How to Remove Write Protection from Removable Drives

Are you experiencing problem while trying to copy presentation files on a hard disk? Does Windows show a message that the device is write protected or locked.

Don’t worry! This is a very common problem that users face when they either try to format, remove or copy files to an external card or USB flash drive.

Some drives have a lock feature, so, you can first check the device to see if it is ‘unlocked’. If it is ‘locked’ you won’t be able to copy any files on the memory card or USB stick, and won’t be able to format it either.

However, there is a possibility that the device is unlocked yet does not allow to transfer.

See Also: 5 Best Duplicate Photo Finder Tools to Delete Duplicate Photos

In this article, we will discuss how to fix this issue by removing the write protection.

Use Regedit to Solve your Problem

  1. Press Windows key + Run and type ‘regedit’.
  2. Now, from the left pane go to the following key:
    Note: if you can’t find StorageDevicePolicies, double-click on the WriteProtect value that you can find in the right pane.
  3. Double click on WriteProtect and change its value data from 1 to 0
  4. Click OK to save changes.
  5. Now, close Regedit and restart your computer to bring changes to effect.

Re-connect your USB drive and check if it works.

If it does, copy the files from the disk and click on format in context menu (right-click on the list of drives in File Explorer to get it).

Create StorageDevicePolicies Key

storage device policies key

If there are no StorageDevicePolicies, you can create one by following the steps mentioned below

  1. Open ‘regedit’ by pressing Windows + R key together.
  2. Type regedit in the Run window.
  3. Navigate to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control. Select the ‘Control’ folder and right click in the blank space present in the right pane.
  4. Right click in the right pane will show a menu with New option. Click on it and then select Key. This will create a folder in the left pane name it StorageDevicePolicies.
  5. Now, double-click on the folder name: StorageDevicePolicies. In the right pane, right click to create a new key. Click on the menu with New option select DWORD name it WriteProtect Double click on the key and set its value to 0.
  6. Now, exit Regedit and restart the computer.

If this doesn’t work for you try the next method.

Use Diskpart command

If the above methods do not work try using the alternate method mentioned below:
To use it, ensure USB drive/SD card is attached to the computer.

See Also: 10 Best Duplicate File Finder Tools for Windows to Delete Duplicate Files

Launch command prompt.

To open it, click on the Start menu and type Cmd. Right click on it and select ‘Run as administrator’ from the context menu.

Here, type diskpart and press enter.

diskpart cmd

Next, type list disk, and press Enter. This will show you the list of currently mounted disks.

list disk part

Make sure you can see your USB drive or memory stick. You should know the number.

disk part

Now enter the following command:

Select disk (your disk number)

disk part cmd use
Once selected, enter the following command,

Attributes disk clear readonly

This command will clear any remaining read only file attribute from the selected drive.

We hope we could resolve your issue of removing the write protection from your device. Do let us know if it worked for you.


  • comment_avtar
    Hi. I have a trojan in my SD card and when I do this to delete it (it was identified by Gridinsoft antimalware) it simply says again the disk is write protected. There is a .exe file with seemingly random characters, and when I try to delete it or change attributes it says it is being used by some other process. It has not spread out, and it seems to be confined to the SD. I deleted it from the hard drive in safe mode, but my SD reader doesn’t work in safe mode. Any suggestion?

    2 years ago
    • comment_avtar
      Mridula Nimawat
      Hello, You can try a data recovery software to restore the data from your infected SD Card. Hope it helps.

      1 year ago

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