I reinstalled a fresh copy of Windows 8.1 on my laptop after formatting drive C. Then I tried to access my Photos folder on drive D and got the error

Access is denied

It turned my folder into a Read Only folder. All other folders on the drive work normally.

I tried using Command Prompt to remove the Read Only attribute but the error message still appears. I tried doing it the simple way (right-click and so on) but the option to change the folder properties from read-only doesn't even appear.

How do I access the folder on my D drive?

  • 1
    Read-only folders can still be accessed but not modified. Is that the case? Are you able to at least get a directory listing with dir /b Photos?
    – Tymric
    Nov 28, 2014 at 16:32
  • Hi Timmy! nope, it doesn't work. It says: file not found. I cannot access the folder in any way
    – shiva86
    Nov 28, 2014 at 16:42

4 Answers 4


The problem isn't that the folder is Read Only. Rather, because your folder was created on a different installation of Windows you no longer have NTFS security permissions to access (read) the folder.

Correct this by following these steps to take ownership and then grant yourself full access to the folder.

  1. Right-click the folder > Properties
  2. Security tab > Advanced
  3. Click Change to the right of Owner
  4. Enter Users into box and click OK
  5. Enable the checkbox Replace owner on subcontainers and objects then click Apply
  6. If prompted that You do not have permissions to read... click Yes
  7. Completely close out of the Advanced Security Settings dialog
  8. Right-click the folder > Properties
  9. Security tab > Edit...
  10. Add...
  11. Enter Users into box and click OK
  12. Enable the Full Control checkbox then click OK
  • 1
    In step 5.) apart from the mentioned checkbox I also had to tick the checkbox at the bottom of the 'Permissions' tab in 'Advanced Security Settings' in order to be able to recursively change the Read-only permission later. The box says: "Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permissions entries from this object". Jul 20, 2016 at 14:41
  • Here I can only see "Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permissions entries from this object", where is the "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects"?
    – KcFnMi
    Apr 28, 2021 at 9:57

Do this in CMD as admin

for the folder

attrib -r c:\my-folder

and the files

attrib -r c:\my-folder\*.*

It did the job. I was having issue with PhpStorm. It wasn't able to save the project files because of the read-only status. After doing this in CMD as admin, all is well.

I posted this in Microsoft forum as well - http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-files/in-windows-8-x64-can-not-remove-read-only/81ed233f-9149-4881-bb15-cf0e1ca150e3


This could be due to some permission issue with the user profile after you re-installed the OS

Try to change the permission at Advanced Security Properties. Try these steps and check your outcome.

Right the Folder > Properties > Security tab > select "Authenticated Users" > click on Advanced > click on "Change Permissions" > 'Add' the user in topic > Add the User and click on "Full Control" check box > click OK.

This will help you to resolve the issue.


Easily done with PowerShell for all sub-files and folders:

ls -r c:\folder | % { attrib -r $_.FullName }

Where aliases:

ls > Get-ChildItem

% > ForEach-Object

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