Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have copied a which has Everyone permission. The duplicated file doesn't have these permissions other than the default permission. I'd like to know more about how Windows Copy defines the ACLs. It would be helpful if you can provide some authentic information in this regard.

enter image description here

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Copy and Paste doesn't copy file permissions. It's that simple!

So, where does it get the file permissions from? Even simpler - the parent directory. You'll note that in your image on the right the ticks are are greyed out - that means those particular permissions are "Inherited". This will be the same for all permissions on that file.

Conversely, the file on the left has black ticks for the "Everyon" group, meaning that the "Everyone" permissions was applied manually to that file and does not necessarily apply to the parent directory.

This is why, even though both files are in the same directory, they have different permissions.

You can use Robocopy if you wish to retain permissions when copying files.

One related exception is that it WILL retain custom permissions if you move a file around on the same volume.

See KB310316 - How permissions are handled when you copy and move files and folders

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.