Why Is There a Lock Icon on Drives & How To Take it off

Wondering why there is a padlock icon in your drives in the File Explorer? Here is what it’s and the way to remove lock icon from drives in Windows 10.

If you bought a new laptop or desktop in recent years, you may have noticed that all of your drives have a lock icon in it. This is true for Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro versions and whether you’re actively using BitLocker or disabled it outright. Generally, a lock icon on the drive means that it is encrypted in some way. As possible guess, encryption causes it to be harder for others to access your computer data in unauthorized ways. For example, if you lost your laptop, the one that thought it was cannot access the data without proper authentication.

Although the feature is pretty useful, it may be confusing for some. After all, Windows 10 doesn’t do a sufficient job of informing you of the items the lock icon within the drives means, how it’s enabled, and how to remove it as needed.

In this simple Windows 10 article, without a doubt why there is a lock icon in your drive and just how the remove lock icon on drive in Windows 10.

Exactly why is there a lock icon on drives in Windows 10?

Windows 10 has two built-in encryption features. The first one is BitLocker and it is only accessible for Pro and Enterprise users. The 2nd one is called Device Encryption and open to all including Windows 10 Home users.

If you’re visiting a lock icon on the drives so if you’re using Windows 10 Home or you are certain that you aren’t using BitLocker then it is because of the Device Encryption feature.

Though the Device Encryption feature is available to all Windows 10 users, it’s automatically enabled only when the next requirements are met.

Your laptop or desktop should have a TPM version 2 (Trusted Platform Module) chip on the motherboard.
Supports the Modern Standby feature.
Has modern UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface).
The TPM functionality is enabled via UEFI.
You should log into Windows 10 with a Microsoft account.

If you are not using BitLocker and don’t want to use the unit Encryption feature, follow the steps given below to turn off Device Encryption and remove the lock icon from drives in Windows 10.

BitLocker vs Device Encryption

Both BitLocker and Device Encryption are similar. It’s exactly that, unlike BitLocker, Device Encryption is available to any or all but is only turned on automatically when the system has got the built-in TPM module and signed in to Microsoft account. In addition to that, you won’t get any from the management options to configure the unit Encryption feature.

You can imagine Device Encryption like a stripped-down version of BitLocker with the same security standards however with no management options.

How to remove lock icon on drives in Windows 10

To remove the lock icon on drives in Windows 10, you have to disable the Device Encryption feature. Here is how to do it.

Open the Settings app in Windows 10.
Click on “Update & Security.”
Select “Device Encryption” around the sidebar.
Click “Turn off” around the right panel.
Device encryption is now disabled and also the lock icon is taken away from drives.

First, open the Windows 10 Settings app with “Start key + I” keyboard shortcut. In the Settings app, visit the “Update & Security -> Device Encryption” page. Around the right panel, click the “Turn Off” button under the Device encryption section.

As soon as you click on the button, Windows 10 turns off the Device Encryption feature and automatically decrypts all encrypted drives. The decryption process will require some time to complete. You can use the system normally although this is happening. From now on, providing see the lock icon on the drives in Windows 10.

Note: If you work with BitLocker, you need to turn off BitLocker to remove the lock icon.