Solved: Windows 10 Upgrade Changed All Documents to Read-Only

Solved: Windows 10 Upgrade Changed All Documents to Read-Only

Has this happened to you? You finally decided to take the plunge and upgrade your PC to Windows 10, only to find out that all your documents are now “read-only.”

We’ve run into this issue more than once; today, we’re going to set the record straight on how to fix the read only issue. 

The Issue

After upgrading your PC to Windows 10, some users have reported that their documents have all been marked as “read-only.” To make matters worse, Windows won’t allow users to revert documents back to normal - meaning you can’t edit them.

Don’t panic: the fix isn’t too complicated and shouldn’t take you very long. Follow the steps below to change your read-only documents back to fully editable documents.

The Fix

Switchfast Engineer Justin Turner tipped us off to an excellent video on the best way to go about solving the read-only issue. Thanks to YouTuber, Windows 10 Guru, we have our solution:

  1. Go to “File Explorer” (documents). At the top of File Explorer, there are three menu tabs: home, share, and view. Click view. All the way down to the right, click the options button. Then click “change folder and search options”

  2. A new window will open with three tabs: general, view, and search. Click on the view tab. You will see a long checklist – go to the “hidden files and folders” folder and check “show hidden files, folders and drives.”

  3. Further down the checklist, you will see “hide protected operating system files (recommended)” – uncheck this. A warning box will pop up – click yes.

  4. Click the “OK” button in the opened window and you’ll be back to your file screen. On the side menu, click “this PC” and then click the “local disk” icon. From there, click the “users” folder. In the users folder, find the folder that has your username and right click Scroll down the menu that appears and click “properties.”

  5. A new window will appear with a selection of tabs; click on the “security” tab. In the security tab, click on the “advanced” button.

  6. Another window will appear. At the top of the window you should see “owner: SYSTEM” with a blue “change” button next to it. Click it. This will open a new window.

  7. In the new window, click the “advanced” button. This will again open another window. In the new window, click the “find new” button. This will pull up a list of users in your system. Click on your username and click the “OK” button at the bottom of the window.

  8. That window will close and in the window that was opened before, you should see your username filled into the white space. Again, click on the “OK” button in this window.

  9. In the Window in which you saw “owner: SYSTEM,” it should now read “owner: your username.” Below that, check the box that reads “replace owner on subcontainers and objects.” Then click the “OK” button at the bottom of the window.

  10. You might have a warning pop up appear after clicking ok. If you do, click yes.

  11. Now you will need to click the “OK” button on the initial properties window you opened earlier. Close out of all your open files windows.

  12. Now reopen your files window and go back to your username folder in the “this PC” side tab. As we did earlier, you will want to right click your username folder, and go to properties. Again, go to the security tab, and click the “advanced” button.

  13. In the new window, make sure that your username has full control. (If it does not say “full control” next to your username, click your username. Then click the “edit” button and check “full control” in the checklist.)

  14. Click the “add” button. A new window will open. At the top of the window, click the “select a principle” button. A new window will open. Click the “advanced” button. Another new window will open – click the “find new” button. In the list that appears in the same window, find the name “everyone” and double click it. In the previous window, “everyone” should appear in the white space. Click the “OK” button.

  15. In the window you see now, there should be a “basic permissions” checklist. Check “full control” then click the “OK” button at the bottom.

  16. At the bottom of the window you see now, make sure you check the “replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object” box.

  17. Click the “OK” button at the bottom of the window. You might see another warning pop-up – click yes.

If all the steps have been completed correctly, all your documents should now be back to normal. What a relief!

Did this fix work for you? Let us know any issues you may have run into in the comments below and we’ll try our best to help!

In need of technology upgrades but not sure where to start? Use our Technology Roadmap for guidance building a stronger IT environment.

View Your Guide Here

Written by Tyler Smith