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What are the differences between NTFS and Share permissions?

Last Updated:

Applies to

  • ONTAP 9
  • CIFS


NTFS Folder/File permissions differ from Share permissions in several ways.

  • Share permissions are set on the Common Internet File System Protocol (CIFS) share.
    • These are configured on the filer and apply only to users accessing the  CIFS share via the network.
    • Share permissions are configured by the storage device's administrator.
    • They are independent of the NTFS Folder/File-level permissions.
  • NTFS Folder/File-level permissions are set on the individual files and folders stored on the NetApp filer (or any CIFS-capable storage device).
    • These permissions can be set by the owner of the folder/file or by the Windows administrator.
    • These permissions can be applied to either users or groups
      • The permissions are cumulative, in that permissions specified at the user and at the group level are both considered when verifying access.
      • *The most restrictive permissions apply.
  • When a user requests access to a folder/file on a CIFS share, the share permissions are checked first.
    • If the user has access based on the share-level permissions, the folder/file level NTFS permissions are then checked.
    • If the user has access, the file/folder data is provided to the user.
  • It is a best practice to have NTFS Folder/File level permissions be more restrictive than share-level permissions.


NetApp provides no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or reliability or serviceability of any information or recommendations provided in this publication or with respect to any results that may be obtained by the use of the information or observance of any recommendations provided herein. The information in this document is distributed AS IS and the use of this information or the implementation of any recommendations or techniques herein is a customer's responsibility and depends on the customer's ability to evaluate and integrate them into the customer's operational environment. This document and the information contained herein may be used solely in connection with the NetApp products discussed in this document.
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