NTFS special permissions (Windows NT)

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Definition of NTFS Special Permissions (Windows NT) in Network Encyclopedia.

What are NTFS special permissions (Windows NT)?

NTFS Special Permissions are individual permissions granted or denied when NTFS file system standard permissions are not sufficiently granular for specific security purposes.

The special permissions available are the same whether you are securing files or folders, with the exception that when you secure a directory you have the additional option of leaving access unspecified instead of assigning a specific set of special permissions.

NTFS Special Permissions
NTFS Special Permissions

In both cases, six special permissions are available; these are listed in the following table.

NTFS Special Permissions in Windows NT

Special PermissionAbbreviationUser Access When Applied to FilesUser Access When Applied to Folders
readRView file owner and permissionsRead the fileView contents of the folderView folder attributesView folder owner and permissions
writeWView file owner and permissionsModify file attributesEdit the fileAdd files to the folderAdd subfoldersModify folder attributesView folder owner and permissions
executeXView file owner and permissionsModify file attributesRun the executable fileView folder attributesBrowse folder hierarchyView folder owner and permissions
deleteDDelete the fileDelete the folder
change permissionPChange file permissionsChange folder permissions
take ownershipOTake ownership of the fileTake ownership of the folder

How It Works

By selecting different combinations of special permissions, you can create custom sets of permissions for special purposes. In most cases, however, NTFS standard permissions are sufficient for securing files and folders. To use special permissions you must be the object’s owner, have full control of the object, or be a member of the Administrators system group. For information on which sets of special permissions comprise the various standard permissions, see the entry on NTFS permissions (Windows NT).


For a description of the differences between NTFS special permissions for Microsoft Windows NT and for Microsoft Windows 2000, see the entry on NTFS special permissions (Windows 2000).

See also