How do I remove padlock icon from all my files?
On one of my drives, every single file has a little padlock icon superimposed over the file icon. I recall when I did a clean install of windows 7 RC over my Vista install, I wasn't getting write access to the drive so I had to take ownership of the drive and mess with the security settings before it started working normally. I have to admit, I find the security settings in all versions of NT mystifying... For instance, although my account is in the administrators group, having full access to administrators never seems to work. I always have to add my individual user account and explicitly give it full access. In any case, I can't remember exactly what it took, but after messing around with the security settings for a while, I eventually was able to have full access to the drive and have no problems reading/writing/deleting files and folders, but there's the padlock icon still on everything. Can anyone explain how to get rid of it, and/or maybe point me to a good, clear, understandable guide on how to properly set NTFS permissions. Thanks!
July 21st, 2009 10:26am
Hi, This is a new feature of Windows 7 RC. If a folder's ownership is SYSTEM, the icon would be appears. To remove the icon, please change the ownership of the folders. You may refer the following website. Change the permissions and take ownership of your files and folders Windows Vista for Beginners Important Note: Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.Arthur Xie - MSFT
July 23rd, 2009 3:57am
Hi, This is a new feature of Windows 7 RC. If a folder's ownership is SYSTEM, the icon would be appears. To remove the icon, please change the ownership of the folders. You may refer the following website. Change the permissions and take ownership of your files and folders Windows Vista for Beginners Important Note: Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information. Arthur Xie - MSFT Thanks for the link. I followed the directions but: I was already the owner I re-applied ownership exactly as described but strangely, the icons are gone for subfolders, but all the files/folders in the root folder of the drive still have the icon no matter what I do... Thanks.
July 23rd, 2009 5:35am
Hi, Please change the ownership of the folder. During the process, you may pay attention that a check box on the bottom of the window. Please check it. The box is "Replace owner for subcontainers and objects".Arthur Xie - MSFT
July 24th, 2009 6:01am
Hi, Please change the ownership of the folder. During the process, you may pay attention that a check box on the bottom of the window. Please check it. The box is "Replace owner for subcontainers and objects". Arthur Xie - MSFT Hi again, I did make sure that box was checked but it didn't seem to help. I also have to take back what I said, it's not just in the root folder that I see the padlock icon. It's a number of folders, some have it, some don't. I'm not sure what the pattern is... Do I need to change the owner to something other than myself then change it back? Or is this maybe a bug in the RC and I should just wait for the final version to come out? Thanks.
July 24th, 2009 6:23am
It is a good idea. Please try that.Arthur Xie - MSFT
July 28th, 2009 12:03am
Actually, I tried that but it didn't work. I'm still seeing the padlock icon on most of the files and folders on that drive. I just can't figure it out. It doesn't really affect anything functionaly but it's a bit annoying and makes it harder to identify filetypes visually by icon...
August 6th, 2009 6:45am
I think I've just found a sol'n. You need to go into the top-level folder's Properties, Security, Advanced, Change Permissions, then check the box "Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this object".
August 6th, 2009 9:23am
There doesn't seem to be any logical reason for SYSTEM to have, for example, a file for Favorites. Nor Documents. Nor any of those files with the padlock, since those folders are really for individual users. Surprise: you can't open them but you can delete them! Which I did and am waiting to see if the shoe drops. So far the only effect seems to be a cleaner file system. No idea why SYSTEM needs user-type files.... Any insights here?
December 14th, 2009 12:21pm
I have the same issue, I think this is a win 7 feature, and have been unable to find a workaround. I can understand microsoft disabling the average user from accessing certain files, but there should be a way to turn it off for experienced users. We should be allowed full access to our pc's if we want it.
December 16th, 2009 1:40am
I had the padlock on a folder after trying to share it with the Homegroup feature. Apparenlty if you remove the HomeUser group from having Read & Execute permission to a folder the lock overlay will appearAnd I found this fix on another forum so I will include it here. It sorted me out ok.You can remove the lock overlay in this case by resetting the permissions to be inherited, and removing all permissions that are not inherited.Right click the folder, click PropertiesClick the Security tabClick AdvancedClick Change PermissionsCheck Both boxes to Include inheritable permissions, and to Replace all child object permissionsClick Apply then click YesWait for the list to refreshRemove all permissions that say <not inherited>That should remove the Lock overlay.You may need to Uncheck Use Sharing Wizard in | Folder Options | View tab to see the Security tab, and may have to boot to Safe Mode as well if running Home Basic or Premium.
December 23rd, 2009 5:15pm
I've tried this but it says I am not the owner, when I try to take owenership, I receive unable to find file specified. Any ideas?
January 9th, 2010 1:40pm
I have posted a question very similar to your last response.
January 14th, 2010 6:50am
The padlock icon appears over files that are private, that is to say that they are only visible by you. My storage drive's permissions have three entries (SYSTEM, Users, and Administrators) and I see no padlocks. Setting your permissions similar to those should solve your problem.No idea why SYSTEM needs user-type files.... Any insights here?Drive defragmentation, for one. I think there is more but I'm drawing blanks.
January 17th, 2010 5:26am
The only reason the padlock is there is because you are not sharing the folder with anyone. If you are not on a network then don't let it worry you but if you are on a network it is so easy to just right click the folder scroll down to "share with" and "hey presto" share it. and the silly padlock is gone.
January 25th, 2010 3:46pm
I had this exact problem, and I managed to fix it...finally. First I took ownership of the whole drive, and used my username directly - I ticked the box mentioned above and applied it to all items. But this didn't work, the padlocks were still there. I checked out the permissions of another drive, and I saw the group Authenticated users, this wasn't showing on my problem drive, so I went back to the security tab, created a new permission group and added Authenticated users - again checking the box to apply to all subfolders. Worked like a dream! Hope this helps. peace
January 30th, 2010 2:10pm
I had this exact problem, and I managed to fix it...finally.First I took ownership of the whole drive, and used my username directly - I ticked the box mentioned above and applied it to all items.But this didn't work, the padlocks were still there. I checked out the permissions of another drive, and I saw the group Authenticated users, this wasn't showing on my problem drive, so I went back to the security tab, created a new permission group and added Authenticated users - again checking the box to apply to all subfolders. Worked like a dream!Hope this helps.peace Yep, this is what I have come to in my research as well. The "Authenticated Users" group disappears from the "Security" tab if you remove a user from the window under the "Sharing..." button in Properties -> Sharing tab. The padlock remains even if you completely unshare the folder by unticking the "Share this folder" option in "Advanced Sharing...". Restoring the "Authenticated users" group solves the problem.Also, in Windows 7, if you add a user under "Sharing..." it does not get copied to the "Advanced Sharing..." section, and vice versa, as it does in Vista. If you remove a user from "Sharing..." button (and with that lose the "Authenticated Users" under Security tab) then the "Advanced Sharing..." button and everything related to that will not work at all.This seems to be some sort of a bug in Windows 7 file sharing.
March 13th, 2010 7:57pm
Right click upon the folders and go down to share, in the sidebar click homegroup (read/write) should sort it out, just give it 5 seconds to refresh. i had this problem n just figured it out, no idea if someone has told you this already, i cant be bothered checking haha.
May 2nd, 2010 11:50am
You need to get rid of all groups then add the group authenticated users and add yourself and admins and assign full control to all groups
June 10th, 2010 6:21pm
Granting permissions to the Authenticated Users group can be a security risk if you have IIS services installed. If so, when someone accesses your web page or FTP site anonymously, the anonymous Internet user account IUSR is automatically added to the Authenticated Users group. This is a potential hole through which they might be able to gain access to your system.Dave Kelly
June 15th, 2010 3:23am
Well, now! Not only did/do I have a similar problem but the link above - http://www.vista4beginners.com/Change-permissions-take-ownership gives a very succinct method of eliminating this problem...............but............it doesn't appear to work! On one computer upgraded from Vista HP to Windows 7 HP I have three folders which have padlocks on them. I have no difficulty in opening those folders named $INPLACE.~TR, WINDOWS.~Q and MSOcache and accessing all files within them. On my other computer upgraded from Windows XP Pro with a clean install of Windows 7 Pro I have two drives with a different OS on each and in both cases my Documents and Settings folders had a padlock on them. Following various instructions within this forum did not resolve the problem since every avenue attempted was met with a dialogue stating the obvious........"access denied"..........so nothing could be changed in spite of having various "users" listed. Following the instructions in the link given was instrumental in removing the padlocks in each case but only at the expense of each respective folder also disappearing! So! Now my problem is that although the folders are missing there is a shortcut showing in each but clicking on the shortcut now brings up the message "Documents and Settings is not available. Access denied" It would appear to me that Windows 7 of any flavour is merely a botched "upgrade"? of the useless old Vista package but with more problems. If Microsoft were really interested in making an error-free OS then this stupid "glitch" not only would not have occurred but since it did, would have been obviated much more promptly than it has. Still, I suppose when one is making obscene profits from expensive rubbish nothing else is really of interest is it?
