August 12, 2015

How to Fix or Disable Write-Protected Error on USB Stick or Pendrive – 7 Ways

It is very common that you encounter some errors while accessing your USB flash drive or any other external devices. One of the most common errors that appear while copying files to an USB flash device is “Disk is write protected” error. Whenever your PC or computer is unable to write data into your USB Flash Drive, then this error will be triggered on the display screen of your system. You might have come across this error many a times and tired banging your heads every time, but couldn’t find the right solution. Now, you don’t have to worry about this issue anymore as you are landed in the right place. In this article, we are going to present you simple solutions to fix or resolve “Disk is write protected” error on your device.

Reasons for Occurrence of this “Error”

This is the most common issue which is being faced by many people. There are few couple of reasons for the appearance of this error message. Just have a look at the reasons, why this error occurs while copying files into your USB drive.

  • Your USB flash drive may have become write protected due to some software related issue.
  • It might undergone some accidental changes while using the device.
  • Your USB device’s protection policies might get disturbed due to some virus attack.
  • USB might be improperly plugged out while in use.

How to fix Disk is Write Protected Error

7 Different Ways to Fix (or) Disable ‘Write-Protected’ Error

Till now, you have seen most common reasons for the occurrence of this write-protected error. The best way to get rid of this error is to disable write protection on your computer’s advanced settings. Here, you are going to get different methods to disable write-protection.

1. Check your User Account Settings

It is possible that sometimes you might not have provided permission to access particular storage device and that’s the reason you are unable to write to your USB flash drive. So, ensure that you have properly set write privileges for your user account. For this, you need to follow below steps:

  • Go to the properties of USB flash drive.
  • A window appears that shows all the properties of your USB (Say Removable Disk).

Disable Write Protection - USB Properties

  • Now, just click on Security tab.
  • In the permissions list, check whether the Write feature has a “Tick” mark next to it or not and then Click OK.

2. Ensure your USB Drive is Virus Protection Free

It is very rare that, your flash drive may be infected by certain virus like trojans which can make your drive not readable or writable. So, make sure that your flash drive is uninfected by scanning it.

Ensure your USB is uninfected by virus

Click Here to Download Best Antivirus Software

3. Unlock your USB Flash Drive

Some USB flash drives will come with a tiny physical button that is used to enable or disable write protection. Check your drive whether it is locked or unlocked. If it is locked, then toggle it towards “Unlock” so that Read only switch is turned on.

Unlock your USB drive

4. Disable Write Protection Via Windows Registry

Write protection is sometimes enabled in the windows registry and it is very difficult to write on external storage devices. If you disable this feature, it can help you to restore your read and write privileges on USB flash disk and other external storage devices. Follow the below steps to disable Write-protection using Windows Registry.

  • Initially, Press Windows + R key that opens RUN window.
  • Type regedit in the box and click OK.

Disable Write Protection - Windows Registry

  • It then redirects to a new window Registry Editor in which you need to navigate through the following Registry KEY.
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlStorageDevicePolicies

Windows Registry Editor

  • Now, Double-Click on WriteProtect and change the Value from 1 to 0 and Click OK.

Change the registry value 






Change Value Data


  • Remove your USB flash drive then, insert it again or restart your PC . This solution will fix write protected flash drive.

5. Alter Disk Attributes

We can change the Disk attributes, i.e., read and write attributes of an USB flash drive can be altered from the windows command prompt with the help of a simple command. Follow the below steps that helps you to change the disk attributes of a USB flash drive.

  • Open Command Prompt by entering CMD in the Run window.

Enter CMD in Run

  • In the Command Prompt, type DISKPART and press Enter.

Alter Disk Attributes

  • Now, Type LIST VOLUME and press enter.

Type Commands in CMD

  • Type SELECT VOLUME X, where X is the volume number you want to remove the write protection from. In my case is was Volume 6.

Select Volume

  • Type ATTRIBUTES DISK CLEAR READONLY and then press Enter.

Attributes cleared

  • Now, you will see a prompt that the write protect has been removed, type EXIT and then press Enter.

6. Format the Disk

If you are still unable to fix the error, then you need to format your USB flash disk. Just follow the below steps and format your drive.

  • Connect the USB device to your PC or Laptop.
  • Go to Start and select Control Panel.
  • In control panel, search for Administrative Tools and select it.
  • Now right click on Computer Management and select Run as a Administrator.
  • New Window will be opened. In Computer Management, under the Storage, select Disk Management.
  • It then displays all the memory devices connected to your computer from which you need to select your USB device and right click on it.
  • From the right click options select Format.
  • Now, Select the File System of your choice. Allocation Unit Size will be Default.
  • Lastly, click on OK. Now, your USB is completely formatted.

7. USB might be Damaged or Corrupted

Even after formatting your USB device, if you couldn’t disable the write-protection, then there might be some problem with your flash drive. The device might be corrupted or damaged and it is recommended to go with a new device.

These are the seven different ways that helps you to fix “Disk is Write-Protected” Error while copying files into USB flash drive. Hope this tutorial guides you in the best way to disable Write-Protection.

About the author 

Imran Uddin

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