Windows 10: Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10

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    Brink New Member

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10


    How to: Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10

    How to Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]
    Information In Windows, you can set or unset the read-only attribute for files and folders to give files write protection.

    Folders cannot actual be set as read-only though. Only files in the folder will be set as read-only instead.

    When a file (ex: text file) is set as read-only, the file can no longer be altered since it no longer allows write permission. You will still be able to save your changes to the file as a new file though.

    This tutorial will show you different ways on how to set or unset the read-only attribute of files and folders in Windows 10.

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]
    Note
    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]
    Read-only box = Neutral setting of a folder that is always displayed by default.

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]
    Read-only box = File is currently read-only. Only displays temporarily for a folder while setting to be applied to files in folder.

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]
    Read-only box = File is currently not read-only. Only displays temporarily for a folder while setting to be applied to files in folder.

    CONTENTS:
    • Option One: To Set Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders from Properties
    • Option Two: To Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders from Properties
    • Option Three: To Set Read-only Attribute of File using Command Prompt
    • Option Four: To Unset Read-only Attribute of File using Command Prompt
    • Option Five: To Set Read-only Attribute of All Files in Folder and Subfolders using Command Prompt
    • Option Six: To Unset Read-only Attribute of All Files in Folder and Subfolders using Command Prompt
    • Option Seven: To Set Read-only Attribute of File using PowerShell
    • Option Eight: To Unset Read-only Attribute of File using PowerShell
    • Option Nine: To Set Read-only Attribute of All Files in Folder and Subfolders using PowerShell
    • Option Ten: To Unset Read-only Attribute of All Files in Folder and Subfolders using PowerShell

    EXAMPLE: File is set to read-only message

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]







    OPTION ONE [/i] To Set Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders from Properties
    1. Open File Explorer (Win+E).

    2. Select one or more files and/or folders you want to set as read-only, right click or press and hold on the selected items, and click/tap on Properties. (see screenshot below)

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]

    3. In the General tab, check the Read-only box in the bottom Attributes section, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshots below)

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]

    4. If you selected a folder, select (dot) to either Apply changes to this folder only or Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files for what you want, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshots below)

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]
    Note Apply changes to this folder only will only not be grayed out if you selected other files or folders in addition with this folder.

    If you select (dot) Apply changes to this folder only, any selected folders and their contents will be ignored.

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]





    OPTION TWO [/i] To Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders from Properties
    1. Open File Explorer (Win+E).

    2. Select one or more files and/or folders you want to unset as read-only, right click or press and hold on the selected items, and click/tap on Properties. (see screenshot below)

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]

    3. In the General tab, uncheck the Read-only box in the bottom Attributes section, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshots below)

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]

    4. If you selected a folder, select (dot) to either Apply changes to this folder only or Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files for what you want, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshots below)

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]
    Note Apply changes to this folder only will only not be grayed out if you selected other files or folders in addition with this folder.

    If you select (dot) Apply changes to this folder only, any selected folders and their contents will be ignored.

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]





    OPTION THREE [/i] To Set Read-only Attribute of File using Command Prompt
    1. Open a elevated command prompt based based on the access permissions you have for the file.

    2. Type the command below into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
    *Arrow attrib +r "full path of file with extension"


    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]
    Note Substitute full path of file with extension in the command above with the actual full path of the file you want to set as read-only.

    For example: attrib +r "C:\Users\Brink\Desktop\Folder\File1.txt"

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]





    OPTION FOUR [/i] To Unset Read-only Attribute of File using Command Prompt
    1. Open a permissions you have for the file.

    2. Type the command below into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
    *Arrow attrib -r "full path of file with extension"


    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]
    Note Substitute full path of file with extension in the command above with the actual full path of the file you want to unset as read-only.

    For example: attrib -r "C:\Users\Brink\Desktop\Folder\File1.txt"

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]





    OPTION FIVE [/i] To Set Read-only Attribute of All Files in Folder and Subfolders using Command Prompt
    1. Open a permissions you have for the folder.

    2. Type the command below into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
    *Arrow attrib +r "full path of folder\*" /s /d


    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]
    Note Substitute full path of folder in the command above with the actual full path of the folder you want to set read-only for all files in this folder and its subfolders.

    For example: attrib +r "C:\Users\Brink\Desktop\Folder\*" /s /d

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]





    OPTION SIX [/i] To Unset Read-only Attribute of All Files in Folder and Subfolders using Command Prompt
    1. Open a permissions you have for the folder.

    2. Type the command below into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
    *Arrow attrib -r "full path of folder\*" /s /d


    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]
    Note Substitute full path of folder in the command above with the actual full path of the folder you want to unset read-only for all files in this folder and its subfolders.

    For example: attrib -r "C:\Users\Brink\Desktop\Folder\*" /s /d

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]





    OPTION SEVEN [/i] To Set Read-only Attribute of File using PowerShell

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]
    Note To see more usage options for the Set-ItemProperty command, see: Set-ItemProperty - Microsoft Docs

    1. Open elevated PowerShell based on the access permissions you have for the file.

    2. Type the command below into PowerShell, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
    *Arrow Set-ItemProperty -Path "full path of file with extension" -Name IsReadOnly -Value $True


    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]
    Note Substitute full path of file with extension in the command above with the actual full path of the file you want to set as read-only.

    For example: Set-ItemProperty -Path "C:\Users\Brink\Desktop\Folder\File1.txt" -Name IsReadOnly -Value $True

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]





    OPTION EIGHT [/i] To Unset Read-only Attribute of File using PowerShell

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]
    Note To see more usage options for the Set-ItemProperty command, see: Set-ItemProperty - Microsoft Docs

    1. Open elevated PowerShell based on the access permissions you have for the file.

    2. Type the command below into PowerShell, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
    *Arrow Set-ItemProperty -Path "full path of file with extension" -Name IsReadOnly -Value $False


    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]
    Note Substitute full path of file with extension in the command above with the actual full path of the file you want to unset as read-only.

