[Fix] Some File and Folder Names Showing in Blue or Green Color in Windows Explorer

Recently we received following email from an AskVG reader:


Recently I noticed that some files and folders names are showing in blue and green color in Windows Explorer. It seems all files and folders names are turning into either blue or green color. I think my system is infected with a virus.

Can you please provide a solution? Is it really a virus infection?


No. Its not a virus infection. Actually its a feature of NTFS file system in Windows. Windows automatically compresses a few files and folders to save space on your hard disk and when a file or folder gets compressed, Windows shows its name in blue color to make them easier to identify.

Similarly an encrypted file or folder name is shown in green color.

Take a look at following screenshot:


In above screenshot, Test 1 and Test 3 folders are compressed whereas Test 2 folder is encrypted that's why Test 1 and Test 3 folders names are showing in blue color but Test 2 folder name is showing in green color. Same theory applies to Test 1.txt and Test 2.txt files. Test 1.txt file is neither encrypted nor compressed, that's why its name is showing in default black color but Test 2.txt file is compressed, that's why its name is showing in blue color.

If you don't want to show compressed or encrypted file or folder names in different color, you can disable this feature using following simple steps:

1. Open Windows Explorer, click on Organize -> Folder and search options in command bar. Windows XP users will need to click on Tools -> Folder Options.

2. It'll open Folder Options window. Now go to "View" tab.

3. Now look for an option "Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color". It would be enabled by default.


You just need to disable that option by unchecking the chechbox and applying the changes.

4. That's it. Now Windows will not show compressed or encrypted files or folders names in blue or green color.

If you don't want to disable the above mentioned option, but want to show your desired file or folder name in default black color, you can right-click on the file or folder which is having its name in blue or green color and select Properties. Now click on "Advanced" button given near file attributes checkboxes. It'll open Advanced Attributes window.


Now disable both "Compress contents to save disk space" and "Encrypt contents to secure data" options and click on OK button.

That's it. Once you disable both options, Windows will not show that file or folder name in different color.

Do you manually compress or encrypt a file or folder using this built-in Windows feature or do you use a 3rd party utility for it?


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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

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  • Oh. I thought those were hidden files or something. Looking back, this idea seems pretty stupid, but it has never bothered me enough to actually think about it.

  • My answer might've been along the lines that a virus is gonna do a lot more then just color your files and folders :P Anywho, no, I wouldn't trust Windows to do anything for me - whether it's compressing the data, encryption, or backup; Definitely 3rd-party programs, for all of the above..:)

  • nice information ... thanks for sharing it ... :) :)

  • Almost i hve done it, but last it shows an error that is this (An error occurred applying attributes to the file
    Access denined
    Ingore; Ignore All; Try again)
    i hve done try again but than nothing happens
    what to do..???
    plz guide me in this..
    Thank you

  • Access denined
    Ingore; Ignore All; Try again)
    i hve done try again but than nothing happens
    what to do..???
    plz guide me in this..

  • i have the same issue,, when i formatted drive d, "drive c:" turns to blue letters.

  • Thanks, very helpful tip which is given above and have sold my problems.

  • Thanks very much above tip have solved my problems.

  • Almost i hve done it, but last it shows an error that is this (An error occurred applying attributes to the file
    Access denined
    Ingore; Ignore All; Try again)
    i hve done try again but than nothing happens
    what to do..???
    plz guide me in this..
    Thank you

  • VG

    ^^ Click on Ignore all button. Some files are in use by Windows, thats why you are getting this message.

  • >>> Dear file color has changed through this method. But file still do not open.

  • It's really working............thanks for nice information.

  • but my problem do not fix,i can fixed couler but still my folder do not open get a message say
    (there was an error opening this document.Access denied

  • plzzz i really need that folders don not open i am a student in university and put my practices work in that folders but now it wont open what i must to do?????

