How to Delete Read Only Files

Four Methods:Use the Properties Menu to Eliminate the Read Only AttributeUse the Attrib Command to Turn Off the Read Only AttributeDelete Read Only Files in Mac OS X Using FinderDelete Read Only Files in Mac OS X Using Terminal

In some cases, you may have difficulty deleting a file from your PC or Mac because the file is classified as Read Only. By changing the file attributes, you can easily delete Read Only files in Windows or Mac OS X.

Method 1
Use the Properties Menu to Eliminate the Read Only Attribute

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    Right-click the file in Windows Explorer.
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    Choose "Properties" from the drop-down menu.
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    Uncheck the box next to the "Read Only" option in the "Properties" menu.
    • If the box is checked and grayed out, either the file is in use or you don't have permission to change it.
    • Quit any programs that are using the file. If needed, login as an administrator to gain permission to alter the file.
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    Delete the file.

Method 2
Use the Attrib Command to Turn Off the Read Only Attribute

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    Click Start and select Run. If you don't see the Run command, then click All Programs > Accessories > Run.
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    Remove the Read Only attribute and set the System attribute. Type the following command:
    • attrib -r +s drive:\<path>\<foldername>
    • For the test folder, for example, type attrib -r +s c:\test
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    Delete the file.

Method 3
Delete Read Only Files in Mac OS X Using Finder

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    Open Finder. Find the file that you want to delete and click to highlight it.
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    Click File at the top of the Finder menu, then select Get Info.
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    Select the "Privilege" option in the Sharing & Permissions section.
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    Click on the box next to "Owner."
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    Set the file to Read & Write status.
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    Delete the file

Method 4
Delete Read Only Files in Mac OS X Using Terminal

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    Select Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
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    Type cd <directory>. For example, if you want to adjust permissions for a file in your documents folder, then type cd Documents.
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    Input the command ls -l to view the directory contents in long form. Permissions are displayed on the far left column.
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    Type chmod u+rwx "filename" to grant read, write and execute permissions. Close Terminal.
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    Find and delete the file.

Tips

  • For Mac OS X, you can set file permissions for entire groups. "Read Only" files can changed and deleted by other users on your network if you give them the access to do so.
  • If you are still unable to delete a Read Only file on a Windows computer, try a utility program such as MoveOnBoot, Delete FXP Files, Delinvfile or Unlocker.

Warnings

  • Deleting certain Read Only files may cause certain programs not to function properly. Be sure to research what the file does before you decide to delete it.

Things You'll Need

  • PC or Mac
  • Windows or Mac OS X

Article Info

Categories: Basic Computer Skills