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Windows 7, 32-bit: There is 1 user account in this PC, and that is my account.

What I do is, I right click to a folder and uncheck the read only option, apply, close. After when I reopen the folder's properties I see that it is restored and file is still read only.

What should I do?

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Have you considered opening up process monitor and seeing who's setting the readonly bit? – Billy ONeal Jan 31 '11 at 1:51
can you give details?, I am using windows in another language, so I couldn't find the process monitor, do you mean ctrl + alt + del ? – sprsr Jan 31 '11 at 12:29
Could you be looking at a SSD that's reached the end of it's rated life and gone into read-only mode? – Loren Pechtel Aug 1 '13 at 18:10

From your question it seems this issue is on folders, and you do not mention any inability to access these files. If this is the case the below should apply to you:

Unlike the Read-only attribute for a file, the Read-only attribute for a folder is typically ignored by Windows, Windows components and accessories, and other programs. For example, you can delete, rename, and change a folder with the Read-only attribute by using Windows Explorer. The Read-only and System attributes is only used by Windows Explorer to determine whether the folder is a special folder, such as a system folder that has its view customized by Windows (for example, My Documents, Favorites, Fonts, Downloaded Program Files), or a folder that you customized by using the Customize tab of the folder's Properties dialog box. As a result, Windows Explorer does not allow you to view or change the Read-only or System attributes of folders. When a folder has the Read-Only attribute set it causes Explorer to request the Desktop.ini of that folder to see if any special folder settings need to be set. It has been seen where if a network share that has a large amount of folders set to Read-only, it can cause Explorer to take longer then what is expected to render the contents of that share while it waits on the retrieval of the Desktop.ini files. The slower the network connectivity to the share the longer this process can take to the point where Explorer may timeout waiting for the data and render nothing or appear to hang.

I have run into the issue you are describing in the past where you uncheck the box and after closing and opening properties again it is still checked. The above is what I found when looking into this issue. Source

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Are you checking files or folder? Windows ignores read-only attributes for folders. If you un-check the read-only checkbox for a folder, it just appears greyed out the next time you open the folder properties. Check the "Cause" section of this KB article:

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It is not grayed out, there is a blue squere at read only section, and It remains when I reopen the folder properties. – sprsr Feb 1 '11 at 16:44

Try using the attrib tool from the command prompt. You can type attrib /? to see usage guidelines.

Try this:

attrib -r -s c:\YourFolder /S /D

-r means remove readonly attribute -s means remove system attribute /S means process files and all subfolders /D means process folders also

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I just ran into the same issue as the OP. Applying this commandline fix had no effect. – estanford Aug 20 '12 at 15:43

I've spent a lot of time trying to make my folders not read only too. Even talked to my computer support staff and they were unable to resolve it. Guess what! There wasn't anything to fix.

Did Google search and found out that while files restrict changes when it's read only, folders that are read only are read only so different programs know how to treat them (it's a bit technical for me to explain more, since that's all I understand). Kyle's answer has the more technical details about it all.

But the real eye opener was this website which had pictures. Seems that even though the read only box has a little square in it - it isn't read only. Just when the box has a check mark in it, is it read only. So all this time and energy and they weren't even read only and even if they were, it's only important to the programs to know.

Hope this is the case with you and they aren't read only, so you won't have to worry. Cheers! Here's the pictures telling which are and aren't read only.

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The link to the site with pictures c/should have been a comment on Kyle's answer. – Joshua Drake Apr 13 '15 at 14:04

I had a similar issue yesterday, you can try this on the folders in question:

Right click your folder
Select properties
Hit the security tab
Click the Advanced button
Click the Owner tab
Click Edit
Highlight your username
Check "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" 
Select OK, OK

Then you can go in and check the NTFS permissions under Properties -> Security and and ensure you have full control. This should solve your files being read only.

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it didn't work, read only section is still checked. Does the "replace owner on subcontainers and objects" checkbox should remain checked ? Because it doesn't stay so. And after I check it and apply, it says something like (I am translating from another language because my windows is not english) If you have taken the ownership of this object not so long ago, you need to close and reopen properties of this object. – sprsr Feb 1 '11 at 17:20
Can you open the files in the folder for editing? That is the main question. Because the blue square you speak of is normal, stated in a way below. What exactly are you trying to accomplish that you cannot? – Dan M. Feb 1 '11 at 17:29
I am tring to install a cms, which is named magento, and it doesn't pass the configuration step. In the forums I searched it seems to be related with the file permissions and when I looked at the files, I saw that there is blue square in all files. That is what I am after. I am tring the blue square vanish because it may be related for my cms to be installed. – sprsr Feb 1 '11 at 17:48
I doubt that is really the issue, the blue square. Also check out this thread for proper installation procedures. I think this may have more to do with that than anything else: – Dan M. Feb 1 '11 at 18:28

Here is the solution:

The problem isn't that the folder is Read Only. Rather, because your folder was created on a different

installation of Windows you no longer have NTFS security permissions to access (read) the folder.

Correct this by following these steps to take ownership and then grant yourself full access to the folder.

1.Right-click the folder > Properties

2.Security tab > Advanced

3.Click Change to the right of Owner

4.Enter Users (user name you used when installing Windows) into box and click check names then OK

5.Enable the checkbox Replace owner on sub-containers and objects then click Apply

That should fix it at this point item 5, however see below if problem continues:

6.If prompted that You do not have permissions to read... click Yes

7.Completely close out of the Advanced Security Settings dialog

8.Right-click the folder > Properties

9.Security tab > Edit...


11.Enter Users into box and click OK

12.Enable the Full Control checkbox then click OK

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Where does the OP mention the fact that disk of even files are from another system? – Dave M Aug 19 '15 at 12:40

I found a solution - make sure the preview button is off in the file's folder. The preview button is in the top right corner of the file.

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Please read the question again carefully. Your answer does not answer the original question. Preview has nothing to do with ReadOnly. – DavidPostill Jul 16 at 7:52

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