Ask the Expert

Making a Windows folder read-only

How do I share a folder, yet, for security reasons, not allow others to copy from that folder? (i.e., how do I make this folder read-only?)
If you're just looking for share-level security (i.e., not NTFS-based permissions), then this is easy.

  1. Right-click on the folder and select Sharing and Security from the pop-up context menu.
  2. Choose to share the folder, and give it a name.
  3. Click the Permissions button.
  4. Add specific users as necessary.
  5. Grant them read permissions by clicking the check box under the Allow column on the Read line.

But what about for NTFS permissions?

For NTFS-based permissions, right-click on the folder, go to the Security tab, and establish permissions from there. You'll need to designate the specific users that should have permissions entries for that folder, and then assign each of them read-only permissions.

This was first published in January 2007

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