Remove the Lock Icon from a Folder in Windows 7, 8, or 10

You might have ended up with a lock icon on a folder if you’ve been fiddling about with folder sharing or security settings. We’ll show you how to get rid of that icon without distributing it too widely.

You must either gain ownership of that folder or modify your user’s access rights to fix this concern. To make this kind of modification, you’ll need to be an administrator. This can be accomplished by modifying the folder’s security settings to allow the User group to read from it at the very least.

In windows 10, 8, or 7 padlocks or lock icons have a different meanings. The lock icon overlay in Windows 7 served an entirely different purpose.

In Windows 7, the Lock icon signified that the file or folder was shared with only your user account and that only your account had permission to view it (besides the SYSTEM and admin accounts).

The padlock overlay icon was removed in Windows 8 and later because users couldn’t figure out how to get rid of it.

When a folder or file is encrypted with Encrypting File System (EFS) in Windows 10, the File Explorer app displays a padlock overlay icon for it.

Why Is There a Lock (Padlock) Icon on Some Files and Folders in Windows 10?

The lock icon in Windows signifies that you and no other user on your computer may access the file or folder. A lock icon is an excellent approach to ensuring that those settings are in place if this is desired.

The padlock icon indicates that all my files or folder is not accessible to the public. For example, suppose you see a lock icon overlaid on your folders. In that case, it signifies the sharing or security options have been tampered with, either by you or software or while moving data across operating systems or altering the settings.

How to Unlock Folders with Lock Icon?

There are various ways you can try to remove padlock or lock icon from files with lock icon or padlock, some of which are listed below for you:

Change Your Permission Setting

  • Select the folder or file you wish to modify by right-clicking on it.
  • From the option, choose “properties.”
  • “Properties” window there is an option called “security,” select that.
Change Your Permission Setting
  • In the “Security” tab, there is an edit choice, tap on that. 
  • Click Add if you don’t see “Everyone” or aren’t on the list of users or groups with permissions configured. If your user or group appears on that list, pick it, then click Allow Full Control and OK.
unwanted access
  • In the User Accounts or Groups area, type your user account or group name and then click “Check Names.” The text you ordered will be transformed to *Your PC Name**User* or *Your PC Name**Group* if the user or group was located on your computer. If this is the case, click “OK.” if a name is not discovered, an error popup will appear if the user or group is not found. Then, make the required changes and give it another shot.
  • Select the user/group you just added in the Security/Permissions window, then check the Full Control box and click OK.

Turn Off EFS

  • Right-click on the folder or file with a padlock to open the drop-down menu.
  • From the drop-down list, select “Properties.”
  • Click on the “Advanced” tab.
advanced tab
  • Click on the checkbox for “encrypt contents to secure resources” to uncheck it.
secure data
  • Tap on “OK” and check if the icon is removed or not.

Disable Your BitLocker protection

  • Discover the drive over which you want to disable the BitLocker password.
  • Right-click the drive you want to update and select Resume BitLocker Protection from the menu.
  • To access the drop-down menu, right-click and select Manage BitLocker.
  • Look for the “Turn Off BitLocker” option in the lower right corner of the BitLocker Drive Encryption window and select it.
  • There will be a confirmation window that appears. To validate the process of turning off BitLocker, click the “Turn off the BitLocker” button on your windows.
  • Wait for the process to complete before closing the window and closing the security tab.


In the event of online hacking or unauthorized access to your file, extra security is essential. If you don’t require additional protection for some of your drives, encrypted files, or compressed files you can use the procedures above to remove the padlock icon. 

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Abdul Rahim has been working in Information Technology for over two decades. Learn how Abdul got his start as a Tech Blogger , and why he decided to start this Software blog. If you want to send Abdul a quick message, then visit his contact page here.