[SOLVED] Files keep reverting to "read-only" after I did something in regedit ?

Dec 30, 2020
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Little backstory, all my files were saved in my hard drive but somehow my pictures and my document folder were transferred to my onedrive file. At this point, I was annoyed with onedrive and I decided to uninstall it and followed this guide and changed my pictures, documents, and desktop.

After that, the files in the pictures and documents were all read only and my games settings won’t save. I also cannot move my pictures, documents, and desktop from my onedrive folder, as it does not give me a locations tab when i click on properties unlike my video and music. Please help, I just want my files to be in my hard drive.

Additional info: I have onedrive uninstalled currently and my problem files are in that folder. The article told me to edit my regedit data for my data and the files I’m having trouble with start with %USERPROFILE% on their regedit data while my other ones have the folders in my hard drive for my data. E. I. D://Videos
 

gardenman

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First off I just want to say that you've got into quite a bit of a mess here. I'm going to try to help you with it, but if it can't be fixed, you'll have to reinstall Windows. Keep that in mind. In fact, that's probably what most people would tell you to do at this point (and for good reason). I'm trying to avoid that, if possible.

Yes, move the files manually in Explorer. Select all files. Drag and drop (with the right RIGHT mouse button). Let off the button and choose "Move here". This needs to be done AFTER the folder locations are straightened out. When changing Location it will ask you to move the files, always say NO and do it manually later.

Don't use regedit. You should never make any changes in the registry unless you know exactly what you are doing, and have made a registry backup (and often a full system backup). We may or may not have to edit it later, but for now, do the steps that I mentioned above.

#1. Reinstall OneDrive.
#2. Turn off Folder Protection (instructions are listed above). Yes, go into Manage Backup and choose "Stop backup" on the folders.
#3. Try to restore the default folders in the Location tab of each folder's Properties.
#4. If that doesn't work, you can use the alternative method that I mentioned above that can be found here: https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/23504-restore-default-location-personal-folders-windows-10-a.html
 

gardenman

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The "guide" that you followed is not for Windows 10. At the top of the page it lists the operating systems that the document applies to.

In Windows 10, you change the location of the personal folders by right clicking on them and going to Properties / Location.

So it sounds like there is 2 issues:
#1. You can't change the location of 3 of the folders and
#2. the files are read-only.

As for the first issue, it sounds like the folders were assigned to OneDrive and it's "Folder Protection" feature was turned on when you uninstalled it. Folder Protection applies to the following 3 folders: Desktop, Documents, and Pictures. I recommend reading this first: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/uninstalled-onedrive-still-controls-my-documents/3dc849b2-70e5-4f6a-b553-61f11fbba25c

Temporarily re-install OneDrive and turn off the Folder Protection settings. More info can be found here: https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/116029-turn-off-onedrive-pc-folder-backup-protection-windows-10-a.html Leave it installed until you have everything fixed.

Then go back to the Location tab and choose Default for each of the folders. When asked if you want to move files, say NO. You may have to try it a few times. Then try again, using only the Location tab to change to the hard drive. Always choose NO when asked if you want to move the files and do it manually in Explorer. Or you can restore the default folders using the following method: https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/23504-restore-default-location-personal-folders-windows-10-a.html

As for the 2nd issue, it might resolve itself if you can fix the first issue. At least let's hope so. Or try changing the file attributes AFTER you have fixed issue #1.
 
Dec 30, 2020
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Thank you for replying to my post and I have a few questions about the troubleshooting steps. When you said move the files manually from the explorer, does that mean I have to select all the files and folders in my pictures and documents and drag it into the new location? Also, I’ve looked at some solutions this morning and I tried changing my document regedit data back to the original(of course it did not work). Would I have to change anything on the regedit or would it just change on its own if I get my documents location back to the hard drive? I just wanted to make sure since I am not very familiar with regedit and I want to make sure I don’t mess up my computer further. I know I shouldn’t have touched it but I really wanted all my personal folders in the same drive. Finally, I just have to click the “stop backup” and it would turn off file protection right? Thank you again for giving me advice on how I can maybe fix this problem. I’m not very familiar with windows and I’ve had very few success from other forums or guides.
 

gardenman

Distinguished
Moderator
First off I just want to say that you've got into quite a bit of a mess here. I'm going to try to help you with it, but if it can't be fixed, you'll have to reinstall Windows. Keep that in mind. In fact, that's probably what most people would tell you to do at this point (and for good reason). I'm trying to avoid that, if possible.

Yes, move the files manually in Explorer. Select all files. Drag and drop (with the right RIGHT mouse button). Let off the button and choose "Move here". This needs to be done AFTER the folder locations are straightened out. When changing Location it will ask you to move the files, always say NO and do it manually later.

