I am trying to prevent users from accidentally deleting a certain folder in a parent folder, while still giving them modify permission on all other files and folders in the parent folder. But they should be also able to modify files and folders in this certain folder.

On this comment to a similar problem my problem is described very good, but there was no answer to this comment. https://superuser.com/a/977180/554054 This is my structur:

Folder A
|-Folder B
|-Folder C
| |+Folder E
| | |+ a.doc
| |+Folder F
| | |+ b.doc
| |+c.doc
  • Folder A - Read/Execute
  • Folder B/D - Read/Execute (inherited from A) + Read/Write/Delete for Fils/Subfolders
  • Folder C - Read/Execute (inherited from A) + Read/Write/Delete for Fils/Subfolders, EXCEPT for Folder E! This Folder shouldn´t be allowed to delete, but in the Folder the user should be able to read/write/delete subfolders and files.

i tried many different ways of permission combinations, but nothing worked. Has anyone an idea how to solve this problem?

Here are two screenshots of my Advanced Settings for the Folder E: Advanced Settings Folder E inherited special Permissions for the User "Bearbeiter"

  • You need to click that Advance button when setting permissions. Are the user supposed to create other folders inside that structure? Feb 5, 2016 at 11:40
  • I use the Advanced-Button ;) You mean to set the permission for Write and delete only for Files on Folder C, correct? They should be able to create/delete files and folders inside Folder B, C, D, E and F. But they shouldn´t be able to delete the folders A, B, C, D, and E! I get it work this way except for the deleting-issue for Folder E... i think it´s caused by the inheritance from Folder C, where the user has the permission to delete subfolders and files...
    – Astrid
    Feb 5, 2016 at 11:56
  • Can you post a screenshot of how the permissions are set? A screenshot of the "Advacend Security Settings"? Where it shows the entries? Feb 5, 2016 at 15:59
  • i add two screenshots to the first post.
    – Astrid
    Feb 8, 2016 at 8:58

2 Answers 2


I am trying to prevent users from accidentally deleting a certain folder in a parent folder, while still giving them modify permission on all other files and folders in the parent folder. But they should be also able to modify files and folders in this certain folder

Prevent Folder Deletion or inadvertent Drag and Drop with NTFS security

If you want to prevent a specific folder from being deleted or dragged and dropped elsewhere, even if it has elevated implicit permissions, you can set an explicit DENY to the FOLDER ONLY for the user account or security group which you want to prevent this action from being performed.

You can complete this folder security lock down using ICACLS with a local path (e.g C:\Path\FolderA\FolderE) or a UNC path (e.g \\server\share\FolderA\FolderE).

Example ICACLS syntax to run from an elevated command prompt

ICACLS "\\server\share\FolderA\FolderE" /deny "<UserOrGroupNameToDeny>":(DE)

Permissions Used

/deny user:permission
   Explicitly deny the specified user access rights.
   This will also remove any explicit grant of the 
   same permissions to the same user.

perm is a permission mask and can be specified in one of two forms:
   a comma-separated list in parentheses of specific rights:
         DE - delete

What this does

Running the above with those options in that syntax will set an explicit DENY to the NTFS DELETE permission on that FOLDER ONLY to that specific user account of security group.

You can confirm the deny permissions to the folder for the user account or security group by:

  • right-click the folder you've used in the command,
  • Select the Security tab,
  • In the Group or user name: area scroll to or select and highlight the account or group you've used in the command,
  • In the Permissions for Administrators area you will see the NTFS permission attributes for Allow and Deny
  • You'll see a check mark in the DENY column of the special permissions row for the account or group you've used in the command

enter image description here

  • Select Advanced and go to the Permissions tab
  • Check for the Name (or Principal) value that you used in command, for DENY in the Type field
  • The Permissions (or Access) field should show Delete and the Apply to (or Applies to) will show this folder only

enter image description here


Please note that unchecking an ALLOW DELETE attribute is not the same as leaving that in place as-is and then creating a separate NTFS ACL rule for this same security group or user account saying to explicitly DENY the DELETE security.

