Q: Unable to access Photos from J: drive with error: "windows can not access" on Windows 10

I am using windows 10.

I have an external HD (drive J) with numerous photo folders.

if I 'call-up' a photo from J and try to 'open' the picture using Photos, I get an access error message - "windows can not access".

What is the fix and or 'work-around'

Original title: windows 10 and the photo feature



Hello Jay,

As you are facing issues with accessing the photos from J: drive, we will help you with this issue.

Provide us additional information to assist you better:

  1. What is the complete error message/ error code of this issue?
  2. Have you made any changes to the operating system prior to this issue?
  3. Does this issue confined only with accessing the photos from the drive?

I suggest you to take permissions for the drive/ folder and check if it helps.

Follow the steps to give permissions to the drive:

  1. Right-click on the folder which you’re unable to access and select Properties.

  2. Click on ‘Security’ tab and under ‘Group or user names’ click on ‘Edit’.

  3. Click on ‘Add’ and type ‘Everyone’.

  4. Click on ‘Check names’ and then click ‘OK’.

  5. Select ‘Everyone’ and under ‘Allow’ select ‘Full control’ and click on ‘Apply’ and Click ‘Ok’.

For reference go through the below article:

"Access Denied" or other errors when you access or work with files and folders in Windows

(Applies to Windows 10 as well)


Hope this information helps. Reply to the post with an updated status of the issue to assist you further.

Thank you.

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Sorry this didn't help.





Thank you for your response. I appreciate your time.

I would suggest you to follow the steps mentioned below:


Method 1: Run the SFC.

System File Checker is a utility in Windows that allows users to scan for corruptions in Windows system files and restore corrupted files.

Follow the below steps:

  1. Right click on the Start button, click on Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Type “sfc /scannow” without the quotes and hit Enter.
  3. After the scan, restart the computer and check for the issue.

Method 2: Run the DISM Tool.

If the issue persists, I would have you run the DISM tool to check the system health and will try to restore the files. 

  1. Right click on the Start button, click on Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. In the Administrator: Command Prompt window, type the following commands. Press the Enter key after each command:
  • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth 

  • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

3.  To close the Administrator: Command Prompt window, type Exit, and then press Enter.   

Note: The tool might take 15-20 minutes to finish running, so please do not cancel it.

Hope this information helps.


Please get back to us with an update on the issue, we will be happy to help.

Ankit Rajput

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Question Info

Views: 197 Last updated: May 29, 2018 Applies to: