Windows 10 File Explorer Quick Access sidebar is locked (unable to pin or unpin). Possibly need Registry Editor permissions reset?

Roy G Visuals 0 Reputation points

I am trying to pin/unpin items to my Quick Access sidebar in File Explorer but I'm met with this message:

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

Screenshot 2024-05-16 143939

A while back I intentionally disabled something to prevent programs from automatically changing/updating my Quick Access bar. I believe it was something within the registry editor. I would go back into the registry to unlock if I occasionally needed to change, then re-lock it. Something as simple as toggling or changing a single value within a specific directory. Unfortunately this was years ago and I can't find the directory to regain permissions.

The few things I have tried by looking at forums asked me to edit values within the registry but most attempted changes show an error:

"Cannot edit Attributes. Error writing the value's new contents."

Screenshot 2024-05-16 145322

I am even open to restoring all Quick Access settings to factory default. I'd rather have it unlocked with unwanted pins than not be able to pin anything at all.


Windows 10
Windows 10
A Microsoft operating system that runs on personal computers and tablets.
10,969 questions
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  1. S.Sengupta 16,561 Reputation points MVP
    1. Open the Start menu and search for "File Explorer".
    2. Right-click on "File Explorer" and select "Run as administrator".
    3. Now try pinning the file/folder to the Quick Access sidebar. Running as administrator often provides elevated permissions to make change =============

    Open Command Prompt as Admin and type the following commands followed by Enter key:

    sfc /scannow

    After it's over then:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth


    You may create a New User Account to recheck.

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  2. Ian Xue (Shanghai Wicresoft Co., Ltd.) 32,236 Reputation points Microsoft Vendor

    Hi Roy,

    Thanks for your post. Based on my research, this issue may happen due to system file corruption.

    1. Disable any Antivirus program or Windows firewall you may have for temporary purpose.
    2. Cleanup below Temp folders location -> Open Start -> Run -> Type below location one-by-one and press enter C:\Windows\Temp %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Temp
    3. Run Disk Cleanup from Select C:\ Drive from Properties- > General -> Disk Cleanup - >Cleanup system files
    4. Run sfc /scannow from elevated prompt.
    5. Run below DISM commands from elevated prompt.

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

    Best Regards,

    Ian Xue

    If the Answer is helpful, please click "Accept Answer" and upvote it.

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