Disable “Read Only” to Windows 10 folders

Windows Folder
Windows Folder

Are you trying to disable the “Read Only” attribute on Windows 10 folders? If your answer is yes, read through to the end to know various tricks to fix this problem.

What is a read-only feature?

Read Only is a file/folder attribute that allows only a specific group of users to modify these files and folders. This feature prevents others from modifying these read-only files/folders without your explicit permission allowing them to do so.

You can choose to keep some files in system mode and others in read-only mode, according to your needs. You can enable/disable the read-only attribute whenever you want.

Unfortunately, several users have reported that when they upgraded to Windows 10, their files and folders keep returning to read-only.

Why do folders keep reverting to read-only permission on Windows 10?

The more general reasons for this problem are the following:

  1. Windows update: If your computer’s operating system has recently been updated to Windows 10, the account permissions may have been altered, thus causing the problem.
  2. Account permissions: The error may be due to the account permissions having changed without your knowledge.

How to activate Windows 10

How to fix folders keep returning read-only on Windows 10

Method 1- disable controlled folder access

Follow these steps to disable controlled folder access, which may be causing this problem.

  1. Search for Windows Security in the search bar. Open it by clicking on it.
  2. Then click protection from viruses and threats from the left pane.
  3. From the right side of the screen, select Manage settings displayed in the Virus & threat protection settings section.
  4. In the Controlled Folder Access section, click Manage Controlled Folder Access.
  5. Here, set the login to Off.
  6. Restart your computer.

Open the folder you were trying to access earlier and check if you can open and edit the folder. If you can’t, try the next method.

Method 2- Log in as administrator

If multiple user accounts have been created on your computer, you will need to log in as an administrator and as a guest. This will allow you to access any files or folders and make any changes you want. Follow these steps to do it:

  1. Search for Command Prompt in the search bar. In the search results, right-click on it and choose Run as administrator.
  2. In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and press Enter:
net user administrator / active- yes
  1. Once the command has been executed successfully, you will be logged in with the administrator account, by default.

Now, try to access the folder and see if the solution helped to disable the “Read Only” attribute to Windows 10 folders forever.

Method 3- Change Folder Attribute

If you are logged in as an administrator and still cannot access certain files, the fault lies with the file or folder attribute. Follow these steps to remove the read-only attribute from the folder command line using the command prompt:

  1. Launch Command Prompt with Administrator privileges as shown in the previous method.
  2. In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and press Enter:
attrib -r + s drive- \ <path> \ <foldername>

For example, the command will look like this for a particular file called Test.txt:

attrib -r + s C- \ Users \ Vik \ Pictures \ New folder \ Test.txt 
  1. After the command is successful, the read-only attribute of the file will change to a system attribute.
  2. Access the file to see if the file continues to revert to read-only on Windows 10.
  3. If the file or folder for which the attribute was changed does not work correctly, remove the system attribute by typing the following in the command prompt and pressing Enter afterwards:
attrib -r -s drive- \ <path> \ <foldername
  1. This will revert all changes made in step 2.

If removing the read-only attribute from the folder’s command line didn’t help, try changing the permissions of the drive as explained in the next method.

Method 4- Changing Drive Permissions

If you experience such difficulties after upgrading to the Windows 10 operating system, you can change the drive permissions and change the “Read Only” attribute to the Windows 10 folders

  1. Right-click the file or folder that keeps returning as read-only. Then, select Properties.
  2. Then, click on the Security tab. Select your username and then click Edit as shown below.
  3. In the new window that opens titled Permissions for <folder name>, check the box next to Full Control to grant permission to view, modify and write the aforementioned file / folder.
  4. Click OK to save these settings.

How to enable inheritance

If more than one user account has been created in the system, you will need to enable inheritance by following these steps:

  1. Go to drive C, where Windows is installed.
  2. Then, open the Users folder.
  3. Now, right-click on your username and then select Properties.
  4. Go to the Security tab, then click Advanced.
  5. Finally, click Enable Inheritance.

Enabling this setting will allow other users to access the files and folders on your computer. If you are unable to remove read-only from a folder in your Windows 10 laptop, try the next methods.

Method 5- disable third-party antivirus software

Third-party antivirus software may detect files on your computer as a threat every time you restart your PC. This could be why folders keep returning read-only. To fix this, you need to disable the third party antivirus installed on your system:

  1. Click the antivirus icon and then go to Settings.
  2. Disable the antivirus software.
  3. Now, follow one of the methods mentioned above and then restart your computer.

Check if the files or folders are returning to read-only even now.

Method 6- perform SFC and DSIM scans

If there are any corrupt files on your system, you need to run SFC and DSIM scans to check and repair those files. Follow the steps below to perform the scans:

  1. Search the command prompt to run as administrator.
  2. Next, execute the SFC command by typing sfc / scannow in the command prompt window en, pressing the Enter key.
  3. Once the scan is complete, perform the DISM scan as explained in the next step.
  4. Now, copy and paste the following three commands one by one into the command prompt and press the Enter key each time to execute them:
DISM.exe / Online / Cleanup-image / Scanhealth 
DISM.exe / Online / Cleanup-image / Restorehealth 
DISM.exe / Online / Cleanup-image / startcomponentcleanup

We hope this guide was helpful and you were able to troubleshoot the folder still being read-only in Windows 10. If you have any questions / comments about this article, feel free to post them in the comments section.


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