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Windows 7: What does the lock icon mean for directories

28 Jun 2010   #1

2x Windows 7
What does the lock icon mean for directories

I am wondering: in one of my directories some of the folders have a lock icon while most don't. Those folders were all created in the same way, namely by unzipping files into a new directory.

What does this lock icon mean or trying to tell me?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2010   #2

Windows 7 Enterprise (x64); Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64)

In many cases it is a junction point and means you don't have direct access to it because it is used for old software and the user has no need to use it because the data is really in a different place. The other times you will see a lock is if you have more than one user on the machine and you both have private data you will not be able to access their data and they cannot access yours. You will see the lock. If you are the Administrator you can see their data by changing permissions etc. However HUGE warning if you don't know what you are doing it is very easy to mess up your machine. Best to leave them as is and not worry about it, Microsoft did a great job of making things work correctly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2010   #3

Windows 10 Pro (x64)

The lock icon means the directory or file is private, not shared.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Jun 2010   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install

Window Star is correct. It means that they are restricted in some way. If you really do not want to see the lock, create a new folder and put the contents in the newly created folder. The locks will be gone; but I would just leave them if they do not cause any problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 What does the lock icon mean for directories

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