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Windows 7: Folder and file names appear in color?

19 May 2011   #1
Frank O

Windows 7
 
 
Folder and file names appear in color?

Hi all, today I received a zip file that had been created on a Mac. When I extracted the file on my Windows 7 machine, it resulted in a folder with a number of files.

Oddly, when I browse it in Windows Explorer, the folder name appears in green type, rather than black type like the rest of the folders/files in that directory. If I open the folder, all of the filenames inside are in green.

I've never run across this before. What would cause the folder/file names to appear in a different color? How do I undo it?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 May 2011   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 build 10122
 
 

Hello Frank,

Usually when the text is green, it indicates that the files in the folder are encrypted. You would need to decrypt them using the same method/program that was used to encrypt them to return the text back to the normal black color.

Hope this helps some,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2011   #3
Frank O

Windows 7
 
 

That's interesting, thanks for the information.

No encryption was (purposely) placed on these files. On the Mac OS X end, I dragged a folder of files into an email message I was addressing to myself; the system notified me it would be packaging them as a zip file.

When I received the email on my Windows 7 PC, I saved the zip file to the desktop, then used Windows Explorer's "Extract All." Twice during the extraction process, this error message appeared: "An unexpected error is keeping you from copying the file. If you continue to receive this error, you can use the error code to search for help with this problem. Error 0x80070057: The parameter is incorrect." However, the extraction process continued, and all of the files are accessible normally.

The error messages appeared when extraction was being done on a pdf file that had a filename including accented letters -- I wonder if this threw a wrench into things in some way?

In any event, all of the files are perfectly accessible now. But their filenames, and the name of the folder, are in green. If I create a new document and drag it into this folder, its name appears in green in Windows Explorer too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


19 May 2011   #4
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 build 10122
 
 

It may be some sort of issue with them being from a Mac.

As a test, create a new Compressed (zipped) folder (right click) on your desktop, and copy the files with green text into the zipped folder. Doing this normally decrypts them, so open the zipped folder to see if the files still have green text afterwards. If not, then you can just drag them out of the zipped folder to the desktop to have them without green text again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2011   #5
Frank O

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks, this produced interesting results.

If I created a regular folder on the desktop and dragged the files into it, they retained the green filenames.

But if as you say I created a new Compressed (zipped) folder on the desktop and dragged the files into it, the filenames revert to black.

So the process of bringing them into a new compressed folder must have decrypted them (though they didn't seem encrypted before, as I could read them normally). In any event, all is well, and I appreciate the input.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2011   #6
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 build 10122
 
 

I'm not sure what encrypted them to begin with, but I'm happy to hear that they are no longer encrypted afterwards.

It is normal to be able to read an encrypted file like you would any other file in Windows 7 from within only the same user account that they were encrypted in. Windows 7 automatically uses the encrpytion key to allow this. The only difference the user would notice is the green text. Another user account or computer would not be able to read the encrypted file though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Folder and file names appear in color?




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