Check Who Has Access to a Certain Directory in Windows

Here is how you can check who has access to a certain Directory in Windows

One of the biggest advantages of having a PC operating system like Windows is a fully-functional user management system which allows you to create multiple users with different levels of access and permission levels.

This also allows the administrator of the system to give certain file access to some users while restricting it from other users. However, it can also be confusing as it can create different types of access permissions for different directories and it can get really complicated to track these different permission levels.

Fortunately, there is a way to check these permission levels across a host of different directories. This is possible thanks to a handy little set of utilities called Windows Sysinternals, which help you manage, troubleshoot and diagnose your Windows systems and applications.

This particular utility, called AccessEnum, allows you to quickly view user accesses to a tree of directories or keys. In its own words,

While the flexible security model employed by Windows NT-based systems allows full control over security and file permissions, managing permissions so that users have appropriate access to files, directories and Registry keys can be difficult. There’s no built-in way to quickly view user accesses to a tree of directories or keys. AccessEnum gives you a full view of your file system and Registry security settings in seconds, making it the ideal tool for helping you find security holes and lock down permissions where necessary.

AccessEnum does this by using standard Windows security APIs to populate its listview with read, write and deny access information.

Using AccessEnum to see Permission levels

Here is how you can use AccessEnum to see permission levels across different files, directories, and Registry keys,

  1. Download this utility by going to this link.
  2. Extract the files from the zip file and you will see these files.
  3. Double-click on AccessEnum to run it.
  4. Click on Agree.
  5. Click on Directory to choose the directory you want to check permission levels for (or the Registry if you want to check permissions for a key)
  6. Browse and choose your directory.
  7. Click on Scan.

You can also save the results by clicking on the Save option.