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How Inheritance Affects File and Folder Permissions

Updated: September 13, 2009

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

How Inheritance Affects File and Folder Permissions

After you set permissions on a parent folder, new files and subfolders that are created in the folder inherit these permissions. If you do not want them to inherit permissions, select This folder only in the Apply onto box when you set up special permissions for the parent folder. Special permissions are accessible through the Permissions tab. In cases where you want to prevent only certain files or subfolders from inheriting permissions, right-click the file or subfolder, click Properties, click the Security tab, click Advanced, and then clear the Include inheritable permissions from this object's parent. check box.

If the Allow or Deny check boxes associated with each permission appear shaded, the file or folder has inherited permissions from the parent folder. There are three ways to make changes to inherited permissions:

  • Select the opposite permission (Allow or Deny) to override the inherited permission.

  • Clear the Include inheritable permissions from this object's parent. check box. You can then make changes to the permissions or remove the user or group from the permissions list. However, the file or folder will no longer inherit permissions from the parent folder.

  • Make the changes to the parent folder, and then the file or folder will inherit these permissions.

In most cases, Deny overrides Allow unless a folder is inheriting conflicting settings from different parents. In that case, the setting inherited from the parent closest to the object in the subtree will have precedence.

Only inheritable permissions are inherited by child objects. When setting permissions on the parent object, you can decide whether folders or subfolders can inherit them with the Apply onto box from the Permissions tab of the Advanced Security Settings for <object> dialog box.

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