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_chmod, _wchmod

Changes the file-permission settings.

int _chmod(  
   const char *filename, 
   int pmode  
int _wchmod(  
   const wchar_t *filename, 
   int pmode  


  • filename
    Name of the existing file.

  • pmode
    Permission setting for the file.

Return Value

These functions return 0 if the permission setting is successfully changed. A return value of –1 indicates failure. If the specified file could not be found, errno is set to ENOENT; if a parameter is invalid, errno is set to EINVAL.


The _chmod function changes the permission setting of the file specified by filename*.* The permission setting controls the read and write access to the file. The integer expression pmode contains one or both of the following manifest constants, defined in SYS\Stat.h.

    Writing permitted.

  • _S_IREAD
    Reading permitted.

    Reading and writing permitted.

When both constants are given, they are joined with the bitwise OR operator ( | ). If write permission is not given, the file is read-only. Note that all files are always readable; it is not possible to give write-only permission. Thus, the modes _S_IWRITE and _S_IREAD | _S_IWRITE are equivalent.

_wchmod is a wide-character version of _chmod; the filename argument to _wchmod is a wide-character string. _wchmod and _chmod behave identically otherwise.

This function validates its parameters. If pmode is not a combination of one of the manifest constants or incorporates an alternate set of constants, the function simply ignores those. If filename is NULL, the invalid parameter handler is invoked, as described in Parameter Validation. If execution is allowed to continue, errno is set to EINVAL and the function returns -1.

Generic-Text Routine Mappings

Tchar.h routine

_UNICODE and _MBCS not defined

_MBCS defined

_UNICODE defined







Required header

Optional header



<sys/types.h>, <sys/stat.h>, <errno.h>


<io.h> or <wchar.h>

<sys/types.h>, <sys/stat.h>, <errno.h>

For more compatibility information, see Compatibility in the Introduction.


// crt_chmod.c
// This program uses _chmod to
// change the mode of a file to read-only.
// It then attempts to modify the file.

#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/stat.h>
#include <io.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <errno.h>

// Change the mode and report error or success 
void set_mode_and_report(char * filename, int mask)
   // Check for failure 
   if( _chmod( filename, mask ) == -1 )
      // Determine cause of failure and report. 
      switch (errno)
         case EINVAL:
            fprintf( stderr, "Invalid parameter to chmod.\n");
         case ENOENT:
            fprintf( stderr, "File %s not found\n", filename );
            // Should never be reached 
            fprintf( stderr, "Unexpected error in chmod.\n" );
      if (mask == _S_IREAD)
        printf( "Mode set to read-only\n" );
      else if (mask & _S_IWRITE)
        printf( "Mode set to read/write\n" );

int main( void )

   // Create or append to a file. 
   system( "echo /* End of file */ >> crt_chmod.c_input" );

   // Set file mode to read-only: 
   set_mode_and_report("crt_chmod.c_input ", _S_IREAD );
   system( "echo /* End of file */ >> crt_chmod.c_input " );

   // Change back to read/write: 
   set_mode_and_report("crt_chmod.c_input ", _S_IWRITE );
   system( "echo /* End of file */ >> crt_chmod.c_input " ); 
  A line of text.
  A line of text.
Mode set to read-only
Access is denied.
Mode set to read/write

.NET Framework Equivalent

See Also


File Handling

_access, _waccess

_creat, _wcreat

_fstat, _fstat32, _fstat64, _fstati64, _fstat32i64, _fstat64i32

_open, _wopen

_stat, _wstat Functions