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As far as I have ever known, files could have any combination of four attributes: (R)ead-only, (A)rchive, (S)ystem and (H)idden.

I have researched and found out there is also the +I attribute (indexed). But nothing about "+N".

What is this misterious +N attribute on my Vista machine?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The I and N attributes mean the same thing (for some obscure reason, Microsoft prefers to display the same attribute as "N" in Windows Explorer and as "I" in the command line, at least in Windows Vista). This attribute applies only to folders and it means "do not index".

Let's check the propierties of a regular folder on Windows Explorer.

Notice there's a setting called "Index this folder for faster searching":

enter image description here

On folders containing the "N" attribute, this checkmark is not checked.

Let's change the folder's attributes adding I to it .

The Windows Explorer view reflects the new attribute:

enter image description here

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The N stands for Not indexed.


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