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Cannot save new documents to My Documents folder

Technote (FAQ)


You cannot save new Lotus Word Pro documents to the My Documents folder when running Microsoft Windows XP although you previously could do so. You can save documents anywhere else in the system and can also retrieve documents from the My Documents folder.

Only new documents have this problem. The following error messages may display:

    Unable to write to path .

    Cannot write to directory path .

In Windows XP, if you try to save Word Pro documents to the My Documents folder, the documents save in WordPad and all formatting is lost.


This issue was reported to Quality Engineering as SPR# BDIN58WPRL.

In Windows XP, Microsoft sets the My Documents folder as read-only. Word Pro does not write documents to a read-only folder because it respects the setting. Windows XP no longer cares about the "read" state of directories, only of files. As far as the XP operating system is concerned, security permissions replaced the "read-only" folder attribute.

Additionally, the properties for directories in XP cannot be modified. All directories display a grayed-out check in the Read Only option. A directory's property box appears as read-only every time it is opened.

Windows XP:
Microsoft released an article explaining how to use the ATTRIB command at a command prompt to view or remove the Read Only or System attributes of folders. Refer to Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 326549, "You Cannot View or Change the Read Only or System attribute of Folders," at the following web site:;EN-US;326549.

NOTE: This article links to information applicable to all of the Windows operating systems.


In Windows XP, modify the Windows Registry
NOTE: The information in this document is presented as a guideline for making changes within the Windows Registry. The Windows Registry is central to the operation of Windows, and any changes must be performed with care. As with any configuration change, it is highly recommended that customers have complete backups of computer systems and data files before attempting the following procedure, in order to facilitate recovery from system file corruption or other possible failures. IBM does NOT recommend that customers make changes to the Windows Registry without the assistance of Microsoft Technical Support. Further, customers who manually modify the Windows Registry may not be eligible for Microsoft Technical Support until Windows is reinstalled. Customers making changes to the Windows Registry do so at their own risk.

1. From the Windows TaskBar, choose Start --> Run --> type "regedit" (without quotes) --> OK.

2. Navigate to the following key (this key is only available in Windows XP):

3. Right-click DirReadOnlyCheck, change the value to zero (0), and click OK.

4. Close the Registry.

Check the My Documents folder properties:

1. In Windows Explorer, right-click My Documents and choose Properties.

2. On the General panel, review the read-only option and deselect it if you want to save documents to the My Documents folder.

3. On the Sharing panel, review the options. If the "Share this folder" option is checked, click Permissions --> Caching, and make sure the permissions and rights are correct.

4. Click Apply --> OK. Remember that in Windows XP, deselecting the Read Only option does not hold.
A few other workarounds exist.

-- Saving documents to another location works most of the time.

-- Deselect the Read Only property and save the document. When you reopen it, you will be able to save it to the My Document folder.

Related information

Error: "Dos Error 5 – Rights/Write Protected" When Savi

Document information

More support for: Lotus End of Support Products
Lotus Word Pro for Windows

Software version: 9.8, 9.8.1, 9.8.2, 9.8.3, 9.8.4, 9.8.5

Operating system(s): Windows

Reference #: 1108551

Modified date: 12 September 2004

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