By Dervish / Last Updated April 26, 2023

Error: Cannot format USB drive write protected



When I was about to format my USB drive in Disk Management today, I got a prompt: "The disk is write protected". I've tried several times and still can't format that USB, I don't know why. Can someone tell me what to do? Thanks in advance!


Many users may encounter the problem of USB write protection when formatting a USB drive. After many attempts, it is still unable to remove write protection from USB. Don't worry, this article aims to show some free ways on how to fix cannot format USB drive write protected in Windows 10 and 11.

What is write protection?

Write protection on USB drives or SD cards is a useful feature aiming to prevent accidental data loss (such as file deletion) and virus attacks. When a USB drive is write protected, it means you can read-only. All operations related to writing or modifying will be banned, such as adding or creating new file, editing data, deleting files, formatting USB drive, etc. 

So is there any way to solve cannot format USB drive write protected in Windows 10 or 11? Please watch the following part.

3 ways to format write-protected USB in Windows 11/10/8/7

Next, I will show you3 safe and effective methods to remove write protection from USB in Windows 11,10, 8 and 7, including a professional third-party write protected USB format tool.

▶ Solution 1. Check the physical switch

Take out your write-protected USB drive to check whether there is a lock switch or not, if there is a physical lock switch on the side, you should slide the switch to the unlock area. Thus, you can format the USB drive normally in Disk Management.

▶ Solution 2. Remove write-protected  via Diskpart

If there is no physical switch on the write-protected USB drive, you can use Diskpart to clear all write-protection file attributions from the USB and reformat it again. Let’s see how to do it.

✎ Before you do:
Cause the formatting operation via CMD will lead to data loss, you’d better backup important data in advance.

Step 1. Press "Windows + R", type “diskpart”  and hit Enter to open the Diskpart command prompt. 

Step 2. After that, input the following commands and hit “Enter” after each command.

● list disk
● select disk n (here “n” refers to the number of the write-protected USB drive.)
● attributes disk clear readonly

Step 3. Once done, reformat the USB to see if that works.

▶ Solutions 3. Format write protected USB with write protection removal tool

If you have tried the above two solutions and still can't remove the write protection of the USB drive. Then, what you should do? How do you format a write-protected USB?

Here AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is highly recommended, this is a totally free write protection removal tool. You can easily format write protected USB drive in Windows 11/10/8/7, Windows XP, as well as Windows Vista. The following example will show you the specific steps of how to solve the problem about cannot format USB drive write protected.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

More advanced features: recover lost partitions, allocate free space from one partition to another, move programs and folders, convert MBR to GPT for Windows 11, please upgrade to Professional Edition.

The following example will show you the specific steps of how to solve the problem about cannot format USB drive write protected.

Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right-click the write-protected USB to choose “Format Partition”.

Format FAT32 to exFAT 30GB

Step 2. In the pop-up window, select the file system you need and click “OK”.

Select exFAT File System 30GB

Step 3. After that, it will be back to the main interface, preview the changes and click “Apply” > “Proceed” to complete these operations.

Apply Proceed 30GB

Sum up

As you can see, with the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, it’s not hard to solve cannot format USB drive write protected. To format USB drive write protected in Windows Server, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server is suitable for you.