File Attributes

File attributes are metadata values stored by the file system on disk and are used by the system and are available to developers via various file I/O APIs. For a list of related APIs and topics, see the See Also section.

The following table lists file attribute constant names and values with descriptions.

FILE_ATTRIBUTE_ARCHIVE32 0x0020A file or directory that is an archive file or directory. Applications typically use this attribute to mark files for backup or removal.
FILE_ATTRIBUTE_COMPRESSED20480x0800A file or directory that is compressed. For a file, all of the data in the file is compressed. For a directory, compression is the default for newly created files and subdirectories.
FILE_ATTRIBUTE_DEVICE640x0040This value is reserved for system use.
FILE_ATTRIBUTE_DIRECTORY160x0010The handle that identifies a directory.
FILE_ATTRIBUTE_ENCRYPTED163840x4000A file or directory that is encrypted. For a file, all data streams in the file are encrypted. For a directory, encryption is the default for newly created files and subdirectories.
FILE_ATTRIBUTE_HIDDEN20x0002The file or directory is hidden. It is not included in an ordinary directory listing.
FILE_ATTRIBUTE_NORMAL1280x0080A file that does not have other attributes set. This attribute is valid only when used alone.
FILE_ATTRIBUTE_NOT_CONTENT_INDEXED81920x2000The file or directory is not to be indexed by the content indexing service.
FILE_ATTRIBUTE_OFFLINE40960x1000The data of a file is not available immediately. This attribute indicates that the file data is physically moved to offline storage. This attribute is used by Remote Storage, which is the hierarchical storage management software. Applications should not arbitrarily change this attribute.
FILE_ATTRIBUTE_READONLY10x0001A file that is read-only. Applications can read the file, but cannot write to it or delete it. This attribute is not honored on directories. For more information, see "You cannot view or change the Read-only or the System attributes of folders in Windows Server 2003, in Windows XP, or in Windows Vista".
FILE_ATTRIBUTE_REPARSE_POINT10240x0400A file or directory that has an associated reparse point, or a file that is a symbolic link.
FILE_ATTRIBUTE_SPARSE_FILE5120x0200A file that is a sparse file.
FILE_ATTRIBUTE_SYSTEM40x0004A file or directory that the operating system uses a part of, or uses exclusively.
FILE_ATTRIBUTE_TEMPORARY2560x0100A file that is being used for temporary storage. File systems avoid writing data back to mass storage if sufficient cache memory is available, because typically, an application deletes a temporary file after the handle is closed. In that scenario, the system can entirely avoid writing the data. Otherwise, the data is written after the handle is closed.
FILE_ATTRIBUTE_VIRTUAL655360x10000This value is reserved for system use.


Related Topics

Compression Attribute
Creating and Opening Files



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Build date: 8/19/2010