This solution does NOT disallow DELETE this way


enter image description here

This solution WILL explicitly DENY DELETE at this level to THIS FOLDER ONLY


enter image description here


enter image description here

Further Reading and Resources

  • This i tried before, but because of the inheritation for the permission of write and delete in the parent folder this didn´t work :/
    – Astrid
    Feb 8, 2016 at 8:29
  • Thanks for your patience with me. I got it, that i´m not allowed to delete this folder but then i´m also not allowed to open it. if i try to open the folder, i got the message, that this path isn´t available (explicite deny delete only for this folder, read/write/delete for subfolders and files). But this works only, if i cut the inheritance in Folder E. When i set another permission for read-only to this folder, i can open it, but then i´m again able to delete it... i don´t know where my mistake is :( If you need a screenshot, let me know!
    – Astrid
    Feb 9, 2016 at 7:54
  • i run this on our server with Windows 2012 Server Essentials R2 as OS. The account i use for setting up the permissions is the one i created on the installation of the OS on this machine. It´s not the "big" Administrator-Account but it is an Administrator and it´s definitivly a member of the Administrator-Group. (I checked this). The Account on the workstation i use to test the permissions is a "normal" user-account, which is a member of the "Bearbeiter"-Group, but not a member of the Administrator-Group.
    – Astrid
    Feb 9, 2016 at 14:47
  • One thing i´ve to mention (i don´t know if this is important): our network is a mixed-domain-network. We have local accounts on our workstation and have to log on the Server with accounts which are located there to use the shared folders and files. i added the screenshots to my first post. The first two, that are already on the post, show the permission-settings as they are inheritaed from the parent-folder. The Screenshots with the Number one show the state, where i can´t delete the folder, but get a access-denied when i try to open it.
    – Astrid
    Feb 9, 2016 at 14:48
  • The screenshots with the Number two (the same like Number 1 but with only-read permission added) show the state, where i can access the folder, but unfortunately i´m also able to delete it. And i don´t know why.
    – Astrid
    Feb 9, 2016 at 14:48

This is not possible. You can make a folder to not be able to be deleted by removing modifying rights, but that will cause all files in that folder to automatically get that same right, making it impossible for people to work on new files in that folder.

You can create subfolders and disable inheritance of rights to make people able to work in those folders, but you should move the remaining folders into a subfolder or decide against doing this.

You can also give files different rights than their parent folder, but that would only allow people to edit existing files, including deleting them. But when they want to copy or create a new file in this folder they can't.

Also, please note that the filesystem you're suggesting is bad practice. You'll want to set the permission on a as high level as possible, setting inheritance to all subfiles. The reason is, that you can push rights down to all child folders. If this is done from a higher folder, all rights are removed.

But sufficient to say, it is not possible to make it so that a folder cannot be deleted/moved while its content can. If deletion is of a great concern to you, enable Volume Shadow Copy and optionally a backup. If a folder is moved, it will be moved inside VSS also. If deleted, you can simply undelete from VSS (restore previous versions). If moving is of a concern and you can't find where it was moved to, make a daily backup and of course, you can always try to instruct people to simply not delete/move these folders.

This kind of action is usually because people simply are not aware they are not supposed to move them, and delete by accident can be undone using VSS.

  • Thanks for your answer. My problem is not the deletion. We have a backup. The reason for this is to "force" the user until a certain point to use this structure and to deter them from creating a folder-file-Chaos...
    – Astrid
    Feb 5, 2016 at 12:11
  • You can manually chance the ACL of a folder within a Folder. Simplest way is not allow Folder or File creation in the parent folders, just the folders you want used, but once creation permissions have been granted you can't control what they can or cannot create.
    – Ramhound
    Feb 5, 2016 at 13:26

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