Nowadays, most of us have one or more USB flash drives, which are
usually used to store and transfer data among computers, create Windows To Go workspace, install and run portable applications, connect to a
wireless network, and backup files. Some users who often use USB
drives may have come across the following error messages.
Error during formatting USB: "When I format my USB pen drive,
it shows the error message - The disk is write protected. I have tried various
methods to solve this but all are not working. There is no write protection switch
on it. It is a SanDisk Cruzer Edge 8GB USB. I am using Windows 7. Please give me
solution to fix it."
Error during copying file to USB: "While trying to transfer
files from my Windows 10 PC to a Kingston DataTraveler 32GB USB flash drive, I
received an error message - The Disk is write-protected. Remove the write-protection
or use another disk. Now I can neither copy files to the USB drive nor create new
files from the USB drive. The PC is upgraded from Windows 8.1. How do I disable the
What is write protection on USB?
Write protection (also called read-only) can be physical or virtual. A USB drive is enabled with write protection has the ability to prevent new files from
being written or old files being changed. Typically, this means you can only read
the data which are already stored on the USB, but you can't delete or modify
them. By using write protection, you can make ensure data is not accidentally
overwritten or erased.
How to remove write protection from USB drive effectively?
If you are reading this post, you must be one of them. Deep breath and stay calm. No
matter whether you are using Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10, I am going to walk
you through a few easy steps to remove write protection and make your USB flash
drive or SD card writable again.
Step 1. Check the write protection switch if available
Some USB flash drives have a physical switch which allows you to lock or unlock write
protection. The location of a switch on a USB flash drive will be different. Make
sure the lock switch is slid up to unlock position. You will not be able to transfer
files to the USB drive if it is locked.
If the write protection switch on your USB drive is off and you still get the error
message or there is no physical switch on your USB drive, please skip to Step 2.
Step 2. Clear read-only attributes with DiskPart utility
2.1. Press Windows key + R combination on your keyboard. In the pop-up Run dialog
box, type diskpart and hit Enter or click "OK" to open the DiskPart
2.2. Type the following commands one by one and hit Enter after each:
list disk - all of the disks connected to the computer will be displayed,
including internal hard drives.
select disk n - where n is the number of USB flash drive. You can use the
Size column to identify which one it is.
attributes disk clear readonly - change your USB's properties so that it
is no longer read-only.
2.3. Close DiskPart Command Prompt and re-plug your USB flash driveto check if the write protection error is resolved. If not, please
try the next step.
Step 3. remove write protection through editting the registry
3.1. Press Windows key + R combination on your keyboard. In the pop-up Run dialog
box, type regedit and hit Enter or click "OK" to open the Registry
3.2. Expand the entries on the left-hand pane to navigate to the following path:
3.3. On the right-hand pane, double-click on the WriteProtect or right click on it
and select "Modify". In the pop-up window, you may find that the "Value
data" is set to 1 which means current computer is enabled with write protection
on USB storage device. To disable it, you need to change the value from 1 to 0 and
click OK to apply the change.
3.4. Close Regedit Editor and connect your USB drive to the computer again, and you
should find the USB write protection has been removed. If not, please follow the
Tips of Step 3:
Step 4. Format write-protected USB drive with free partition manager
If you've tried all steps above and still can't remove write protection from USB drive, the reason might be corrupted file system. To settle out it, you can try to format the USB drive. The problem is how to format a write-protection USB?
AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a free partition manager software and disk management tool for
computers running 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 10, Windows 8.1/8, Windows 7,
Vista and XP. It supports the all types of disk, including mechanical hard drive,
SSD, SSHD, external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, etc. It enables you to
format a USB drive easily and quickly.
To enjoy more advanced features, such as recover lost partition, clone GPT system disk, convert dynamic disk into basic, etc., you can upgrade it to Professional version.
Note: Formatting a USB will delete all data on it.
Therefore, make sure that you backup all the data from USB drive to your computer.
4.1. Free download, install and launch
AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Right click on the USB partition and select "Format
4.2. In the pop-up window, you can name the USB drive by editting "Partition
Label" and change file system. By default, a USB drive is formatted as FAT32,
which ensures cross-platform compatibility. However, FAT32 limits a single file size
up to 4GB. If you would like to store larger files on your USB flash drive, you
should format it to NTFS. And then, click "OK" to continue.
4.3. Your USB has not been formatted yet. To save the change, you need to click
The formatting progress shouldn't take too much time. Of course, the more data on
the USB, the more time the formatting will take. If there is no physical damage or
bad sectors with the USB drive, it will be formatted, cleaned and writeable.
Since the reasons for write protection USB are different, some step may fail to
remove write protection from USB drive. If so, please skip the step to try next step. All
the steps apply to remove write protection from SD card.
Tips: Besides USB flash drive, the popular cloud drive is also a good choice
for data storage, like Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox. Being troubled to manage
the multiple cloud drives? There is a free multi clouds manager – MultCloud which
can help with that, such as directly transfer files
from Google Drive to OneDrive.