Windows 7 seems to have all these fancy metadata fields that are viewable in Explorer - but no way to edit all of them! I know you can right click -> properties to edit a few things and to scrub metadata, but many of the fields in the Details tab are read-only on most files.

My purpose here is to keep records of files for document control. Right now I am using Excel to monotonously enter all the information I need for a file (project, vendor, customer, revision number, submittal date, etc.), but I thought I could be creative and just attach each of these items directly to files.

I suspect I may not be able to do this in Windows and should probably looking at file cataloging options with better features like reporting. However, I know little about catalogs either so not sure which route to go.


Some files's metedata can be edited in the explorer window, but not all file types for some reason. Those that can be edited have editable fields at teh bottom of the explorer window where it displays the information. You can simply click on the field and edit the data in that field. Unfortunately, not all file types allow for this type of editing, and I am not sure how exactly to deal with those.


  • Is it possible that the reason I don't see editable fields in FLAC files is because it's unsupported? – Shimmy Oct 14 '13 at 5:13
  • You only see editable metadata if Windows Explorer knows how to edit the files (i.e. has a shell extension for the file). That metadata is stored inside the files, not outside in the file system. – Mario Apr 10 '14 at 6:51

To edit you or windows cant be using (writting / reading it). You can do it by booting Windows from another partition or disk, then you can open all these files.

  • 1
    Do you mean even if I do not currently have the files open, Windows still locks them since it's accessing the metadata? It seems like if you are looking at ANY file in Windows Explorer, it's automatically locking them from editing in that case... – NoCatharsis May 27 '11 at 21:14

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