Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file – Windows 10/8.1/8 & 7

Sometimes, when you try installing any application on your computer using the exe file, you may encounter the issue with error Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file. .exe files are executable files that helps you to install programs on your computer. We all are aware that, using the .exe file you can install program on your computer.

Recently we encountered an issue with the Windows file permission error. When users tried installing any program using the .exe file, they encounter the issue with the permission error as below.

The error message appears as

Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item.

You may encounter this issue while trying to install any program in your computer using the .exe file. In addition, it gives the same message when you try to access any drive or try to modify the file or its content.

If you are facing the issue with Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file error on your computer, this guide helps you to fix the issue and get the things work properly.

How to fix Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file error?

Follow the below resolution steps one by one in order and check if the issue gets fix after each resolution step. If the issue remains, you can proceed with the further steps.

Quick Note: Before proceeding with the further steps, we suggest you to create a System Restore point first. If something goes wrong during troubleshooting, you can restore your computer back to previous working state.

Perform SFC scan:

If some of the Windows files on your computer are corrupt, you may encounter the issue with file permission. It does not let you to install and run the programs properly. System File Checker scan helps to scan for the corrupted files and repair them automatically.

Refer the below steps to perform SFC scan on your computer.

  1. Press Windows logo + X keys on keyboard and select the option Windows PowerShell (Admin). It will launch the elevated PowerShell screen.

2. On the PowerShell screen, type the below command and hit enter.

SFC /SCANNOW

3. The scan will begin now and it will take some time to complete.

Once the scan is completed, reboot your computer and try installing the program. If the corrupted files are repaired, you will now be able to install the program without any errors. If the error remains, you can proceed with the further steps.

Perform clean boot:

If the third-party programs installed in the computer loading at the computer start-up automatically, it may cause the error. You can try performing the clean boot. It lets the Windows loads normally with a set of minimal drivers and programs.

Refer the below link to learn how to perform clean boot on Windows 10 computers.

How to perform clean boot on Windows 10?

After performing the clean boot, check if the issue with Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file gets fix. If it works fine, you can try removing the unwanted programs from your computer. If the issue remains, you can proceed with the further resolution steps.

Modify System Registry to fix Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file:

If none of the above troubleshooting steps helps, you can try modifying the System Registry in your computer. To perform the same, follow the below resolution steps.

Note: Further steps involves the registry manipulation. Making mistakes during manipulating registry might adversely affect your system. Therefore, we strongly to make a backup of the System Registry before modifying it.

  1. Press Windows logo + R keys on your keyboard to open RUN window, type regedit and hit enter. It will open the Registry Editor.

2. On the left hand pane, navigate to the below location.

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe

3. On the right hand pane, double click on the Default registry string value and modify its value data to exefile.

4. Now, navigate to the below location.

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command

5. Double click on the Default registry string value and change its value data to “%1” %*.

Close the Registry Editor, reboot your computer and try installing the application. This should work fine this time and you should be able to install .exe file without any further errors.

The above resolution steps helps you to fix the issue with Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file error. If you still face the same issue or need, any further assistance, do comments below. We are happy to assist you.

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