What happens to a file's permissions the file was on a Mac but is moved to a Windows computer, via a flash drive formatted as HFS+, for instance? Would the file lose its permissions? Would Windows convert the permissions to the closest approximation for Windows?

I've got some files that have restrictive Mac permissions, but I'd like to know what would happen to those permissions when the file is moved to a Windows computer.

  • How is the Windows PC going to read tha HFS+ formatted flash drive? That's what determines the answer. – MSalters Aug 8 '13 at 8:55
  • Good point. I usually use MacDrive, although in my question, the HFS+ isn't really the point. I mean, let's say I moved a file from a HFS+ Mac drive to a FAT32 flash drive, what happens to permissions then? – Gary Aug 8 '13 at 18:33

The file should be give the permissions of the windows folder you are moving it to.

This is not specific to Mac as the same thing happens when moving files between Windows computers and even when moving files between two drives on the same computer.

From http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310316

By default, an object inherits permissions from its parent object, either at the time of creation or when it is copied or moved to its parent folder. The only exception to this rule occurs when you move an object to a different folder on the same volume. In this case, the original permissions are retained.

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  • Interesting. The original reason that I ask this question is because I am not experiencing this when I'm on my Mac and copying files over the network from Windows to Mac. The folder I am copying the files to has the permissions 755, while the files end up with 700. – Gary Aug 8 '13 at 18:34
  • Your original question was moving to Windows, which means that Windows is in control of the file permissions. If you are on a Mac copying files to the Mac, then the Mac is in control and hence the rules could be completely different. – sgmoore Aug 8 '13 at 19:12
  • Well, I guess I sort of took a detour when I arrived at this question. It got me all curious about Mac permissions and how they work on other systems, etc. so I asked this particular one. – Gary Aug 8 '13 at 19:38

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