Microsoft

Tech Tip: Learn guidelines for setting folder and file permissions in NT

When working with files on NTFS partitions, copying or moving the files can change the security permissions, so it's worth your time to be careful. Here are some guidelines.

Windows NT allows administrators to set permissions on files and folders located on NTFS partitions. Administrators usually accomplish this by right-clicking the file or folder in Explorer, selecting Properties, and selecting the Security tab. Clicking the Permissions button opens the Permissions dialog box, which lists all NTFS permissions.

When working with files on NTFS partitions, copying or moving the files can change the security permissions, so it's worth your time to be careful. Keep the following guidelines in mind.

  • When you create a file or folder, it inherits the permissions from its parent folder.
  • When you copy a file or folder to another folder on the same or a different partition, it inherits the NTFS permissions of the destination folder.
  • When you move a file or folder to another folder on the same partition, it preserves all of the NTFS permissions.
  • When you move a file or folder to another folder on a different partition, it inherits the NTFS permissions of the destination folder.
  • When you copy or move a file or folder to a FAT partition, all NTFS permissions are lost.
  • When you copy a file or folder from a FAT partition, it inherits the permissions of the destination folder.

These rules are very straightforward and easy to remember. Just keep in mind that moving a file to another partition actually copies the file to the partition (so the file inherits the permissions of the destination folder) and then deletes the source file.

When applying permissions to a folder, you have two additional options.

  • Replace Permissions On Subdirectories: Selecting this check box propagates all of the permissions on the current folder to all of its child folders (i.e., subfolders).
  • Replace Permissions On Existing Files: Selecting this check box propagates all of the permissions set on the current folder to all of the files in it.

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