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How to Remove Write Protection From USB Drive in Windows 10

by Lisa Hayden
How to Remove Write Protection From USB Drive in Windows 10

Disk errors are common in today’s technology-invested world. Seemingly, fixes to such errors are simple. Write-protected is among the errors with a quick fix, so don’t panic if you see such while trying to access your USB drive.

Depending on the scenario, there are different ways to remove Write-protection from the USB drive. The methods include;

  • Fix 1: Check the Write-protection lock switch.
  • Fix 2: Use the Diskpart utility to clear read-only settings
  • Fix 3: Edit the registry and disable the Write protection command
  • Fix 4: Disable Encrypted BitLocker
  • Fix 5: Format the USB drive

Before we delve deeper into the above methods, let’s understand the problem.

What is write-protected on the USB drive?

Write protection, commonly referred to as read-only, is a USB drive or SD card setting that allows users only to view or copy files. This mode prohibits modification like accidental overwriting, deleting, or formatting of new or old documents.

The setting can result from accidentally setting the USB on Read-only mode, turning the physical switch on Lockside, third-party encryption software, or malware. The only solution is to remove the write protection setting, as illustrated below.

Related:

How do I remove write protection on a USB drive?

You don’t have to be a computer guru to remove write protection from your USB drive. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll manage to effectively restore the USB drive settings and format files as desired.

Fix 1: Check the Write-protection lock switch.

Most USB devices have a physical Lock switch at the side or bottom, enabling you to lock or unlock write protection. Slide the lock up to unlock if it’s locked and ensure the switch is set to write instead of read-only mode.  

You can do this in two simple steps:

  • Step 1: Locate the physical switch on your USB and turn it ON.
  • Step 2: Connect the unlocked USB drive to the PC to see if the write mode is activated.

If your USB lacks the physical Lock switch or the error persists after switching it OFF, try the second fix.

Fix 2: Use the Diskpart utility to clear read-only settings

Diskpart command-line is an easy method to clear the read-only mode from your USB to a writable format. The steps are as follows;

  • Step 1: Press Windows + R. Type cmd in the Runbox and hit Enter to launch the Diakpart command prompt.
  • Step 2: Type list disk and enter to view all disks connected to the PC, including internal hard drives.
  • Step 3: Use the select command to choose your USB drive. The size column will help you identify the exact USB you’re working on.
  • Step 4: Select the disk number and press OK. For instance, select disk 0 if your drive number is 0.
  • Step 5: Type command attributes disk to view a list of attributes of the USB disk.
  • Step 6: Enter the command attributes disk clear readonly and hit Enter.
  • Step 7: When the USB’s write protection is changed to removal, type Exit to close Diskpart.

At this point, the error should be cleared; if not, move to the following method.

FIX 3: Edit the registry to change the Write protection command

Registry Editor is an advanced method to fix USB, internal and external card write-protected errors. It’s a tricky procedure, and a wrong entry can cause more harm than good to your PC. Cautiously follow these steps;

  • Step 1: Press Windows + R, type Regedit in the Run box, and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.
  • Step 2: Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/ Control and expand the system.
  • Step 3: Right-click Current Control Set, then click Control.
  • Step 4: Check Storage Device Policies and rename the new key.
  • Step 5: Select the new key, and right-click on DWORD (32-bit) Value. Rename it DWORD WriteProtect.
  • Step 6: Double-click the new DWORD folder and change its value from 1 to 0. Click OK to apply the changes.
  • Step 7: Exit Registry Editor, unplug, plug the USB and restart your PC.

Fix 4: Disable Encrypted BitLocker

When BitLocker is turned ON, it encrypts your files for maximum protection to prevent overwriting or deleting. To make changes on the BitLocker partition, you need to have a recovery key or password; if not, the other option is to format the entire USB drive.

Follow these steps to fix the write protection issue on your PC:

  • Step 1: Launch File Explorer and right-click on the BitLocker partition or storage device. If the icon is shown with a padlock, then BitLocker is enabled. 
  • Step 2: Select manage BitLocker and view the list of storage devices and their encryption status.
  • Step 3: Select the locked device and click Turn off BitLocker. Enter the recovery key or password.
  • Step 4: The status will show the decryption process and wait till it ends.

These four easy steps will solve the problem and allow you to make any edits to the USB drive files. If it didn’t work, which is unlikely, or you don’t have a password, move to the final method.

Fix 5: Format the USB drive

Formatting the USB drive is an option only when the above methods fail. You’ll lose all your data, but it will fix all the errors and malware in the USB drive. The safest way is to back up all the data to your PC and restore it afterward. But how do you format a USB drive?

  • Step 1: Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Right, click to select the Formatting option.
  • Step 2: Edit the Partition Label to rename the USB in the pop-up window and change the file system. A USB drive is formatted as FAT32 for a single file size of up to 4GB. For larger files format as NTFS, then click OK to proceed.
  • Step 3: Click Apply to save the changes and end the formatting process.

How can I remove write protection from USB Windows 11?

If you want to transfer files, music, or other data from your computer to a USB drive, you must remove the write protection on the USB drive. This is done by setting the USB drive to read-only mode.

To remove write protection from a USB drive in Windows 11, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Open the Disk Management Console.
  • Step 2: Right-click the USB drive and select “Update Disk Permissions” from the menu that appears.
  • Step 3: Click yes when prompted to confirm your choice of how to proceed with removing write protection.
  • Step 4: When prompted whether you want to repair or replace bad sectors, click Yes to proceed with this action next time you insert the drive into a computer with Windows installed on it, or click No if you wish to maintain your original drive layout.
  • Step 5: When prompted to save data on any hidden partitions, click Yes if you wish to save any files on those partitions; otherwise, click No if you do not want any files saved there.
  • Step 6: Click OK when finished making changes or Save Changes when done using this wizard’s options and close it by clicking Finish.

How to use the write protection removal tool

Can’t remove write protection on your USB drive on Windows? Don’t be discouraged. We have the solution for you!

The fix is simple, and it’s called “Remove Write Protection Tool,” which helps you remove write protection from your USB drive on Windows. The tool is easy to use, and it only takes a few minutes to complete the process. You don’t need any special skills or technical knowledge to use this tool.

All you have to do is download and install the Remove Write Protection Tool. Then restart your computer and plug in your USB drive with the write protection on it, which should be in A: (or if you have more than one drive letter assigned to your device, pick whichever one you want).

 After that, open the Remove Write Protection Too] and follow the steps that appear onscreen until the process has been completed successfully. Once done, disconnect your device from your computer and re-plug and write on it as desired.

How to remove write protection from Sandisk pen drive

If you want to write on the pen drive, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Insert the pen drive into your computer. If it does not show up in Explorer, ensure that you have installed the driver for it correctly. If this is the case, restart your computer and check again.
  • Step 2: Right-click on “My Computer” from the taskbar and select “Properties .” Select the ”Hardware” tab and check if any other devices are attached to your system. Remove all unnecessary devices before proceeding further.
  • Step 3: Click “Device Manager” under “System Tools.” You will see a list of all installed devices on your system. Check whether there is any yellow exclamation mark next to a device name or not – if so, right-click on it and select the “Update Driver Software.” option. This will automatically install the required drivers without any user intervention!

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