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    Methods to Fix a Folder That Keeps Reverting To Read-only

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      Summary: Marking a folder as Read-only is a safety feature in Windows that prevents other users from modifying the contents of a folder. However, due to a bug or an incorrect setting, the folder reverts to Read-only mode even after changing its attributes. In this guide, you will learn the reasons behind this unusual behavior along with a few effective ways to fix it.

      Read-only is an important file setting that allows you to protect valuable files from any unwanted change. It protects the files from malware, ransomware, unwanted changes, and more. A file or folder is marked as Read-only to restrict modification and deletion.

      While as useful as this feature seems, sometimes, a folder or file keeps reverting to Read-only state even after changing its permissions. This becomes an annoyance as it affects our work and makes the data partially usable.

      The question arises as to why there is no one specific cause behind the stated issue, but rather a list of minor problems like misconfigured settings and third-party file locks causing the folder to keep reverting to Read-only. It could also happen due to insufficient folder permissions. Let’s read further and see what can be done to prevent a folder from reverting to Read-only status.

      Methods to Fix a Folder that Keeps Reverting to Read-only

      As mentioned earlier, there is no way to circle out the exact reasons why a folder keeps reverting to Read-only status. This makes it a bugging issue that seems to be never-ending. However, with the right methods, this problem can be resolved in no time. Let’s look at the methods explained below.

      Method 1: Login Using the Administrator Account

      If you are unable to modify or delete a file or folder using an account other than the administrator account, it could be due to a lack of permissions and Read-only status given to it by the administrator account. You can fix this by logging in using an administrator account and then trying again.

      Method 2: Disable Read-only Attributes

      This is another simple way that can be used to fix a folder that has a Read-only status to it. You can go into its properties to make the folder writable again. To do this –

      • Select the folder and right-click on it.
      • Click on Properties.
      • Navigate to the General tab and go to the Attributes section.
      • Uncheck the Read-only option.
      • Click on Apply and OK.
      Uncheck read only option to fix a folder that keeps reverting to read only

      Removing the Read-only attributes will easily help you make the contents of that folder writable again.

      Method 3: Use the Attrib Command in the Command Prompt

      In some situations, an administrator is also not able to fix a folder that keeps reverting to Read-only by removing the folder attributes from its properties. In such a situation, using the attrib command could come in handy to fix this issue. The command to be used is quite simple to follow. Here’s what to do –

      • Launch Command Prompt as administrator.
      • Type in the following command – attrib –s –r “Folderpath”. Replace “Folder” with the actual path of the folder that has Read-only attributes.
      • Press Enter.
      Use attrib command in cmd to remove read only from a folder

      Method 4: Take Full Control of the Folder

      Insufficient permissions or access to the folder can prevent you from modifying the contents inside. Trying to change its attributes can lead the folder to revert to Read-only status. You can fix this by taking ownership of the folder. Here are the steps to do it –

      • Right-click on the problematic folder and click on Properties.
      • Go to the Security tab.
      • In the Group or user name section, click on your username.
      • Review the permissions below it. It will display all the permissions that you have for that specific folder.
      • If there are any permissions missing, click on your username and click Edit.
      edit folder properties
      • Enable Full control.
      • Click on Apply and OK.
      take full control of the folder to remove read only attribute from it

      Method 5: Remove Third-Party File Locking Applications

      Third-party file-locking applications can cause conflicts with system policies related to folder attributes and permissions. This can cause the folder to revert to the Read-only status. You can fix this by disabling or removing any third-party file lockers that you have installed. Once you have uninstalled them, try changing the folder attributes to check whether this resolves the issue.

      Method 6: Manage Controlled Folder Access

      Controlled folder access is a great security feature added by Microsoft to prevent anyone from accessing or modifying the contents of a folder. Only the selected users are able to modify the files inside the folder. Hence, it is suggested to enable the controlled folder access feature to keep malware, ransomware, and other unwanted users at bay. Doing so will help you protect yourselves from unwanted data loss and theft.

      However, if anyone with full access to folder settings has modified the controlled folder access permissions, then that could be the reason causing the folder to revert to Read-only status. You can fix this by turning OFF this feature in the Settings app. Carefully follow the steps –

      • Press WINDOWS + Q and search for Window Security.
      • Select Virus & threat protection to access security settings.
      • Click on Manage ransomware protection and toggle the switch under Controlled folder access to OFF state.
      turn off controlled folder access

      If you want to keep the Controlled folder access feature enabled, you can do that and still remove the specific folder from the protected folder list. To do this –

      • Once again, in the Virus & threat protection, click on Manage ransomware protection.
      • Select Protected folders under Controlled folder access.
      Click on protected folder list to remove your folder that keeps reverting to read only
      • It will open the Protected folders window. Choose the folder that you want to remove and click on Remove.
      • Click on OK to exit.

      Wrapping it Up

      The ‘Read-only’ feature helps a user safeguard data from unwanted modification and other threats. But in some scenarios, a bug can cause these features to glitch, resulting in issues that make a folder revert to Read-only status. However, with the methods outlined above, you can easily fix the issue/s causing a folder to revert to Read-only attribute and make changes to the files without any hiccups.

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      About The Author

      Keshav Katyal

      A passionate writer, driven by his interest in everything tech, Keshav Katyal has always been captivated by the latest gadgets since childhood. His interest in gadgets grew when he got his first gaming console, the Nintendo Game Boy Advanced. Hours and days of tinkering with gadgets encouraged the inner geek in him who now loves writing about the latest technologies.

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