How to edit or rename a read-only file
To make updates to a file or change its name, the file cannot be read-only. If you are trying to modify a file that is read-only, you can try the following options to disable that feature and allow for the editing of a file.
Close all other programs
When a program opens a file, it may lock the file or set the file as read-only. Verify that more than one program is not using the same file by closing all other open programs and windows and then saving the file again.
Remove the read-only attribute
Some read-only files can be changed to allow for edits by removing the read-only attribute in the file properties.
- Right-click on the file and select Properties.
- Uncheck the box for Read-only and click OK.
- If the Read-only attribute is removed, the file should now be editable.
Save new copy of the file
Sometimes a file may be set as read-only due to a hidden setting and not because of a read-only attribute. You may be able to save a new copy of the file to remove the read-only setting on the file.
- Open the read-only file.
- Use the Save or Save As option in the software program that is being used to view the file to save a new copy of the file. Make sure to save the new copy of the file as a different file name than the original.
- Close the read-only file, then open the new copy of the file and try modifying the contents of the file and saving it, to see if the read-only setting was removed.
If the above suggestions do not work, the file you're trying to edit may be corrupted, preventing the option to modify it. Try rebooting the computer and re-opening the file to make sure another program has not locked the file. If the file still does not open the file would need to be restored from a backup, re-downloaded, or re-created by the original writer to fix this issue.
- How do I write-protect files and folders?
- How do I password protect my files and folders in Windows?
- How to enable and disable write-protection on a USB flash drive.
- See our file attribute and read-only definitions for further information and related links.
- Computer file help and support.