I set the same ACL with the GUI and with
icacls, yet the results are different
A customer found that if they used the GUI and the
icacls program to deny Delete permission to a folder, the results were different, even though the resulting ACLs are the same.
Create a user, say, Bob, and create a folder, say,
With the GUI
- Right-click the folder and select Properties.
- Go the Security tab, click Advanced.
- Click the Add button to add a new ACE.
- Select Bob as the Principal.
- Set the Type to Deny.
- Click Show advanced permissions.
- Check Delete and uncheck everything else.
- Click OK a bunch of times to save the changes.
- From a command prompt, type
icacls C:\test /deny Bob:D
If you followed the GUI steps, then Bob can open the directory in Explorer. On the other hand, if you followed the
icacls steps, then Bob cannot open the directory in Explorer.
In both cases, running
icacls to view the permissions report the same results:
C:\> icacls c:\test test THISPC\Bob:(DENY)(D) BUILTIN\Administrators:(I)(OI)(CI)(F) NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM:(I)(OI)(CI)(F) BUILTIN\Users:(I)(OI)(CI)(RX) NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users:(I)(M) NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users:(I)(OI)(CI)(IO)(M)
How is it possible that the permissions are identical, yet the results are different depending on how you set the permissions?
The problem is that your tools are lying to you. The Deny ACE on the directory is not what
If you change the security with the GUI, then the Deny ACE is
DELETE. But if you change it with the
icacls program, then the Deny ACE is is
DELETE | SYNCHRONIZE.
icacls program is lying when it says that it denied Delete (D) permission. It actually denied both Delete and Synchronize.
And then on top of that, the
icacls program is lying when it says that the actual ACE is a Deny D. It’s hiding the denied
And it’s that denied
SYNCHRONIZE access which is the difference. Explorer cannot open a folder where
SYNCHRONIZE is denied. (And the command prompt cannot
chdir into such a directory either.)
I’m guessing that the
icacls is doing this extra work as a courtesy, but it also makes diagnosing problems more difficult.