Windows 7 Lock Icon Appears on Files and Folders

April 11, 2010 | Filed under Windows 7


If you are new to Windows 7, you might have noticed that some files and folders have a lock or padlock icon attached to folders or files. If you are wondering what is the lock icon for it is basically quite simple. When a lock icon appears in a folder, it means that the folder can only be accessed by you or another administrator on the computer. If a standard user tries to access the folder with a lock icon, they will get a popup that says “You don’t currently have permission to access this folder. Click Continue to permanently get access to this folder.” If you click the Continue button, it says “You have been denied permission to access this folder. To gain access to this folder you will need to use the security tab.” Clicking on the security tab link shows You do not have permission to view or edit this object’s permission settings.

To lock the folder so that it can only be accessed by you, right click on the Folder, go to Share with and then select Nobody. By doing this, only you and the computer administrator can access the folder but other Standard users can’t. To remove the lock icon, you can select Homegroup (Read) which gives read only permission or Homegroup (Read/Write) the permission to open and modify the file.

Windows 7 lock icon in folder

If you are the only user and administrator on the account, you have nothing to be afraid of the lock icon appearing on files or folders.

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