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Is there a way to list all the permissions a user has for all the files and directories in Windows?

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There isn't a very clean way way of doing this. Your best bet will probably be to use AccessEnum from the Microsoft Sysinternals Team.

You can point the program at a location on your machine (eg. C:) and it will show you all the permissions for all files and folders. You could then dump this to a CSV and analyse in Excel.


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Thanks a lot, does it also show the inherited permissions? Obviously I don't want it to show the inherited permissions otherwise the list can be too long! – Mee Oct 23 '09 at 21:36
The list is going to be as large as the directory structure you're going to search. There is an option to "Display files with permissions that differ from parent" so this will only show you sub files/folders with differing permissions. So yes :) – Izzy Oct 23 '09 at 21:41
I was hoping for something that lists all the permissions for a specific user. I ran it for a few seconds but the list gets large so quickly. I was planning to make it list the permissions for all files but I don't think this will be possible with this tool. Thanks for your help anyway. – Mee Oct 23 '09 at 21:46

There's a third party tool called Enterprise Permission Reporter that I use that's pretty easy to use and the output is fairly contained so you don't have pages and pages to sift through. It displays the permissions per folder, per user (so to speak). It might not be as comprehensive as you need but you can give it a try. The demo version is limited to 25 directories, but it should give you a feel for whether or not it gives you what you need.

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Looks like what I want, but I want to list all the permissions for the user with no limits. It's quite pricey though, esp. considering the reason I want to list all the permissions for a user in the first place. I just want to find out where SMTP settings are saved in Windows 2008 and thought I could check the permissions granted to the NetworkService user to find out and give the same permissions to my custom user. Please see my question… to understand what I'm talking about. – Mee Oct 23 '09 at 23:28

There's a script to enumerate ACLs here, but I haven't tested it personally.

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There is a program I found that is nicer and free. NTFS Permissions Reporter by CJWDEV [ ] The free edition is limited in output of type files, but you can export to HTML and then import the HTML file into Excel for manipulation. I have the program to be useful. -Ron Maagero PS. I understand the question was asked in 2009, but I figured an updated/different wouldn't hurt.

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Are you affiliated with the authors of the program? – Deer Hunter Jul 1 '14 at 13:31

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