I bring in polygon as Shapefiles and they display, I can select, all looks well. However the toggle edit is ALWAYS greyed out. If I make a new layer with features in it, the toggle edit is fine. This is with any shapefile.

I've tried from three different sources. I am very frustrated as I need toggle edit to merge polygons (and it seems many other things)

  • 4
    This question may help: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/204007/…. Are the files zipped? If so, try unzipping first.
    – SMiller
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 4:26
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    please give us more information about the shapefiles, where are they stored? do you have write permission to that folder? etc
    – Ian Turton
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 7:32

1 Answer 1


I have found this to be the case for .shp files exported from AutoCAD - to get around this, I export the shape file again as a shape file from QGIS (right click on the layer item, save as...). After this, all is well.

Another way to get around it is to copy all the features from your layers to a new one that you have created - there you can do all the edits you want; however that could destroy some data in the attribute fields, if you care like about that.

EDIT: QGIS also gives a message in the Log Messages panel:

WARNING Shapefiles without attribute are considered read-only.

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