Home > Windows Server 2003 / 2008 > Backup and Restore NTFS permissions with icacls

Backup and Restore NTFS permissions with icacls

Icacls is a simple command line utility to backup and restore or apply new NTFS permissions. I use this tool mostly to back-up NTFS permissions before I make major changes on the current NTFS ACLs. This command line utility is available on Server 2003 SP2 or higher, also available on server 2008 & Windows 7.

To get help or get examples just type icacls in command prompt.

Example: Backup NTFS permissions

icacls “D:\HomeTest” /save “c:\Temp\ntfsbackup.txt” /t /c

In this example we backup all permissions of “D:\HomeTest” and save them in “c:\Temp”. The /T switch allows it to get also the permissions of sub folders, the /C switch allows it to continue even if errors occurs.

Example: Restore NTFS permissions

icacls d:/ /restore c:\Temp\ntfsbackup.txt

It is not necessary to mention the destination folder because this is already included in the backup file which very important to know. It’s sufficient to specify the destination drive.

From my experience it’s possible to back-up a complete drive like “e:/” but you can’t restore without specifying a drive letter, so my advice is always specify a folder instead of a complete drive.

More info: Technet

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