How to Fix Folder Keeps Reverting to Read Only on Windows

If your folder keeps reverting to read-only it could be due to a recent Windows 10 upgrade. Many users have reported that when upgrading their system to Windows 10, they encountered this error. Read-only is a file/folder attribute that lets only a specific group of users read or edit the files or folder. This can get infuriating, however, the fix is quite simple and easy but may differ depending on the scenario that caused it.

Generally, when you encounter such an issue, you can easily overcome it by unchecking the read-only attribute box found in the properties of the file/folder. However, this case is not that simple. You won’t be able to change the read-only attribute of the file/folder which gets annoying. Nevertheless, this article will teach you how to access your files/folders again — just follow through with the instructions.

The folder reverts to read-only Windows 10

What causes the folder to revert to read-only on Windows 10?

This might be happening to you due to various reasons, nonetheless, the most generic ones are —

  • Windows upgrade. If you’ve recently upgraded your system to Windows 10, this might be occurring due to that as your account permissions may have been altered.
  • Account permissions. Sometimes, the error could be simply because of your account permissions which is the most common cause without you realizing it.

The possible and effective solutions for this problem are: –

Disable Controlled Access

Before we try other technical solutions, we will first try to disable the Controlled Folder Access in your settings. This is a hotfix and you may proceed with other solutions if this doesn’t work for you.

  1. Press and hold the “Windows Key + I” button to launch Windows Settings.
  2. Once the Settings are opened, navigate to Update & Security and then click on Windows Security.
  3. Now, under the Virus & threat protection settings, click on Manage settings.
    Virus & threat protection settings
  4. Under Controlled folder access, select Manage Controlled folder access and switch the access to Off.
    Manage Controlled folder access to Off
  5. Restart your computer completely and then check if the issue is resolved.

Log in as an Administrator

To start with the common mistake, if you have created multiple accounts on your system, make sure you are signed in as an administrator while accessing the file. The reason you are not able to read or edit the file/folder could be that the file/folder was created using an administrator account and you are trying to access it using a guest account or any other. Hence, before you move into the solutions mentioned below, make sure you are using the administrative account.

Change the Attribute of the Folder

If you are logged in as an administrator and still unable to access the files, then in such a case, you’ll have to change the attribute of the file using the command prompt. To do this, follow the given instructions:

  1. Press Winkey + X and select Command Prompt (Admin) from the list.
  2. To remove the read-only attribute and set a new attribute, use the following command:
    Enter the command to remove Read-only Attribute
attrib -r +s drive:\<path>\<foldername>
  1. The above command will remove the read-only attribute of the file and change it to a system attribute. However, some files/folders do not operate properly in the system attribute so use the following command if you want to remove the system attribute:
attrib -r -s drive:\<path>\<foldername

Change Permissions of the Drive

If you are facing this issue after upgrading your system to Windows 10, then changing the permissions of the drive could fix your problem. There have been several reports according to which the issue has been solved via this method. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Right-click on the drive where your files/folders are located.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Navigate to the Security tab.
    Local Disk Properties (Security)
  4. Click Advanced and then select Change Permissions.
    Select change permissions
  5. Highlight your user and then click Edit.
    Highlight your user and click Edit
  6. Select This folder, subfolders, and files from the drop-down list.
  7. Check the Full Control box under Basic Permissions.
    Check the Full Control Box
  8. Click OK.

If you have more than one account on the system, then you’ll have to enable inheritance first. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to your System drive (where your Windows is installed).
  2. Go to the Users folder.
  3. Right-click on your username and click Properties.
  4. In the Security tab, click Advanced.
  5. Hit Enable Inheritance.
    Highlight your user and click Enable Inheritance
    Highlight your user and click Enable Inheritance

Disable your Third-party antivirus

If the error persists whenever your system restarts, it could be due to your third-party antivirus software. Your antivirus might be detecting the files as a threat and consequently, stopping you from accessing them. In such a case, you’ll have to disable your antivirus software, change the attributes of the files/folders as mentioned above and restart your system to see if the files/folders still revert to read-only. If they don’t, this means your antivirus is causing the issue and you should probably uninstall it.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.
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