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How to Fix “The File Cannot Be Accessed by the System” Windows 10

How to Fix “The File Cannot Be Accessed by the System” Windows 10
How to Fix “The File Cannot Be Accessed by the System” Windows 10

How to Fix “The File Cannot Be Accessed by the System” Windows 10

The “Error 0x80070780: The file cannot be accessed by the system,” is one of the most annoying errors Windows users may encounter unexpectedly. Although, there can be various reasons you may encounter this error.

In this guide, we will discuss the possible causes of the “The file cannot be accessed by the system” and how to fix it.

What is “The File Cannot Be Accessed by the System”?

The “Error 0x80070780: The file cannot be accessed by the system,” mainly occurs when you try to access certain files on your local or external USB drives. The appearance of the error means you cannot edit, copy, modify or even delete that file.

“Error 0x80070780: The file cannot be accessed by the system” is a system generated error. As we store thousands of the files on our drives. And even external drives like hard drives, SD cards, USB flash drives and many others.

However, sometimes, we won’t be able to access them due to certain reasons such as file permissions, corrupted files, bad sectors and many such. This triggers the error and prevents users from performing any action on that particular file or folder.

“Error 0x80070780_ The file cannot be accessed by the system" pop-ups
“Error 0x80070780_ The file cannot be accessed by the system” pop-ups

What causes “The File Cannot Be Accessed by the System” Error?

“Error 0x80070780: The file cannot be accessed by the system” can possibly occur due to the following reasons:

  • File permissions;
  • System File is corrupted or is unreadable;
  • Windows File Backup service is Disabled;
  • Hard disk errors;
  • Bad sectors;
  • Virus/malware Infection;
  • External drive is corrupted; and many such

As mentioned above, the error can occur when you are trying to perform certain actions on the file/folder;

  • Opening the file;
  • Copying/renaming the file
  • Deleting the file;
  • Modifying the system;
  • Creating back-ups of data;
  • During the system restore process.

Depending upon the above scenarios, here is the detailed guide on how to fix “The file cannot be accessed by the system” error in windows 10.

How to fix “Error 0x80070780: The file cannot be accessed by the system”?

Note: Before performing the below steps, it is advised to make a backup of your files. If you have lost your file or not sure which file to backup, then take the help of the professional data recovery tool.

Scenario 1:

If the system file is corrupted, you may encounter Error 0x80070780. This is the most common issue. The system files always maintain a hierarchy, somehow, if any of its component gets damaged or corrupted due to various possible reasons.  Then you may not able to access, copy or perform any other action to that. In such a case, here is the solution:

Solution 1: Repair the corrupted system file via command prompt

This can be the most common reason, you will be getting the “The file cannot be accessed by the system” that your system file is corrupted. So, you need to repair the corrupted file in order to successfully access it.

Follow the below steps to perform file repair using Command Prompt

  • Open the command prompt window (Administrative Mode); To do so, in the taskbar type “command prompt”. And on right menu, click on “Run As Administrator”;
  • Click on “yes” to the user control window.

    Repair the corrupted system file via command prompt
    Repair the corrupted system file via command prompt
  • On the cmd window, type “sfc /scannow”, and press Enter button;
  • Once you do so, the command will start executing to locate the corrupted system file. If found, the command will repair/replace corrupted versions with new Microsoft versions.

Once the process is completed, close the window, and try to do your action again. If you again get the same error, then, it is advisable to run a file recovery software to check and restore the corrupted file.

Scenario 2:

If the error encounter due to Hard disk errors or bad sectors in hard drive can lead to “Error 0x80070780: The file cannot be accessed by the system”;

Solution 2: Run Disk CheckUP Tool

To check this and fix, there is an inbuilt Windows utility known as Disk checking tool that can run using the CHKDSK command via CMD

If the above solution does not work for you, it means there are possibly other cases to check for. Like if the hard drive has issues or there are bad sector causing the “The file cannot be accessed by the system” error.

To do so, you need to follow the below steps:

  • Open the command prompt window (Admin Mode)
  • Run the drive errors like for D drive “chkdsk D: /f /r /x“, and press Enter.
  • Once finished, reboot your system.

Similarly, you can check for other drives to find the errors.

