All new files on drive C have gold lock icon Solved

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  1. Posts : 8
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    All new files on drive C have gold lock icon


    I've been running this new Windows 10 PC for over a month, but somehow in the last day or two I've noticed that every new file I create on drive C has a gold lock icon on it. It doesn't seem to affect what I can do with the file(s), but is a bit annoying. I don't know how this has suddenly started happening.

    It doesn't happen on internal drives D, E, and F, and external USB drives G and H. I don't have bitlocker enabled for drive C (thanks to Google I ended up checking that). I can remove the gold lock icon by right-clicking on the folder that contains any files that have the lock, but then every new file I have has it. Also, if I copy/paste a file to make a copy that also gets the gold lock (basically because it's also just another new file).

    How can I stop this happening?

    edit: I remembered that a few days ago I was trying to create a zip file with password protection, so it might well have been something I did in that failed attempt to get a password-protected zip. Considering that I never managed to even do it though, I'd be surprised. That's a question for the future I guess ... how can you create a zip/compressed-folder that is password-protected and/or encrypted.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  2.    #2

    Does the lock appear at the upper right of your icons? If so, see if this applies to you:

    Change or Remove Lock Icon on Encrypted Files in Windows 10
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    #3

    Sounds like you've turned on Encrypting File System. This is not the same as bitlocker but an older method of encrypting files/folders. It is best to disable it rather than just hide the icon as it is too easy to lose the encryption key.

    See
    Decrypt Files and Folders with EFS in Windows 10
    Disable Auto Encrypt Files Moved to EFS Encrypted Folders in Windows
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 8
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #4

    lx07 said: View Post
    Sounds like you've turned on Encrypting File System. This is not the same as bitlocker but an older method of encrypting files/folders. It is best to disable it rather than just hide the icon as it is too easy to lose the encryption key.

    See
    Decrypt Files and Folders with EFS in Windows 10
    Disable Auto Encrypt Files Moved to EFS Encrypted Folders in Windows
    Thanks for those replies, but those links are to how-to articles about how to decrypt the encrypted files, how to set a registry item to tell Windows to not encrypt files copied. None of them tell me how to turn off the encrypting file system. I've turned it on (apparently) and simply want to turn it off.

    I saw this and clearly if I set that registry entry I can disable the encryption, but I don't understand how that key doesn't already exist. Each of these solutions to stop encryption require a policy change or registry change to actively disable encryption, but none of them lead me to an option where I can go and see that the key already exists and is already enabled. If I had to think of an analogy, it's like being an addict (drugs, alcohol) and instead of trying to turn off that addiction, you go around to all dealers/retailers and tell them to not sell to me.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 8
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #5

    I have file-encryption enabled (somehow) but when I look in these various policy/regedit fields, none of them are enabled. I assume I could create the keys or toggle the policies and set them to "No" but I don't get how I have it enabled already and they're not set to "Yes" already. That gold padlock on the icons is bugging me.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    #6

    To prevent Windows from encrypting files, simply right-click on the folder(s) you want to unencrypt, choose properties, deselect Encrypt contents to secure data. If you want to leave the files encrypted you can use the article I referenced to hide the lock icon.

    Note that you can also go into file explorer Select View > Options > go to the View tab > check the box called Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color if you want to differentiate the encrypted files with a colored file names.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 40,683
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18932
       #7

    Hello @d4005,

    In addition, you might check to see if you may have turned on Device Encryption (if supported/available on your PC) by mistake. If you did, then you can just turn it off if wanted.

    Settings > Update & Security > Device encryption

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...ice-encryption
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 8
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #8

    hsehestedt said: View Post
    To prevent Windows from encrypting files, simply right-click on the folder(s) you want to unencrypt, choose properties, deselect Encrypt contents to secure data. If you want to leave the files encrypted you can use the article I referenced to hide the lock icon.

    Note that you can also go into file explorer Select View > Options > go to the View tab > check the box called Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color if you want to differentiate the encrypted files with a colored file names.
    That worked (the simple right-click and deselect encrypt) on every folder that was encrypted except the desktop folder itself. It gives an error.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I haven't turned on device encryption, it seems like I've just turned on encryption for my Desktop folder and can't turn it off.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I tried creating another (administrator) user and logged out of my account and logged into that other account and tried to change my Desktop encryption while logged in as that other user, in case it was failing because the Desktop folder was "in use". Didn't help.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 40,683
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18932
       #9

    As a test, run the command below in an elevated command prompt to see if it may be able to decrypt your Desktop folder.

    cipher /d /s:"C:\Users\DD\Desktop"

    Decrypt Files and Folders with EFS in Windows 10
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  10. Posts : 8
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Brink said: View Post
    As a test, run the command below in an elevated command prompt to see if it may be able to decrypt your Desktop folder.

    cipher /d /s:"C:\Users\DD\Desktop"

    Decrypt Files and Folders with EFS in Windows 10
    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputersSystem Spec


 
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