Today USB drives are used in all aspects of our life. As USB drives usually have a small size and huge capacity, we use them to keep backup copies, to transfer files among different computers, to create bootable media, etc. However, users who often use USB drive may have encountered such error when trying to format the USB drive or copying files to USB:
“The disk is write protected.”
Write protection (also called read-only) is the ability of software or hardware to prevent the drive from being written accessed. Write protection can be physical or virtual. Typically, once a USB drive is enabled with write protection, it means you can only read the data on the USB instead of saving, deleting or modifying data on it.
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If your USB drive is write protected, what should you do? Here I give you some suggestions to have a try.
Way 1. Check the write protection switch
Most USB flash drives have a physical switch which allows you to lock or unlock write protection. You may check your USB drive to see if it has such a write protection switch. Make sure the lock switch is slid up to unlock position.
Way 2. Clear read-only attributes
You can clear the read-only attributes by using DiskPart utility. Run Diskpart and type the following commands one by one. Please finish each command with the Enter key.
select disk n (n is the disk number of the USB flash drive)
attributes disk clear readonly
By ding these, you should have removed the USB read-only property.
Way 3. Edit the registry
Run “regedit” to open the Registry Editor.
Navigate to the following path:
On the right-hand pane, right-click the WriteProtect and select “Modify”. In the pop-up window, change the value data from 1 to 0 and click OK to apply the change.
Now close Regedit Editor and connect your USB drive to the computer again. Check whether the write protection of the USB drive has been removed.
Tip: create a “StorageDevicePolicies” folder under “Control” if you cannot find it.
Right click “Control” folder and choose “New” -> “Key”. Name it with StorageDevicePolicies and then open it.
Right-click on the blank space at choose “New” -> “DWORD (32-bit) value”. Name it with WriteProtect. Finally, double-click on it to check if the Value data is set to 0.
Way 4. Format write protected USB
If all of the above methods do not work, you may need to format the USB. How to format a write-protection USB?
MiniTool Partition Wizard Free edition is recommended here. This free partition manager is capable of formatting all kinds of drives like HDD, SSD, external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, and so on. Besides, many files system options are provided. You can totally rely on it to format write protected USB.
Note: Formatting a USB will leading to data loss. Therefore, make sure that USB is ready for formatting, or you can use MiniTool Power Data Recovery to recover data from it.
Download, install and launch MiniTool Partition Wizard. Select the USB partition and select “Format Partition”. In the pop-up window, customize the partition label, change file system, and change cluster size. After doing these, click “OK” to go back to the main interface and hit Apply to execute this formatting.
I hope at least one of these solutions is helpful to remove write protection from your USB drive.