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. In the "Attributes:" section, enabled attributes have checks beside them. Add or remove the checks from , , or to enable or disable these options. If you want to change the attribute, you need to do it from the command prompt.
Note: In Windows 7, Vista, or XP, you will see only the and checkboxes on the first screen. To see the checkbox, click .
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:
filename.ext with the full name of the file.
You should see something like:
A SHR FILENAME.EXT C:\FILENAME.EXT
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
- (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
attrib +h filename.ext
Using the plus sign in this example adds the Hidden attribute to the file.
This is document aift in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2013-01-03 00:00:00.
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