I think I'm going crazy. Every time I create a folder it automatically is set to readonly, but I can still then rename the folder or add folders to it. If I attempt to uncheck the readonly flag it becomes checked again when I next open the folder properties. What the heck? Could my IT dept really have set up a policy like this somehow? If so, how?

Seems crazy that Windows would even do this -- no errors when I uncheck read-only and hit ok but the change fails.

Also, it is the halfway checked state -- greyed out and checked, but uncheckable.

  • 1
    Do you have ownership of the folder?
    – Vervious
    Apr 15 '10 at 2:41
  • I've noticed this as well. Seems like all folders on my install default to this. Apr 15 '10 at 2:48
  • Yes I'm the owner
    – Luke
    Apr 15 '10 at 2:48

The actual read-only flag on a folder is used by Windows to mark that the folder has special customizations, but doesn't restrict write access to the folder or its contents.

When you look at a folder's properties, the read-only box will always show the half-way gray state. This means "don't make any changes to read-only flag on the files in this folder". You can check (or clear) the box to mean "make all the files in this folder read-only (or read/write)."

See You cannot view or change the Read-only or the System attributes of folders in Windows Server 2003, in Windows XP, in Windows Vista or in Windows 7 for more info. If you really want to modify the read-only flag for a folder, it shows you how to use the attrib command to do that.

  • It doesn't work in ws2012
    – maxisam
    Dec 27 '12 at 19:14
  • The attrib <dir> command (with no -r) shows there is no "R" on the folder yet it shows the half gray (win8pro).
    – crokusek
    May 19 '16 at 0:06

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