” field, launch the Disk cleaner, select the appropriate drive letter, when asked, tick “system files” (consider adding from the offered list “windows update” also) then validate with the OK button. It does all the job without hassle (may take couple of minutes).

  171. Sarah says:

    As a computer novice, this is one of the best set of instructions I have seen in a long time. Well done and thank you.

  172. Sarah says:

    That said, I cannot make this work. When I click all boxes to give the administrator full permission, there is a box called ‘special permissions” which I cannot tick. Is this the reason I cannot delete files?

  173. Brent says:

    I went right to the C:/ drive and removed trusted installer and I had to go to most folders under program files and do the same. I not only added the administrators group but I added my log on account that is a local admin. Then I gained control of Windows 7 and the TrustedInstaller was completely gone. For some reason both the hiber.sys (hibernation file) and the page file.sys were both greyed out and I can’t even view the security of these two files. I go into hkey_local machine-system and right click sebum and give my log on user account full control incase I want to delete a service or two.

    What scared me in Windows 7 is under device manager you click on show hidden devices, there are 6 or 7 hidden VPN networking protocols which can allow remote hackers to gain access thru the back door.

    I disable them one at a time in devices manager and then in Enum and services of the registry I delete the reg keys for all of them. Just a bit more security offered!!

  174. StLsam says:

    Followed the directions and I still get message saying that permission is needed from administrator: ( me ! ) Tried it first with administrators , no difference. Yes, I did change permissions too. Doesn’t work. Cannot delete Windows Defender …. insidious damn program. It is ‘uninstalled’ but just so far…. waste of good memory space! Stupid windows. Next time, it’s a MAC.

  175. Alan Michell says:

    Have followed above instructions re Trusted Installer however that name does not appear in the owner list ?

    What next

    Alan Michell

  176. david says:

    This helped me get control back so I could kill trusted installer. Thank you very much.

  177. Brett says:

    These stpes would work fine for a single folder but they do not carry over to any other folders inside the folder for which you followed the above steps. The work around for this is to go to Properties>Security>Advanced>Permissions>Change Permissions>Select Administrators and check “Replace all child object permissions” Apply>Yes>OK>OK>OK

  178. nonuser says:

    How to do this to multiple items (files) at once? Instead of the painstaking individual ones???

  179. Xircal says:

    Please publish a tutorial on how to change Trusted Installer permissions in Windows 8.1

  180. ajoy das says:

    tried the steps u suggested but cant check mark “full advice

  181. Hussain says:

    After making the admin the owner, now there is another error: Need permission from the admin… Seriously, I am starting to get annoyed by Microsoft.

  182. Jim says:

    Everybody please read Brett’s comment above here from 2/14/2014!

    That will solve a lot of the issues people are still mentioning.

    Thanks for these tips!

  183. Steve says:

    Taking control with a different (Admin) user did not work. ‘Access denied’ still persists. is there another way?

  184. Paradyn says:

    I am having trouble trying to delete a dll file due to TrustedInstaller. When I go through the process laid out, I get error messages for all the dll files, which are the files I wish to delete. Any ideas?

  185. Nancy Huckstep says:

    Thanks. This stuff is annoying. Cant find the Replace owner on Subcontainers and Objects though, so I’m having to delete these files one at a time. But at least there deleting. Got a bunch of wierd items TrustedInstaller downloaded. Thanks, cause I couldn’t figure out how to delete them!

  186. EDB says:

    Windows 7 will not allow us to take ownership of anything in System 32. You cannot check the box for controls.

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