Critical Permission Propagation on Windows

We have dived deep into the fathom of this whole users and groups for Windows. Let us now look and get one of the crucial concepts of user and groups and NTFS permissions and especially Inheritance for this topic known as permission propagation.

What is permission propagation?

Permission propagation refers to a sort of permission a file or folder inherits when they are moved into such folders with a NTFS permission set. One of the common things we may think of it is, since we know about inheritance, something that these newly moved files and folders will inherit the same permission. But Windows has different ‘tech’ here. This is not always true.

Factors determining the inheritance of permissions

What kind of permission they will inherit, depends solely on some other factors. To understand the permission propagation, you will need to answer the following questions.

Are the files copied coming from the same NTFS-based volume of the hard drive? Are the files moved coming from the same NTFS-based volume of the hard drive? Are these files being copied from two separate NTFS volume? Are these files being moved from two separate NTFS volume?

Permission inheritance and file transfer

Now we are going to take a look at the different aspects of these whole copying and moving files based on the list above.

When we copy a file to different location path inside the same NTFS volume, this new copy of the original file object inherits all the NTFS permission set in the location. From here, both of these files may have different permissions. When we move a file, remember that the moved file’s object strictly maintains its original permission.

When a file is copied to a new location inside a different NTFS volume, this new copy’s object may have a new permission based on the NTFS permissions set. When a file is moved to a new location on the different volume, this object may inherit the new permission from that place.

When you are the administrator and running lot of administrative task frequently, these are the core things you must remember before any major damage is done.

Now for the FAT partition of the hard disk, any files you copy or move there will lose its original permission since this is how FAT works. This is applicable to all of the FAT32 and ex-FAT partitions as well, for instance the thumb drive we often use.