How to Move or Copy a File That Is Write Protected

Updated July 20, 2017

Microsoft Windows allows you to write-protect files so that other users can not move, copy or delete them. In some cases another user with administrator privileges needs to move or copy these files. It is not possible to directly perform this task without changing the write-protection settings of the file. The write-protection must be removed, or the administrator user must be granted write privileges first.

Right-click on the folder containing the write-protected file. Click on "Properties."

Click on the "Security" tab. Then click "Advanced."

Click on your user account from the list and press "Edit." Click on "Allow" next to each of the permissions in the "Permissions" box.

Check the box to "Apply to subfolders" in the "Apply Onto" box. The settings are applied to the entire folder. This step is necessary because invisible files such as "Auto-Save" files associated with documents must also have their write-protection settings changed.

Press "OK" two times. The current user now has privileges to the write-protected file and can copy and move it.

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About the Author

Suman Medda holds a B.S. in biomedical engineering with a specialty in tissue engineering. His biomedical research abstracts have been featured in the Southeastern Surgical Conference. He enjoys technical and scientific writing and has been writing since 2007.