The Disk Is Write Protected Error For USB Drives

These days, every PC user owns one or more USB flash drives. USB drives are often used to save and transfer data between computers, install and run Windows operating system, store and launch portable programs, and lock computers running Windows.

Those of you who often use USB drives probably have come across “The disk is write-protected. Remove the write-protection or use another disk” error when attempting to transfer files to a USB drive. The error shows up only when you try to write something to the USB.



The Try Again button on the dialog is of no use as the error will re-appear once you click the Try Again button.

If you are also getting “The disk is write-protected. Remove the write-protection or use another disk” error in Windows 10, Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, you can easily fix the error and make the USB writable again by following instructions mentioned in this guide.

Following are the three methods that should help you get rid of the error and make the USB usable again.

Meanwhile, before trying anything else, make sure that your USB drive doesn’t include a write protection switch. Yes, some USB drives on the market come with physical write protection switches. And if your USB drive does include one, make sure that the switch is in turned off position before going through the below mentioned methods.

Method 1 of 3 to remove write protection

Step 1: Open Registry Editor. To do so, type Regedit in the Start search box and then press Enter key. Click Yes if you see the UAC prompt.

Alternatively, you can open up the Run command box by simultaneously pressing Windows and R keys, type Regedit.exe in the box, and then press Enter key to open Registry Editor.



Step 2: Once the Registry Editor is launched, navigate to the following key:




Step 3: In the left-pane, under Storage key, check if StorageDevicePolicies is exist. If not, create one by right-clicking on Storage key (see picture), clicking New, and then click Key. Finally, rename the key to StorageDevicePolicies.



Step 4: Click StorageDevicePolicies key in the left pane.

Step 5: Now on the right-side, right-click on the empty area (see picture), click New, and then click DWORD (32-bit) Value to create one. Rename it as WriteProtect and change its default value data to 0 (zero) by double-clicking on the key and then entering 0 in its Value data box. This should turn off the write protection.




Step 6: Finally, re-plug your USB device and start using it without the write protection.

Method 2 of 3 to make the USB drive writable again

If the above method fails, you can use the Command Prompt to clean the USB drive attributes. Here is how to do it.

Step 1: Open Command Prompt as administrator. To open elevated Prompt or run Command Prompt as administrator, simply type CMD in the Start search box, and then simultaneously press Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys.

Note that it’s important to open Command Prompt as administrator.

Step 2: Make sure that your USB drive is connected and then execute the following commands.


List Disk



When the Command Prompt lists all connected disks, note down the number of your USB drive that it write protected. You can easily identify the USB drive by checking the size column. Be sure to enter the write disk number.

Step 3: Now, execute these two commands:

Select Disk X

In the above command, replace X with the number of your USB drive that you have obtained in Step 2. For instance, Select Disk 1.

Attributes Disk Clear Readonly



Step 4: Close the Command Prompt and re-plug your drive. Your USB drive should work just fine.

Method 3 of 3

In most cases, when the USB drive is write-protected, it won’t allow you format the drive. When you try to format the drive, The disk is write-protected error will appear again. Go for this method if nothing else is working for you.

WARNING: Formatting the drive will erase all data on the USB drive. So go for this method only if the drive in question doesn’t include important data.

Step 1: Open My Computer, Computer or This PC (Windows 8 and Windows 10).

Step 2: Right-click on the USB drive, click Format option to open Format dialog box.

Step 3: Click Start button to begin the formatting. That’s it!

Wait for the formatting to complete. Good luck!

If one of the above mentioned methods worked for you or if you need any help, please let us know by leaving comments.