Microsoft DOS icacls command

Updated: 05/21/2018 by Computer Hope

About icacls

The icacls command enables a user to view and modify an ACL. If you are familiar with earlier versions of Windows, this command is similar to the cacls command.


The icacls command is an external command and is available in the below Microsoft operating systems as icacls.exe.

Icacls syntax

ICACLS name /save aclfile [/T] [/C] [/L] [/Q]

Stores the DACLs for the files and folders that match the name into aclfile for later use with /restore. Note that SACLs, owner, or integrity labels are not saved.

ICACLS directory [/substitute SidOld SidNew [...]] /restore aclfile [/C] [/L] [/Q]

Applies the stored DACLs to files in directory.

ICACLS name /setowner user [/T] [/C] [/L] [/Q]

Changes the owner of all matching names. This option does not force a change of ownership; use the takeown.exe utility for that purpose.

ICACLS name /findsid Sid [/T] [/C] [/L] [/Q]

Finds all matching names that contain an ACL explicitly mentioning Sid.

ICACLS name /verify [/T] [/C] [/L] [/Q]

Finds all files whose ACL is not in canonical form or whose lengths are inconsistent with ACE counts.

ICACLS name /reset [/T] [/C] [/L] [/Q]

Replaces ACLs with default inherited ACLs for all matching files.

ICACLS name [/grant[:r] Sid:perm[...]][/deny Sid:perm [...]] [/remove[:g|:d]] [Sid[...]] [/T] [/C] [/L] [/Q] [/setintegritylevel Level:policy[...]]

/grant[:r] Sid:perm Grants the specified user access rights. With :r, the permissions replace any previously granted explicit permissions. Without :r, the permissions are added to any previously granted explicit permissions.
/deny Sid:perm Explicitly denies the specified user access rights. An explicit deny ACE is added for the stated permissions and the same permissions in any explicit grant are removed.
/remove[:[g|d]] Sid Removes all occurrences of Sid in the ACL. With :g, it removes all occurrences of granted rights to that Sid. With :d, it removes all occurrences of denied rights to that Sid.
/setintegritylevel [(CI)(OI)]Level Explicitly adds an integrity ACE to all matching files. The level is to be specified as one of:

Inheritance options for the integrity ACE may precede the level and are applied only to directories.
/inheritance:e|d|r e - Enables inheritance.
d - Disables inheritance and copy the ACEs.
r - Remove all inherited ACEs.

Sids may be in either numerical or friendly name form. If a numerical form is given, affix a * to the start of the SID.

/T Indicates that this operation is performed on all matching files/directories below the directories specified in the name.
/C Indicates that this operation will continue on all file errors. Error messages will still show.
/L Indicates that this operation is performed on a symbolic link itself versus its target.
/Q Indicates that icacls should suppress success messages.

ICACLS preserves the canonical ordering of ACE entries:

Explicit denials.
Explicit grants.
Inherited denials.
Inherited grants.

perm is a permission mask and can be specified in one of two forms:

a sequence of simple rights:

N - no access.
F - full access.
M - modify access.
RX - read and execute access.
R - read-only access.
W - write-only access.
D - delete access.

a comma-separated list in parentheses of specific rights:

DE - delete.
RC - read control.
WDAC - write DAC.
WO - write owner.
S - synchronize.
AS - access system security.
MA - maximum allowed.
GR - generic read.
GW - generic write.
GE - generic execute.
GA - generic all.
RD - read data/list directory.
WD - write data/add file.
AD - append data/add subdirectory.
REA - read extended attributes.
WEA - write extended attributes.
X - execute/traverse.
DC - delete child.
RA - read attributes.
WA - write attributes.

inheritance rights may precede either form and are applied only to directories:

(OI) - object inherit.
(CI) - container inherit.
(IO) - inherit only.
(NP) - don't propagate inherit.
(I) - permission inherited from parent container.

Icacls examples

icacls c:\windows\* /save AclFile /T

Save the ACLs for all files under c:\windows and its subdirectories to AclFile.

icacls c:\windows\ /restore AclFile

Restore the Acls for every file within AclFile that exists in c:\windows and its subdirectories.

icacls file /grant Administrator:(D,WDAC)

Will grant the user Administrator Delete and Write DAC permissions to file.

icacls file /grant *S-1-1-0:(D,WDAC)

Grant the user defined by sid S-1-1-0 Delete and Write DAC permissions to file.

Additional information

  • See our ACL definition for further information and related links on this term.