Get Acl - PowerShell


Get-Acl retrieves Access Control List (ACL) information for a specified file, directory, or registry key. It helps administrators and script writers audit and manage file permissions and access rights in Windows systems.


Get-Acl [[-Path] <string>] [-RegistryKey <RegistryKey>] [-Format <string>] [<CommonParameters>]


  • -Path: Specifies the path to the file, directory, or registry key for which you want to retrieve ACLs.
  • -RegistryKey: Specifies the registry key for which you want to retrieve ACLs. This parameter is available only on Windows Vista and later versions.
  • -Format: Specifies the format in which the ACLs should be displayed. Valid values are Text (default), Xml, and SecurityDescriptorDefinition.


Simple Example: Get ACLs for a file

Get-Acl -Path C:\myfile.txt

Advanced Example: Get ACLs for a registry key and display in XML

Get-Acl -RegistryKey HKLM:\SOFTWARE\MyCompany\MyProduct -Format Xml

Common Issues

  • Access Denied: Ensure you have sufficient permissions to view the ACLs. Use the -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue parameter to ignore permission errors.
  • Object Not Found: Verify that the specified path or registry key exists and is accessible.


  • Use Get-Acl with Set-Acl to modify ACLs.
  • Export ACLs using Get-Acl and import them with Set-Acl -Path $importPath to apply ACLs to multiple items.
  • Combine Get-Acl with Where-Object or Sort-Object to filter and sort ACLs based on specific criteria.