How to Clear Archive & Read-only flags on Files in Windows in Bulk
I ran into an issue where I had to move files from one system to another and was running into issues because files had been set as read-only, had the archive flag set, or both. It was causing the system to skip files which wasn’t acceptable. Normally you could just use Windows to clear it in bulk, but that could potentially mess up file permissions. I needed a way to automatically just clear all flags but respect permissions.
I did some searching and didn’t find a utility that would do the job and most of the solutions I found required Powershell which wasn’t available on the system I was on. I ended up writing a quick console application in C# to do the trick. I’ve made it free and open sourced it in case anyone wants to use it.
If you need just the app, you can find the release build here with instructions. The app also prompts for input to make things a bit easier to use. There’s no install, no tracking or metrics, or anything else related to privacy concerns in this app. It’s a simple throwaway utility to get the job done and move on.
If you want to see the source code, that is available here:
Please note that I did this in about 10 minutes for my own use so error handling is pretty much non-existent. I mention this because I did run into one issue where Windows was somehow seeing a folder with files in it as a file and it couldn’t be deleted or renamed and the utility couldn’t get past it until it was resolved. I didn’t spend much time debugging and just used my Mac to rename the folder and Windows was able to recognize it after the change, so the utility was able to continue processing.