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Jess M.
Jess M., Computer Support Specialist
Category: Microsoft Office
Satisfied Customers: 6211
Experience:  Computer Software Specialist for more than 10 years
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any excel file that I open, from any source opens as "read

Resolved Question:

any excel file that I open, from any source opens as "read only". Even if I open a completely new file and try to save it without making any changes, it refuses and says that the file is read only. I can't even save it under a "new" name like you used to be able to get around this issue. This is a huge problem right now, I'm trying to do my taxes.

Thanks,
Vern
Hamilton, NJ
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Microsoft Office
Expert:  Jess M. replied 4 years ago.
Hi, welcome to JustAnswer.com. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am happy to assist you today.

Do you usually open Excel files by double clicking the file itself? Please try to go to File => Open then locate and load the file. Is it still Read Only?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
yes
Expert:  Jess M. replied 4 years ago.
Are you saying that in whatever method you open the file, it always loads as read only?
Also, do you have MS Word? Is opening Word files has no similar problem?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
1) yes, it appears that no matter what method I use or where the file is from, except for the "My Documents" folder. No file that I have opened from there has shown up as "Read Only".

2) it doesn't look like the same problem exists with word files.

3) I don't know if there is any link, but I'll mention this anyway. My home computer recently crashed (it was a laptop, the HDD died) since I needed a computer right then, I bought a brand new Dell XPS. Along with that I bought a 2TB Seagate Share network drive. Both have worked fine since I bought them in January. Most of my regularly used data is on a supertalent 16GB thumb drive, which I formatted before I began using it over a year ago, and it hasn't given me any trouble since. Litterally the monday after the home computer died, the work computer died. The drive was re-imaged by tech support at work, and everything was good. I installed Office 2003 on the computer at home, and tech support installed Office 2007 ( I think, maybe it's 2010) on the computer at work, so I run the XL at work in compatability mode so I can save my spreadsheets as '03 documents.
As I said, that was back in January.
Suddenly, on Thursday, my main XL spreadsheet, which is admittedly large, came up with an error saying that it had an unexpected extension. As far as I could tell, the extension was XLS as it should be.
When I got home, same problem, only in addition, I had this problem of every XL sheet opening as read only, and refusing to be saved under any other name, with the exception of within the "my documents" folder as I said.
Expert:  Jess M. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for that information.

First, please fo the following:

  1. Locate the folder or drive where these excel files are stored. If you stored them in many folders, try the procedures with just one folder then see if it corrects the problem
  2. Right click on the folder, then click on Properties
  3. In the General tab, under Attributes, click to clear teh Read Only option
  4. Then try opening an excel file inside that folder and see if the problem is gone
  5. If the problem continues, redo the steps 1 - 4 and this time, click on the Security tab
  6. In the Groups box, locate the user name that you are using, click on it to select it
  7. Then click on the EDIT button
  8. Tick the desired boxes (Full Control grants full access),
  9. Then click OK as necessary to apply the changes.

 

I hope you find my answer helpful. If you do, please ACCEPT and leave a positive feedback if you are satisfied. A bonus is always greatly appreciated.

If the problem continues, please let me know by posting a reply so that I can help you further.

If the problem is NOT solved, please do not leave a negative feedback. Instead, post a REPLY so that we can continue further.



Best regards,
Jess

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi, We've been discussing my XL files opening in 'read only'. Of course the very first thing that I did was make sure that the "read only" box for the file in question was not checked.

After I got your response, I also checked the permissions under the security tab as you suggested. For "Authenticated Users", "SYSTEM", and "Administrators" full permissions were in place.

Under "Users" "full control" and "modify" were UNCHECKED. I clicked "Edit" and then checked "full control" and "modify". I then clicked "apply".

As expected, a dialogue box popped up saying that it was modifying my choices, but then another box popped up saying that there was a file that couldn't be modified. I clicked "ok". This happened for a number of files. I noticed that among those files that could not be modified were the XL files (there are only 2 test files on the whole C drive) on the C drive.

Also, when I tried to repeat this for the 16GB thumb drive that started all of this, there is a "general" tab, but it has no "read only" option. There is also no "security" tab, so I couldn't do anything that you suggested on that drive. I have also scanned this drive numerous times for viruses using Kaspersky Anti Virus, and never found any problems.

Could saving in "compatability mode" in Office '07 to work with Office '03 cause this kind of problem?

Thanks,
Vern
Expert:  Jess M. replied 4 years ago.
No, the compatibility mode saving has not caused this problem.

Here are a few things that you can try.

Check Mark as Final status

  1. OPen the Excel file
  2. It may appear read only at this time
  3. Now, locate the bottom left portion of the Excel window. Near the status "Ready", is there a stamp mark icon beside it? Here is a screen shot:


  4. If you see that icon, click on the Office ribbon, go to Prepare, Unselect "Mark as final"

 

Keep me posted.

Jess

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I will check at home again, but currently what I found was that permissions were not granted to all users. I attempted to change this, but it never did change, even though I had granted full permission to all people/users. Also, When I did this for a folder, it would ask if it should change the permissions for all subfolders and files. I said "yes". In spite of this, the next time I checked the folder or any of it's subfolders/files the acess rules hadn't changed. Regardless, I haven't had any "read only" issues here at work any more. Let me check at home.

Thanks.
Expert:  Jess M. replied 4 years ago.
Ok. Please take your time.

Regards,
Jess
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Alright, well, thanks for the help. As near as I can tell I wasn't able to change anything. It's not re-booting because some of the computers that were experiencing the problem are routinely rebooted, while others are routinely left running, so who knows. All I know is that I don't have the problem anymore.

Thanks,
Vern
Expert:  Jess M. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for writing back. Have you checked if you are now able to open Excel files normally?

Keep me posted.
Jess
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yeah, that's the crazy thing. Everything is back to "normal", but I don't know why.

Thanks.
Vern
Expert:  Jess M. replied 4 years ago.
Cool! I am glad that your problem is now resolved. The problem could have been corrected after restarting the computer when you are done with the Permissions thing. The effects of the permissions that you have set could have taken place after several restarts since the folders may have contained sub-folders with various files as well.

Thank you for using JustAnswer. If this helped, please click the ACCEPT button to accept my answer.


Best regards,
Jess
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