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Introduction

On NTFS volumes, you can set security permissions on files and folders. These permissions grant or deny access to the files and folders. You can view security permissions for files and folders by completing the following steps:

  1. In Windows Explorer, right-click the file or folder you want to work with.

  2. From the pop-up menu, select Properties, and then in the Properties dialogue box click the Security tab.

  3. In the Name list box, select the user, contact, computer, or group whose permissions you want to view. If the permissions are dimmed, it means the permissions are inherited from a parent object.

Understanding File and Folder Permissions

The basic permissions you can assign to files and folders are summarised in Table 1. File permissions include Full Control, Modify, Read & Execute, Read, and Write. Folder permissions include Full Control, Modify, Read & Execute, List Folder Contents, Read, and Write.

Any time you work with file and folder permissions, you should keep the following in mind:

  • Read is the only permission needed to run scripts. Execute permission doesn't matter.

  • Read access is required to access a shortcut and its target.

  • Giving a user permission to write to a file but not to delete it doesn't prevent the user from deleting the file's contents. A user can still delete the contents.

  • If a user has full control over a folder, the user can delete files in the folder regardless of the permission on the files.

     

    Table 1 File and Folder Permissions Used by Windows

    Permission

    Meaning for Folders

    Meaning for Files

    Read

    Permits viewing and listing of files and sub-folders

    Permits viewing or accessing of the file's contents

    Write

    Permits adding of files and sub-folders

    Permits writing to a file

    Read & Execute

    Permits viewing and listing of files and sub-folders as well as executing of files; inherited by files and folders

    Permits viewing and accessing of the file's contents as well as executing of the file

    List Folder Contents

    Permits viewing and listing of files and sub-folders as well as executing of files; inherited by folders only

    N/A

    Modify

    Permits reading and writing of files and sub-folders; allows deletion of the folder

    Permits reading and writing of the file; allows deletion of the file

    Full Control

    Permits reading, writing, changing, and deleting of files and sub-folders

    Permits reading, writing, changing and deleting of the file

     

     

  • If no access is specifically granted or denied, the user is denied access.

     

Further Reading