August 14th, 2010 10:10pm
In case anybody comes across this thread and has the same problems, here is the solution. None of the above theories worked for me. Access Denied messages occurred even while trying to take ownership with elevation. What could easily be done in XP took some figuring out in Win7. To fix this issue, Enable the administrator account, login and change the permissions e.g. Everyone, Authenticated Users - Full Control. All of the padlocks disappeared and allowed changes in ownership and permissions.
November 11th, 2010 9:59pm
In case anybody comes across this thread and has the same problems, here is the solution. None of the above theories worked for me. Access Denied messages occurred even while trying to take ownership with elevation. What could easily be done in XP took some figuring out in Win7. To fix this issue, Enable the administrator account, login and change the permissions e.g. Everyone, Authenticated Users - Full Control. All of the padlocks disappeared and allowed changes in ownership and permissions. Oh, yes, it's "The Solution" is it? Well it didn't work for me, so it can't be so wonderful, can it? Windows 7 tells me I'm the owner of my Documents and Settings folder, and I've got "Full Control", but it won't let me access it. How sensible is that? I had a red padlock, now I've got a blue arrow (indicating a shortcut?), but I still can't access it. When I log in as another user, the folder doesn't even appear in explorer! Can anyone suggest a decent reason why I shouldn't just go back to xp? Anyone from Microsoft reading this?
January 7th, 2011 9:09pm
You need to login as Administrator to make these changes. An account with administrator equivalence does not seem to work. I can empathise with your frustration, but once you accept the new way the world is going with Win7 things become a lot calmer. Now where's my soothing WinXP virtual PC gone to?
January 11th, 2011 9:06pm
After 3 hours of searching the Internet, trying everything I could find, this was the only thing that worked. Thank you! I had music files scattered across my mp3 collection with no apparent connection between why some were locked and some weren't. Winamp and Windows Media Player would not play them. This fixed the problem completely. I suspect that when you try to reassign rights when some files are locked and some aren't, Windows will not prompt you during the process to give Admin permission, instead it just gives a warning message. Using the full Administrator login solves this problem because UAC is not present in any way.
January 17th, 2011 10:50pm
I'm using Win 7 Pro. Open the gold lock file, go to the file icon (far left), then click on share, then click on share with home group everyone read-write. It worked for me, hope it works for you.
January 21st, 2011 6:40pm
If you right click the file with the padlock, and look under the 'Share With' option, the problem solution will become clear. The file is not shared, and that's why it's 'locked'. It has nothing to do with ownership, it's a share issue.
January 22nd, 2011 5:11am
January 22nd, 2011 5:05pm
I would agree; it has to do with ‘Sharing’. Depending on where the file originated and/or where it was transferred/copied/saved to, it will need to have it’s ‘Shared’ properties changed if you wish ‘EVERYONE’ to access it (let’s say; in the Pubic folder). If your going to start changing Permissions (for files/folders), then your maybe heading for trouble down the road.
February 4th, 2011 8:17am
Tried that as I am trying to share with my network and all of the fixes mentioned here I have tried and the only way I find I can share is to move the pictures to the public folder. I wish someone more computer savy than me would figure a workaround this for me.
April 25th, 2011 6:29pm
Do you know what the locked files were? The files were files that could not be written to c:\program Files and were instead written to a subdir within %userprofile%\appdata\local\virtualstore. I only found that out two weeks ago! Do a search for virtualstore to find out what it is used for! XMLTVGUI is a prime example of using this virtualstore, but still showing the files in c:\program Files for other apps like TVG. Jeez Microsoft, why not just link the damn files instead of locking them?
