How to remove lock from folder in Windows 7 Did you notice that there are some folders with a lock icon in Windows 7? The lock icon indicates that you are sharing the folder but the usergroup (e.g. everyone) does not have permissions to access it. The lock icon ALWAYS appears when you’re removing permissions from a usergroup.

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When does the lock icon appear?

This is the lock icon:
Lock Icon Above Folder

The lock icon will appear after removing permissions from a usergroup:
Removing Permissions from Usergroup

Basically it is a useful way to figure out if people on a LAN have access to your files. If you’re sharing a folder and it does have a lock icon, people will not be able to access it, because the folder has special permissions.

Remove lock from folder

If you’re on Vista or Windows 7 you can follow this guide and remove the lock from the folder with just a few clicks.

Either, you’re giving the usergroup permissions again or you inherit the permissions from the parent folder (e.g. C:/ if the folder is C:/debug/).

Method 1:
1. Step Right click on the folder and click on Properties
2. Step Go to the tab Sharing
3. Step Click on Share
4. Step Select the usergroup from the dropdown e.g. Everyone if you want to share it with everyone and then click on Share to remove the lock from the folder.

Remove Lock from Folder

The usergroup Everyone will have access to the folder then. The folder no longer has special permissions and Windows 7 will therefore remove the lock icon.

Method 2:
1. Step Right click on the folder and click on Properties
2. Step Go to the tab Security
3. Step Click on the Advanced button at the bottom
4. Step Click on Change Permission

Change Folder Permissions

5. Step Select your user account and check the option Include inheritable permissions from this object’s parent
6. Step Click on apply to remove the lock icon.

The lock icon will be removed because the folder now inherits the permission of the parent folder. If that folder does not have any special permissions you will successfully remove the lock from the folder!

If you still can’t remove the lock from a folder let us know and we’ll try to figure it out together.