Modifying ACLs from the command line

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 5 June 2007 / Last Updated on 5 June 2007]

Using a script to modify permissions.

First there was cacls.exe, then xcacls.exe, then the dreaded and poorly-documented subinacl.exe. Each of these tools can be used in some fashion to view or modify access control lists (ACLs) i.e. permissions on files/folders on an NTFS volume. What you may not be aware of however is that Microsoft has released an updated version of xcacls that is actually a script instead of an executable. You can obtain xcacls.vbs from the Microsoft Download Center at and you can read about it further in KB 825751 which is found at

Mitch Tulloch was lead author for the Windows Vista Resource Kit from Microsoft Press, which is THE book for IT pros who want to deploy, maintain and support Windows Vista in mid- and large-sized network environments. For more information see

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The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a well-known expert on Windows Server administration and cloud computing technologies. He has published over a thousand articles on information technology topics and has written, contributed to or been series editor for over 50 books.

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