Documents is not accessible. Access is denied

My Computer
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents is not accessible.
Access is denied.

This error appears when attempting to access the Shared Documents folder (which appears to be renamed to “Documents”)

I recently had this problem on the main computer here at my home. This same problem prevented Adobe Acrobat 6.0 from working, and prevented a reinstall (or uninstall and install), as well.

I’ve finally found a fix. And it’s quite a simple one. Follow these steps.

1. Choose Start > Run, type %allusersprofile% in the Open box, and then click OK.

2. Right-click the Documents folder, and choose Properties.

3. Click the Sharing tab, and then unselect “Share This Folder on network” if it is selected. If it’s not selected, select it.

4. Apply. If you had to unselect the box in step 3, now select it again and Apply.

This causes the name of the folder to change to Shared Folder. This also allows Adobe Acrobat 6.0 to install.

Other helpful resources

64 Responses to “Documents is not accessible. Access is denied”

  1. allmisha says:

    Good solution. Thanks.

  2. ak says:

    Thank You sooo much… Dell & Microsoft were not able to help… I was also about to re-install windows… Thanks again…

  3. TT says:

    david : check the other box which allows the other network users to change the files too. It’s the check box below the one mentioned

  4. Ed says:

    I am having a issue thats faily the same. I have my document folder pointing to a folder on a server.. example \\server\username. When I open this folder I get all the files from my server. When I’m net connected to the network I get this access error. It should goto my normal documents folder if the network isnt available like it has in the past. But it’s not working. Any ideas?? My email: [email protected]



  5. Kevin says:

    Thanks for your posting! Thanks Google!

  6. inddzen says:

    Yeah, it’s working. Thanks for sharing this tip ;)

  7. Cecilia Sepp says:

    Thank you! This was so much more helpful than Microsoft’s site!! You’re beautiful.

  8. Andrew says:

    thanks so much, I was on the phone with dell for 2 hours today, and to no avail was ready to pull my hair out. I was about to give up and start backing up my files to reformat when I saw this.

  9. RAYMOND says:

    Well i want to ty because ur steps helped me, although it was completely different to your steps i managed to find the solution. What i did was.. choose Start,Right Click Documents,Click Sharing,Check The Box Where It Says Make This Folder Private, then it asked me Add a password for it?.. and i put No.. Then Finally i clicked APPLY! and Boom Done! thank you :P

  10. Doug says:

    Great solution! You are officially smarter than Microsoft.

  11. DavePretty says:

    The trick you posted didn’t work, but the link to the Microsoft website did. Regardless, without the original article I wouldn’t have found it.


  12. Spyke says:


    While trying to install Zune:
    I think my problem was i didnt have access to the Documents folder in My Computer. Not sure how that happend. But heres a fix for it and more fixes I have tried that might help someone else…

  13. Glyn says:

    Thanks – Nearly two years after your original post it is still providing a useful resource – thanks goodness for Blogs & Google to find things in them!!

  14. baaz747 says:

    This problem had been driving us crazy for the last month or so. Even a de-install of Adobe Acrobat would not work. I was at the point of what all of us do when we reach a point of no return with Windows – Reinstall XP.

    However, I decided to do one last search for “all users documents not accessible” and found this page.

    Thank you for posting the information.

  15. baaz747 says:

    This problem has been bothering us for 1 month and I was at the point of reinstalling XP ;-|.

    Just for those who might want to know: The problem occured after I shared “Shared Documents” folder with a friends laptop. Something went wrong after that.

    Thank you for the information.

  16. Mr Blonde says:

    Like may others above… was the 1st result in google and worked perfectly! Many thanks.

  17. mortalmatt says:

    *Starts worshiping you*

    I have been fiddling with stuff trying to fix this for ages!!

  18. homer says:

    THANKS!! Thought I’d lost my Itunes

  19. Hamo says:

    Thanks so much

    Such an easy fix for a stupid problem.

  20. Kim says:

    Fixed “Access Denied” on slave hard drive on user documents and settings.
    Right click on folder (with access error) share folder, apply ok

  21. Ross says:

    Just to add to the long list of comments, well done this worked a treat!

    Funny to think there is no official solution or patch to solve it since its been a problem since 2005!

  22. Bala says:

    Thanks! That was a simple fix. But it works!! :)

  23. Paul says:

    Thank you so much as the others were saying I tried all the other complicated fixes and was going off my head. Your a star.

  24. Pat Dodd says:

    One more thank you. So simple I completely missed it. Worked like a charm.

  25. Mash says:

    I was hopping if i could get fix to my problem, i get the exact same error but not on the sahred folder. My computer crashed resently and i had to reinstall windows xp Sp2, and when you do so, it makes you a new profile in Documents and Settings. so now when i try to access my previous profile, it gives me that exact same message. “Blah blah blah is not accessible – Access is Denied”. by the way i have two hard drives, when i reinstalled the windows, i installed it on my second hard drive. and my old profile that i am trying to access is in my other hard drive.pleas if any one could find a fix it would be much appreciated, i have a lot imported files in there.

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