How To Remove Lock Symbols From Folders In Windows 7

Here’s how to remove lock symbols from Windows 7 folder icons. This is nice after taking ownership of Folders you’re denied access.

A while back we covered how to access files in locked folders of Windows 7 using the “Take Ownership” command. One thing we didn’t tell you though, was how to get rid of the lock icon of those and other folders on your system. Well, today is the day they break free from their shackles!

Here’s the problem, you have a locked folder in Windows 7.  Regardless of whether you can access it or not it has a lock icon.  This can cause some confusion, but if you aren’t someone who does a lot of browsing around your system with Windows Explorer you probably haven’t even noticed it. Anyhow, let’s get rid of those lock icons.

lock icons on folders in windows

How To Remove The Lock Icon From Windows 7 Folders

Step 1

Right-Click the locked folder and Select Properties.

lock icon properties windows 7

Step 2

The properties window should open up.  Click the Security tab and then Click the Edit… button.

In the Permissions window that appears, Click Add

edit system permsisions windows 7

Step 3

In the white box Type authenticated users then Click OK.

add authenticated users to machine

Step 4

Authenticated Users should now show up under the list of usernames.  Click OK and then Click OK again to close both windows and save changes.

save security permissions changes windows 7


And just like the escape artist Houdini, the lock symbol should now be removed from the folder!  This is the most secure way to get rid of the lock symbol without creating a huge hole in security.  However, if you are really worried about security vulnerabilities, just go back in and Edit Authenticated Users.  On the permissions page just Uncheck the Read & execute box.

lock symbol removed from folder



  1. GRoPo

    I have done the same thing as you, but the lock sign didn’t disappear but the other folder which resist in the same HD, also require me to press OK from the popup”…are you want to unlock this folder forever… etc” I press OK and able to access the content in the folder, but one thing left is a locked folders. I didn’t want to see “this folder” as I always have to access this HD, which contain only media file. so what can I do. the detailed I have post in the below, please see me and assist me……..


  2. Rich

    AWESOME!!! Worked first time…a day when I learn something is a good day… and “out here”, if you can’t learn something every day, you just are not trying!! Nothing but good days! Thank You!

    • MrGroove

      Hi Rich – glad you enjoyed the groovyPost! Hope to see you around the site in the comments.

  3. ebenvios

    Generally I don’t read article on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to try and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite great post.

  4. inga

    I have the same problem as the first responder…no matter what I do, I cannot get that locked symbol to go away. I have created a new authenticated user, I have checked my firewall, passwords, tried giving access by checking the boxes for access in the system security properties for the file. Nothing changes it.

    Any ideas? I know this post was written long ago so I may not hear back, but would love any help suggested!!!

  5. But why...

    I understand the how, but I am looking for an explaination on why “Authenticated Users” has to be added. I have a Administrator with full rights and the lock symbol is on the folder — why does adding “Authenticated Users” with read/execute rights (or less) make the lock go away?

  6. Milind K


    This post helped me to resolve the issue i was facing.

    Thanks buddy TC.

  7. RavRob

    Didn’t work for me

  8. e

    Did not work. Still got padlocks on the same folder where I did this.

  9. Casey Hart

    when i click on properties, I don’t get multiple tabs, only “Library”

  10. nopakrai

    Thank you for your kindness.

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