When you use a folder's Properties dialog to view or change the Read-only or System attributes, the Read-only box is dimmed, and/or the System attribute box is missing. If the Read-only box is available, clearing and pressing Apply returns:

Confirm Attribute Changes
You have chosen to make the following attribute changes:
unset read-only
Do you want to apply this change to this folder only, or do you want to apply it to all subfolders and files as well?

If you Apply changes to this folder only, the Read-only attribute is changed for the level one files only, the folder is not changed.

If you Apply changes to this folder, subfolders, and files, the files are changed on all levels, but not the folder or sub-folders.

The Read-only and System attributes is only used by Windows Explorer to determine whether the folder is special (customized).

To change a folder's Read-only and/or System attribute, use the Attrib command at a CMD.EXE window or batch.

Attrib /? returns:

Displays or changes file attributes.

ATTRIB \[+R | -R\] \[+A | -A \] \[+S | -S\] \[+H | -H\] \[drive:\]\[path\]\[filename\]
       \[/S \[/D\]\]

  +   Sets an attribute.
  -   Clears an attribute.
  R   Read-only file attribute.
  A   Archive file attribute.
  S   System file attribute.
  H   Hidden file attribute.
  \[drive:\]\[path\]\[filename\]
      Specifies a file or files for attrib to process.
  /S  Processes matching files in the current folder
      and all subfolders.
  /D  Processes folders as well.
NOTE: See Windows (2000) Explorer cannot remove the Read-Only attribute from a folder?