Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Can't edit files in WindowsApps folder

  1. #1


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1

    Can't edit files in WindowsApps folder


    There was a Metro app that I installed that I liked the functionality of but didn't like the fonts for; I knew where the configuration was to change the appearance (a CSS file in the C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\<app name> directory), but when I tried to modify the file, it kept giving me an "Access is denied." error without any extra information.

    I tried changing the ownership of the apps folder to my own account; didn't work. Changed the ownership of that specific file, and all the other files within that folder; still not allowed. I went into the PowerShell as administrator and tried copying or renaming the file; still "Access is denied." and nothing else.

    Is there a way to make this file editable, or is the access blocked on a system level? I just want to change a few fonts around, but if Microsoft is trying to prevent me from doing so in order to protect its walled garden, then I'm afraid I'm going to have to give up on Windows 8. (It was so hopeful, too; I really liked the idea of the Metro interface...)

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  2. #2


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    This should work..

    takeown /F "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps" /A /R

    Careful though. I tried to but found that some apps check the SHA or MD5 (or some such) and will not work at all if you change anything.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1


    That was one of the things I tried; it didn't work. (It might be a new feature in Windows 8.1, I dunno?)

    Also, checking the SHA or MD5 would still allow me to change it back if it didn't work.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    I changed owner to Administrators for the whole folder, and it let me go in. It's a locked system folder. I use 32 bit Windows 8, so it was a little easier.

    Don't know why the "Take Ownership" didnt work.

    Right Click on the folder, "Properties" and "Security" - Then go into Advanced.

    Change the Owner to "AdministratorS" (with an S) - Then go to the permissions and Add your Current User and give yourself FULL access. Then you should be able to manipulate the stuff in there.

    If thats successful, let me know what your doing, I wanna try it. If it is just a font, there may be a config file that defines it.

    Actually I just opened an app, what a mess - It's all java and XML files. Probably HTML5
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by XweAponX View Post
    I changed owner to Administrators for the whole folder, and it let me go in. It's a locked system folder. I use 32 bit Windows 8, so it was a little easier.
    It let me go in, yes, but I can't modify any files. Try opening a file in Notepad, changing something, and saving it. On my computer, it popped up a dialog saying "Access is denied."

    I'm using 64-bit Windows 8.1 on a Surface Pro 2. Maybe that has something to do with it?

    Don't know why the "Take Ownership" didn't work.

    Right Click on the folder, "Properties" and "Security" - Then go into Advanced.

    Change the Owner to "AdministratorS" (with an S) - Then go to the permissions and Add your Current User and give yourself FULL access. Then you should be able to manipulate the stuff in there.
    Oh, I changed the owner to my own user account rather than the Administrators group. I'll try your suggestion.

    If thats successful, let me know what your doing, I wanna try it. If it is just a font, there may be a config file that defines it.

    Actually I just opened an app, what a mess - It's all java and XML files. Probably HTML5
    There is in fact a config file that defines stuff (mainly a CSS file that defined the fonts that I wanted to change, but that I couldn't edit).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    Your right, it can't be edited, at least through Windows 8.

    See my link below, download Hiren's Boot CD, burn it and boot to it, and go into Mini XP. Try it from there.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by XweAponX View Post
    Your right, it can't be edited, at least through Windows 8.

    See my link below, download Hiren's Boot CD, burn it and boot to it, and go into Mini XP. Try it from there.
    Thanks for answering my question. If I have to resort to a live CD/live USB to edit files in the operating system that aren't protected system files, then I'm leaving Windows 8.1 for good.

    I appreciate your help.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    But they *are* protected, that particular folder is heavily protected. Sorry, but I guess they didn't want people to go in there and start futzing around with it, the same way Apple don't like Jailbreak.

    I'll keep looking for another way - I predict, we might be able to get in there if we had a Dial Boot 7-8 system, we could probably edit it from 7. Because 8 aint letting us in no way no how.

    Even the Program Files folder is protected now, even more so in 8.1 from what I could garner from the few days I used it.

    If this is a one-time edit, you should be able to get in there with Hiren's Mini XP, it has a better Notepad program.

    But I don't blame you for wanting to leave 8.1, I use 8 and have no intention of installing 8.1. I;ve survived with XP and 7 and iOS 5.1.1 and 6.1.2, I REFUSE to be forced to update my OSes, be they Desktop OSes or Apple iOSes.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by XweAponX View Post
    But they *are* protected, that particular folder is heavily protected. Sorry, but I guess they didn't want people to go in there and start futzing around with it, the same way Apple don't like Jailbreak.
    Well, I meant that aren't supposed to be protected system folders. If they feel the need to protect things that shouldn't be protected, is basically what I meant.

    I'll keep looking for another way - I predict, we might be able to get in there if we had a Dial Boot 7-8 system, we could probably edit it from 7. Because 8 aint letting us in no way no how.
    Yeah, right now I've bought a laptop with Windows 8 and dual-booted Linux Mint onto it. We'll see how that goes.

    Even the Program Files folder is protected now, even more so in 8.1 from what I could garner from the few days I used it.

    If this is a one-time edit, you should be able to get in there with Hiren's Mini XP, it has a better Notepad program.
    I can probably get in from Linux Mint, which treats the file system as generic NTFS and allows me to futz with stuff in there as root anyway. :P

    But I don't blame you for wanting to leave 8.1, I use 8 and have no intention of installing 8.1. I;ve survived with XP and 7 and iOS 5.1.1 and 6.1.2, I REFUSE to be forced to update my OSes, be they Desktop OSes or Apple iOSes.
    I come from Windows 7 myself straight into Windows 8.1, so I don't know what regular Windows 8 is like.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    I like it a lot more than 8.1. They are not even acknowledging 8 ever existed on the MS website. Basically it is the same as 8, but now they are making Tile Apps that are 8.1 only. I dont like that, but I very rarely use the Start Screen at all. IN fact I have it totally disabled via ex7forW8, which copies the Start Menu from a Windows 7 disk and implants it into 8, while totally shutting OFF the Metro Interface. This I LIKE, and apparently 8.1 is immune to it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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