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I right clicked on C:\Users\USERNAME and did advanced -> enable encryption.

On one laptop it turned green. The other it shows an icon on the files with a lock.

What is the difference between these?

Both are factory installs with Windows 10. They are identical. Niether have TPM chips. They both have 1TB HDDs. They bother were ordered at the same time.

They were Dell Inspirions 5548.

I did the exact same procedure though by doing properties -> advanced -> enable encryption for both laptops yet they yeilded different results

LAPTOP1: [enter image description here

LAPTOP2: enter image description here

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    I'm starting to think this is a Windows support question and not a security question. I think it needs to be migrated to SU.
    – schroeder
    Apr 27, 2016 at 16:46

1 Answer 1

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The green folders are encrypted, the locked folders are locked to the user only(possibly password protected, but not encrypted). A quick google search for folder with lock icons windows 10 shows that they can only be accessed by you, and not anyone else. Green on the other hand means actually encrypted.

A simple test: Send the peglocked folder to someone else(a different user on the same system is fine as well as long as they are the one who downloads it)(through email or some such) and see if they can open it. If so it means it was just user locked, and only the owner on that machine can access it(stupid, but shareable). If they can't and they get prompted for a password, then it's at least password protected. If you can open it with an OS that will ignore the password and view the contents correctly, then it was just passworded on Windows and not encrypted.

If you weren't prompted to create a key for it, and back it up, it wasn't encrypted. It was just locked or possibly password protected.

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  • Interesting... I did the exact same procedure though by doing properties -> advanced -> enable encryption for both laptops yet they yeilded different results.
    – Jason Pass
    Apr 27, 2016 at 14:58
  • Then test it. See if it's really encrypted. Apr 27, 2016 at 14:59
  • Oh you happen to have any links? I searched but maybe I am searching with too many or just not the right set of terms
    – Jason Pass
    Apr 27, 2016 at 15:17
  • howtogeek.com/howto/17117/… Apr 27, 2016 at 15:19
  • @JasonPass have you tested the encryption of the "locked" folder yet? Apr 27, 2016 at 16:11

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