Take ownership of files or other objects


Applies To: Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8

This security policy reference topic for the IT professional describes the best practices, location, values, policy management, and security considerations for this policy setting.


This policy setting determines which users can take ownership of any securable object in the computer, including Active Directory objects, NTFS files and folders, printers, registry keys, services, processes, and threads.

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

By default, the owner is the person who or the process which created the object. Owners can always change permissions to objects, even when they are denied all access to the object.

This policy setting is supported on versions of Windows that are designated in the Applies To list at the beginning of this topic.

Constant: SeTakeOwnershipPrivilege

Possible values

  • User-defined list of accounts

  • Not defined

Best practices

  1. Assigning this user right can be a security risk. Because owners of objects have full control of them, only assign this user right to trusted users.


GPO_name\Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\User Rights Assignment

Default values

By default this setting is Administrators on domain controllers and on stand-alone servers.

The following table lists the actual and effective default policy values for the most recent supported versions of Windows. Default values are also listed on the policy’s property page.

Server type or GPO

Default value

Default Domain Policy

Not defined

Default Domain Controller Policy


Stand-Alone Server Default Settings


Domain Controller Effective Default Settings


Member Server Effective Default Settings


Client Computer Effective Default Settings


Operating system version differences

There are no differences in the way this policy setting works between the supported versions of Windows that are designated in theApplies To list at the beginning of this topic.

Policy management

This section describes features, tools, and guidance to help you manage this policy.

A restart of the computer is not required for this policy setting to be effective.

Any change to the user rights assignment for an account becomes effective the next time the owner of the account logs on.

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 user right on the object.

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

Ownership can be transferred in the following ways:

  • The current owner can grant the Take ownership user right to another user if that user is a member of a group defined in the current owner's access token. The user must take ownership to complete the transfer.

  • An administrator can take ownership.

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

Group Policy

Settings are applied in the following order through a Group Policy Object (GPO), which will overwrite settings on the local computer at the next Group Policy update:

  1. Local policy settings

  2. Site policy settings

  3. Domain policy settings

  4. OU policy settings

When a local setting is greyed out, it indicates that a GPO currently controls that setting.

Security considerations

This section describes how an attacker might exploit a feature or its configuration, how to implement the countermeasure, and the possible negative consequences of countermeasure implementation.


Any users with the Take ownership of files or other objects user right can take control of any object, regardless of the permissions on that object, and then make any changes that they want to make to that object. Such changes could result in exposure of data, corruption of data, or a denial-of-service condition.


Ensure that only the local Administrators group has the Take ownership of files or other objects user right.

Potential impact

None. Restricting the Take ownership of files or other objects user right to the local Administrators group is the default configuration.

See Also

User Rights Assignment