How to Remove Write Protection from a USB Drive

7 way to  Remove Write Protection from a USB Drive:

Permanently Remove Write Protection

Step 1

Insert the USB flash drive into a USB 2.0 port and turn on your computer. Click the “Start” button and then select “Computer.” Note the drive letter of the USB drive, which is labeled as “Removable Disk.”

Step 2

Click “Start | All Programs | Accessories | Command Prompt” to open a Command Prompt window.

Step 3

Type the drive letter assigned to the USB drive followed by a colon; for example, type “E:” (without quotation marks). Press “Enter.”

Step 4

Type “format” and the drive letter followed by a colon; for example, type “format E:” (without quotation marks). Press “Enter.”

Step 5

Close the Command Prompt window when the operation is complete. Write protection has been removed from the USB drive.

Temporarily Remove Write Protection through the Drive Letter

Step 1

Click the “Start” button and then select “Computer.” Right-click the icon for the USB drive (labeled as “Removable Disk”) and select “Properties.”

Step 2

Click the “Sharing” tab and click the “Advanced Sharing” button.

Step 3

Click the “Permissions” button to access the list of permissions. Select the “Full Control” check box under Allow for full read, write and change permissions. Click “OK” twice and click “Close.”

Temporarily Remove Write Protection through the Registry

Step 1

Click the “Start” button, type “regedit” (without the quotation marks) in the Search Programs and Files box and press “Enter” to open the Registry Editor.

Step 2

Navigate to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrrentControlSetControlStorageDevicePolicies.” Right-click “WriteProtect” and select “Modify.” Change the Value Data to “0” and click “OK.”

Step 3

Add “StorageDevicePolicies” if it does not exist. Select the “Control” folder in the left navigation pane. On the “Edit” menu, point to “New” and click “Key.” Type “StorageDevicePolicies” (without quotation marks) and press “Enter.” Right-click in the right pane, point to “New” and select “DWORD (32-Bit) Value.” Type “WriteProtect” (without quotation marks) and press “Enter.” Close the Registry Editor.

Remove Write Protection With Diskpart Command Line Utility

Click on your Start Menu and type cmd in the Search for programs and files field. It should show up at the top of your Start menu. Right-click on it and select Run as Administrator.


You should now see the Command Line Utility, which looks like the following.


Type in the command DISKPART and hit Enter. Diskpart is a disk-partitioning tool that is built into Windows and is accessible through the Command Line Utility. With it, we can change the values associated with your USB drive.


Now type LIST DISK and hit Enter. You should see a table something like the one below. It shows two disks being available: the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) as Disk 0, and the USB flash drive as Disk 1. We know that the USB flash drive is Disk 1 because it is much smaller than Disk 0 at only 7441 MB versus 298 GB. Be very careful from here on out! You can see that if you start working with the wrong disk, things can get ugly quicker than when the lights come on at last call.

At this point, type SELECT DISK 1 and hit Enter. You’ll be rewarded with the knowledge that Disk 1 is now the selected disk. Type in ATTRIBUTES DISK, and Diskpart will tell you what you want to know about your flash drive. Most important is the first line Current Read-only State: Yes. This lets us know that, indeed, the flash drive is write protected.

To remove the write protection with Diskpart, type the command ATTRIBUTES DISK CLEAR READONLY. If it works, that will be confirmed by the line Disk attributes cleared successfully.


Double-check this by trying to copy a small file to your USB drive. If it works, great. If you still get the write-protect error, it’s time to bring out the big guns. Software utilities.

Method 3 of 7: Registry Adjustment (Windows)

  1. 1
    Understand the risks. Windows operating systems have a “registry” which contains a great deal of important information. An error here could be making all memory cards and USB drives read-only. While the steps below will safely locate and correct this problem if present, do not change any other settings inside the registry editor, or you could make your operating system unusable.

    • Backing up your registry is recommended before editing it.
  2. 2
    Open the registry editor. You can access the registry editor by enteringregedit into the Search field in your Start menu. Windows 8 users can typeregedit when viewing the Start screen. Press enter on your keyboard to search, then open “Registry Editor” when it appears.

    • If you can’t find it, try searching for registry error or registry errors instead.
  3. 3
    Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. This folder can be found in the Computersection of the registry editor, in the left frame. Click the arrow next toHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE to expand the folder.
  4. 4
    Navigate to the correct folder. Inside the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, find and open the SYSTEM folder, then CurrentControlSet, then Control. Finally, scroll down until you find the StorageDevicePolicies folder. If this folder does not exist, see the next step.
  5. 5
    Create the StorageDevicePolicies folder if it doesn’t exist. If you cannot find the StorageDevicePolicies folder, then you will need to create one before continuing. Right-click in the blank space in the Control folder. Select New, and thenKey. Label it StorageDevicePolicies without spaces, exactly as shown here.
  6. 6
    Change or create the “WriteProtect” entry to 0. Double click on the “WriteProtect” key in the StorageDevicePolicies folder. Change the “Value data” field from 1 to 0. Press OK. If you created a new StorageDevicePoliciesfolder, follow these steps instead:

    • Open the new StorageDevicePolicies folder, then right-click in a blank space. Select New, and then DWORD (32-bit) value. Name the new fileWriteProtect. Double-click WriteProtect to open it, and put 0 in the value field. Press OK.
    • You must type each entry exactly, including capitalization, otherwise the key will not work.
  7. 7
    Reboot your computer. In order for the registry changes to take effect, you will need to reboot your computer. Save all of your work before rebooting.

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