Unable to Unset Read-only Attribute of Documents Folder on my PC

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  1. Posts : 89
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit Version 22H2 (OS Build 19045.3086)
       #1

    Unable to Unset Read-only Attribute of Documents Folder on my PC


    I'm using Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Version 22H2 (OS Build 19045.3208).

    The Documents folder keeps reverting to read-only.

    First, I found that the folder C:\Users\Michael\Documents on my PC can't be accessed ("Location is not available" error). When I opened its Properties, I found out that its Attributes: are Read-only (Only applies to files in the folder). When I uncheck the read-only box in properties it keeps reverting and checking the box back to read-only.
    Screenshots show Documents folder properties on both HDD & SSD drives:
    Unable to Unset Read-only Attribute of Documents Folder on my PC-2023-07-24_105532.png Unable to Unset Read-only Attribute of Documents Folder on my PC-2023-07-23_152254.png

    I am on an administrator account (the only account on my PC) and have full control over permissions on all drives. I have done malware checks that can cause problems with read-only issues.

    I moved the Documents folder from the SSD to the HDD drive as follows:
    from C:\Users\Michael\ (the Documents folder was empty at that location)
    to F:\Michael\ (I found that the Documents folder already exists at that location and had many files and folders).

    Then I tried to unset the read-only attribute using an elevated command prompt; the results were as follows:
    1. C:\Users\Michael\Desktop>attrib -r "F:\Michael\Documents\*" /s /d
    Not resetting hidden file - F:\Michael\Documents\desktop.ini
    2. C:\Users\Michael\Desktop>attrib -r "C:\Users\Michael\Documents\*" /s /d
    File not found - C:\Users\Michael\Documents\*

    I found that "desktop.ini" file under F:\Michael\Documents using Everything (search engine) - see screenshot.
    Unable to Unset Read-only Attribute of Documents Folder on my PC-2023-07-24_211410.png

    Should I delete the Documents folder under C:\Users\Michael\?
    I don't know what to do anymore. Please help!
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 69,622
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
       #2

    Hello Mike,

    Actually, that doesn't indicate Read-only.

    Set or Unset Read-only Attribute of Files and Folders in Windows 10

    Read-only box = Neutral setting of a folder that is always displayed by default.

    Read-only box = File is currently read-only. Only displays temporarily for a folder while setting to be applied to files in folder.

    Read-only box = File is currently not read-only. Only displays temporarily for a folder while setting to be applied to files in folder.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 43,285
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)
       #3

    I found (that) a "desktop.ini" file
    desktop.ini is a hidden file by default.

    Hidden files are hidden so users don't damage their system by accessing them inappropriately.

    It is used to store certain parameters related to the folder.

    I strongly recommend that you restore hidden status under Folder Options, View. (Two possible related options).

    I moved the Documents folder from the SSD to the HDD drive
    I would never personally recommend doing this for reasons I have previously posted.

    The tutorial recommends you create a system/disk image before doing so. Why? Because bad things can happen if you get this wrong.
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 89
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit Version 22H2 (OS Build 19045.3086)
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Thank you for the prompt reply, Brink.

    I do not really understand the meaning of "Neutral setting of a folder that is always displayed by default".
    Does it mean that the files in such folders are not read-only?
    Do I need to delete the Documents folder in C:\Users\Michael\?
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 69,622
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
       #5

    mike ten said:
    Thank you for the prompt reply, Brink.

    I do not really understand the meaning of "Neutral setting of a folder that is always displayed by default".
    Does it mean that the files in such folders are not read-only?
    Do I need to delete the Documents folder in C:\Users\Michael\?
    A folder will never have "Read-only" remain checked unlike a file.

    You can check a file in the folder to see if the file is Read-only to see.
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 89
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit Version 22H2 (OS Build 19045.3086)
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Thank you for your reply, dalchina.

    I'm trying to uncheck the hidden status under View, but the Explorer window opens again and again with the Hidden items checked. Are there other ways to enable the hidden status of files/folders?
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 17,040
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.4170
       #7

    mike ten said:
    I do not really understand the meaning of "Neutral setting of a folder that is always displayed by default".
    That indicator you posted a diagram of is virtually meaningless. You should ignore it and not take any action as a results of having looked at it.
    mike ten said:
    Does it mean that the files in such folders are not read-only?
    It doesn't mean anything.

    mike ten said:
    Do I need to delete the Documents folder in C:\Users\Michael\?
    I think you should start a new thread on this topic.
    Explain what you did.
    Reboot before checking everything.
    Don't include the stuff about read-only because it is a red herring & a distraction.
    Do include screenshots of the right-hand side of these Registry Keys
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders
    in which you have
    - dragged around the column headers so all the text can be seen, and
    - cropped the diagram to remove large areas of white space.
    Upload and Post Screenshots and Files - TenForumsTutorials


    All the best,
    Denis
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 1,228
    W10-Pro 22H2
       #8

    What Denis wrote, plus: when you relocate a 'special' folder like Documents the proper way (by changing the setting under the properties>Location tab), the new location (in my case, d:\dad\documents) should acquire the location tab, and the original (c:\users\mnger\documents) should lose it (or maybe it should disappear, but mine is present, without a location tab).

    Both your documents folders have a location tab, so something is wrong. You say that you moved the documents folder, but don't say how (drag & drop, edit location tab, whatever), but clearly something went awry. Follow Denis' instruction, and he may be able to help you tidy things up.

    You may think that Denis' statement 'That indicator you posted a diagram of is virtually meaningless. You should ignore it and not take any action as a results of having looked at it.' sounds absurd - but this is Microsoft we are talking about. The 'read-only' check box you normally see, as a blob, is waiting for you to change it (if you so wish) to either a tic or a blank (I don't know how to quickly find the symbols that Brink used) - but in either case, as the message next to it tries to make clear, you will only be affecting files in the folder (and maybe sub-folders).

    Whatever you choose for those file(s), the folder itself won't change, and will revert to a blob on next inspection.

    You can change the folder properties by using the permissions tab, but that is a more complex process.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 89
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit Version 22H2 (OS Build 19045.3086)
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Thank you, Try3.
    I'm still processing your reply. And rebooting my PC.
    In the meantime, here are the screenshots:
    Unable to Unset Read-only Attribute of Documents Folder on my PC-2023-07-24_234046.png

    Unable to Unset Read-only Attribute of Documents Folder on my PC-2023-07-24_234327.png
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 17,040
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.4170
       #10

    Mike,

    1 Honestly, there's nothing to process. Just never bother looking at or thinking about this
    Unable to Unset Read-only Attribute of Documents Folder on my PC-2023-07-24_105532.png


    2 Your Registry screenshots look as though you did the job properly.
    The unwanted C:\Users\Michael\Documents is of no significance. It is not doing you any harm.
    Personally, I'd try pasting C:\Users\Michael\Documents into the File explorer address bar as a last attempt to get into the folder so I could right-click, Properties to check it had no Location tab {which your Registry Keys say it will not} and then to delete it.
    But, as I say, it is not doing you any harm.


    Denis
      My Computer


 

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