What to Do When the Disk Is Write Protected in Windows 10
What to Do When the Disk Is Write Protected in Windows 10
You may get an error that says the disk is write protected when formatting a USB or SD card in Windows 10/11. Then, how to remove write protection from a disk? Read on and you’ll find several useful solutions in this post.
Currently, USB drives (flash drives or pen drives) and SD cards (micro SD or memory cards) are widely used by computer users to store and transfer data. However, some users are confronted with "the media is write protected" in Windows 10. Here is one scenario:
“I used my Sandisk Cruizer Edge (32GB) on Windows 10 x64 and Mac Os X 10.7.x for a long time, but from some days I'm unable to add, change or delete files on both OS. I've checked on the Disk Management (under Windows) and I've noticed that the flash-pen is "Read Only" but I'm unable to change that status.
I can't format it, because I receive the error "The disk is write protected"... so, now I'm trying to change files status (I see that "Archive" is checked), but again in some files, I receive the same error...
It's very weird... even because I'm able to read everything on it... so the flash-pen works... I've tried to disable and uninstall it, but again, when Windows recognize it, present the same error... ”
Such experience sounds annoying!
Why does a disk become write-protected and some basic fixes?
When you encounter the write protection error, you must be curious about possible causes. Some of the causes are listed below:
● There is a physical write protection switch on some USB drives and SD cards. If this is the case, then simply move the switch to toggle it on.
● The USB drive or SD card is attacked by viruses. If you do find a virus, eliminate it using your antivirus software.
● The USB drive or SD card stick is full.
It seems difficult to fix the write protection error in the third case for you can’t simply move or delete files on the USB drive or SD card. In this condition, you may try solutions offered in the next part.
How to remove disk write protection on Windows 10 and 11
Do you find the disk is write protected on Windows 10/11 and don’t know what to do? Don’t worry! Windows built-in features or trustworthy write protection removal software can rescue you. For detailed steps about removing write protection from disk in Windows 10/11, refer to the following content.
CMD, or Command Prompt, is a Windows built-in command-line-based program that helps manage your hard disks and partitions via command lines. It supports different operations including disk format, volume extension, and write protection removal.
1. Hit Windows Key + X on your keyboard, and select Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu.
2. Type diskpart and press Enter.
3. Type list disk and press Enter.
4. Type select disk #(ex: Disk 1) to select the disk which is write protected and press Enter.
5. Type attributes disk clear readonly to change the disk’s properties so that it is no longer read-only and press Enter.
6. Type exit and press Enter twice to exit Diskpart and Command Prompt continuously. Re-plug your USB flash drive to check if the write protection error is solved.
Solution 2: disable write protection by editing the registry
You can also disable write protection by tweaking some settings in the Windows registry. As this way is a little bit complex, you should be very careful when going through the steps.
1. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialogue. Type regedit and press Enter or click “OK” to open the Registry Editor.
2. Expand the entries on the left-hand pane to navigate to the following path:
3. Right click the Control (folder) key, select New, and click on Key. Name the new key StorageDevicePolicies.
4. Select the newly created key, and right click on the white space at the right-hand pane. Select New, and click on DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the new DWORD WriteProtect.
5. Double click the newly created DWORD and change its value from 1 to 0. Click “OK” to apply the change.
Tips: 1 means “Yes, write protect my USB storage devices.” Conversely, 0 means “No, don’t write protect my USB storage devices.”
6. Close Registry Editor and restart your computer.
Solution 3: remove write protection via freeware
If you’ve tried the above two solutions and still can’t remove the write protection from Micro SD card or USB drive, formatting the disk is a last resort. 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 11, Windows 10, Windows 8.1/8, Windows 7, Vista, and XP. It helps remove write protection by formatting in only a few steps.
Keep in mind that formatting a partition will destroy all the data on the partition, so it’s essential to back up all the important files and data before you do. Follow the guide below to see how to remove write protection from micro SD card in Windows 10 easily:
Step 1. Download, install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right-click on the USB partition and select “Format Partition”.
Step 2. In the pop-up window, you can name the USB drive by editing “Partition Label” and change file system based on your needs. Click “OK” to continue.
Tips: FAT32 ensures cross-platform compatibility while NTFS supports single file size up to 4GB.
Step 3. Confirm “Pending Operations” and click “Apply” to execute the operation.
Note: To enjoy more advanced features, such as converting system disk into GPT without data loss, move programs and folders, you can upgrade to the Professional version.
If the disk is write protected on Windows 10, don’t panic, as there are several practical ways provided in the post – using CMD, registry, or third-party freeware – AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. As both CMD and registry are a little bit complex for beginners, the AOMEI product might be your better choice – it’s easier to use and contains much more powerful features in disk management. The software also has a Server edition. If you want to use it on Servers, you can try this edition.