Security tab for the properties of files or folders in Windows XP Professional is the important functionality that enable administrators and users to define security permissions and rights for particular user or group to the computer resources. By default, Windows XP Professional follows recommended setting to enable the use of simple file sharing that hides the Security tab, leaving you with only General, Sharing, Web Sharing & Customize tabs as in the Simple File Sharing UI.

So to see and unhide the Security tab, just use the following steps:

  1. Launch Windows Explorer or My Computer.
  2. Click on the Tools at the menu bar, then click on Folder Options.
  3. Click on View tab.
  4. In the Advanced Settings section at the bottom of the list, uncheck and unselect (clear the tick) on the Use simple file sharing (Recommended) check box.
  5. Click OK.

Security tab is available only to Administrator or users with administrative rights. So make sure you login as one. And security can only be set in an NTFS partition. If you’re still having problem to reveal or display the Security tab on files or folder properties, check out the following registry hack and set the value to 0 or simply delete the key:

Key: Software\Microsoft\windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
Name: Nosecuritytab
Value: 0 (default value is 1)

If you’re using a Windows XP Professional system that is installed in a workgroup, the Security tab is also hidden by default because in Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional, guests are forced to log on to a workgroup. Follow the instruction and information on Microsoft Knowledge Base where you need to set the value for ForceGuest registry key.