How to Deny or Allow access to Downloads folder on this device

Windows 10 Privacy Settings offer File System settings, which makes sure that unless allowed, Apps will not be able to access the File System, and user folders such as Documents, Pictures, videos, and local OneDrive Files. Some apps need access to File System to work as intended. In this post, we will show how you can deny or allow access to the Downloads folder.

Deny or Allow access to the Downloads folder on this device

All the users in Windows have access to their personal folders, but applications must request this access, and you can choose to allow or deny the request. When apps get the same permission as their users, it will allow them to manage files and folders inside them.  If you give app permission but change your mind later, then it is possible to turn off the access to File System.

In the earlier version of Windows, there was a dedicated setting for the Downloads folder along with Documents, Pictures, Videos. It has changed, and if you want to deny or allow access to the downloads folder, you will have to manage it through the File System.

Deny Allow Access Downloads Folder

To allow or block file system access for a specific app and service

  1. Open Windows Settings (Win + I)
  2. Navigate to  Privacy > File system.
  3. Click on the Change button, and toggle on the File system access for the device.
  4. Next, under Allow Apps to access your file system, turn on app access.
  5. Lastly, choose which apps can access your file system.

You can choose the individual apps and services for which you want to allow or block file system access and change the settings to On or Off.

To deny file system access for most apps.

Go back to the File System section. To completely turn off the access, Toggle off the global settings, but if you want to turn off individually, you can choose to do it on a per-app basis.

Why some apps and software do not appear in the file system access privacy settings?

Any app which is installed from outside the Microsoft Store will not appear on the list. If you download a program from the internet or install it from USB  or DVD, then it will not be visible here. They are also not affected by the Allow apps access your file system setting.

Note: If you are trying to configure this on a device that is connected with your workaround, you may not be able to manage it. You’ll see a message telling you that “Some settings are managed by your organization” at the top of the File system settings page.

None of the apps can save files in the Downloads Folder?

If you are wondering if the same can be applied to other programs, then here is the problem. Applications run using the same permission of the User. So it will be impossible to control anything outside Microsoft Store to deny or allow access to a specific folder. However, if you are not able to save anything into the downloads folder, it can be because of the permission access to the folder. Here is how to check and fix it.

Folder Permission for Downloads Folder in Windows 10

Right-click on the Downloads folder, and select Properties. Switch to the Security tab, and select the user account or system account. As you switch between the users, it will reveal the permission for that User. If the Write permission to the folder is set to deny, then you need to make it allow.

  • Select the User, and then click on Edit button
  • In the Permissions window, select the User again, and then uncheck the box next to Write under Deny Column.
  • Click on the Apply button, and then click on the Ok button.

Now, if you or any application writes into the folder, it should not have an issue with it.

I hope the post was able to clarify why you may have an issue with writing or saving files into the Downloads folder, and you were able to allow or deny access to the Downloads folder on this device

Deny or Allow access to Downloads folder on this device

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Jacob MORRIS

MORRIS is an impassioned technology writer. He always inspires technologists with his innovative thinking and practical approach. A go-to personality for every Technical problem, no doubt, the chief problem-solver!

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