How to Change Read Only Files or Folders

Removing read-only permissions on a file or folder on your Windows 8.1 computer is a two-stage process. First, before you can change the permissions themselves, you must take ownership of the file or folder. After you’re set up as the owner, you can then change the permissions of the read-only file or folder so that you have full access to modify it.

Windows Debuts New 8.1 Operation System
In Windows 8, Microsoft replaced the old Windows Explorer program with one called File Explorer.
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Take Ownership of File or Folder

Step

Log into your Windows 8.1 computer using an account with administrative privileges and then open the File Explorer program. You can open File Explorer either by searching for it in the Search charm or by pressing “Windows-E” on your keyboard.

Step

Click the file or folder whose permissions you want to change, click the “Share” tab and then click the “Advanced Security” button. The Share tab is located along the top of the File Explorer window and the Advanced Security button is displayed only after you've opened the Share tab.

Step

Verify that your name does not appear next to the Owner field. If it does, skip ahead to the Change Permissions section. If it doesn’t appear next to the Owner field, click the “Change” link located next to the Owner field to launch the Select User Or Group dialog and then click the “Advanced” button. The Advanced button is located in the bottom-left corner of the Select User Or Group dialog.

Step

Click the “Find Now” button on the right side of the Select User Or Group dialog, select your user name on the list of available users, click “OK” and then click “OK” again.

Step

Verify that your user name now appears next to the Owner field. If you’re taking ownership of a folder, place a check mark in the “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects” check box. Click the “Apply” button and then click the “OK” button to finish taking ownership of the file or folder.

Change Permissions

Step

Select the file or folder whose permissions you want to change, click the “Share” tab and then click “Advanced Security.” The Share tab is located along the top of the File Explorer window and the Advanced Security button is displayed only after you've opened the Share tab.

Step

Click the “Add” button located beneath the Permission Entries box, click the “Select a principal” link and then click the “Advanced” button. The Advanced button is located in the bottom-left corner of the Select User Or Group dialog.

Step

Click the “Find Now” button, click your user name on the Search Results list and click “OK.” Click “OK” again, place a check mark in the “Full control” check box and click “OK” once more. The Full Control check box is located under the Basic Permissions heading.

Step

Verify that your user name now appears next to the Allow heading in the Principal column and click “OK” to finish changing the permissions for the file or folder.