Using PowerShell to Set Files to Read-Only

We’ve recently set up a monitoring system at work where if all goes well with a file-based database integrity check, logs are created, an email is sent saying so, and a backup is made. If it doesn’t go so swimmingly though, we need to make sure that the database is placed into a read-only state so that should someone come in the next morning before we do and use the application, we know they won’t corrupt the database any further before it has been checked by ourselves or the supplier. As ever, PowerShell is ready and waiting.

Here are some examples with descriptions about what is happening.

Set all files with a file extension beginning “rs” to read-only.

Set-ItemProperty -path "*.rs*" -name IsReadOnly $true

Remove the read-only attribute from any files which have a file extension beginning “rs”.

Set-ItemProperty -path "*.rs*" -name IsReadOnly $false

One extra parameter you can add if you are unsure about what might happen is the “-WhatIf” parameter. This is really helpful if you are unsure of what the effect would be should you do it. To illustrate this, I’ve set up a test folder with two files in it names a.rs1 and a.rs2, as follows:

PS F:\test> dir

Directory: F:\\test
Mode LastWriteTime Length Name
\-\-\-\- \-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\- \-\-\-\-\-\- ---\-
-a---- 05/08/2017 21:11 8 a.rs1
-a---- 05/08/2017 21:11 8 a.rs2

Now, if we run one of the commands earlier using this handy parameter, this is the kind of thing you can expect to see printed on the console.

PS F:\test> Set-ItemProperty -path "*.rs*" -name IsReadOnly $true -WhatIf

What if: Performing the operation "Set Property File" on target "Item: F:\\test\\a.rs1 Property: IsReadOnly Value: True".
What if: Performing the operation "Set Property File" on target "Item: F:\\test\\a.rs2 Property: IsReadOnly Value: True".

Looking for something a bit more advanced? You want to see other examples of more information about this command at the MSDN site for it.

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