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Windows 7: Hidden files with padlocks against them.

29 Nov 2009   #1

Hidden files with padlocks against them.

I have hidden files all over the place, and each of these files has a padlock against it.

These files look to have been there before I did the upgrade from Vista to Win7.
I can only see these files when using a third party tool like foxit reader or xmltv gui.
They are not displayable, no matter what I state in "tools - folder options".

I cannot change the owner from the 3rd party tool as it states "file is not there", even though it is and I can clearly delete it.
I have no idea how many of these files I have, I just know that in all the places I have looked they are there.

There are even directories with the padlock that I cannot see under Explorer, and that is as administrator, in fact, as administrator, I cannot see these hidden files, even using the 3rd party tools!

I tried takeown and acls commands but they didn;t make any difference.

WTF is going on?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x86 SP1

If you really want to see them:
Go to Folder Options (Or something like that, cant remember what it was in win 7,)
then "VIEW"
Tick "Show hidden files"
Untick "Hide protected OS files"

So now, you can see those files and folders.

But do not delete or modify them!!! They are OS important files and MS made it hidden and protected like this to secure them!

I showed how to unhide them just in educational purposes.

If you modify, change or delete them. I can't take any responsibilities for your loss.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #3

Windows 7

The problem is that the files have a SID from your Vista install. Enable the built in administrators account* and log in with it.

Copy all of the locked files to a new folder.

Now you should be able to log back in under your account and the files that you copied should be unlocked.

*Here's how to get to the built in admin account:
Built-in Administrator Account - Enable or Disable
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Nov 2009   #4



Thanks for the replies, but if you look closely at my post you will see that:

1: Everything is already set to unhidden in folder options.
2: I have already tried logging in as administrator. It was not disabled since I enabled it in Vista or just after installing Win7.

I agree that it is a leftover from Vista, but no matter what I try I cannot get them visible by administrator or by myself as a member of the admin group.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x86 SP1

That's why clean install probably better =S

Can you reinstall it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #6

Windows 7

There are two admin accounts. Did you use the built in one as suggested? (It is disabled by default.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #7


The "Built-in account for administrating the computer/domain" is enabled, yes.

Clean install is not an option.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Feb 2011   #8

Win 7 Ultimate 64bit
I think the answer to this is leave homegroup

I had these annoying padlock icons on a client's laptop and after some fiddling I discovered it was because he had joined a homegroup (I don't know why as his other PC is a Windows XP box ... curiosity I expect) When I exited the home group they went away.

To do this, locate the HomeGroup entry in the left hand pane of Windows Explorerer, right-click it and select "Change HomeGroup Settings".

In the panel that comes up click the option "Leave the homegroup ..." Click the same option on the next dialog and after a bit of thinking about it you are out of HomeGroup.

If you then go to the folder showing the padlocks and refresh the view the padlocks are gone.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Hidden files with padlocks against them.

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