I feel like this is a really simple and fundamental function that Windows should have, but so far Google has been telling me it isn't possible. How can I mount an NTFS partition read-only in Windows?

  • 1
    Without trying to detract from an otherwise nice question and answer, if one wants to try to use ATTR/ATT on an old and archaic version of Windows (i.e. XP), diskpart 5.1.3565 doesn't support that command. Why one might want to use an XP version of diskpart might be seem to present quite a puzzle, but, well, just saying, I couldn't use the goodness in this question and answer - the question did not constrain the question to particular vintages of Windows.
    – kbulgrien
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 22:19

1 Answer 1


You can modify the volume attributes to make it read-only:

  • Switch off "automount" by running mountvol.exe /N
  • Connect disk to Windows (do not mount the disk)
  • Run diskpart
  • Enter list volume
  • Enter select volume X (where X is the correct volume number from the previous command)
  • Enter attributes volume set readonly
  • Enter detail volume and ensure the read-only bit is set

Now you can mount the volume and it will be read-only.

Note that the diskpart commands can be abbreviated, e.g. att vol, det vol.

See also: http://crawlmsdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc302206.aspx

  • 16
    Note: those attributes are persistent and stored on the partition, so this is a bit different from the "read-only mount" notion on Linux (ie. simply putting the hard drive back in the original enclosure won't make the partition read-write, and Windows won't be able to boot on it).
    – Damien B
    Commented Jul 12, 2012 at 21:03
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    To re-enable automatic mounting of new volumes use mountvol.exe /E. To remove the readonly flag, select the volume in diskpart (use the commands in this answer) and enter att vol clear readonly.
    – Ronald
    Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 23:52
  • 1
    Thank you Everett, this also answers my question. I wrote a PowerShell script according to your explanations, may be useful for someone else.
    – mmdemirbas
    Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 21:03
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    Under Windows 8.1, mountvol /n did not prevent drive from being automounted. One should consider using this beforehand: petri.co.il/configure_usb_disks_to_be_read_only_in_xp_sp2.htm Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 21:19
  • 1
    Alternative to mountvol /N command, in diskpart you can use AUTOMOUNT ENABLE and AUTOMOUNT DISABLE commands.
    – Slider2k
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 14:33

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