Don't use regedit. You should never make any changes in the registry unless you know exactly what you are doing, and have made a registry backup (and often a full system backup). We may or may not have to edit it later, but for now, do the steps that I mentioned above.

#1. Reinstall OneDrive.
#2. Turn off Folder Protection (instructions are listed above). Yes, go into Manage Backup and choose "Stop backup" on the folders.
#3. Try to restore the default folders in the Location tab of each folder's Properties.
#4. If that doesn't work, you can use the alternative method that I mentioned above that can be found here: https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/23504-restore-default-location-personal-folders-windows-10-a.html
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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For future reference, there is a proper way to redirect the Libraries.
And it varies between Windows versions.

For Win 10:


But increasingly, this is not needed. Windows and applications have gotten very very good at letting the user save and default things to other places.
No manipulation of the Libs needed.
I wrote that way back when Win 8.1 and 10 were new.
And a previous one for Win 7 and 8.

Do it wrong, or follow procedures for a different Win version, it gets screwed p.

Once it is majorly screwed up, and especially after unknown regedits, I've not really found a way to "fix it".
 
Dec 30, 2020
15
0
10
0
First off I just want to say that you've got into quite a bit of a mess here. I'm going to try to help you with it, but if it can't be fixed, you'll have to reinstall Windows. Keep that in mind. In fact, that's probably what most people would tell you to do at this point (and for good reason). I'm trying to avoid that, if possible.

Yes, move the files manually in Explorer. Select all files. Drag and drop (with the right RIGHT mouse button). Let off the button and choose "Move here". This needs to be done AFTER the folder locations are straightened out. When changing Location it will ask you to move the files, always say NO and do it manually later.

Don't use regedit. You should never make any changes in the registry unless you know exactly what you are doing, and have made a registry backup (and often a full system backup). We may or may not have to edit it later, but for now, do the steps that I mentioned above.

#1. Reinstall OneDrive.
#2. Turn off Folder Protection (instructions are listed above). Yes, go into Manage Backup and choose "Stop backup" on the folders.
#3. Try to restore the default folders in the Location tab of each folder's Properties.
#4. If that doesn't work, you can use the alternative method that I mentioned above that can be found here: https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/23504-restore-default-location-personal-folders-windows-10-a.html
So I did try clicking stop backup, and I still cannot see the locations tab in the file's properties even when I tried the shell method. Would I have to restart my computer for it to work or is it irrepairable? Edit: I can see the locations tab for my pictures and desktop because I stopped backup for them a day or two ago. I still can't see the documents which I turned off today and restarted, so does this mean I have to wait a bit for my document locations tab to pop up? Another question, if my folders get restored to the original location, would it get restored before the Onedrive(My hard drive) or would it get restored to the orignal windows location(My C drive). If it does get restored to the C drive would I be able to move them back to my hard drive or is it not recommended?
 
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Dec 30, 2020
15
0
10
0
For future reference, there is a proper way to redirect the Libraries.
And it varies between Windows versions.

For Win 10:


But increasingly, this is not needed. Windows and applications have gotten very very good at letting the user save and default things to other places.
No manipulation of the Libs needed.
I wrote that way back when Win 8.1 and 10 were new.
And a previous one for Win 7 and 8.

Do it wrong, or follow procedures for a different Win version, it gets screwed p.

Once it is majorly screwed up, and especially after unknown regedits, I've not really found a way to "fix it".
Yeah, I definitely should have checked to make sure that it wasn't for a different version or touched regedit. I was aware of how to redirect the folders, but I couldn't see the locations tab on the ones I had a problem with, only the previous versions tab.
 

gardenman

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It should release the folder as soon as you uncheck it, but a reboot may be required. I don't know why it's not doing that on your system. I can only go by what other's have said. I have not used OneDrive.

You don't HAVE to restore the default location. I was getting you to do this to fix any possible issues in your registry first. Then you can re-locate the folders to wherever you want by using the Location tab. However you can skip that step and just hope that pointing to folder to a new location in the Location tab will work.
 
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Dec 30, 2020
15
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It should release the folder as soon as you uncheck it, but a reboot may be required. I don't know why it's not doing that on your system. I can only go by what other's have said. I have not used OneDrive.

You don't HAVE to restore the default location. I was getting you to do this to fix any possible issues in your registry first. Then you can re-allocate the folders to wherever you want by using the Location tab. However you can skip that step and just hope that pointing to folder to a new location in the Location tab will work.
I think that OneDrive is not the problem here since my files are no longer read only and I can run programs/games without the settings reverting to the original. I think I'll leave those in there for now since right now its more of a want than need. I do have to mention that my documents' reg data is my onedrive folder and all the other are the %USERPROFILE%..... datas. Anyways, I am very grateful that you were able to help me fix my biggest issue which was my files keep reverting to read only. Thank you a lot and I appreciate all the help you provided. I think I'll mark this discussion as solved for now.
 
