Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have music software that I do not trust to leave my music files alone. I want to provide it with a read-only directory to read from. The directory exists on a secondary drive that's attached via SATA.

share|improve this question
What version of Windows 7? – Jeff F. Feb 15 '11 at 18:00
can't you right click the drive and go to the Sharing/Security tab and set the drive to read only there? – Patrick Feb 15 '11 at 18:09
@Patrick Yes, I can. But I only want this one app to be restricted, not all apps. – Matt Alexander Feb 15 '11 at 18:15
@Jeff Ultimate. – Matt Alexander Feb 15 '11 at 18:16
up vote 3 down vote accepted

With ultimate you can deny permissions to write to that folder. Right click->Security->Deny Modify permissions to the user you will be opening the program from. If it is grayed out, you may have to uncheck inherit from parent. This will disallow changes to those files until undone.

If your user does not exist, you can add and type your logon user name.

All have to be done from an administrator account.


This does not apply to a single program restriction only.

If you wanted to do it ONLY for this program it is a bit more complicated.
You would need to create a new user and also create a batch to use runas for that app as the new user. You could then restrict that user's access to that directory.

An alternative(and Probably better) way is to create a Symbolic Link ||Edit >>> What your Looking for is actually called a Directory Junction In windows and is /j in the above instead of the one listed <<< Edit|| to that folder and assign the restrictions in the first part. This would allow you to reference that folder for that program and all other programs use the other folder.

share|improve this answer
Don't use deny permissions, simply remove the Modify permissions from Allow. Deny overrides Allow, and when misused users can end up with files that they can't get to at all. – afrazier Feb 15 '11 at 18:37
@afrazier It sounds like he may be on a home or personal use computer. If he is logging on as administrator he would have to remove administrator privs. It would be easier to add deny his account(Which overrides as you said) since this is way better then removing the whole administrator permissions in my opinion. – Jeff F. Feb 15 '11 at 18:42
He just has to be careful. On XP, clicking Deny on Modify also denies everything else except Full Control. – afrazier Feb 15 '11 at 18:46
I had to adjust my answer since he wants to do this with one program only anyhow so he doesn't restrict his own account or other programs. – Jeff F. Feb 15 '11 at 18:49
@afrazier: You can always modify ACL of objects that you own, overriding any "Deny" entries. (Also, Administrators can take ownership of any object.) – grawity Feb 15 '11 at 20:41

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.