Indiana University
University Information Technology Services
What are archived documents?

Login is for authorized groups (e.g., UITS, OVPIT, and TCC) that need access to specialized Knowledge Base documents. Otherwise, simply use the Knowledge Base without logging in.


ARCHIVED: In Windows, what are file attributes, and how can I change them?

File attributes can be used to write-protect, hide, and unhide files, or in behind-the-scenes file maintenance:

  • Read-only: Readable, but cannot be changed or deleted
  • Hidden: By default, not displayed in a directory listing
  • Archive: Used for selectively backing up or copying files; most helpful in DOS
  • System: Flagged for use by the operating system; not usually displayed in a directory listing

Changing file attributes

View or change file attributes

To view or change the attributes of a file, right-click the file, and then click Properties. In the "Attributes:" section, enabled attributes have checks beside them. Add or remove the checks from Read-only, Archive, or Hidden to enable or disable these options. If you want to change the System attribute, you need to do it from the command prompt.

Note: In Windows 7, Vista, or XP, you will see only the Read-only and Hidden checkboxes on the first screen. To see the Archive checkbox, click Advanced.

Change file attributes from the command prompt

To determine what attributes are enabled on a file, you must use the attrib command in the command prompt. In the directory where the file is located, enter: attrib filename.ext

Replace filename.ext with the full name of the file.

You should see something like:


The initials on the left stand for the first letter of the enabled attribute: A for Archive, S for System, H for Hidden, and R for Read-only.

To clear an attribute with attrib, use  -  (the minus sign), for example: attrib -s -h -r filename.ext

Using the minus signs after attrib in the above example clears the System, Hidden, and Read-only attributes from the file. To add an attribute, use  +  (the plus sign), as follows: attrib +h filename.ext

Using the plus sign in this example adds the Hidden attribute to the file.

This is document aift in domain all.
Last modified on January 03, 2013.

I need help with a computing problem

  • Fill out this form to submit your issue to the UITS Support Center.
  • Please note that you must be affiliated with Indiana University to receive support.
  • All fields are required.

Please provide your IU email address. If you currently have a problem receiving email at your IU account, enter an alternate email address.

I have a comment for the Knowledge Base

  • Fill out this form to submit your comment to the IU Knowledge Base.
  • If you are affiliated with Indiana University and need help with a computing problem, please use the I need help with a computing problem section above, or contact your campus Support Center.