Dec 30, 2020
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Since your Documents is still pointing towards OneDrive, I would suggest giving this a try: Option Two, #5 on this page: https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/23504-restore-default-location-personal-folders-windows-10-a.html#option2

It will restore the folder to: C:\Users\YourName\Documents

After it's restored to default you should be able to change it with the Location tab (but I can't promise that).
Alright, I will give it a try when I decide that I want to move my personal folders. Right now, I think it's unnecessary for me but I think I might decide later on. Thank you so much!
 
Dec 30, 2020
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Since your Documents is still pointing towards OneDrive, I would suggest giving this a try: Option Two, #5 on this page: https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/23504-restore-default-location-personal-folders-windows-10-a.html#option2

It will restore the folder to: C:\Users\YourName\Documents

After it's restored to default you should be able to change it with the Location tab (but I can't promise that).
Sorry for the last minute question, should I still use the select right click drag method when moving files or can I just use the location tab to move the files along with the personal folders? I would also like to make a temporary backup for everything in case something goes wrong, is there a way to do that on my computer right now since I don't have a usb drive or an external drive right now. Also, if I move these files, is it safe to uninstall Onedrive?
 

gardenman

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I've seen multiple people have issues when changing Location and it asks to move the files, when they say Yes, they have issues. It's why I recommend saying No and manually moving the files. You can try it either way. Say Yes if you want. It might work. It might fail. If it fails, manually move them as I described above.

A backup before doing what? What have you done so far? Have you changed the folder locations yet? If not, make a registry backup beforehand. Full instructions can be found here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/how-to-back-up-and-restore-the-registry-in-windows-855140ad-e318-2a13-2829-d428a2ab0692

A file backup probably won't be necessary since the files will not be changed. If they can't be moved, Windows won't just delete them. It will show an error of some type.

It should be safe to uninstall OneDrive. I would still wait on that, until I got all of the folders straightened out to how I want them. But that's up to you.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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I've seen multiple people have issues when changing Location and it asks to move the files, when they say Yes, they have issues. It's why I recommend saying No and manually moving the files. You can try it either way. Say Yes if you want. It might work. It might fail. If it fails, manually move them as I described above.
Yep.
In 2021, there is little need to actually do that redirect.
Even less if you do it via means other than what is supported directly in the Windows UI, and with the proper steps and prep.
 
Dec 30, 2020
15
0
10
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I've seen multiple people have issues when changing Location and it asks to move the files, when they say Yes, they have issues. It's why I recommend saying No and manually moving the files. You can try it either way. Say Yes if you want. It might work. It might fail. If it fails, manually move them as I described above.

A backup before doing what? What have you done so far? Have you changed the folder locations yet? If not, make a registry backup beforehand. Full instructions can be found here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/how-to-back-up-and-restore-the-registry-in-windows-855140ad-e318-2a13-2829-d428a2ab0692

A file backup probably won't be necessary since the files will not be changed. If they can't be moved, Windows won't just delete them. It will show an error of some type.

It should be safe to uninstall OneDrive. I would still wait on that, until I got all of the folders straightened out to how I want them. But that's up to you.
I’m planning to move my desktop and my pictures to the original location. My documents are still unmoveable so I think I’ll try to use the .bat file method. I’ll try to just follow the guide and hope for the best. I’m glad to hear that a file backup for moving the files to a different backup isn’t necessary, just wanted to be cautious. I’m also happy to hear that I’m safe to uninstall onedrive after I get the locations of the folders sorted out. Thank you
 
Dec 30, 2020
15
0
10
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I've seen multiple people have issues when changing Location and it asks to move the files, when they say Yes, they have issues. It's why I recommend saying No and manually moving the files. You can try it either way. Say Yes if you want. It might work. It might fail. If it fails, manually move them as I described above.

A backup before doing what? What have you done so far? Have you changed the folder locations yet? If not, make a registry backup beforehand. Full instructions can be found here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/how-to-back-up-and-restore-the-registry-in-windows-855140ad-e318-2a13-2829-d428a2ab0692

A file backup probably won't be necessary since the files will not be changed. If they can't be moved, Windows won't just delete them. It will show an error of some type.

It should be safe to uninstall OneDrive. I would still wait on that, until I got all of the folders straightened out to how I want them. But that's up to you.
So I found that I cannot move pictures because there is a folder in the same location that cannot be redirected. Also, I think now, I have two documents and desktop, with my actual ones in OneDrive, and the other ones in my C:\Users\myname folders. I'm not sure how I can fix this but I don't think I can reinstall windows in my current situation. I think that I will just take it to a repair shop to get it fixed. I know I’ve said this a lot but thank you for the help, and all the solutions you’ve suggested to me. I will keep them in mind for future reference.
 
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