You can apply audit policies to individual files and folders on your computer by setting the permission type to record successful access attempts or failed access attempts in the security log.

Local Administrators is the minimum group membership required to complete this procedure. Review the details in "Additional considerations" in this topic.

To apply or modify auditing policy settings for a local file or folder
  1. Open Windows Explorer.

  2. Right-click the file or folder that you want to audit, click Properties, and then click the Security tab.

  3. Click Edit, and then click Advanced.


    If you are not logged on as a member of the Administrators group on this computer, you must provide administrative credentials to proceed.

  4. In the Advanced Security Settings for <object> dialog box, click the Auditing tab.

  5. Do one of the following:

    • To set up auditing for a new user or group, click Add. In Enter the object name to select, type the name of the user or group that you want, and then click OK.

    • To remove auditing for an existing group or user, click the group or user name, click Remove, click OK, and then skip the rest of this procedure.

    • To view or change auditing for an existing group or user, click its name, and then click Edit.

  6. In the Apply onto box, click the location where you want auditing to take place.

  7. In the Access box, indicate what actions you want to audit by selecting the appropriate check boxes:

    • To audit successful events, select the Successful check box.

    • To stop auditing successful events, clear the Successful check box.

    • To audit unsuccessful events, select the Failed check box.

    • To stop auditing unsuccessful events, clear the Failed check box.

    • To stop auditing all events, click Clear All.

  8. If you want to prevent subsequent files and subfolders of the original object from inheriting these audit entries, select the Apply these auditing entries to objects and/or containers within this container only check box.


Before setting up auditing for files and folders, you must enable object access auditing by defining auditing policy settings for the object access event category. If you do not enable object access auditing, you will receive an error message when you set up auditing for files and folders, and no files or folders will be audited.

Additional considerations

Additional references