By Dervish / Last Updated March 8, 2022


Unable to copy write protected files

I was doing word editing on my PC, and it saved it on a partition with a bunch of other files. And now want to copy those files to my USB flash drive. But it said files are write protected, and I don’t know why. I really need those files and I don’t want to format the partition. Any ideas? Thanks."

- Question from

“You disk or files is write protected”

Write-protected, or sometimes we call it "read-only" status, is used to protect your files from being moved, changed, or modified. But sometimes, you will find your files, folders, or a drive will be under write protection without any reason. So you cannot also modify, move, write any data to those files until you fix the problem.

If you try to copy write protected files to another place, it will pop up a small window saying that your drive/file/folder is write protected, and cannot be moved. What’s worse, in this circumstance, we don’t generally know what is the exactly cause for this problem, and it may be difficult to find a fast way to solve.

Copy Write Protected Files

Fortunately, before we figure out why your files are read-only or write protected, we still have a solution to copy the data to a USB flash drive, or other external disk. Next, we will demonstrate your how to perform this.

How to copy write protected files to USB flash drive?

When you can’t copy your files, you can turn to a powerful and free cloning software-AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It helps you to clone all files on a partition or disk to another hard drive, USB pen drive, or other storage devices in Windows systems.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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✍ Before the proceeding:

  • Connect the destination hard drive or USB flash drive to your PC.

  • Make sure the destination drive contains some unallocated space that will store your files. You can resize or delete partition to have some.

  • Install the cloning software. If you want to clone system disk/partition from MBR disk to GPT, please turn to the Professional edition.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant. You will see your disk and partition information on the main interface. Right-click on a partition, and click “Clone Partition”.

Clone Partition

✍Note: If you need to clone all files an on a disk, you can select the disk by right-clicking, and click “Clone Disk” or got "All Tools" > "Disk Clone Wizard".

Step 2. Choose a cloning method here. Usually, we will recommend “Clone Partition Quickly”, which is faster. Then click “Next”.

Clone Partition Quickly

Step 3. Choose the unallocated space on the destination drive. And you can tick “Optimize the performance of SSD” if it is an SSD. Then click “Next”.

Select Destination Disk

Step 4. Now, you can resize the partition on the destination drive in the pop-up window.

Resize Partition

Step 5. On the main interface, you can preview the result of the copying process. And don’t forget to click “Apply” > “Proceed” to commit the task.


Step 6. When the cloning process is finished, open the destination hard drive or USB and delete other files that you don’t need to move.

Additional content:How to remove write protection?

Some people reported that their files were write protected after they have scaned they hard drive or finished other operations. So they actually know what is the reason. But you can try the 2 methods of removing write-protection status in this part, help them can help you out.

1. On the desktop, double-click "This PC" icon to open File Explorer.

2. Navigate to the folder or a file that is write protected, and right-click on it. Choose "Properties".

3. On the "Properties" window,  select "General" tab.

4. Make sure the "Read-only" option is unchecked. Then click "Apply" to save the change.

This method is usually used to remove write protection on a file or folder. If your hard drive, SD card, USB drive or othe disk is in this condition, Firstly, you can check if there is a lock switch. Turn off the switch. If there isn't, after making a copy of your data, and format the write protected disk with AOMEI Partition Assistant.


This is how to copy write protected files to another drive in Windows 10, 8, 7. It actually make a copy of a partition or a disk to another drive. you can use this way to move your inaccessible photos, videos, documents, words, and other data in Windows 10, 8, 7.

To copy the files to make a backup is somehow necessary before you remove write protection. And AOMEI Partition Assistant also helps you to manage your disk and partition by its features like “Create Partition”, “Check Partition”, “Make Bootable Media”.

And its Professional edition gives you more advanced features, including wipe disk by writing random data, extend system partition and so on.