What are Effective Permissions for Files and Folders in Windows

Whenever you create a new file or folder, the Windows operating system will assign it a set of default permissions. These are called as Effective Permissions. The user who creates the file or folder an also change and assign specific permissions to it. This article will discuss in brief what are Effective Permissions for Files and Folders, in Windows and tell you how to view them, for any user or user group.

Effective Permissions for Users and User Groups

As mentioned, Effective Permissions is a set of permissions of the file or folder for any user or user group. To secure the contents of the user, Windows sets some permission for each file or folder objects. It grants users specific user rights, that will allow the user or user group to read, modify, delete, etc the object. The minimum permission is the Read permission.

This chart, sourced from Windows Help, lists the access limitations for each set of the special permissions.

View Effective Permissions for User or User Groups

To view the Effective Permissions for any files or folders, right-click on it and select Properties and click on the Security tab.

Next, click on the Advanced button and then on the Effective Permissions tab.

Now click on Select.

Here, enter the name of a user or user group and click on OK.

All or some of the check boxes will automatically get selected. These will indicate the effective permissions of the particular user or user group for that file or folder.

Check this if you need to troubleshoot File and Folder Permission issues.

Effective Permissions Tool

If you want to find out what permissions a user or group has on an object, you can use the Effective Permissions tool. It calculates the permissions that are granted to the specified user or group. The calculation includes the permissions in effect from group membership and any permissions inherited from the parent object. It looks up all domain and local groups in which the user or group is a member.

  • AccessChk is a command-line tool for viewing the effective permissions on files, registry keys, services, processes, kernel objects, and more. This tool may interest you too.
  • NTFS Permissions Tool lets you Set File and Folder Permissions for System Files. It has a nice UI.
  • Permissions Time Machine will help you remove File Access Denied or Access is Denied error messages.

You can read more on managing file and folder permissions in Windows and Server at TechNet.

You may now want to see how to reset NTFS file permissions in Windows.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.