Remove Write Protection From A USB: The Best Methods

Surely sometimes you have come across a USB flash drive or flash drive that has to write protection and it won’t let you store anything. In those cases, you should know how to remove this protection so that you can continue saving everything you need.

How To Remove Write Protection From A USB?

Here we show you a tutorial to achieve it:

1. Scan for malware

It is important to connect the USB memory drive and scan with some antimalware or antivirus in search of some malicious code. In some cases, the error is not caused by write protection as such, but by some malware that has infected the device and prevented you from being able to write to it.

It is important that your anti-virus is always set to instantly scan USB thumb drives you to connect to your computer.

2. Check the mechanical switch

There are some USB memory units that usually come with a switch or mechanical switch to write-protect the drive to avoid inadvertently writing data. Check if this is your case and if it has said switch, try to give it to the other position, so that it is not in write protection mode.

However, not all drives have this, so it won’t be a common occurrence. If this is not your case, go to the next point.

3. Check Capacity

One of the possibilities is that the USB flash drive is not write-protected, but rather just be full. And for that reason, it does not let you save more data. This is easy to check, to do it, you just have to follow the following steps:

  1. Go to Windows Explorer
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  3. Then access Properties by right-clicking on the USB drive icon
  4. And there you will find the occupied and free space in the unit

If you have enough space to keep storing things, then move on to the next option in this tutorial…

4. Delete individual files with write protection

Sometimes a single file can upset the balance of the entire USB stick. Perhaps a file is marked as “read-only” and refuses to remove from the drive. This causes a completely different error message, but can still be an option.

Browse your USB drive and locate the file or files that have this attribute checked. For change attribute you can follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the icon of the file in question
  2. Select Properties from the popup menu
  3. Then go to the Attributes tab
  4. And download the Read Only

This simple gesture can save you a lot of trouble. But if it didn’t work for you either, then you should try the next step…

5. DiskPart Utility

You already know that Windows comes with its own symbol of the system or shell in which to run commands. It is known as CMD, although the famous PowerShell has now been released, with somewhat more powerful capabilities. In any case, in them, you will find a tool called DiskPart that can help you solve the write protection problem of your USB drive, whether it is a hard drive, a flash drive, or an SD card. The steps to follow, with the USB connected, are:

  1. Press the Windows + X key combination
  2. Select CMD (Admin)
  3. Type in the console after the prompt the word “disk part” without quotes and press ENTER to execute.
  4. You can then type the command “list disk” and press ENTER.
  5. You will find a list of all currently mounted memory units. Locate the problematic USB drive there. For example, Disc 3.
  6. Now run the command “select disk x” without quotes and replace the x with the number of the disk, in this case, 3. Press ENTER to execute.
  7. Then it will be time to run the command “attributes disk clear read-only” and press ENTER.
  8. This will clear your USB drive of write protection, and you should be able to use it now. If not, go to the next section…

6. Clear write protection error in the Windows registry

If none of the steps above have fixed your write protection error, don’t worry. We still have a few more tricks. Now we are going to edit the windows registry. To do this, follow these simple steps:

  1. Press the Windows Key + R key combination to open the Run dialog box
  2. Type regedit in it and press enter
  3. Then you should locate the following registry entry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies
  4. Inside it, you should look for the key called WriteProtect.
  5. If it exists, double-click on it, and in the Edit DWORD (32-bit) value dialog box use the value 0 to avoid protection, since if a 1 appears it will be protected.
  6. Click OK and you’re done.

By the way, if you can’t find WriteProtect, don’t panic, it’s a key that may not appear in all cases.

7. Format the USB drive

Warning: Be sure to back up all files and information on your USB drive. All data will be lost once you format the USB drive.

Formatting the USB memory is the last resource. However, it should make your USB drive readable and writable again. Before you format the USB drive, determine what type of file system it already has: NTFS or FAT32. Typically, the existing file system is the most suitable file system for the drive. You can check it like this:

  1. Enter Windows Explorer
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  3. Then right-click on the USB drive
  4. Select Properties and note the current format

Regarding the shape of format the drive. The steps to follow would be:

  1. Enter Windows Explorer
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  3. Then right-click on the USB drive
  4. Select Format
  5. In the pop-up window you can assign a size to the drive or leave the default one, put a volume label (a name, whatever you want), and you can check the Quick Format option, although I advise you to remove it.
  6. Accept to continue.
  7. And wait for the formatting to complete. Depending on the unit it could take more or less. Formatting usually doesn’t take long, but the larger the drive, the longer you’ll have to wait. Assuming there is no physical problem with the drive, your USB drive will be formatted, cleaned up, and ready to use again.

8. Disable BitLocker or remove encryption

Lastly, if you have been using software like BitLocker or third-party drive encryption, make sure this is not the problem. Sometimes, it could be encrypted and that is why it does not let you store anything without the code or key to decrypt. Also, some USB drives come with hardware protection, make sure this is not the case either.

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Abram left his e-business studies to devote himself to his entrepreneurial projects. In 2017, he created the company Inbound Media and wrote articles about high-tech products for his Chromebookeur site. In 2019, Chromebookeur was renamed Macbound and became a general purchasing advice site. Today, Abram manages the development and growth of Macbound, surrounded by a young and talented team.

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