If you need to change certain properties to a file, we will show you how to change its attributes in Windows 10 in order for it to be handled correctly.

This allows you to specify how the operating system is supposed to treat it.

How to change a file’s attributes

file explorer select properties
  1. Open Windows File Explorer and find it.
  2. Move your mouse pointer to hover over the file and press the right mouse button. A contextual menu will appear.
  3. Hover your mouse pointer over properties and press the left mouse button.
  4. The common attributes will be listed near the bottom of the properties panel.
file attributes - how to change file attributes

You can, of course, change more attributes. By clicking on the Advanced button, you can select more in a new panel:

select advanced options

Then simply change the attribute you desire:

advanced attribute options

The different types of file attributes

Here is a list of some of the common attributes:

  • Archive (A) – When enabled, it shows if it has changed since the last backup.
  • Hidden (H) – Allows the user to hide it from being displayed in File Explorer.
  • System (S) – This indicated whether or not the file is critical to the operating system.
  • Read-only (R) – This sets the permission as to whether or not you can make changes to it.
  • Compressed (C) – Windows can automatically compress the file when stored if enabled.
  • Encrypted (E) – You can set this to enable encryption on it to prevent unauthorized access to the file.
  • Directory (D) – This will mark it as a subdirectory.
  • Offline (O) – Files will be moved to offline storage.
  • Temporary (T) – Indicated whether it is used for temporary storage.

Of course, there are more of them, you can read more about the various types on Wikipedia.

Related questions

How to change file details in Windows 10

  1. Right-click on it in Windows File Explorer.
  2. Left-click on ‘Properties’ in the contextual menu.
  3. Left-click on the ‘Details’ tab.
  4. Left-click on the value you wish to change and edit it.
  5. Left-click on ‘Apply’ or ‘OK’ to finish.

How to change file author in Windows 10

  1. Open the file details explained in the previous question.
  2. Left-click on the ‘Author’ value and edit it to the name you want.
  3. Left-click on ‘Apply’ or ‘Save’ to finish.


There are an endless amount of reasons as to why you would need its attributes.

Being able to change them quickly is important. As long as you are able to gain access to the file, you will be able to change the attribute to suit your needs.