how to fix windows cannot access the specified device path or file error
how to fix windows cannot access the specified device path or file error

how to fix windows cannot access the specified device path or file error

How to Fix "Windows Cannot Access the Specified Device Path or File" Error


Greetings, readers!

Have you ever encountered the frustrating "Windows cannot access the specified device path or file" error? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. This common error can be a headache, but fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the causes of this error and provide step-by-step solutions to resolve it. Let’s get started!

Causes of the Error

  1. Inadequate Permissions: The user attempting to access the file or device may not have the necessary permissions to do so.

  2. Malware Infection: Malware can tamper with system files, leading to access issues and triggering this error.

  3. Corrupted Device or File: The device or file in question may be damaged or corrupted, making it inaccessible to Windows.

  4. Registry Issues: Errors in the Windows registry can affect file and device access, resulting in this error.

  5. Hardware Problems: Faulty hardware, such as a failing hard drive or damaged cable, can cause communication issues and trigger this error.

Troubleshooting Solutions

1. Check Permissions

  • Right-click the file or device and select "Properties."
  • Navigate to the "Security" tab.
  • Verify that you have "Read" and "Write" permissions.
  • If not, click "Edit" and grant yourself the necessary permissions.

2. Scan for Malware

  • Run a thorough malware scan using a reputable antivirus software.
  • Quarantine or remove any detected threats.
  • Restart your computer to complete the process.

3. Check Device or File Integrity

  • Use the "sfc /scannow" command in Command Prompt (Admin) to check for system file corruption.
  • If corrupted files are found, the command will attempt to repair them.
  • Check the file or device using third-party diagnostic tools to identify and resolve any damage.

4. Troubleshoot Registry Issues

  • Open the Registry Editor (regedit) by searching for it in the Start menu.
  • Navigate to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorer."
  • Create a new DWORD value named "DevicePaths" if it doesn’t exist.
  • Set its value to 1.
  • Restart your computer to apply the change.

5. Check Hardware

  • Inspect cables and connections for damage.
  • Restart your computer in Safe Mode to diagnose hardware issues.
  • If the error persists, consider replacing faulty components or consulting a hardware technician.

Detailed Troubleshooting Table

Troubleshooting Step Solution
Permission Verification Grant yourself read/write permissions on the file or device.
Malware Scan Run a comprehensive malware scan and quarantine or remove threats.
Device Integrity Check Use system file checker or third-party tools to diagnose and repair damage.
Registry Troubleshooting Create a DevicePaths value in the Windows registry and set its value to 1.
Hardware Inspection Check cables, restart in Safe Mode, and replace faulty components if necessary.


Congratulations, readers! By following these solutions, you should now be able to resolve the "Windows cannot access the specified device path or file" error. If you continue to encounter issues, feel free to check out our other articles on troubleshooting Windows errors and maintaining system health.

Remember to bookmark our website and share our content with friends and colleagues who may benefit from this information. Stay tuned for more tech tips and tutorials!

FAQ about “Windows cannot access the specified device path or file error”

1. What causes this error?

This error occurs when Windows cannot find the file or device you’re trying to access. It can be caused by various reasons, such as:

  • Missing or corrupted files
  • Incorrect file paths
  • Antivirus software blocking access
  • Corrupted or outdated drivers

2. How can I fix this error if the file is missing or corrupted?

Try recovering the file from a backup or using a data recovery tool.

3. What if the file path is incorrect?

Check if the path to the file is correct. Double-click the file to verify its location, or manually navigate to the file’s folder.

4. How can I address antivirus software blocking access?

Check if your antivirus software is blocking access to the file. Disable the antivirus software temporarily or add an exception for the file.

5. What should I do if drivers are corrupted or outdated?

Update or reinstall the drivers for the device associated with the file or device you’re trying to access.

6. Can I use the Command Prompt to fix this error?

Yes, you can run the following commands in the Command Prompt (as administrator):

  • chkdsk /f /r to check and repair disk errors
  • sfc /scannow to scan and repair system files

7. What if I have tried all these methods and the error persists?

Try restarting your computer. If the error still appears, you may need to reinstall Windows or contact a professional for further assistance.

8. Is there a quick fix for this error?

In some cases, restarting Windows or running the "System File Checker" (sfc /scannow) command can resolve the issue.

9. Can I prevent this error from happening again?

Keeping your antivirus software up-to-date, regularly backing up your data, and repairing disk errors can help prevent this error.

10. Is this error specific to Windows?

No, similar errors can occur in other operating systems as well.