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How to unlock My Pictures, Videos, and Music folders

Brian1 6,233 1,370 April 3, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Somehow while changing sharing privilege settings on My Pictures, My Videos, and My Music folders in order to allow these files to be viewed on my TV, these folders have become locked. There is a lock icon beside their normal icons and I cannot access them. When I try to change the sharing privileges I am denied access.

How can I reset these folders' privilege settings back to the factory default, remove these lock icons, and unlock these folders so I can access their contents once again?

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#2
Quote from Brian1 View Post :
Somehow while changing sharing privilege settings on My Pictures, My Videos, and My Music folders in order to allow these files to be viewed on my TV, these folders have become locked. There is a lock icon beside their normal icons and I cannot access them. When I try to change the sharing privileges I am denied access.

How can I reset these folders' privilege settings back to the factory default, remove these lock icons, and unlock these folders so I can access their contents once again?
im guessing the quickest way is to make a 2nd account with admin rights and log in to that account. From there go to my computer -> c: -> users -> your account name and change the rights.
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#3
Quote from mrbobhcrhs View Post :
im guessing the quickest way is to make a 2nd account with admin rights and log in to that account. From there go to my computer -> c: -> users -> your account name and change the rights.
If I click My Documents -> My Pictures, it says I don't have permission to access that folder. Then, it tells me to gain access I have to change something in the "Security Tab", but I don't know what to change.

What's odd is if I click Start -> Pictures, it takes me inside the My Pictures folder and I can view all of my pictures as normal. It's as if the folder really isn't locked, just something is up with trying to go through the My Pictures "door".
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#4
Quote from mrbobhcrhs View Post :
im guessing the quickest way is to make a 2nd account with admin rights and log in to that account. From there go to my computer -> c: -> users -> your account name and change the rights.
OK, I just learned two things:

1. Those folders, as well as certain others, have a user named "Everybody" listed in the Properties -> Security tab. If I remove that user, I can access the folder. However, the lock icon still remains. Where did this mysterious, new user "Everybody" come from and how can I remove it completely from my computer without having to find every single folder it's associated with?

2. When I open the folders, the only thing in them are the files that come with the computer from the factory - the sample pictures, videos, and music files. It seems my pictures aren't being stored under My Pictures for some reason, their being saved to Libraries -> Pictures. What's the difference and why are there two different picture folders?
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#5
First off Everyone is a built-in "special identity" group to include all logged in users and guests. I wouldn't delete it. Windows expects it to be there.

As for where your pictures are.... if you look at the top of Libraries it will say how many locations its pulling from. Click on locations to see the physical paths.

Libraries are meant to consolidate your files from multiple locations on your hard drive they are also shared though Homegroups.

Chances are your pictures are being stored on another user profile. You can change the default save location if you want anytime.

When it said "You don't have access" did you try accessing it anyhow? Windows sometimes will warn you but still let you do it if you are logged as an administrator etc.

The reason for the LOCK icon is that there are files in a public directory rather than a private directory belonging to your user account you are logged in with.

REMEMBER... Every user has their own profile. So if you created a new Admin account of course his pictures are the sample ones as theis new user didn't create any pictures under their account... get it? The pictures are under the profile for the older user account that saved the pictures.

GOTO C;\Users to see the user accounts (listed as subfolders) and their profiles. Your pictures are in there.
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Last edited by boltman2007 April 3, 2012 at 10:24 PM
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#6
Quote from Brian1 View Post :
OK, I just learned two things:

1. Those folders, as well as certain others, have a user named "Everybody" listed in the Properties -> Security tab. If I remove that user, I can access the folder. However, the lock icon still remains. Where did this mysterious, new user "Everybody" come from and how can I remove it completely from my computer without having to find every single folder it's associated with?
Everybody is a built-in group that encompasses all users that can possibly access your computer. You must not delete it.

