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How to set passwords on folders in Windows 2003 servers

Learn how to configure file and folder security on a Windows 2003 server in this expert advice from Puneet Mehta, our network security expert.

We have a Windows 2003 server. I created a drive D, and in that different folder I want to assign a security password...

for the Accounting folder, so that whoever's accessing the server remotely would not open that folder unless they typed a password.

I am not sure what you are trying to achieve by enforcing folder passwords, but you can easily achieve this desired level of security through groups and accounts on your 2003 domain. If the folder you are trying to protect is really sensitive then the best option is to create a group and add users whom you want to allow access. This way only the users who are a part of that allowed group will be able to view and perform granted actions to the folder. Everyone else will be denied access.

To achieve this on a Windows 2003 server, configure file and folder security:


Log on by using your domain username and password.


Start Windows Explorer.


Expand My Computer, and then click the drive that contains the folder that you want to configure.


Right-click the folder that you want to configure, and then click Properties.


Click the Security tab.


Click Advanced.


Click to clear the Allow inheritable permissions from parent to propagate to this object and all child objects. Include these with entries explicitly defined here check box.


In the Security dialog box that appears, click Copy. NOTE: The inherited permissions are copied directly to the folder.


Click OK.


To set permissions for a group or user who is not listed in the Group or user names box, click Add.


In the Select Users or Groups dialog box that appears, type the names of the groups or users for whom you want to set permissions. For example, Accounting, Sales, and accounts receivable manager name).


Click OK. The groups and users you added appear in the Group or user names box.


To grant or deny a permission in the Permissions for User or Group box, click the user or group in the Group or user names box, and then click to select the Allow or Deny check box next to the permission that you want to allow or deny. Here are some examples:

  • To grant Modify permissions to the Accountants group, click Accountants, and then click to select the Allow check box next to Modify. Members of this group can add new files to the folder or edit the files in the folder.

  • To grant Read & Execute, List Folder Contents, and Read permissions to the Sales group, click Sales, and then click to select the Allow check box next to these permissions.

  • To grant Full Control permission to the accounts receivable manager, click accounts receivable manager name, and then click to select the Allow check box next to Full Control.


Click OK.

This was last published in May 2008

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