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Locked files on USB sticks in Linux Mint 19.3 [SOLVED]

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I’m using Linux Mint “Tricia” 19.3 Cinnamon 64 bit ISO and use usb sticks to store folders and files. Using the sticks recently after I have entered files into the folders and then removed the stick from the computer. Next time I use the stick I can open it but a number of the folders/files are “locked” in read only. What causes this and how can I unlock the folders/files. I have this problem on a number of my usb sticks both new and old re-used ones..


Firstly, have you checked the permissions of the locked files using your file manager? It may be as simple as that, although I'm not sure how the permissions could have gone wrong.

Secondly, did you remember to unmount the devices before unplugging them? If you didn't, then this can cause corruption. Usually this makes the whole device read-only, though — the idea behind that is to stop you making a bad thing worse. You can try to clean up any corruption with fsck.

Hi David.

First not sure how to check the permissions of the locked file can you explain how to do it.

Secondly I always unmount the usb sticks before unplugging them.
I'll have a look at  'fsck' although being a novice in Linux I may find it difficult to fully understand how to use it.


Hello Goalie.

Even if the file is locked one ought to be able to list the file permissions as follows:  In a terminal, navigate to the directory containing your file and then:
--- Code: ---
ls -l filename
--- End code ---
....substituting your file name, obviously!  This will show you lots of info about your file.  Please paste the output here.
To give you an idea of what to expect, here's something from my PC:
[email protected]:~$ ls -l mail.txt
-rw-rw-r-- 1 keith keith 68 Apr 22  2020 mail.txt
[email protected]:~$
The bits in blue are the file permissions that we can change if necessary - and I'll explain what they mean.


Hello Keith.

Nice to hear from you again, I'm feeling a bit foolish but I don't know how to  "In a terminal, navigate to the directory containing your file and then" I've tried various ways but have to ask the experts. I assume that I have to have the usb with the 'locked' files plugged in to be able to find the 'locked ' files. So I've plugged one in and opened Terminal now how do I proceed from here?



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