Windows XP doesn’t actually recursively change attributes

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This should probably go into the question about Windows Annoyances, but can anyone explain why this happens, and how to fix it?

I right-click on a folder, select properties, and uncheck the Read-only. Click on OK. I get a confirmation with the option to apply changes to this folder only, or include subfolders and files. I select the latter, and click OK.

Go back to properties, and it’s still showing up as Read only. Why? I can’t see any files that are still read-only


This issue is described in KB326549: You cannot view or change the Read-only or the System attributes of folders in Windows Server 2003, in Windows XP, or in Windows Vista

The solution given there is to simply use the command-line attrib command to remove the attributes, like so:

attrib -r -s "c:somepathmy readonly folder"

Type Win+R cmd ENTER to get a shell. In the shell, type the following:

> cd "C:PathToRead-OnlyFolder"
> attrib -R /S /D

The /S and /D are needed to recurse into and remove read-only attribute from subfolders.

  • Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
  • Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorer subkey.
  • Select New -> DWORD Value from the Edit menu.
  • Enter a name of
    and press Enter.
  • Double-click the new value, set it to 1, and click OK.
  • Close the registry editor.
  • Reboot the machine for the changes to take effect.

Once you’ve done this you should be able to change your folder permissions.

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