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I downloaded a ZIP file and dragged the files out of the ZIP into a directory. The subdirectories I copied displayed in Windows Explorer in green instead of the default black.

What does the green folder text mean?

Windows Explorer green folders in Windows 7

(In case you're wondering, the download was from Baseline CSS)

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When I extracted the files from my downloaded ZIP, I about had a heart attack when I was prompted that my files were going to be encrypted, so I should back up my encryption key. When I looked, the folders were green. I thought I'd gotten that malware that encrypts your hard disk and demands a ransom. Thank you so much! –  DOK Feb 1 at 19:00
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9 Answers

up vote 79 down vote accepted

Green means encrypted, blue means compressed.

If you right-click a file, go to properties and click advanced (under general tab) you have the option to encrypt the folder.

If this is a domain computer, it can be set centrally through group policy by your domain administrator which may be the reason you did not know about it… otherwise, I have not seen a program that does this automatically so you must have accidentally enabled it.

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Would a compressed and encrypted folder be a pleasant shade of turquiose? ;) –  izb Aug 25 '09 at 14:11
Nope! I thought maybe half name in one, half in another, but I just tried and it appears that the file has to be one or the other, you cannot compress and encrypt. –  William Hilsum Aug 25 '09 at 14:22
As this picture shows, Windows actually says "Compress or Encrypt attributes" i26.tinypic.com/e6oihf.jpg –  William Hilsum Aug 25 '09 at 14:23
The encryption and compression is a NTFS filesystem feature - and you cannot choose both. I have never seen the green color applied to .zip's though. –  grawity Aug 25 '09 at 19:22
Bonus answer: blogs.msdn.com/b/asklar/archive/2012/05/03/… –  emgee Nov 11 '13 at 7:46
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They are encrypted. if you wish to turn the encryption off, right click on the file(s) > Properties > Advanced > un-check "Encrypt Contents To Secure Data"

read this:


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AFAIK those are encrypted folders - Compression is blue.

See if there is any information about the files' status in the "Properties" Window

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Files in green are encrypted. Files in blue are compressed.

See this forum post.

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Green files mean they are encrypted - you can change the color:

Windows explorer colors

Files in blue are NTFS compressed files. Files in green are encrypted files. If you don't want NTFS compressed files/encrypted files to be shown in a different color, follow this steps:

  1. Open Windows Explorer.

  2. Click Organize, Folder and Search options.

  3. Choose the View tab.

  4. Click to deselect Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color check box.

  5. Click OK.

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Those are likely NTFS compressed or encrypted folders.

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Green in the text name of the file means encrypted. I have a picture, but my rep won't let me add one.

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Add a link and someone will edit your post for you. –  chipperyman573 Mar 20 at 14:08
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In Windows there are different things that you can do to files that make the folder/file show in a different text color. For Blue it would be that the folder/file has been compressed. Green indicates the folder/file is encrypted.

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This might be helpful for those who don't have admin access to change permission...

I tried to copy some files from my office... it appeared as green and unchecking "Encrypt Contents To Secure Data" didn't work for me since I don't have admin access. Finally I found a solution.. I used winzip and zip the folder and copied to usb drive and it worked like a charm... all files are Black in color on my home computer...!!

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This doesn't answer the actual question -- what does green mean? –  Kevin Panko Feb 27 at 2:24
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