Ensuring Static Stability: How to Keep Your Shared Folders Fixed in Windows Server 2019


“How can I configure a folder within a Windows Server 2019 shared directory to allow group members to view and open all files, yet prevent them from moving the folder itself? Despite setting advanced permissions to disable inheritance and specifying user rights, we’ve encountered issues with users inadvertently dragging the folder into another location, causing confusion over its apparent deletion. The group should retain the ability to alter other folders and files within the share, except for the specified folder. Currently, administrators have full control, while other users have permissions limited to listing, reading, and executing files within subfolders, but not the main folder in question.”


In a collaborative environment, ensuring the correct permissions for shared folders is crucial to maintain productivity and prevent accidental disruptions. Specifically, in Windows Server 2019, administrators often face the challenge of allowing users to access and modify files within a shared folder while preventing the folder itself from being moved. Here’s how you can achieve this delicate balance of permissions.

Firstly, it’s important to understand that NTFS permissions are cumulative and explicit permissions take precedence over inherited ones. The ‘Move’ action in Windows is typically a combination of ‘Create Folders / Append Data’ at the destination and ‘Delete’ at the source. To prevent moving a folder, you must remove the ‘Delete’ permission on that folder.

Configuring Advanced Permissions


Disable Inheritance

: Right-click the folder, select ‘Properties’, go to the ‘Security’ tab, click ‘Advanced’, and then click ‘Disable inheritance’. Choose ‘Convert inherited permissions into explicit permissions on this object’.


Set Group Permissions

: For the group in question, set the following permissions:

  • This Folder Only

    : Allow ‘List folder / read data’, ‘Read attributes’, ‘Read extended attributes’, and ‘Read permissions’.

  • Subfolders and Files Only

    : Allow ‘Traverse folder / execute file’, ‘List folder / read data’, ‘Read attributes’, ‘Read extended attributes’, ‘Create files / write data’, ‘Create folders / append data’, and ‘Read permissions’.

  • 3.

    Remove ‘Delete’ Permission

    : Still under the ‘Advanced Security Settings’, select the group and edit the permissions. Make sure that ‘Delete’ and ‘Delete subfolders and files’ are unchecked for both the folder and its subfolders/files.


    Administrative Control

    : Ensure that administrators retain ‘Full Control’ over the folder to manage it as needed.

    Testing the Configuration

    After setting the permissions, it’s crucial to test them. Log in as a user from the group and try to move the folder. You should be able to create, modify, and delete files within the subfolders but not move the main folder itself.

    Final Thoughts

    By carefully setting NTFS permissions, you can create a secure and efficient shared folder environment. Remember that changes in permissions can have unintended consequences, so always back up your data before making any changes and thoroughly test new configurations.

    This setup should address the issue of users accidentally moving the folder, ensuring that it remains in its designated location while allowing the necessary flexibility within its contents.

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