Did you know that many files on Windows do not belong to you, even if you are an administrator? Instead, they belong to an organization called Trusted Installer. What a wonderful sounding name ah!
So in most cases this is not a problem, unless you need to delete certain system files and folders. You will receive a message like:
You do not have permission to perform this action.
or something like:
You need authorization from TrustedInstaller to complete this action.
Thanks Windows! So, to delete a file or folder owned by TrustedInstaller, you must first take ownership of the files or folders and then give yourself full control rights and permissions!
All this needs to be done only in order to be able to rename, delete or edit these files and folders. In this article, I’ll show you how to do it. Please note that you should not use this method to uninstall essential Windows features such as Windows Defender or IE. It won’t work and your computer will crash. Use this technique only to remove malicious or viral files that may have been inserted into protected Windows directories.
Take ownership of the files
First, navigate to the folder or set of files for which you want to change the permissions, right-click it and select Properties.
Then click the Security tab and then click the Advanced button at the bottom:
Then click the Owner tab and you will see that the current owner is TrustedInstaller.
Now click the Change button (in Windows 10, this is the Change button) and choose who you want to change the owner to: your account or a group of administrators. If your account is an Administrator account, I would suggest just selecting Administrators.
You can also check the Replace owner checkbox for subcontainers and objects if you need to delete more than one file in a folder. Go ahead and click OK. You will now see that the current owner is the account you selected.
Please note, if you are trying to delete an entire folder with subfolders, etc., you also need to click the Permissions tab, then Change Permissions, select Administrators or the account you want to use, and then check Replace All permissions of a child object by permissions inherited from this object.
It is worth noting that you cannot change the permissions until you change the owner of the folder, all subfolders and files, as shown above.
Click OK until you close all properties windows and return to the Windows Explorer screen. Then right-click the folder or file again and select Properties again.
Now click the Security tab again, but instead of clicking Advanced, you need to click the Edit button.
Now click on the username in the list for which you want to change permissions, which should be the same as the username you changed the current owner for. If the username is not in the list, click Add, enter the name and click OK.
Since I changed the current owner to Administrators, I clicked Administrators here and then checked the box next to Full Control. All other checkboxes will be checked.
Click OK once and then click OK again to return to Windows Explorer. You can now delete these files without any UAC messages telling you you can’t! It’s quite a lot of steps, but it works. Enjoy!