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Accessing the “Security” tab in Windows XP Home

August 24th, 2005 by Jim

Windows XP Home is a nice cheaper alternative to Windows XP Professional. The differences between XP Home and Pro are mostly business-oriented concepts, so I generally recommend XP Home for anyone who does not need to logon to a Windows domain. Simple enough…

However, the major drawback for using XP Home is the lack of control over the file permissions. 90% of the people that I recommend XP Home to will never notice the difference. For the remaining 10% who wonder why saving money on Windows XP means loosing a very crucial feature of any modern OS, there is hope for you!

Option 1
Recommended for users who need to fix broken file permissions.

This is an easiest option that requires no Windows tweaks, but it can quickly become annoying if you need the Security tab more frequently than just in emergency situations.

  1. Boot into Safe Mode.
  2. The Security tab is now available in the Windows Explorer.

Option 2
Recommended for users who need to edit their file permissions on an occational to frequent basis.

This option will bring back the Security tab in Normal mode (e.g., non-Safe Mode).

  1. Download the NT 4 Security Configuration Manager.
  2. Run the scesp4i.exe file and extract all files to a temporary directory.
  3. Right-click on the setup.inf file and choose the install option.
  4. Answer no if asked to overwrite essent.dll.
  5. Reboot. The Security tab is now available in the Windows Explorer.

So which option is best for you? If you need to restore access to files you have recently lost access to on your own XP Home machine (it can happen), start with Option 1. If the only reason you are ignoring XP Home is because of its crippled file permission controls, go with Option 2.

Note: Windows XP Home obviously has the Security tab included without installing any additional software, because it is available in Safe Mode. If anyone knows which registry key(s), if any, control the presence of the Security tab, please let me know!

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Revision History

2005.10.12 Added this Revision History block.
2005.08.24 Initial revision.


I do not offer a warranty or guarantee for anything described in this article. All of my tips are based on personal and professional experience, but you are solely responsible for your own actions. Please backup your data first, and exercise extreme caution when using this information, which could leave your machine unbootable, unstable, or simply unusable!

2 Responses to “Accessing the “Security” tab in Windows XP Home”

  1. Chris Says:

    You asked is anyone knows which registry keys are involved; have a look at http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,8261090~days=9999~start=20 – not the first post with keys in it, but lower down the page, one by psloss and 2 posts further down by REDXII.1234

  2. Jim Says:


    Wow. That’s a ton of useful information! Big, big thanks for sharing that one with me.