Second, if you remove the Everybody group from the ACL on those folders (the Security tab displays the Access Control List, or ACL) and you can access it, then the Everybody group has been set on that folder to explicitly deny all permissions. Thus, since you're a member of Everybody, you can't access it. This happens because NTFS (the file system) treats deny permissions with higher priority than allow permissions. Logical no? You're perfectly safe to remove the Everybody ACL from those folders. Normally they aren't set for anything in your user account, since they're private to you and you have sufficient permissions to access things you own. You'd only set the Everybody ACL if you were trying to give, say, global read permission to a set of files. This explains why it showed up. When you turned on sharing, Windows added the Everybody ACL to support the sharing feature. After all, unless someone else has permission to read the files, it's not much sharing now is it? laugh out loud

Quote :
2. When I open the folders, the only thing in them are the files that come with the computer from the factory - the sample pictures, videos, and music files. It seems my pictures aren't being stored under My Pictures for some reason, their being saved to Libraries -> Pictures. What's the difference and why are there two different picture folders?
Double-check which folder your pictures are going to when you open Libraries -> Pictures. The library folders are composite views of folders that you add to them. By default, the Pictures library includes your account's pictures folder as well as the Public Pictures folder.

When you open Libraries->Pictures there will be a header grouping where each set of files comes from. From this header, you can determine where your pictures are.

Here's an example: http://cdn6.everything-microsoft....png?9d7bd4

You may need to set the view to Details to get that information.
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Last edited by redmaxx April 4, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Steve Gibson on password policies [grc.com]: I mean, I don't get this change it every eight weeks. ... It's not as if passwords are traveling by camel after they've been stolen, going to the bad guys, and so there's, like, some weird eight-week window, like, oh, we're going to change your password so that the stale password no longer works. ... And all this does is make IT people despised because users, who are not dumb, they think, why am I - why do I have to do this? What problem is this solving?
#7
Boltman has given you a lot of good advice and explanations and if you continue playing with the security settings, you might get everything back to default settings, but there may be a shorter route by way of doing a system restore back to a date before those folders got locked up.
You know how to do that, right?
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#8
Thanks to everyone for all the great information and advice. It was all very well written and I understand everything you've explained.

I'm not as knowledgeable about this as you guys are so I'd like to take this step by step.

OK, first, I have not created any additional users other than the one I created the very first day I fired up the laptop.

Second, I can access my pictures, but I thought they'd be in Start -> Documents -> My Pictures like they were on my old laptops with Windows XP. But, instead, they're in C:/ -> My Computer's Name -> My Documents -> My Pictures.

Also, I just realized that I cannot access C:/ -> Documents and Settings. I get the same error message I mentioned above: "You don't currently have permission to access this folder".

So, my two first-step questions are:

How can I remove the lock icons from the Start -> Documents -> My Pictures/My Videos/My Music folders (as well as any other folders elsewhere that may have this icon)?

When I go to Start -> Documents it's pulling from two locations: C:/Users/Public/Documents and C:/Users/My Computer's Name/Documents. However, when I look at the two sets of merged folders and files that are displayed I only see My Pictures, My Videos, and My Music from the Public account, rather than both. My goal is to be able to go to Start -> Documents -> My Pictures and see my pictures. How can I make this happen?
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#9
Quote from boltman2007 View Post :
The reason for the LOCK icon is that there are files in a public directory rather than a private directory belonging to your user account you are logged in with.
It seems to me that if the files are, in fact, public that anybody could access them. It doesn't make any sense to me that I can't access them. Am I missing something?

Quote from redmaxx View Post :
Everybody is a built-in group that encompasses all users that can possibly access your computer. You must not delete it.

Second, if you remove the Everybody group from the ACL on those folders (the Security tab displays the Access Control List, or ACL) and you can access it, then the Everybody group has been set on that folder to explicitly deny all permissions. Thus, since you're a member of Everybody, you can't access it. This happens because NTFS (the file system) treats deny permissions with higher priority than allow permissions. Logical no? You're perfectly safe to remove the Everybody ACL from those folders. Normally they aren't set for anything in your user account, since they're private to you and you have sufficient permissions to access things you own. You'd only set the Everybody ACL if you were trying to give, say, global read permission to a set of files. This explains why it showed up. When you turned on sharing, Windows added the Everybody ACL to support the sharing feature. After all, unless someone else has permission to read the files, it's not much sharing now is it? laugh out loud



Double-check which folder your pictures are going to when you open Libraries -> Pictures. The library folders are composite views of folders that you add to them. By default, the Pictures library includes your account's pictures folder as well as the Public Pictures folder.

When you open Libraries->Pictures there will be a header grouping where each set of files comes from. From this header, you can determine where your pictures are.

Here's an example: http://cdn6.everything-microsoft....png?9d7bd4

You may need to set the view to Details to get that information.
This is very well-written and easy to understand. Thank you very much for taking the time to explain this to me in this much detail.
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Last edited by Brian1 April 4, 2012 at 08:34 PM
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#10
Quote from Brian1 View Post :
It seems to me that if the files are, in fact, public that anybody could access them. It doesn't make any sense to me that I can't access them. Am I missing something?



