Setting the Security tab Free
Can't seem to find the Security tab in order to set NTFS permissions in Windows XP? Not all is as it appears.
I'm trying set up file sharing in a workgroup that consists
of 10 computers running Windows XP Professional. I'm trying to set up shares
on one system and give some users write access to the shares, while giving other
users read access to the shares. I'd like to set both Share and NTFS permissions,
but can't seem to find the Security tab in order to set the NTFS permissions.
Is there a new way to set the NTFS permissions in Windows XP Professional?
Tony: Your question was actually originally answered by Mr. Miyagi
in the first Karate
Kid movie. In the movie he stated "Not everything is as seem."
In Windows XP Professional configured in a workgroup environment, the Security
tab is available when you access the properties of a file or folder, only you
just won't see it.
If you want to see the Security tab, you need to tell Windows to show it to
you. To do so, follow these steps:
- Go to Windows Explorer, and then click on the Tools menu and select Folder
- Click on the View tab and then scroll down to the bottom of the Advanced
Settings portion of the Folder Options dialog box.
- Clear the "Use Simple File Sharing" checkbox and click OK.
Of course, NTFS permissions are only visible on NTFS volumes, so if your volume
is formatted as FAT, you still won't see the Security tab.
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For those of you out there with XP Home workgroups, you may find that you're
not even seeing the "Use Simple File Sharing" checkbox. This is because
with XP Home the Security tab cannot be displayed for logged on users by default.
This is also attributed to the influence of Mr. Miyagi. When asked by Microsoft
about what to do with security and XP Home, Miyagi offered "If whole life
have balance, everything will be better." So to balance XP Home with XP
Pro, it was thought that no access to the Security tab for normal XP Home users
would create that balance.
OK, well maybe Miyagi didn't have as much to do with XP as I'm giving him credit
for, but it is true that, by default, logged on users will not see a Security
tab, even on NTFS volumes. However, you do have a couple of options to bring
the Security tab to life with XP Home.
The first option is to reboot into Safe Mode. In Safe Mode, you'll see the
Administrator account displayed in the logon screen. If you logon as Administrator
you will then be able to access the Security tab under a file or folder object's
properties in Windows Explorer. If you want to make the tab available for all
user's all the time, Gilles Pion described an excellent method to do this at
Note that in a domain environment, the Security tab is visible when logging
onto XP Professional workstations joined to the domain. If you want to hide
it from users, you can do so using a Group Policy Object. Here's how you would
create a new GPO that would prevent users from viewing the Security tab for
all file systems:
- To edit an existing GPO, open the GPO that applies to the users you wish
to deny Security tab access to and skip to Step 7. If you want to create a
new GPO to deny access to the Security tab, go to Step 2.
- Click Start, Administrative Tools, Active Directory Users and Computers.
- Right click on the object that you want to link the new GPO to (domain,
OU, etc.), and select Properties.
- In the Properties dialog box, click the Group Policy tab and then click
the New button.
- Enter a name for the new GPO and hit Enter.
- With the new GPO highlighted, click the Edit button.
- With the GPO open, navigate to User Configuration, Administrative Templates,
- Now double-click on the Remove Security Tab setting. In the setting properties
dialog box, click Enabled and then click OK.
- Close the Group Policy Object Editor.
- In the Domain or OU properties dialog box that should be currently displayed,
click the Properties button. This will allow you to set the permissions for
- Verify that the user groups that should not see the Security tab in Windows
Explorer have both Read and Apply Group Policy permissions for the GPO.
I know, your situation involved just an XP Professional workgroup, but I thought
that describing how to change the default domain behavior was important too.
[Chris Wolf has just released Virtualization:
From the Desktop to the Enterprise (Apress) and also welcomes your virtualization
questions for this column. —Editors]