Windows 10: what does red x mean in file explorer? Solved


  1. Posts : 157
    Windows 10 home Version 10.0.10586 Build 10586
       4 Days Ago #1

    what does red x mean in file explorer?


    I just purchased a new laptop with presumably latest Windows 10. Working through some stuff I now see red circles with an "X" inserted by some File Explorer folders - some very important like "Documents". I tried restarting File Explorer and rebooting the computer but the symbols remain. Also, trying to access some files that I thought were saved are missing. Maybe I didn't actually save them or maybe there's another problem like trying to save to an "X"d folder.

    What do these troubling symbols mean and how can I return to a clean File Explorer?

    ADDED LATER:

    Still looking for a solution I found here that the problem may be related to MSFT One Drive, which I was working with when the problem surfaced. As far as I can tell from the help, the "sync" operation is working. One Drive works okay on my desktop machine and no red x has ever shown previously or now.

    Then, I see that the avast antivirus program may use a red x? see the screen capture. but Avast says no threats. Also, McAfee came preloaded on this new laptop and I'm unfamiliar with it's notifications and maybe the red x means that Avast is not working because McAfee is??

    just some more clues.....

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by lbeck; 4 Days Ago at 23:26.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    4 Days Ago #2

    Looks like they are not protected and your Avast protection is turned off. My advice would be to get rid of Avast and use Windows Defender.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    4 Days Ago #3

    You cannot have more then one Anti-Virus program installed on your computer or they will conflict. You have Avast installed which is supposed to "protect" your files. And you have McAfee.
    To avoid conflict, McAfee has disabled Avast and so the Avast "protected" files now have a red X next to them.
    Use the Avast Clear tool to totally uninstall Avast to avoid conflicting with McAfee.
    As stated, you do not need either of these. Windows Defender comes with Windows 10 and is part of the OS it is free and works as well as these Paid or other free programs.
    Please use the McAfee MCPR tool. to uninstall it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 157
    Windows 10 home Version 10.0.10586 Build 10586
    Thread Starter
       4 Days Ago #4

    Thanks to you both. I guess I'm just old school and thought that an anti-virus program would help in addition to Defender. I'll try to find documentation on defender but my first concern regards warnings. Does Defender let you know if a threat has been detected? Will it do scans for viruses and other malware? I need all the help I can get as I browse the Internet and also like to download files and programs. I usually do a Google search to see if the program is suspicious and Avast will warn me if it is suspicious. Does Defender have these utilities?

    Again, thanks for your help. I'll uninstall the 2 AV programs and hope that the red x's will disappear.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    4 Days Ago #5

    lbeck said: View Post
    Thanks to you both. I guess I'm just old school and thought that an anti-virus program would help in addition to Defender. I'll try to find documentation on defender but my first concern regards warnings. Does Defender let you know if a threat has been detected? Will it do scans for viruses and other malware? I need all the help I can get as I browse the Internet and also like to download files and programs. I usually do a Google search to see if the program is suspicious and Avast will warn me if it is suspicious. Does Defender have these utilities?

    Again, thanks for your help. I'll uninstall the 2 AV programs and hope that the red x's will disappear.
    Yes, WD has same features any other AV has. If you want even more (against PuPs etc.) get Mawerbytes too. You get good protection with minimal interference, problems with updates etc.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 157
    Windows 10 home Version 10.0.10586 Build 10586
    Thread Starter
       3 Days Ago #6

    Removed both antivirus programs. Then some items had red x and some had green check marks not seen before. I uninstalled MSFT OneDrive and reinstalled it and now everything appears to be back to normal.

    Thanks again for our help
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    3 Days Ago #7

    lbeck said: View Post
    Removed both antivirus programs. Then some items had red x and some had green check marks not seen before. I uninstalled MSFT OneDrive and reinstalled it and now everything appears to be back to normal.

    Thanks again for our help
    Now ad Malwarebytes Free Antivirus Replacement & Anti-Malware Tool | Malwarebytes free edition should be good enough to scan occasionally and/or when something is suspected, same Goes for Adwcleaner AdwCleaner - Free Adware Cleaner & Removal Tool | Malwarebytes from same company but it doesn't need to be installed, just run from it's .exe file. They don't ad much of space or use much of resources but are doing things no AV does.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  • Posts : 7,461
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1709
       3 Days Ago #8

    I'm pretty sure the red x beside your file names is in Onedrive which means files are not syncing. Try searching solutions about fixing onedrive syncing.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 6,952
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       3 Days Ago #9

    CountMike said: View Post
    Yes, WD has same features any other AV has. If you want even more (against PuPs etc.) get Mawerbytes too. ...
    Actually, Defender has PUP (aka PUA) protection built in (but turned off by default). For some reason I can't fathom, Microsoft decided only to make it's options visible to their Enterprise customers. You can however enable it in any edition from Home upwards. The standard Defender definitions already include the PUP/PUA definitions, so a few registry keys are all that's needed to enable it.

    Enable or Disable Windows Defender PUA Protection in Windows 10
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  •    3 Days Ago #10

    I had a few PUP/PUA warnings from WD in the past but most are missed, Mbam killed them dead.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


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