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Microsoft KB Archive/103106

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Knowledge Base

Difference Between No Access and Access Not Specified

Article ID: 103106

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1

This article was previously published under Q103106


You can assign permissions associated with an individual user or a group account to any directory on an NTFS partition by using the Permissions command, which is accessed from the Security menu in File Manager.

If you want to deny a user or group access to a directory and all files included in that directory, select the No Access setting. If you do not want to automatically permit or deny a user or group permission to files in that directory, select Access Not Specified setting. (You can specify this by selecting Special File Access and then selecting the Access Not Specified setting.) Access Not Specified may or may not keep a user or group from using a file included in that directory, depending on other permissions that protect the file. Selecting Access Not Specified not only removes permissions for the user or group from the permissions list of each file included in the directory, but it also prevents permissions from being given on files later added to the directory.


Suppose you create a directory called Test, assign Read access to a subgroup called Support, and then assign Access Not Specified to the Everyone group. Members of the Support group would have Read access to all files in Test, but all other members of the Everyone group would be denied access to the files in Test. This is because no permissions on the directory have been established for members of the Everyone group, with the exception of the subgroup called Support. If you change the type of access for the Everyone group on the Test directory to No Access while maintaining the Read access given to the group Support, even members of Support are denied access to the files included in the Test directory.


Windows NT Answer Book, by Jim Groves, Microsoft Press, 1993

Additional query words: prodnt permissions security directory

Keywords: KB103106