setReadable(boolean readable, boolean ownerOnly)


On this document we will be showing a java example on how to use the setReadable(boolean readable, boolean ownerOnly) method of File Class. This method sets the owner’s or everybody’s read permission for this abstract pathname. On some platforms it may be possible to start the Java virtual machine with special privileges that allow it to read files that are marked as unreadable.

The Files class defines methods that operate on file attributes including file permissions. This may be used when finer manipulation of file permissions is required.


  • SecurityException – If a security manager exists and its SecurityManager.checkWrite(java.lang.String) method denies write access to the file

Method Syntax

public boolean setReadable(boolean readable, boolean ownerOnly)

Method Argument

Data Type Parameter Description
boolean readable If true, sets the access permission to allow read operations; if false to disallow read operations
boolean ownerOnly If true, the read permission applies only to the owner’s read permission; otherwise, it applies to everybody. If the underlying file system can not distinguish the owner’s read permission from that of others, then the permission will apply to everybody, regardless of this value.

Method Returns

This method returns boolean, true if and only if the operation succeeded. The operation will fail if the user does not have permission to change the access permissions of this abstract pathname. If readable is false and the underlying file system does not implement a read permission, then the operation will fail.


Requires Java 1.6 and up

Java File setReadable(boolean readable, boolean ownerOnly) Example

Below is a java code demonstrates the use of setReadable(boolean readable, boolean ownerOnly) method of File class. The example presented might be simple however it shows the behaviour of the setReadable(boolean readable, boolean ownerOnly) method of File class.

Basically we basically set a file as readable and we put a check if the operation succeeded or not.



 * This example source code demonstrates the use of  
 * setReadable(boolean readable, boolean ownerOnly) method of File class.

public class FileSetReadableExample1 {

	public static void main(String[] args) {
		// initialize File object
		File file = new File("C:javatutorialhqinputtest_file.txt");		
		// check first if file exist
			// set file as readable considering if the user is the owner or not
			boolean result = file.setReadable(true, false);			
			// evaluate the result
				System.out.println("Operation succeeded");
				System.out.println("Operation failed");
			System.out.println("File does not exist");

Sample Output

Below is the sample output when you run the above example.

java lang File setReadable(boolean readable, boolean ownerOnly) example output