  • VG

    ^^ Try to take ownership of the folder:



  • This is problem with old computers that don't have enough space on their hard disk (like 250 Gb) - and system do this by default... Unfortunately when most of people notice this its somehow to late. For example "when one computer needed to be fixed (cleaned from viruses and stuff), owner wanted to reinstall the Windows XP to Windows 7" and when he wanted to put his important files separated he only did copy paste option (that's how he lost the right to change encryption - that is - administrative rights goes with op system in this example XP (if he has same XP on cd than there is no problem))... If it reinstall to 7 then the same files can't be opened --> they are totally lost... Now the system still works on same way but there is no man that can refill his hard disk cause they are usually above 500 Gb (even laptop extends to 1 Tb) and when he gets to 350 Gb he usually reinstall it and start refilling it again so... IT HAPPENS just so u know. :)

  • Thanks...It's really working in win8 also

  • this information was really helpful for me

  • I am getting an access denied message, even after trying to take ownership of the file. This is a pain

  • Thanks Buddy It's nice information ;)

    When i copying some file into lappy to pc that time i by mistake click all folder to encrypted files etc,. if your file in encrypted & compressed files than copying very slowly :3

    Thanks Buddy It's nice information ;)
    It work in my Win 7 Os

  • Hi I recently reformatted my laptop from windows 8 to windows 8.1.
    Before reformatting I backed up folders and files onto my external drive. Whilst doing so I forgot that most folders and files were encrypted using the normal encryption windows uses (right click on folder>properties>advanced>advanced attributes>ticked the "Encrypt contents to secure data")
    Now that I have done the reformat I cannot open any of those files and I have tried giving it full access permission but I always get the error message saying access denied (see screenshot attached)
    Could anyone advise me on how to proceed ? This is really annoying and I am talking about 76.8 GB of files here including pictures, documents, films etc.
    Thanks !

    I have tried to "take control" and give myself full access following steps you have set up here : http://www.askvg.com/guide-how-to-take-ownership-permission-of-a-file-or-folder-manually-in-windows/

    But still doesn't work. My files are still in green and cannot open or copy them to my pc from the external. Also I have a "Windows" folder on my Local Disk (C:). Is there a chance that the key required is in there somewhere ? Thanks for your help !

  • VG

    ^^ Sorry to say but its not possible to recover those files now. There are some 3rd party software and methods available which claim to recover those files but they never work. Afaik its not possible.

  • Thank you. This makes things much easier :)

  • I am using encryption for the OneDrive folder, so that noone accessing my PC harddrive can access OneDrive locally (with the exception of a boot CD, really :)) ). Compression I don't use, since I never get to actually need it.

  • how can i solve this problem my data files are turened into green colour ,,i cant to open this files how can i open those files ,,,thats are vry important file give a solutions plz,,,
    thanking u

  • All people are saying is wrong plz change your hard disk immediately


  • hi i was looking on to find out wat it ment when your folders are blue name and after looking and read some of them on here i now know and find other usefull information of too

  • Green Color rename file not open due to window format.
    Pl. suggets

  • green fonts problem is solved but when i try to open any file its error.

  • my system have windows xp sp3. i format my system after that some folder show in green color and its content not opening.
    please provide me proper solution if any.

  • hi Now disable both "Compress contents to save disk space" and "Encrypt contents to secure data" options and click on OK button.
    then massage shown '' ACCESS DENIED '' you will need provide administrator permission to change these attributes.

  • I change the folder name and now I cant open it....in security current user not available...nd icant change anything in it.

  • Dear VG

    excellent explanation. due to compression, i was not able run few video file in my LED. Great. thanks buddy.

  • Thanks a lot its working and finally i get rid from green color folders

  • Hi

    I tried all what you recommended above, I took a back up from X1 carbon Lenovo Thinkpad, to WD Hdd, the encrypted files are green I tried to use it or copy on my desktop.

    please try to answer this ASAP

  • Please help me ! After these steps when i disable "Encrypt contents to secure data" options and click on OK button it shows " you need to provide administrator permission to change in these attribute

  • Dear Sir,
    Thank you for your great answer. I thought those folders were virus effected.

    Thanks for great post!

  • Awesome....its worked and all compressed files are in normal color now.

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