May 10th, 2011 8:31am
mr-b you are awesome that worked for me I tried all of the other jazz on this forum and nothing was working!! thank you for posting!
May 14th, 2011 9:37am
I would agree; it has to do with ‘Sharing’. Depending on where the file originated and/or where it was transferred/copied/saved to, it will need to have it’s ‘Shared’ properties changed if you wish ‘EVERYONE’ to access it (let’s say; in the Pubic folder). If your going to start changing Permissions (for files/folders), then your maybe heading for trouble down the road. I disagree - no matter what I do with "right click" then "sharing" or whom I then try to share with - it does NOT remove the padlock or allow me to access C:/documents and settings. I agree - what was MS thinking? The concept of one Administrator with password access to change ANYTHING, and a bunch of other "users" with varying permissions is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. This should have been fixed ages ago, but I suspect that in order to do so MS would have had to junk Win7 and start all over - obviously not practical. So I guess we all have to suffer until things change. And who was the brilliant soul who posted an answer in HTML? I'd rather have an honest answer from MS indicating they goofed rather than have to spend HOURS and HOURS trying to fix something that -= at least for some of us - simply is NOT fixable MS ARE YOU LISTENING? ANYONE HONEST AT MS TO EXPLAIN - BUT NOT IN "TECHSPEAK" - WHAT IS GOING ON? GUESS I WON'T HOLD MY BREATH... Where is good ol' XP when you need something easy to use and relatively reliable? With Win7 MS has invented a disaster!
August 12th, 2011 1:58pm
There are a number of issues being blurred in this thread, although the padlock suggests that this is a sharing issue, it isn't, it is an OWNERSHIP issue. You do not own the folder and its contents, this is NOT the same as whatever permissions you think you have. I am using a Windows 7 Professional laptop on a company domain, so yours may differ. I am the domain Administrator and my personal username is in the machines Administrators group. Please ensure you are a member of the machines Administrators group. Right click on the folder Choose Properties Choose Security Choose Advanced Choose Owner Choose Edit Select Administrators (MACHINENAME\Administrators) from the list and check the box Replace Owner on Subcontainers and Objects Click Yes to confirm that you want to take ownership Click OK to acknowledge the message Click OK and OK to close the permissions windows, you must close all of the permissions windows The Administrators group is now the owner of that folder and everything within it and has been granted permissions too. You can now do what you want with that folder and its contents. Hope that helps somebody.
August 31st, 2011 8:00am
Here's my contribution. This worked for me - Again, YMMV This is Win 7 64 bit on a Workgroup. Select the folder with the padlock and rt-click, properties, security, advanced. Note that 'Inherited from' displays 'Not Inherited' (Usually displays Inherited from C:\) Click 'change Permissions' Check 'Include inheritable permissions from this object's parent' Click Apply In other words the padlock was indicating that the folder was outside the inherited permissions structure? Likewise, HTH someone
August 31st, 2011 1:29pm
this is a really stupid problem to have. I just got my win 7 laptop and all was fine. Then suddenly I'm locked out of my music, my pictures, and my videos folders. Locked out and unable to access any files in them. Enabling both types of inheritance under security fixed it. Makes no sense that it works fine one day and then the next I'm locked out.jp
September 19th, 2011 11:24pm
Amen, jpeternel! Single user on a home network here, padlocks all over my pics, unable to modify a Word document I just created. Clunky workarounds to unlock every file and image. Just when we thought it was safe to trust Microsoft after Vista... now this. Better be solved in Windows next revision or it's off to Apple for me. I've had enough of this nonsense.
November 14th, 2011 12:01am
Simon_T, your solution worked perfectly!! I can't thank you enough.
November 25th, 2011 9:32pm
hi, yes perfect worked, I used for mac driver
December 22nd, 2011 4:13pm
Try this little jewel, http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/112795-context-menu-take-ownership.html Also go to share settings and check all of the boxes for the folder, mucic.....
December 23rd, 2011 11:36am
I think your probelm is the same as mine; you must have made a change to the icon on the folder & checked "include all subfolders." Does this sound like its possible? If so, I too am hoping somone can tell me how to undo this icon from my subfolders. I tried restore & all that- it didnt work :-( Its confusing having so many folders with the same icon on it! HELP!!
February 13th, 2012 1:58pm