Holy cow, I wrote a book!
In Windows XP,
you could select multiple files,
then select Properties.
The resulting property sheet includes a Security page
which lets you edit the security attributes of those files.
But when you repeat this exercise on Windows Vista
or Windows 7,
the Security page is missing.
Why doesn't Explorer let you edit the security attributes
of more than one file at a time?
Windows might need to display an elevation prompt
if any of the files in the collection require
administrator privileges in order to modify the
The security prompt needs to tell you why you are
elevating, but if you selected twenty files,
there isn't room to display all twenty of them
in the elevation dialog.
Truncating the results means that users may be
tricked into changing the security of files
they didn't intend.
"Grant everyone full access to X, Y, Z, and 17
other files?" How do you know your multiselect didn't accidentally
(Maybe there's some malware that waits for people to change security
on multiple items and quietly
sneaks NTOSKRNL.EXE into the file list.)
Alexander Grigoriev says,
"Holding forever to dangerous features is BAD BAD BAD."
If you need to modify the security attributes
on a whole bunch of files,
you can use
the CACLS program,
one of the command line tools that messes
with security descriptors.
If you want to modify the attributes of all the files
in a directory tree, you can edit the security
attributes of the root of the tree and indicate
that you want to propagate inheritable attributes.
"I hate Microsoft for removing this feature."
(Okay, that was too tame.
A PROPER HATE REQUIRES SENTENCES IN ALL-CAPS.)
And you wonder why I don't do Tips/Support topics often.
Whenever I provide a tip that lets you work around something,
everybody rants about the problem the workaround exists to address.