By Cherry / Last Updated May 15, 2020

Windows unable to format pen drive

For some reasons, you may need to format pen drive into the right file system so that it can be read or write normally. But when you get the error message saying “The disk is write-protected”, the Windows unable to format pen drive, and you can do nothing but read the data from it.

Format Write Protected

When you get this error, you need to remove the write-protection or use another disk.

Besides, there are many other situations that Windows cannot complete the format, for example, if you are trying to format the 64GB pen drive to FAT32, you may also get the error that pendrive cannot be formatted, because it is larger than 32GB.

How to remove the write-protection on the pen drive?

Fortunately, Windows Diskpart can remove the write-protection on the pen drive with command line. Here you can do as the following steps.

Before removing the write-protection on the pen drive, you need to check that whether there is a physical switch on the drive adapter that allows you to lock or unlock write-protection. Make sure the the switch has been slid to unlock position. If it still has the problem, you can make a full scan of your pen drive to see if there are existing some virus that may cause the drive write-protected. If it is existing, you need to using an antivirurs software to kill the virus. If not, you need to remove the writ protection by yourself.

1. Press “Win+R”, type “diskpart” in Run dialog and press Enter.


2. Type “list disk”, press Enter. It will list all your drives on your computer.

List Disk

3. Input “Select disk # (replace of the number of your pen drive)”, press Enter.

Select Disk

4. After selecting the pendrive, type in “attributes disk clear readonly”, press Enter.


After seeing the “Disk attributes cleared successfully”, exit from Diskpart. And then, you can format your pen drive again. You can format it with Windows Explorer, or format with Diskpart.

How to format pen drive?

As we mentioned at the beginning, if the pen drive is larger than 32GB, the Windows unable to format pendrive successfully. To avoid this problem, here we highly recommend you a powerful free partition manager AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, which supports you format drives larger than 32GB to FAT32. It can even allows you to format 3TB drive to FAT32 in a few simple steps. The next content is about how to format pen drive with AOMEI Partition Assistant.

Step1. Connect the pen drive to your Windows 10 computer. Download AOMEI Partition Assistant free, install and launch it. To format pen drive, here you need to right click the pen drive, select Format Partition.

Format Partition

Step2. Then, it will pop up a window that you can set up for your Format. Here, we set up the File System with FAT32.

File System


You’d better backup the data on the pendrive with AOMEI Backupper if the data is important. Because the formatting will destroy all the data on the partition.

Step3. Then, you will back to the main interface. ClickApply, and it will execute the task immediately.


AOMEI Partition Assistant is such a great powerful free partition manager. You can also convert NTFS to FAT32 without losing data, create partition, delete partition, and so on. Besides those general functions, it also provides you some advanced features, such as allocate free space from one partition to another, convert dynamic disk to basic disk, etc. You can upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to get more advanced features.