The ‘A required privilege is not held by the client’ error message in Windows can appear when you attempt to perform a task that requires elevated privileges. This includes saving new files, moving existing ones, installing applications or programs, and more. If you’re encountering this error and unsure what to do, this guide can help.
This error can occur for various reasons, such as inadequate permission, strict security policies, or malware. Regardless of the cause, one of the following tips should help you resolve the error on your Windows 10 or 11 PC.
1. Use an Administrator Account
In most cases, the ‘A required privilege is not held by the client’ error occurs due to a lack of necessary permissions. Hence, the first thing you should do is verify that your user account has administrative privileges and then run the program triggering the error as an administrator. To do this, right-click on the app or program and select Run as administrator.
2. Modify Sharing Permissions for the Drive
If you are getting this error when saving or moving files to a specific drive, you can try changing the sharing permissions for that drive. Here are the steps for the same.
Step 1: Press the Windows key + E keyboard shortcut to open File Explorer. Navigate to This PC, right-click on the problematic drive, and select Properties.
Step 2: Switch to the Sharing tab and click the Advanced Sharing button.
Step 3: Select Yes when the User Account Control (UAC) prompt appears.
Step 4: Tick the ‘Share this folder’ checkbox and click the Permissions button.
Step 5: Tick the Full Control checkbox and hit Apply followed by OK.
Restart your PC after this and check if the error pops up again.
3. Take Ownership of the System Drive
At times, the ‘A required privilege is not held by the client’ error may appear at boot or while running an installer on your Windows 10 or 11 PC. If that’s the case, you can try taking ownership of the system drive using these steps:
Step 1: Press the Windows key + E keyboard shortcut to open File Explorer and navigate to This PC. Right-click on the C: drive and select Properties.
Step 2: Go to the Security tab and click on Advanced.
Step 3: Click the Change permissions button.
Step 4: Select Yes when the User Account Control (UAC) prompt appears.
Step 5: Select your account from the list and click Edit.
Step 6: Check the Full control option and click OK.
Step 7: Tick the ‘Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object’ checkbox and hit Apply followed by OK.
Restart your PC to check if you still get the error.
4. Modify the Local Security Policy
Several users on a Microsoft Community post reported fixing this particular error by modifying a security policy. To do this, you need to access the Local Security Policy app, which is available on Windows 11 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.
Note: If you’re using Windows Home, proceed to the Registry Editor method in the following section.
Step 1: Press the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to launch the Run dialog box. Type secpol.msc in the text box and hit OK.
Step 2: When the User Account Control (UAC) prompt appears, select Yes to continue.
Step 3: In the Local Security Policy window, use the left pane to navigate to the following folder.
Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options
Step 4: Double-click the ‘User Account Control: Run all administrators in Admin Approval Mode’ entry in the right pane.
Step 5: Select Disabled and hit Apply.
5. Edit Registry Files
Suppose you don’t have access to the Local Security Policy. So, you can modify a registry entry to apply the changes and resolve the ‘A required privilege is not held by the client’ error. However, since editing registry files can be risky, we recommend that you take a back up all the registry files or create a restore point before proceeding.
Step 1: Click the Windows Search icon on the taskbar to access the search menu. Type regedit in the box and select Run as administrator.
Step 2: Click the Yes button on the User Account Control (UAC) prompt.
Step 3: Copy and paste the following path in the address bar at the top and press Enter.
Step 4: Double-click the EnableLUA entry in the right pane. Enter 0 (zero) in the Value data field and hit OK.
Exit the Registry Editor window and restart your PC to apply the changes.
6. Use the Command Prompt to Copy the File
Do still get the ‘A required privilege is not held by the client’ error only while copying files on your Windows PC? You can Command Prompt to copy and move the file to another location and see if that works.
Step 1: Right-click on the Start icon and select Terminal (Admin) from the list.
Step 2: Select Yes when the User Account Control (UAC) prompt appears.
Step 3: Run the following command to copy a file from one location to another.
copy Source Destination
Replace Source in the above command with the path of the file you want to copy and Destination with the location where you want to copy the file. For instance, if you wanted to copy the Object.pdf file from C:\ drive to D:\ drive, you would enter this command:
copy C:\Object.pdf D:\
7. Scan for Malware
If all else fails, your PC may be infected with malware. To check for this possibility, you can scan your PC for malware using Windows Defender or a third-party antivirus program you trust.
Wait for the scan to finish, and if it finds anything suspicious, take the recommended steps to remove the threat.
Conquer the Privilege Error
Errors like ‘A required privilege is not held by the client’ can sometimes make it difficult to execute basic tasks on your Windows 10 or 11 computer. Hopefully, that is no longer the case, and one of the above tips has helped you fix the error. As always, let us know which of the above tips worked for you in the comments.
Last updated on 26 October, 2023
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