When you copy or move files and folders by using Windows Explorer, the permissions that are set on the files or folders may change. For example, when you copy a file in an NTFS file system volume or between two NTFS volumes, Windows servers treats it as a new file. As a new file, it takes on the permissions of the destination folder, and you become the CREATOR OWNER.

NOTE: You must have Write permission for the destination folder to copy files and folders.

You can use the Xcopy command with the /O/X/E/H/K switches to copy the files and retain the existing permissions that have been specifically applied to the file or files.

These switches have the following effects:

/E – Copies folders and subfolders, including empty ones.
/H – Copies hidden and system files also.
/K – Copies attributes. Typically, Xcopy resets read-only attributes.
/O – Copies file ownership and ACL information.
/X – Copies file audit settings (implies /O).

NOTE: This procedure does not override inherited permissions. When you use the Xcopy command with the /O /X /E /H /K switches to copy the files, the following inherited permissions apply:

  • The security settings that are directly assigned to the files and folders are retained.
  • The security settings that are inherited from the source parent folder are lost.
  • The security settings of the destination folders are inherited.
  • When you move files or folders to FAT volumes, the folders and files lose their NTFS permissions because FAT volumes do not support NTFS permissions.


Open Command Prompt, Run –> cmd, Type xcopy /O /X /E /H /K c:\Source d:\Destination, and then press ENTER.