Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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?

enter image description here

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

The N stands for Not indexed.


share|improve this answer

It must be probably denoting NOT INDEXED folder...

share|improve this answer
Please expand your answer. –  Lee Taylor Dec 8 '12 at 20:58
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Answer: 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 (not tested on other versions of Windows).

I have performed tests using the attrib.exe command and as users Hennes and Mr. Alien stated, inded the "N" attribute displayed on the attributes column of Windows Explorer means "not indexed", while the same attribute is displayed as "+I" on the command line via attrib.

enter image description here

The folders containing the "N" attribute lacked the checkmark on "Index this folder for faster searching", whereas the folders without this attribute had the checkmark.

enter image description here

Incidentally, I found out Windows won't let me change the attributes of either hidden or system files/folders. This way, if I want a file/folder to be both +H and +S, I have to set both attributes at the same time.

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.