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

Earlier today, when trying to run an executable on a Windows 2003 server, where my account is part of the Administrators group, I received the error “Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file.  You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item.”

Weird. Checked the file permissions, file ownership and for some reason this issue seemed vaguely familiar.

Turns out that in order to execute the file you have to do the following:

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Click on Tools
  3. Click on Internet Options
  4. Select Internet and click Custom Level
  5. In the Miscellaneous section, set the ‘Launching applications and unsafe files’ to Prompt (recommended) as shown in the screen shot below:
Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file.  You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item.

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

Posting it here in an attempt to save an hour of my time or yours in the future.

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


  1. Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Call to undefined function ereg_replace() in /nfs/c05/h01/mnt/26092/domains/leonelson.com/html/wp-content/themes/currents/includes/theme-comments.php:65 Stack trace: #0 /nfs/c05/h01/mnt/26092/domains/leonelson.com/html/wp-content/themes/currents/includes/theme-comments.php(19): the_commenter_link() #1 /nfs/c05/h01/mnt/26092/domains/leonelson.com/html/wp-includes/class-walker-comment.php(180): custom_comment(Object(WP_Comment), Array, 1) #2 /nfs/c05/h01/mnt/26092/domains/leonelson.com/html/wp-includes/class-wp-walker.php(146): Walker_Comment->start_el('', Object(WP_Comment), 1, Array) #3 /nfs/c05/h01/mnt/26092/domains/leonelson.com/html/wp-includes/class-walker-comment.php(140): Walker->display_element(Object(WP_Comment), Array, 1, 0, Array, '') #4 /nfs/c05/h01/mnt/26092/domains/leonelson.com/html/wp-includes/class-wp-walker.php(322): Walker_Comment->display_element(Object(WP_Comment), Array, 1, 0, Array, '') #5 /nfs/c05/h01/mnt/26092/domains/leonelson.com/html/wp-includes/comment-template.php( in /nfs/c05/h01/mnt/26092/domains/leonelson.com/html/wp-content/themes/currents/includes/theme-comments.php on line 65