Scenario 3:

When the Error appears while trying to perform a system restore. Often times, the system Restore or Shadow volume copies can raise such errors. As they clog up lots of data and restore points. So, you can try clearing up the unnecessary restore points using Disk Cleanup utility.

Solution 3: Clean the System Restore and shadow volume copies data using Disk Cleanup utility

To do a Disk Clean up for System Restore points and Shadow Volume copies, follow the steps: 

  1. On the taskbar, just type “Disk Clean up“, and choose “Run as Administrator“;
  2. The disk clean up utility will calculate the data nd space for C drive and open up the utility for more actions;

    Disk Clean up for System Restore points and Shadow Volume copies
    Disk Clean up for System Restore points and Shadow Volume copies
  3. Under the Disk Clean Up utility, click on the “More Options” Tab;
  4. On “System Restore and Shadow Copies” section, Choose “CleanUp“;
  5. A pop-up window appears asking to confirm the deletion; Click on “Delete“;
  6. Once the utility finishes the deletion process. Restart your Windows 10 to check if Error 0x80070780 still appears.

Scenario 4:

Oftentimes, the system bootup process takes a lot of time due to lots of process and third-party applications that enabled at start up. This can also raise “Error 0x80070780: The file cannot be accessed by the system“. Thus, to ease the boot up perform a Clean Boot that helps enabling/disabling the start up process.

Solution 4: Performing Clean Boot in Windows OS

  • Type “msconfig” in the search bar and press Enter. This will open the system configuration windows, choose (Run as administrator)
  • On the General tab, Choose “Selective startup“;

    Clean Boot in windows 10
    Clean Boot in windows 10
  • Now, switch to “Services” tab and check the box below that showing “Hide all Microsoft services”.
  • Click on the “Disable all”.
  • Now, go to “Start up” section, which will ask you to open the “Task manager”
  • Open Task Manager window;
  • Now, switch to “Start Up” Tab; you can see a list of applications that are impacting the boot process of Windows. Disable such apps.

    disable startup applications
    disable startup applications
  • Now, click on “OK”
  • Restart your system, if prompted.

Scenario 5:

If the system is infected with some virus or hidden malware

Solution 5: Run Anti-malware scan to detect and remove any malware from the system

In this case, the malicious programs hinders the performance of the system as well as restricts users from accessing or modifying system files on their PC.

So, you should use an anti-malware tool to detect and remove threats like Trojan.win32/wacatac, Agent Tesla, Hacktool:win32/keygen, HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS and many such.

Here are the few recommendations like HitmanPro, SpyHunter, Malwarebytes which can successfully detect such harmful programs and remove them efficiently. Visit the links for review and installation guide.

All of the above, there is one perfect solution, that can help you restore your file and eventually fix the “Error 0x80070780: The file cannot be accessed by the system”.

Solution 6: Recover Files From Drive Using Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Windows

The best possible solution to fix “Error 0x80070780: The file cannot be accessed by the system” is wiping out the corrupted or damaged drive and recover the files. This step will not only ensure the smooth functioning of the drive, but also help you to fix the error.

As the faulty drive may not allow you to format the drive manually. So, the best way to do it like a professional by using a wiper tool. We recommend BitRaser File Eraser, which is better known to safely and securely erase all all data from the drive local or external without any error.

By formatting the drive either way you will lose your data, if not having a backup. So, don’t worry, you can still recover them using the Data Recovery Professional Tool. The recovery steps are guided below. 

But before that, you should backup your data to a safer location. However, in case the again the error may not allow you do so. But don’t worry, after formatting still you can recover your data and restore your Windows OS in normal start.

After, you run the BitRaser File Eraser, your drive will be completely new and now, you can use the Data Recovery Professional tool to recover your data. 

File Recovery From Formatted Drive

  1. Click to Download the Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Windows;
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to install it;
  3. Once the software launches, select the  data type or simply choose “all data“;

    Data recovery from formatted drive
    Data recovery from formatted drive
  4. Next, choose the drive from where you want to recover the files/data;
  5. After that, click on Scan. Once scan finishes, it show preview of all the data can be recovered;
  6. Select the files, you want to recover

    Data recovery from formatted drive 2
    Data recovery from formatted drive 2
  7. Next, click on Recover. Choose the location where you want to restore the files.

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