Fix The Disk Is Write Protected Error For USB Drives In Windows 10

Getting Disk is write protected error while attach/open an external drive on windows 10/8.1/7? Or getting cannot format the drive is write protected while formatting the USB drive? This mostly causes when windows registry entry is corrupt, your system administrator has placed limitations or the device itself is corrupt. Let’s discuss How to remove write protection from USB drives and memory cards.

The disk is write protected. Remove the write-protection or use another disk

Remove write protection from USB drives

When you get Disk is write protected error on USB flash drive, SD card, CD or pen drive, this makes the device useless. The disk is write protected error in Windows 10/8/7 stops operation of formatting, writing data, i.e. copy & paste files to the generic USB stick. If you are also having the problem like this device is write protected, here apply solutions below to Remove write protection from USB drives.

First, check The device with the different USB port or on a Different PC.

Some external devices such as pen drives carry a hardware lock in the form of switch. You need to see if the device has a switch and if it is pushed to protect the device from accidental writing.

Also, scan the device for Virus/malware infection, To make sure any virus, spyware not causing the issue.

After checking basic things still getting Disk is write protected error? Let’s perform advanced troubleshooting such as Tweak windows registry, DiskPart Command Prompt Utility etc. Before this, we recommend to Backup your important data.

Check Security Permissions

First open this PC / My computer, Then Right-click the USB drive and select properties.
In the properties window, select the security tab.
Select the ‘user’ under the username and click on ‘Edit’.
Check if you have Write permissions. If you don’t, check the option “Full” for full permissions or “Write” for write permissions

Tweak Windows registry to Remove write protection

This step we are going to modify windows registry, so before making any modification we recommend to backup your registry database.

Press Windows + R key, type regedit and hit the enter key to open windows registry editor. Then navigate to the following path :

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies

If you didn’t find the key StorageDevicePolicies, Then right click on control and select new -> key. Name the newly created key as StorageDevicePolicies.

create StorageDevicePolicies key
create StorageDevicePolicies key

Now Click on the new registry key StorageDevicePolicies and on the right pan right-click, select New > DWORD and give it the name WriteProtect.




create WriteProtect DWORD value
create WriteProtect DWORD value

Then Double click the key Write Protect in the right pane and set the value to 0 In the Value Data Box and press OK button. Exit Registry and reboot your pc to effect the changes. Now check this time your removable drive working properly without write protection error.

registry tweak to Remove write protection
registry tweak to Remove write protection

Remove Write protection on registry editor

If above registry tweak failed to fix then again open the widnows registry editor and navigate to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\RemovableStorageDevices\{53f5630d-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}
In the right pane of {53f5630d-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b} key, look for the registry DWORD (REG_DWORD) named Deny_Write. Double-click on it and change its value to 0.

Remove Write protection on registry editor
Remove Write protection on registry editor

If you didn’t find the key then right click on Windows -> key and name it RemovableStorageDevices. Again right click on RemovableStorageDevices -> key name it {53f5630d-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}. Next select {53f5630d-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b} on middle pane right click new Dowrd and name it Deny_Write. Double click on it and change its value 0. 

DiskPart Command Prompt Utility to Remove write protection

If above registry tweak unable to fix the problem still getting disk is write protected error.  then try the Disk part utility to remove write protection error. To do this open command prompt as administrator.
To do this click on start menu search type cmd, form search results right click on command prompt and select run as administrator. Now, at the prompt, type the following and press Enter after each command:




diskpart
list disk
select disk x (where x is the number of your non-working drive – use the capacity to work out which one it is. For me its disk 1)
attributes disk clear readonly (To clear any remaining read-only file attributes from the USB drive.)

Remove write protection using DiskPart Command Utility
Remove write protection using DiskPart Command Utility

clean
create partition primary
format fs=fat32  (you can swap fat32 for ntfs if you only need to use the drive with Windows computers)
exit

That’s it. Your drive should now work as normal in File Explorer. If it doesn’t, then the final option try to format the USB drive.

Format the USB Drive

Warning: Make sure that you back up all the files and information from your USB drive to your computer. All data will be lost once the USB drive is formatted.

Open Windows Explorer, and browse to My PC. This gives you an overview of all drives connected to your system. Right-click your USB drive and select Format. The Format window contains several customizable options, such as the aforementioned File system, the Allocation unit size, the Volume Label, and the Quick Format option.

Format the USB Drive
Format the USB Drive

As we are dealing with a potential hardware issue, uncheck the Quick Format box. That will force the format to do more than just erase files. When you are ready click on start button to completely format the drive. Now remove the external drive, restart windows and insert the device again check its working?

I hope applying these steps remove the write protection error from your external drive. Still, have any query, suggestion or any new way to fix Disk is write protected error for external devices feel free to comment below. Also, read Fix Store Apps Missing after Windows 10 fall creators Update 1709.