How to remove lock (padlock) icon from photos in Windows 7.

Original Title: Lock symbol on photos

For some reason all of my photos on one group of photos has a lock symbol on each the thumbnail of each photo. What does this mean and how do I get rid of the symbol?


Hey TracyBetsy,


Do you have Norton Ghost installed on the computer?


The lock symbol indicates that the permissions on the photos are set for your access only. The lock (padlock) overlay icon appears for files/folders which are private, but located under a non-private directory. If a standard user tries to access the folder with a lock icon, they will get a popup that says “You don’t currently have permission to access this folder. Click Continue to permanently get access to this folder.”


There are two ways of removing the lock icon.


Method 1:


a.    Right click on the folder and click on “Properties”.

b.    Go to the tab “Sharing”.

c.    Click on “Share”.

d.    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.


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:

a.     Right click on the folder and click on“Properties”.

b.    Go to the tab “Security”.

c.    Click on the “Advanced” button at the bottom.

d.    Click on “Change Permission”.

e.    Select your user account and check the option “Include inheritable permissions from this object’s parent”.

f.     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.

For details about permissions in Windows 7, see:
What are permissions?


Shinmila H - Microsoft Support

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Question Info

Last updated July 21, 2021 Views 163,067 Applies to: