What is the <lock> icon in the Windows file-manager, and how do I get rid of it?

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by jPaulB, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. jPaulB

    jPaulB Senior Member

    Dec 4, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Hi Everybody,

    I have something new happening in my Windows 7.

    Three of the directories <Data> <MSOCache> and <Program Data> have tiny 'lock' icons attached to the top of the tree.

    I'm guessing these mean that I can not open any of the files.

    So far, it has affected all of the PDF manual files I keep in <DATA>. An error message says simply:
    "Windows cannot access the specified device,path,or file You man not have the appropriate permissions to access the item".

    Where would such a lock come from, and importantly how do I get rid of it so that I can open those files?

    Many thanks,
  2. Schrodinger92

    Jul 29, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Hi Paul,

    According to what I know (and another MS forum) it means the folders (and files within) are not shared with anyone.
    You can try the following steps to resolve this:
    1. Right click folder --> Properties --> Security tab.
    2. Click "Edit".
    3. Add "Authenticated Users" to the list of groups and users.

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