Why are Excel files opening as read-only?

Amit Sinha March 6, 2013
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I have just installed Win 7 on my XP system. I just make a fresh installation of win and keep all my other drive partition as it is.

All my data were on D drive.

The problem is that when I open my excel file it opens in read only format by default, but the properties is not set to read only, I already checked it.

But when I run Excel as an Administrator (holding ctrl+shift) and then open the excel file it opens with read and write permission.

How can I open Excel as an admin all the time by default?

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  1. Anónio
    August 15, 2013 at 2:09 am

    I'm on a Mac, and I was having the same problem. After researching and nothing working, I've decided to change the name of the file, as it had a 'special character' - the '/'. I've just eliminated it, and the problem was solved.

    • Thomas
      August 25, 2013 at 9:40 am

      Exactly my problem. / in the file name was causing the problem. Removed and problem gone! Thanks for the advice.

  2. Prashant Mirjankar
    March 12, 2013 at 10:37 am

    change property of the excel app in microsoft office folder in program files. and set always run as admin thats it

  3. Danny Zamolxis
    March 7, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    You need to take ownership of the folder where the excel file is, just follow the steps below:

    1. Locate the file or folder on which you want to take ownership in windows explorer
    2. Right click on file or folder and select “Properties” from Context Menu
    3. Click on Security tab
    4. Click on “Advance”
    5. Now click on Owner tab in Advance Security Settings for User windows
    6. Click on Edit Button and select user from given Change Owner to list if user or group is not in given list then click on other users or groups. Enter name of user/group and click ok.
    8. Now select User/group and click apply and ok. (Check “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects” if you have files and folder within selected folder)
    9. Click ok when Windows Security Prompt is displayed
    10. Now Owner name must have changed.
    11. Now click Ok to exist from Properties windows

    Once you have taken the ownership of file or folder next part comes is Granting Permissions to that file/folder or object.

    How to Grant Permissions in Windows 7
    1. Locate the file or folder on which you want to take ownership in windows explorer
    2. Right click on file or folder and select “Properties” from Context Menu
    3. Click on Edit button in Properties windows Click ok to confirm UAC elevation request.
    4. Select user/group from permission windows or click add to add other user or group.
    5. Now under Permission section check the rights which you want to grant i.e check “Full Control” under the “Allow” column to assign full access rights control permissions to Administrators group.
    6. Click Ok for changes to take effect and click ok final ok to exit from Properties window.

    • hazem elsaiegh
      March 7, 2013 at 10:55 pm

      the link below is a RAR file contains 2 registry files one called take ownership and another called remove_owner ; the first will put take ownership in the context menu , so the file or folder you want will be taken by you easily just bu using this registr trick ( since the problem is i think is in ownership :) )

      https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=70A322051F62AF7C!198&authkey=!AKn5GhVf1LdWApc

  4. Sadman Hasan
    March 7, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Check the Run as Administrator option in Compability!

  5. Nitesh Badala
    March 7, 2013 at 6:00 am

    its security provided to your excel files. that no one can change data of these files.its actually password protected files.
    right click on your file ->properties->remove read only mode.
    it will help you.

  6. Jan Fritsch
    March 7, 2013 at 2:57 am

    Unless you used a backup or transferred the User from the old installation (Windows Easy Transfer) the user is considered "new" and it's SID (Security Identified) has changed. An NTFS partition will detect this change and therefor no longer considers you the owner of the files.
    Rightclick on the partition, folder or file(s) and select Properties. Then click on the advanced button and "Change Permissions". Add your current user to the list with with "Full control" and inherit these permission to the sub folders.
    If that doesn't work you can try resetting the permissions via an elevated command prompt: Use "cd /D driveletter:" to navigate to the troublesome drive, then run the command "icacls * /T /Q /C /RESET"

  7. Bruce Epper
    March 6, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    This has to do with security settings on the filesystem. Since the OWNER/CREATOR was on the XP system, it can access the files normally, but all of your security identifiers on the Win7 installation do not have the correct SID (at a minimum, the machine portion has changed), so they are accessing the files as part of the Everyone, Users or Authenticated Users group which will normally only have read-only access. You can change this by going to the data directory or files you wish to change and simply add the Win7 user(s) you want to be able to edit these files without giving Excel too much access to the system (run as Administrator). You do this by right-clicking on the directory or file and selecting Properties, then the Security tab. Click on the Edit button and respond to any UAC prompt. Click on Add... then type in the user accounts you want to give access to these objects. Click Check Names to verify you haven't made a typo in the entries and if all is okay, click on the OK button. Now, with the new user highlighted, select the type of access you wish to allow. DO NOT REMOVE ANY USERS THAT START WITH "S-1-"! These are the XP user accounts and groups that have access to the files as well. Keep clicking on OK buttons to close the dialog boxes accepting the changes.

    • Amit Sinha
      March 7, 2013 at 3:00 pm

      I got error for some files the security permission can't be changed.
      I have over 1,000 office files some of them are in ".doc", ".docx: and ".xls", ".xlx" too.

    • Hovsep Avedissian
      March 7, 2013 at 8:46 pm

      did you tried the first suggested method?

  8. Hovsep Avedissian
    March 6, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    go to your excell folder
    C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice14excel.exe
    right click on excell.exe then click on compatibility there is a checkbox Privilege level; Run This program as an administrator

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