    For example: Set-ItemProperty -Path "C:\Users\Brink\Desktop\Folder\File1.txt" -Name IsReadOnly -Value $False

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]





    OPTION NINE [/i] To Set Read-only Attribute of All Files in Folder and Subfolders using PowerShell

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]
    Note To see more usage options for the Get-ChildItem command, see: Get-ChildItem - Microsoft Docs

    1. Open elevated PowerShell based on the access permissions you have for the folder.

    2. Type the command below into PowerShell, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
    *Arrow Get-ChildItem -Path "full path of file with extension" -Recurse -File | % { $_.IsReadOnly=$True }


    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]
    Note Substitute full path of file with extension in the command above with the actual full path of the folder you want to set read-only for all files in this folder and its subfolders.

    For example: Get-ChildItem -Path "C:\Users\Brink\Desktop\Folder\File1.txt" -Recurse -File | % { $_.IsReadOnly=$True }

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]





    OPTION TEN [/i] To Unset Read-only Attribute of All Files in Folder and Subfolders using PowerShell

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]
    Note To see more usage options for the Get-ChildItem command, see: Get-ChildItem - Microsoft Docs

    1. Open elevated PowerShell based on the access permissions you have for the folder.

    2. Type the command below into PowerShell, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
    *Arrow Get-ChildItem -Path "full path of file with extension" -Recurse -File | % { $_.IsReadOnly=$False }


    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]
    Note Substitute full path of file with extension in the command above with the actual full path of the folder you want to unset read-only for all files in this folder and its subfolders.

    For example: Get-ChildItem -Path "C:\Users\Brink\Desktop\Folder\File1.txt" -Recurse -File | % { $_.IsReadOnly=$False }

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10 [​IMG]


    That's it,
    Shawn


    Related Tutorials

    :)
     
    Brink, Feb 1, 2017
    #1

  2. Win 10 Folder/file Read Only attribute is not able to be unset

    Why am I not able to unset this attribute in the properties section of the file?
     
    MichaelHelms1, Oct 26, 2019
    #2
  3. Shawn Brink, Oct 26, 2019
    #3
  4. Brink Win User

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10

    Brink, Oct 26, 2019
    #4
  5. Read Only Attribute in Win 10

    Hi Alexandru,

    Thank you for posting on Microsoft Communities.

    I will be glad to help you with the issue you have with the computer. I understand the frustration when things don't work the way it should.

    You may experience any of the following symptoms:

    • You cannot view or change the Read-only or System attributes of a folder by using the
      Properties dialog box for the folder. For example, you may experience the following symptoms:
      • When you view the General tab of a folder's Properties dialog box, the
        Read-only check box is not available, and there is no check box to change the System attribute.
      • You click to clear or click to select the Read-only check box on the
        General tab of a folder's Properties dialog box. When you click
        OK or Apply, you receive the following message:
        Confirm Attribute Changes

        You have chosen to make the following attribute changes:

        unset read-only

        Do you want to apply this change to this folder only, or do you want to apply it to all subfolders and files as well?
        If you click Apply changes to this folder only, the Read-only attribute is changed for all the files in the folder. However, the Read-only attribute is not changed for the folder, its subfolders, or any files in its subfolders. If you click
        Apply changes to this folder, subfolders, and files, the Read-only attribute is changed for all files in the folder and all files in the subfolders. However, the Read-only attribute is not changed for the folder or its subfolders.
    • Some programs may display error messages when you try to save files to a folder that uses the Read-only or System attribute. As a result, these programs may not be able to save files to the folder.
    To work around this problem, use the Attrib command at a command prompt (Cmd.exe) to view or to remove the Read-only or the System attributes of folders. To view or to remove the Read-only or the System attributes of folders
    Warning If you remove the Read-only or System attribute from a folder, it may appear as a ordinary folder and some customizations may be lost. For example, Windows customizes the Fonts folder and provides a special folder view that permits you
    to hide variations, such as bold and italic. It also permits you to change the folder's view settings in ways that are specific to fonts. If you remove the Read-only and System attributes of the Fonts folder, these customized view settings are not available.
    For folders that you have customized by using the Customize tab of the folder's
    Properties dialog box, the folder icon and other other customizations may be lost when you remove the Read-only attribute.

    If a program cannot save files to a folder with the Read-only attribute, such as My Documents, change the Read-only attribute to System by using the Attrib command at a command prompt.

    Note If the Run command is not listed on the
    Start menu, do the following: Click Start, click
    All Programs, click Accessories, and then click
    Run.

    To remove the Read-only attribute and to set the System attribute, use the following command:

    attrib -r +s drive:\<path>\<foldername>
    For example, to remove the Read-only attribute and to set the System attribute for the C:\Test folder, use the following command:
    attrib -r +s c:\test
    Be aware that some programs may not operate correctly with folders for which the System attribute and the Read-only attribute are set. Therefore, use the following command to remove these attributes:
    attrib -r -s c:\test

    Hope this information is helpful. Please post in case you have any further issues, we will be glad to help you further.

    Thank you.
     
    Ruth Buruga, Oct 26, 2019
    #5
  6. Win 10 Folder/file Read Only attribute is not able to be unset

    Windows ignores the read-only attribute of folders. It has no effect.
     
    Frederik Long, Oct 26, 2019
    #6
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Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10

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