The properties dialog box in Windows offers complete details of a file, folder or a drive. You can right-click on any item and select “Properties” option or highlight an item and press “Alt + Enter” keys to open its properties. There are many tabs in “Properties” dialog box like General, Security, Details, Previous Versions, etc. If you are missing the “Security” tab in properties dialog, here is how you can fix the issue.
Security Tab in Properties Dialog
The purpose of Security tab is to show the access permissions for the selected file, folder or drive. You can view which users on the computer has access to the file and what kind of permissions they have. As an administrator, you can also edit file permissions to allow or deny the access for other users. Without the Security tab visible in properties dialog, it will be a difficult task to manage file permissions.
Generally, the problem happens at entire system level affecting all files and folders. However, it can also happen at drive level affecting items from only that drive. Depending up on the situation, try the following options to fix the missing security tab in properties dialog.
1. Check File System of Drives
If you notice the problem with only particular drive then the file system is the first thing you should check. The latest Windows versions use NTFS, and all your disk drives by default should use NTFS file system. However, if the file system is showing as FAT32 or exFAT then it does not support Security tab. You can view this information for your drives from File Explorer.
- Press “Win + E” to open File Explorer.
- Expand “This PC” and select the drive you want to check.
- Press “Alt + Enter” keys to open the drive’s properties.
- Check the “File system” under “General” tab.
As you can see in the below screenshots, C drive with NTFS shows security tab while D drive with FAT32 does not.
This will be a problem especially for external drives like USB formatted with FAT32 system. In such case, you may not be able to transfer files or fix file permission errors as the USB drive properties will not show Security tab. The solution here is to backup all your data from the drive and format it with NTFS system. For this, right-click on the drive and select “Format” option. Make sure to select “NTFS (Default)” option in the pop-up under “File system” dropdown. Click “Start” to delete all data and format the drive with NTFS system. Learn more on how to format USB in Windows computer.
2. Check Group Policy is Enabled
If you are using Windows Pro or Enterprise editions, then there is a possibility that your administrator disabled the policy to remove Security tab. Administrators do this to prevent people from mistakenly changing file permissions under Security tab. If you are an administrator and using Windows Pro version, then follow the below instructions. Remember, Windows Home edition does not have Group Policy Editor. Hence, this is method is not applicable for Home edition.
- Press “Win + R” keys to Run prompt, enter gpedit.msc and press “OK” button.
- This will open Local Group Policy Editor and navigate to “User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer” section.
- Scroll down on the right pane and select “Remove Security tab” setting.
- You can read the description explaining enabling this setting helps to disable Security tab in Properties dialog box of files, folders, shortcuts and drives.
- By default, “Remove security tab” setting should be in “Not configured” state allowing users to view the Security tab. If you see the state as enabled, then double click on it.
- On the pop-up that appears, make sure to select “Not Configure” or “Disabled” option and click “OK” button.
Restart your computer and check any file properties dialog box to confirm you can see the Security tab now.
3. Enable Security Tab Using Registry Editor
The last option is to use edit registry entries and enable the Security tab in properties dialog box. Make sure to take a backup of your Registry Editor before doing this.
- Press “Win + R” to open Run prompt, type regedit command and press “OK” button.
- This will open Registry Editor and navigate to the following section. You can copy paste this path in the Registry Editor’s address bar to quickly access the location.
- Go to “Edit > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value” menu or right-click on the empty area and select “New > DWORD (32-bit) Value” option.
- Rename the newly created DWORD as NoSecurityTab.
- Double click on NoSecurityTab and set the “Value Data” as 1 in the pop-up. Value 1 is for removing the Security tab from properties dialog and value 0 is for showing.
- Click “OK” button to close the pop-up and close Registry Editor.
Now, restart your system and check if the Security tab is visible in properties dialog.
When you are using shared computers like in many organizations, IT administrator disables Security tab in properties dialog. This is intentional to avoid you changing the file permissions of content which can be accessed in network by administrators or other users. If you do not have administrator access, then ask your IT admin help to enable the policy in Local Group Policy Editor. If the problem happens with external drives on your own system, then check the file system and format the drive if required. For problems with local drives on your own system, take a backup of registry and modify the entries to enable Security tab.