File attributes

File attributes are settings associated with computer files that grant or deny certain rights to how a user or the operating system can access that file. For example, IBM compatible computers running MS-DOS or Microsoft Windows have capabilities of having read, archive, system, and hidden attributes.

  • Read - Only allows a file to be read, but nothing can be written to the file.
  • Archive - Tells Windows Backup to backup the file.
  • System - System file.
  • Hidden - File will not be shown when doing a regular dir from DOS.

How to adjust the file attributes

  • To adjust the attributes of a file in MS-DOS or the Windows command line use the attrib command.
  • In Linux, Linux variants, and Unix to adjust the file attributes use the chmod command.

Also see: Attribute