Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2


Every object has an owner, whether in an NTFS volume or Active Directory. The owner controls how permissions are set on the object and to whom permissions are granted.


  • An administrator who needs to repair or change permissions on a file must begin by taking ownership of the file.

By default, in the Windows ServerĀ 2003 family, the owner is the Administrators group. The owner can always change permissions on an object, even when denied all access to the object.

Ownership can be taken by:

  • An administrator. By default, the Administrators group is given the Take ownership of files or other objects user right.

  • Anyone or any group who has the Take ownership permission on the object in question.

  • A user who has the Restore files and directories privilege.

Ownership can be transferred in the following ways:

  • The current owner can grant the Take ownership permission to another user, allowing that user to take ownership at any time. The user must actually take ownership to complete the transfer.

  • An administrator can take ownership.

  • A user who has the Restore files and directories privilege can double-click Other users and groups and choose any user or group to assign ownership to.

For more information, see Take ownership of a file or folder and Restore files and directories.