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You might have encountered the error ‘The requested operation requires elevation’ when trying to open a file from an external hard drive. This message may be annoying because you are used to accessing information from files the first time you open a folder.

Your frustration may be caused by the fact that you do not know how to resolve this error. In this article, you will be equipped with the necessary skills in how to resolve “the requested operation requires elevation” error on Windows 10.

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What Does “The Requested Operation Requires Elevation” Error Mean?

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“The requested operation requires elevation” error message indicates that you can only get access or take possession of the file/folder by getting elevated permission from a local administrator.

One fix to the problem is to change the ownership of the drive. However, there are several causes that produce this error. Therefore, the cause determines the solution.

Before we look at how to resolve the issue, let us take a look at some of the causes to this error.

What Can Cause “The Requested Operation Requires Elevation” Error?

Windows introduced two features in later versions of the Operating System releases. The User Account Control and the Super Administrator hidden account were designed for the purposes of maintaining tight security. The presence of the Super Admin account means that all other accounts are treated as regular accounts. 

With these upgrades what will happen is that every time you open a file or program that requires administrative rights and that file or program existed under your previous admin account, the error message will come up.

This is a solid security enhancement feature as it prevents other users with regular accounts to have access that allow them to perform tasks that may harm the entire computer system. 

However, this feature may be irritating for you, as the owner of the computer, because you will not be able to perform certain tasks as the upgrade actually downgraded your full administrative rights.

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How To Fix “The Requested Operation Requires Elevation” Error

Luckily, there are several solutions you can implement to regain your full administrative rights on your computer to resolve the issue.

  1. Run Your Program As An Administrator

The error you are experiencing could be fixed by opening the program as an administrator. Set the application to ask for Administrator permission every time by following these steps:

  • First, locate the application you want to run and right-click on it.
  • From the context menu, go to and click on Properties.
  • Another screen will pop up. Click on the Compatibility tab to open the next screen.
  • From the compatibility screen, check the box next to Run this program as an administrator. A tick will appear in the checkbox.
  • Click on Apply then OK, both are buttons located at the bottom of the screen.
  • Restart your computer to save the changes. Try running the application once more to see if the problem is still there.

If the problem is still there, please try the next solution.

  1. Turn Off The UAC

It is likely that your account does not meet the set requirements by the UAC to access the utility. UAC ensures that you can only access an application if you are granted permission rights to use it.

Only specific users are granted administrative rights to protect the system from any malware. So to address this situation, try disabling the UAC if you have encountered this error using this procedure:

  • In the search field in your Task Bar, type UAC. (If the search bar is not visible, right-click the Start button and select Search).
  • From the search results, locate and click on Change User Account Control Settings.
  • In the UAC window, you will see a blue slider that reads ‘Always Notify’ on one end of the slider and ‘Never Notify’ on the other end.
  • Move the slider all the way down to the ‘Never Notify’.
  • Then, click on the OK button located at the bottom of the User Account Control Settings window.
  • If User Account Control prompts you, click the Yes button.
  • Restart your computer for the changes you have made to take effect.

You can now check if you can access the files from your external drive. If the problem persists, then go ahead and proceed with the next option.

  1. Change Security Options In The Group Policy Editor

Another way to resolve “The requested operation requires elevation” error is by disabling “Elevate without prompting” in the Group Policy Editor

Follow the guidelines below to change the security options:

  • Press Windows + R to open the Run dialogue box.
  • Here, typegpedit.msc and press Enter. Local Group Policy Editor will be opened.
  • Follow the path shown below to navigate to Security Options.
  • Configuration > Windows Settings> Security Settings>Local Policies>Security Options Double click on Security Options to open the folder. 
  • Next, in the Security Options folder, navigate down to locate User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators in Admin Approval Mode.
  • Double click on the folder to open its settings.
  • Make sure you are at the Local Security Setting tab. 
  • Here, click on the drop-down menu and choose the Elevate without prompting option.
  • Next, click Apply and then OK buttons located at the bottom of the screen. 
  • Restart your computer for the changes made to take effect.

Try to access the files on the external drive to check whether the error has been fixed. In the unlikely event that the error persists, don’t give up, we have another solution that you can try.

  1. Change Drive Ownership
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This solution is applicable in cases where you get the error while trying to access files located in your external hard drive. In this method, you will change the ownership of the drive to be rid of the problem.

Follow the steps below to change the ownership of a drive:

  • Log in to your computer using your administrator account.
  • Next, navigate to your external hard drive. You can locate it from the My Computer section.
  • After you locate it, right-click on the external hard drive and click on Properties from the context menu.
  • In the Properties section, navigate to the Security tab and click Advanced.
  • Then, click on the Owner tab and select Edit.
  • From the Owner window, you can select the account you want to set as the owner of the drive.
  • To get ownership of the drive, select the Administrator account.
  • Once you are done, check the box next to the Replace owner on subcontainers and objects option.
  • Finally, click Apply then OK buttons to save the changes.
  • You can also reboot your computer.

After applying the solution mentioned above, you should be able to access the files in your hard drive without any difficulty.

Luckily, “the requested operation requires elevation” error message is not a severe threat to your computer system. When it appears it means you need administrator rights to open a file or run a program.

Now you can solve the issues whenever you encounter it by using any of the solutions mentioned above. They are simple to follow and do not require advanced computer knowledge.

But, if you encounter any difficulty due to limited computer knowledge, it would be best if you sought the help of a more knowledgeable person.

Lastly, ensure your computer stays safe from any malware attacks by having an updated antivirus application from a reputable vendor.