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How to get an NTFS permissions report?

The following is a comparison between getting an NTFS permissions report using Windows PowerShell and ADAudit Plus:

Windows PowerShell

Steps to get an NTFS permissions report:

  • In PowerShell, the Get-Acl command can be used to retrieve NTFS permissions reports. The script mentioned below helps retrieve ACL set on the C:\commands folder.
    (Get-Acl -Path C:\commands).Access
  • However, this particular command cannot retrieve all the permissions of folders in the tree. To get the NTFS permissions report for all folders in a tree, the Get-Childtem command with a particular paramater -Recurse needs to be used. Then using the ForEach loop, we can pass the results to Get-Acl.
    $FolderPath = Get-ChildItem -Directory -Path "C:\commands" -Recurse -Force
    $Output = @()
    ForEach ($Folder in $FolderPath) {
        $Acl = Get-Acl -Path $Folder.FullName
        ForEach ($Access in $Acl.Access) {
    $Properties = [ordered]@{'Folder Name'=$Folder.FullName;'Group/User'=$Access.IdentityReference;'Permissions'=$Access.FileSystemRights;'Inherited'=$Access.IsInherited}
    $Output += New-Object -TypeName PSObject -Property $Properties            
    $Output | Out-GridView
    Click to copy entire script
  • To sort and filter the results, the final output is generated to Out-Gridview.

ADAudit Plus

Getting an NTFS permissions report:

  • Login to ADAudit Plus → Go to File Audit tab → Under File Audit Reports → Navigate to Folder Permission Changes report.
  • The details you can find in this report include:

    • File/Folder name and its location in the server.
    • Name of the user who modified the permission
    • Values of new and old ACL
    • Permissions modified
    • Server in which the file/folder is located
    • Time at which the permission was changed
  • Select Export as to export the report in any of the preferred formats (CSV, PDF, HTML, CSVDE and XLSX).

The following are the limitations of using Windows PowerShell to generate NTFS permissions report:-

  • We can run this script only from the computers which has Active Directory Domain Services role.
  • The script has to be modified if you wish to change the date formats.
  • Parts of the script will have to be changed if you wish to export the script in a different format.
  • Applying more filters would add to the complexity of the script.

ADAudit Plus will swiftly generate reports by scanning all the DCs and these reports can be exported in multiple formats.

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