Remove write protection from a USB key, Remove read-only from a USB key

Remove write protection from a USB flash drive

Also called "Read only", the write protection problem prevents any operation of adding / modifying or deleting files on a virtual or physical disk, in this case a USB key. How to repair, remove write protection from a USB stick?

The term " Writing ”Designates a number of actions including addition, modification and deletion. For a write-protected USB drive, you will not be able to perform any of these actions. Only the Litterature. You will only be able to read the items available on the key and finished.

Why is your USB flash drive write-protected?

Sometimes the problem comes from improper handling of the USB key, sometimes from the switch on the latter. Some USB key have a small button, it may not be very visible, allowing the key to switch to ReadOnly mode (read only) and vice versa.

USB stick with switch

As on the SD card, check if your USB drive has this little toggle button. If it has any and is in the wrong position (locking) then this will most likely be the reason for its protection. However, it is possible that this is not the real cause of the problem.

Read also: Make a bootable USB stick with Rufus.

Remove write protection from a USB flash drive

There are various methods to remove write protection from a USB flash drive. From running the DISKPART command, to using a specialized formatting tool, to editing the Windows registry.

Remove read-only from a USB stick with CMD (Diskpart)

One of the methods to use to remove write protection from a USB flash drive is to use the Disk Management utility, Diskpart, through the command prompt. With, you can try several manipulations on your USB key, including thepriming to Windows installation.

Find and launch the Windows Command Prompt. You can also call it by combining the keys WINDOWS+R. In the window, type directly " diskpart ". Uppercase or not, the rule is not case sensitive:

Diskpart command prompt

Once in the Windows command prompt and Diskpart launched, enter the following commands:

List disk : To display the list of discs connected to your computer.

Select disk + number of your USB key : To select your USB key to start the removal of write protection. Attention, the addition sign (+) is not to be taken into account.

Attributes disk clear readonly : To change the attribute of the USB memory stick and take it out of read-only mode.

CMD: Remove write protection from a USB flash drive

Your USB drive should be taken out of read-only mode. If you want to check its attribute, then enter the following command: attribute disk. Here is the succession of commands to enter:

List disk
Select disk + number 
Attributes disk clear readonly
attribute disk

Check the attribute of the USB stick

Exit diskpart as well as the command prompt. Unplug / re-plug your USB drive to see if it no longer displays as write-protected.

Read also: Create a bootable Linux USB drive.

Remove read-only from a USB stick with Regedit (Windows Registry)

Here, to remove write protection from a USB drive, you will go to the Windows registry editor. To go to the registry editor, combine the keys WINDOWS+R. In the window, type directly " regedit And click OK:

Regedit Windows Command Executor

You will be shown the Windows registry editor. In the left pane, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, expand the folders and sub-folders to StorageDevicePolicies. Here is the complete path to walk:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ StorageDevicePolicies

Registry: Remove write protection from a USB flash drive

You can see the item " WriteProtect ". To remove write protection from a USB flash drive, open WriteProtect and change its value. If you see that the set value is 1, change it to 0. Then click on OK, close the registry and disconnect / reconnect your USB drive.

You cannot find a folder named " StorageDevicePolicies "? Create it to set a DWORD value. Done right click on the folder " Control "And create a new key with the name of" StorageDevicePolicies ". The folder will be created.

Open it, right click in the empty space (New) and choose to create a 32-bit DWORD value. Are your Windows and processor 32 or 64 Bits?

New DWORD value

Once the value is created, rename it to " WriteProtect »And check if its value is 0.

Registry: Remove write protection from a USB flash drive

Click on OK and close the registry. Unplug / re-plug your USB drive to see if write protection has been released.

Read also: Restore Windows PC to an earlier date.

Remove write protection from a USB flash drive with software

Some prefer to use specialized formatting and disk management software. To remove write protection from a USB flash drive, you can use tools such as EaseUS Master sheet music ou AOMEI Partition Assistant.

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