This is very well-written and easy to understand. Thank you very much for taking the time to explain this to me in this much detail.
The lock icon in Windows 7 indicates that the file or folder can only be accessed by you, and not any other user on your computer. If this is desired, then the lock icon is a good way to ensure that those settings are in place. If this isn’t your intention, then it’s an eyesore.

So if a file shows a lock in a public shared folder it is protected from being shared and only available to you.

Quote from Brian1 View Post :
Thanks to everyone for all the great information and advice. It was all very well written and I understand everything you've explained.

I'm not as knowledgeable about this as you guys are so I'd like to take this step by step.

OK, first, I have not created any additional users other than the one I created the very first day I fired up the laptop.

Second, I can access my pictures, but I thought they'd be in Start -> Documents -> My Pictures like they were on my old laptops with Windows XP. But, instead, they're in C:/ -> My Computer's Name -> My Documents -> My Pictures.

Also, I just realized that I cannot access C:/ -> Documents and Settings. I get the same error message I mentioned above: "You don't currently have permission to access this folder".

So, my two first-step questions are:

How can I remove the lock icons from the Start -> Documents -> My Pictures/My Videos/My Music folders (as well as any other folders elsewhere that may have this icon)?

When I go to Start -> Documents it's pulling from two locations: C:/Users/Public/Documents and C:/Users/My Computer's Name/Documents. However, when I look at the two sets of merged folders and files that are displayed I only see My Pictures, My Videos, and My Music from the Public account, rather than both. My goal is to be able to go to Start -> Documents -> My Pictures and see my pictures. How can I make this happen?

Heres how to remove lock icon...

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/17...windows-7/
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Last edited by boltman2007 April 4, 2012 at 08:39 PM
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#11
Quote from boltman2007 View Post :
The lock icon in Windows 7 indicates that the file or folder can only be accessed by you, and not any other user on your computer. If this is desired, then the lock icon is a good way to ensure that those settings are in place. If this isn’t your intention, then it’s an eyesore.

So if a file shows a lock in a public shared folder it is protected from being shared and only available to you.
Ahhhhh. OK. I'm starting to understand this.

So, a lock icon doesn't necessarily mean that I'm locked out of it, it simply means that somebody is locked out of it?

Well, like you said, to lock these folders is not my intention. So, how can I remove all lock icons from my computer?

I don't know where these came from. I'm almost certain they weren't there from the factory, but maybe they were. Do these public folders come protected from being shared from the factory?
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#12
Quote from Brian1 View Post :
Ahhhhh. OK. I'm starting to understand this.

So, a lock icon doesn't necessarily mean that I'm locked out of it, it simply means that somebody is locked out of it?

Well, like you said, to lock these folders is not my intention. So, how can I remove all lock icons from my computer?

I don't know where these came from. I'm almost certain they weren't there from the factory, but maybe they were. Do these public folders come protected from being shared from the factory?
Heres a quick easy fix.....

adding "Authenticated Users" to the security permissions on the directories where you see locks.
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#13
Quote from boltman2007 View Post :
Heres how to remove lock icon...

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/17...windows-7/
Thank you!

Quote from boltman2007 View Post :
Heres a quick easy fix.....

adding "Authenticated Users" to the security permissions on the directories where you see locks.
Did you have these lock icons on your public folders from the factory?
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Last edited by Brian1 April 4, 2012 at 08:45 PM
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#14
Quote from Brian1 View Post :
Thank you!



Did you have these lock icons on your public folders from the factory?
Don't think I did.
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#15
Quote from Brian1 View Post :
This is very well-written and easy to understand. Thank you very much for taking the time to explain this to me in this much detail.
You're welcome! As to the lock icon, that has to do with file sharing, a somewhat different but related topic from folder ACLs. The lock icon means that the file/folder is not generally shared or writeable. I don't think you'd want to remove that, since you'd be loosening the security on your data. Unless that's what you're after.

The lock icons do come set during Windows installation and even when you create a new account. However, the lock usually only appears on your home directory itself (i.e., C:\Users\Brian1) and not the contents. The reasoning is that the contents are protected by the parent folder. If you're seeing the lock on folders inside your account, then that would be from the changes you made to the file sharing settings.
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