By Dervish / Last Updated September 26, 2021

Cannot format USB drive write protected

“Hi, everyone! I don’t know why but I am unable to format my USB drive today. When I tried to format my USB, I get message saying ‘The disk is write protected’. I already complete these steps:

1. Insert the USB

2. Don’t open or format it directly

3. Right click on my computer and go to manage

4. In computer management window click on disk management option

5. Right click on the removable disk

6. Select format

But my USB is not formatted. When Formatting is completed 100%, again a message appears – ‘The operation did not complete because the media is write protected.’

How can I format write protected USB? Please help me!”

Overview about write protection

Many users may encounter the problem about cannot format USB drive write protected. Actually, write protection on SD cards or USB drives is a useful function aiming to prevent accidental data loss (such as file deletion) and block suspicious files like virus. When a USB drive is write protected, it turns into read-only. All attempts related to writing action will be prevented, such as add or create new file, edit data, delete files, format USB drive, etc. Besides, USB write protection ensures that data is not accidentally overwritten or deleted.

How to format write-protected USB in Windows 10/8/7?

Cannot format the USB drive write protected? Try the solutions below to format the write-protected USB.

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. Format write-protected USB drive via CMD

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 disk 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.

1. Type “cmd” in the search box, right click it and select Run as administrator.

2. Then, type diskpart in the pop-up window and press “Enter”.

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

▪ list disk
▪ select disk n (here “n” refers to the disk number of the write protected USB drive.)
▪ attributes disk clear readonly
▪ clean
▪ create partition primary
 format fs=fat32 (if you want to format to other file system like exFAT, type “format fs=exfat”.)


4. Exit this window and check if it works.

Solutions 3. Format write protected USB drive with third party USB format tool

If you are not familiar with the command prompt, you may find the write protected USB cannot be formatted successfully. At this time, you can use a third-party USB format tool to complete this operation easily and effectively. Here AOMEI Partition Assistant is highly recommended, it’s a useful partition assistant which provides users many powerful features like Format Partition, Migrate OS to SSD, Make Bootable Media, Rebuild MBR, Check Partition, and so on. With the help of its function Format Partition, you can easily format the write protected USB drive without data loss 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.

Step 1. Download, 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, choose the file system you need and click “OK”.

Select exFAT File System 30GB

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

Apply Proceed 30GB


As you can see, it’s very easy to solve the problem cannot format USB drive write protected. AOMEI Partition Assistant can be the best USB format tool. If you want to convert FAT32 to NTFS without losing data, you can also upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to complete this operation.