How To Make a Folder or File Read-Only

How to make a folder read-only
  1. Open the folder’s property menu. …
  2. Select read-only. …
  3. Copy as path. …
  4. Open your command prompt. …
  5. Change folder attributes via command line. …
  6. Remember your settings. …
  7. Communicate with other users. …
  8. Don’t change system folders or files.

Windows’ read-only feature makes it less likely for you or a teammate to unintentionally delete or modify a file. If you don’t want any unintentional changes to client contracts or business invoices, this can be useful. The protection is limited because you can temporarily turn off the attribute if you need to save changes. Windows Explorer uses the read-only flag to determine whether a folder is a system folder, another special folder, or is customized, making it more difficult to change a folder’s read-only status. Therefore, you cannot view or modify the read-only attribute of folders in Windows Explorer in more recent versions of Windows.

Since 1980, Isobel Phillips has written technical documentation, marketing materials, and educational materials. She also writes on personal development for the website UnleashYourGrowth. Phillips holds a Bachelor of Arts with honors in English from the University of Leeds, is a certified public accountant, and has lectured in accounting, math, English, and information technology.

Fix Read Only Files and Folders in Windows

Why would you set a folder to read-only?

There are some circumstances in which you could make a specific file or folder read-only. The read-only attribute is a type of security that can help protect important files or folders on your computer. For instance, team members might have files in a shared folder that contain crucial client information. You could set the folder to read-only to prevent someone from unintentionally changing or deleting any information within that file. This makes the folder and every file within it read-only.

What does read-only mean?

A file or folder’s read-only attribute indicates that you can access it but not edit it. When a file or folder is set to read-only, you can view its contents but cannot edit or delete it. In order to prevent users from unintentionally deleting or altering something that might cause the software to stop functioning, software developers frequently set important files to read-only.

How to make a folder read-only

Frequently, the method for making a folder read-only depends on the version of Windows you are using. These steps will help you find a technique that works for your version:

1. Open the folders property menu

Through its property menu, a folder can be made read-only in one of the simplest ways possible. To open this, navigate to the folder through Windows Explorer. Find the folder you want to modify and then choose “Properties” from the context menu. This launches the folder’s settings menu, where you can change its settings for the entire folder.

2. Select read-only

There is a box labeled “Read-only” near the bottom of the Properties menu. ” Click this box to turn the setting on. A pop-up message that warns you that you’re changing all the files in that folder may appear when you click the “Apply” button If you want to do this, click “OK.” Your folder should then be in read-only mode, indicated by a checkmark or a filled-in square in the box.

3. Copy as path

There is another approach you can try if you do not see this box listed as an option in your properties folder. First, navigate to the folder through Windows Explorer. Then, without opening it, click once on the folder to highlight it. Shift key on your keyboard depressed, right-click the folder. There should be a “Copy as path” option when you do this. ” Select this option.

The computer command “Copy to path” copies the location of that folder. You will need this information in the next step. If you know the address of the folder on your computer, you can type it if you know how to use “Copy to Path” to obtain it.

4. Open your command prompt

You can open the Windows command prompt in several ways. The “Windows Accessories” folder, which you can access from the start menu, may contain the command prompt. Finally, for more recent Windows users, you can type “cmd” into the search bar in your Start menu, then select “cmd.” Another choice is to choose the “Run” option in your Windows start menu, then type in “cmd.” Any of these choices should launch your command prompt, which is a window with a white text and a black background.

5. Change folder attributes via command line

Type “attrib” into your command prompt to notify Windows that you are about to change something’s attributes. Then, enter a space before typing “-r” to remove the read-only attribute from a folder or “+r” to add it. Lastly, include another space, then add in your folders address. By right-clicking or pressing “CTRL-V” on your keyboard, you can paste this into the command prompt if you chose the “Copy to path” option.

When you type this in and hit enter on your keyboard, the attribute of that folder changes to “attrib +r drive:pathfolder.” If everything went well, type “exit” and hit Enter to close the command prompt window.

Tips for making a folder read-only

Consider using the following advice when altering a file or folder’s read-only settings:

Remember your settings

Try to make a note or reminder for yourself after changing a file or folder’s settings. Keeping a written record can help you remember the current settings of each if you frequently change the settings or use different settings on different files. Additionally, you can check your list to see if the reason for any problems you have with the folder is on there.

Communicate with other users

If other users have access to the folder you are changing the settings for, you might want to let them know about the changes. For instance, other users won’t be able to change the files in a folder if you set it to read-only. They may be able to adjust more quickly if they are aware that you have changed the folder’s settings.

Dont change system folders or files

Avoid altering important system folders when configuring folders on your computer. The proper settings for these folders are typically applied by computers automatically; changing them could interfere with your system. Consider leaving the settings for these folders alone unless you notice a mistake.

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How can I lock a folder in read only?

When a file is set to read-only, it cannot be changed.
  1. To make a file or folder read-only, select Properties from the context menu of the right-clicked object.
  2. Click the Read-only checkbox under the General tab, then click OK.

How do I make a Windows folder read only?

Windows hardening expert Jonathan Hassell explains how to make a Windows folder that multiple users share read-only.
  1. Choose Sharing and Security from the pop-up context menu when you right-click on the folder.
  2. Choose to share the folder, and give it a name.
  3. Click the Permissions button.
  4. Add specific users as necessary.

How do I make a file read only permanently?

Set File Permissions:
  1. Right-click the file in question, select Properties.
  2. Switch to the Security tab.
  3. Click Advanced.
  4. Click the Change Permissions button (if needed.)
  5. Include inheritable permissions from this object’s parent is not selected in the checkbox.
  6. Choose Add when prompted.

How do I protect a folder from editing?

Select and right-click the file, folder, or group of files, and then select Properties from the drop-down menu that appears.
  1. Check the Read-only or Read-only (Only applies to files in this folder) box near the bottom of the File Properties window’s General tab.
  2. Click the OK button to save the new setting.

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