Workaround | Restore NTFS Permissions in Windows Easily

Posted by @Teresa

September 29, 2018

This page shows how to restore NTFS security permissions from backup image or to default in Windows with simple steps.

Need to restore NTFS permissions

“Hello! We had an incident on the computer and some NTFS permissions from a folder structure even volume have been removed. What should I do to reset NTFS file permission in our Windows 7? Is the way difficult or easy because we don’t have much experience on computer? Besides, I’m wondering if any of GUI tool could do a backup for all vital data, so that we could restore NTFS permissions as simple as restore a backup image when necessary. Maybe I can schedule a daily backup to keep it up to date. Any advice would be appreciated.”

It is a help post on how to reset NTFS permissions in Windows 7 and how to get a long-term protection for NTFS permissions on folders and volumes. As a matter of fact, you may find that the demand to reset NTFS permission occur not only Windows PC operating systems but also Windows Server systems such as Server 2003, Server 2008 and Server 2012.

In addition, the folder or volume that has lost NTFS permissions could be the one on external drives and home drives. A lot of Windows users look for a way to fix NTFS permissions. Then, what the NTFS permission is and what role it plays in Windows. Let’s get a closer look.

What does NTFS permissions do in Windows?

In Windows network, you can set sharing permissions for drives and folders. NTFS permissions, as its name implies, are available to drives formatted with NTFS. NTFS permissions affect local users as well as network users and they are based on the permission granted to each individual user at the Windows logo, regardless of where the user is connecting.

Don’t worry if you still cannot understand the term because you can acquire it in a different way. The files in NTFS drives have a Security attribute comparing to those in FAT32 formatted drives. You can access it with the approach of this: open a file in NTFS partition > right click it and select Properties > General > Advance. You could see two options there: File attributes and Compress or Encrypt attributes.

Advanced Attributes

How to reset NTFS permissions with command line?

Messing NTFS permissions could be a headache sometimes. Nevertheless, you can turn to ICACLS command when you want to reset NTFS permissions to default or fix NTFS file permissions in Windows 7/10 and Windows Server 2003/2008/2012, both on home drives and external drives.

Reset NTFS security permissions

1. Open Command Prompt and run as administrator and navigate through the tree of folders you need to fix.

2. Type this command and press Enter: ICACLS * /T /Q /C /RESET

Tips: you may need to take the ownership of a tree of folders. You can use the command: takeown /R /F * before launching the ICACLS. But run the command with caution because it may cause system broken.

ICACLS command will reset the permissions of all the folders, files and subfolders. Depending on the number of file, the permissions will be fixed in a while.

Backup and restore NTFS permissions

1. Open Command Prompt and run as administrator.

2. Use this command to backup NTFS permissions: icacls d:data /save ntfsperms.txt /t /c

Tips: The /T switch allows it to get subfolder permissions too and the /C switch allows it to continue even if errors are encountered.

3. Use this command to restore NTFS permissions: icacls d: /restore ntfsperms.txt

You may discover that the target path to save NTFS permissions is different from the path to restore. Don’t worry. It will be recognized as well.

Workaround | Restore NTFS permissions from backup easily

Although you’ve got ways to reset NTFS file permissions and backup only NTFS permission, you may still need this workaround. Create a backup for files stored in NTFS partitions and restore it when the need ever arises. Then, you’ve got protection for not only NTFS permissions but also included files.

AOMEI Backupper Professional is an all-around backup utility that designs for Windows operating systems in particular. It allows you to backup files including its permissions on/to home drives, external drives, and portable hard disks. The software also provides schedule backup mode in Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event-trigger and Real-time modes, which guarantee the backup up-to-date.

When restoring the backup image, it provides an option to restore NTFS permissions. Check that option based on your own situation. You have choices to restore the image to its previous location or a different place as well. Now, let’s get to know how to start.

How to restore NTFS permissions in Windows 10/7 step by step?

1. Install and run AOMEI Backupper Professional on your Windows machine. You may need to create a backup image for the files in advance.

2. Click Restore at the main console. Find and choose the backup you need to restore in the given list and click Next. If it is not listed, click Path to browse manually.


3. Select a proper backup point if you created schedule task before. Click Next.

Choose Backup Point

4. Select the files you’d like to restore. You can check the sub-box to expand files so that you can see details. Click Next.

Select files to restore

5. This is the step where you can restore NTFS file permissions. Choose a destination for restoring, its original location or a new one. Tick the box in front of Restore NTFS permissions and click Start Restore.

Restore NTFS Permissions

6. The restoring process should be completed in a short while, depending on the number of selected files.

Restore NTFS permissions finish


  • NTFS permissions can only be restored to NTFS formatted drives.

  • To restore NTFS permissions on external drive, please connect it to your machine beforehand.


Reset NTFS permissions to default when you need to fix NTFS permissions. However, it is recommended to perform a backup for files stored in NTFS drives on a regular basis for a long-range safeguarding. In that case, you can restore NTFS permissions to get things back to normal anytime you want.

AOMEI Backupper also offers Server edition to help you backup and restore NTFS permissions in Windows Server OS like Server 2003/2008/2012/2016. The Technician Plus edition is the best choice for Enterprise users because it allows you to install the tool on unlimited PCs & Servers within one company.