The Icacls.exe utility is available for Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2


This article describes the Icacls.exe command-line utility. You can use this utility to modify NTFS file system permissions on a computer that is running Microsoft Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2 (SP2).

Currently, you can use the Xcacls.exe utility, the Cacls.exe utility, and the Xcacls.vbs utility to modify NTFS permissions in Windows Server 2003. The Icacls.exe utility is an alternative option for modifying NTFS permissions. The Icacls.exe utility resolves various issues that occur when you use the existing utilities.

The Icacls.exe utility is included in Windows Vista and in Windows Server 2003 SP2.

More Information

To install the Icacls.exe utility, install the latest service pack for Windows Server 2003. For more information about how to install the latest service pack for Windows Server 2003, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

889100 How to obtain the latest service pack for Windows Server 2003

Syntax for the Icacls.exe utility

To see the following syntax information, type icacls.exe /? at a command prompt.
ICACLS name /save aclfile [/T] [/C]
store the acls for all matching names into aclfile for
later use with /restore.

ICACLS directory [/substitute SidOld SidNew [...]] /restore aclfile [/C]
applies the stored acls to files in directory.

ICACLS name /setowner user [/T] [/C]
changes the owner of all matching names.

ICACLS name /findsid Sid [/T] [/C]
finds all matching names that contain an ACL
explicitly mentioning Sid.

ICACLS name /verify [/T] [/C]
finds all files whose ACL is not in canonical form or whose
lengths are inconsistent with ACE counts.

ICACLS name /resize [/T] [/C] [/L]
changes incorrect recorded lengths of ACLs to true lengths.

ICACLS name /reset [/T] [/C]
replaces acls with default inherited acls for all matching files.

ICACLS name [/grant[:r] Sid:perm[...]]
[/deny Sid:perm [...]]
[/remove[:g|:d]] Sid[...]] [/T] [/C]

/grant[:r] Sid:perm grants the specified user access rights. With :r,
the permissions replace any previously granted explicit permissions.
Without :r, the permissions are added to any previously granted
explicit permissions.

/deny Sid:perm explicitly denies the specified user access rights.
An explicit deny ACE is added for the stated permissions and
the same permissions in any explicit grant are removed.

/remove[:[g|d]] Sid removes all occurrences of Sid in the acl. With
:g, it removes all occurrences of granted rights to that Sid. With
:d, it removes all occurrences of denied rights to that Sid.

Sids may be in either numeric or friendly name form. If a numeric
form is given, affix a * to the start of the SID.

/T indicates that this operation is performed on all matching
files/directories below the directories specified in the name.

/C indicates that this operation will continue on all file errors.
Error messages will still be displayed.

ICACLS preserves the canonical ordering of ACE entries:
Explicit denials
Explicit grants
Inherited denials
Inherited grants

perm is a permission mask and can be specified in one of two forms:
a sequence of simple rights:
F - full access
M - modify access
RX - read and execute access
R - read-only access
W - write-only access
a comma-separated list in parentheses of specific rights:
D - delete
RC - read control
WDAC - write DAC
WO - write owner
S - synchronize
AS - access system security
MA - maximum allowed
GR - generic read
GW - generic write
GE - generic execute
GA - generic all
RD - read data/list directory
WD - write data/add file
AD - append data/add subdirectory
REA - read extended attributes
WEA - write extended attributes
X - execute/traverse
DC - delete child
RA - read attributes
WA - write attributes
inheritance rights may precede either form and are applied
only to directories:
(OI) - object inherit
(CI) - container inherit
(IO) - inherit only
(NP) - don't propagate inherit


icacls c:\windows\* /save AclFile /T
- Will save the ACLs for all files under c:\windows
and its subdirectories to AclFile.

icacls c:\windows\ /restore AclFile
- Will restore the Acls for every file within
AclFile that exists in c:\windows and its subdirectories

icacls file /grant Administrator:(D,WDAC)
- Will grant the user Administrator Delete and Write DAC
permissions to file

icacls file /grant *S-1-1-0:(D,WDAC)
- Will grant the user defined by sid S-1-1-0 Delete and
Write DAC permissions to file

Other available utilities to modify NTFS permissions

For more information about other utilities that you can use to modify NTFS permissions, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

318754 How to use Xcacls.exe to modify NTFS permissions

135268 How to use Cacls.exe in a batch file

825751 How to use Xcacls.vbs to modify NTFS permissions


Article ID: 919240 - Last Review: Oct 9, 2011 - Revision: 1