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How to Fix Write Protection Errors on a USB Stick

How to Fix Write Protection Errors on a USB Stick

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How to Fix Write Protection Errors on a USB Stick

How to Fix Write Protection Errors on a USB Stick


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You’ve finished work for the day. The only thing left to do is stick the files onto a USB flash drive. Then you get this message: “The disk is write protected. Remove the write protection or use another disk.” You immediately pull your hair out. This is your USB stick; you should be able to read, write, and do whatever you want with it!

Okay, you didn’t pull your hair out. You stayed nice and calm. But you definitely need to get your USB drive fixed. Luckily, we’ve got a few simple steps to fix write protection on a USB drive. It’s just technology. We can fix it.

1. Check the USB Drive for Viruses

Every time you plug a USB drive into your computer, you should be automatically scanning it for viruses


5 Ways Your USB Stick Can Be a Security Risk




5 Ways Your USB Stick Can Be a Security Risk

USB drives are useful for so many different things, but they can be problematic and dangerous if you don’t take the right precautions.
Read More

— especially if you have used it on a computer that you don’t own, or a public computer. Viruses often act in a manner that will fill your USB drive with nonsense files and this can make your USB drive respond with the Write Protected error.

Depending on your antivirus software, you may be able to configure it to automatically scan a USB drive when first plugged in. If not, you can navigate to the USB drive in Windows Explorer, right-click, and force a manual antivirus scan.

How to Fix Write Protection Errors on a USB Stick Scan USB Windows Defender

If you do find a virus, eliminate it using your antivirus software. At this point, I would advise performing a full system scan after updating your virus definitions. If there is one virus lurking on your USB drive, you never know what might be propagating on your main system.

2. Check the USB Drive Body

Normally I’d make something this simple the first step. However, I’d rather see you protected from a virus, rather than start with the simpler fixes. Some USB flash drives have a mechanical switch on them that puts them into Write Protect mode. This can be a very small slider switch which may have caught on something in your pocket or computer case.

How to Fix Write Protection Errors on a USB Stick USB With Physical Write Protection Switch

If this is the situation, then simply move the switch to the unlocked position and try to copy files again.

Luckily, there aren’t a lot of newly manufactured USB sticks with these locks on them anymore.

3. Check to Make Sure the Flash Drive Isn’t Full

If your USB stick is full, you may also get the Write Protect error message.

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 Properties. You’ll be presented with a delightful donut-chart (what was wrong the venerable pie-chart, Microsoft?) displaying your current drive capacity.

How to Fix Write Protection Errors on a USB Stick USB Drive Used Size Properties

As you can see, I’ve got room to spare. But if your USB drive is completely full


How to Recover Lost Space on a USB Drive




How to Recover Lost Space on a USB Drive

If your USB drive ever shrinks in capacity, there’s a very simple solution you can use to restore all of that lost space.
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, it can return a Write Protection error message.

4. Is It Just That File?

Sometimes a single file can upset the balance. Perhaps one file is marked “read-only,” and refuses to be deleted from the drive. This causes an entirely different error message, but it can be off-putting, nonetheless.

Browse to your USB drive, and locate the offending file. Right-click, and select Properties. At the bottom of the panel, under Attributes, ensure Read-only is unchecked.

How to Fix Write Protection Errors on a USB Stick File Properties Read Only

Sometimes single filenames become corrupted. In addition, long filenames are an inherited Windows feature, ingrained in the MS-DOS architecture. The long and short of it is that if a filename exceeds 255 characters, you’re going to have a bad time.

Saikat Basu has explained exactly how to delete files with long filenames


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Can’t Delete Files With Long Filenames? Fix It In Just 5 Seconds

Windows has a bunch of quirks that have been carried over from years ago, such as the way it handles long filenames. Here’s what to do if a long filename is causing you trouble.
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. Check it out, and save yourself some bother.

Long File Name

5. DiskPart Command Prompt Utility

Are you familiar with the Command Prompt?


7 Common Tasks The Windows Command Prompt Makes Quick & Easy




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Don’t let the command prompt intimidate you. It’s simpler and more useful than you expect. You might be surprised by what you can accomplish with just a few keystrokes.
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Well, you’re about to familiarize yourself a little bit more. Don’t worry, it really isn’t scary, and is the next logical step in our effort to fix your USB drive.

Hit Windows Key + X, and select Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu. Type diskpart, and press Enter (1. in the below image). Next, type list disk, and press Enter. You should see a list of currently mounted disks, like so (2. in the below image):

How to Fix Write Protection Errors on a USB Stick Command Prompt Run DiskPart

Make sure you can see your USB drive. Mine is Disk 4. Make a note of your disk number. Now enter the following command:

select disk [your disk number]

Once selected, enter the following command:

attributes disk clear readonly

You’ve cleared any remaining read-only file attributes from the USB drive.

How to Fix Write Protection Errors on a USB Stick DiskPart Select Disk

6. Into the Registry We Go

If none of the previous steps have solved your Write Protection error, don’t worry. We’ve still got a few more tricks in the book. Next, we’re going to edit the Windows Registry. If you’re not comfortable editing the registry, I understand. You can skip to the next section — formatting your USB drive. If that step is a little too drastic, I’d advise giving this option a try.

Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialogue. Type regedit and press Enter. Now, navigate to the following registry location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies

Look for a key named WriteProtect.

If it exists, double-click it. This will open the Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value box. You can now set one of two values: 0 or 1. 1 means “Yes, write protect my USB storage devices.” Conversely, 0 means “No, don’t write protect my USB storage devices.” Set the value to 0, and then press OK.

But There’s Nothing There?

In some cases, there is no WriteProtection registry entry. In this instance, we can create a registry key of our own. Check out the short video I’ve made below:

(Something gone wrong? Reset the Windows registry to default.


How to Reset the Windows Registry to Default




How to Reset the Windows Registry to Default

If you’ve messed up the Windows Registry, hopefully you have a backup. If not, you have a short list of options to fix the problem.
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)

7. 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.

Formatting the hard drive is a last resort. However, it should make your USB drive able to be read and written to. Prior to formatting the USB drive, determine what kind of file system it already has — NTFS or FAT32. Normally the file system that it already has will be the file system that is best suited for the drive.

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 Properties.

How to Fix Write Protection Errors on a USB Stick Windows 10 USB Drive File System Type

Close the Properties window. Now, right-click the USB drive again, this time selecting 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.

How to Fix Write Protection Errors on a USB Stick Format USB Flash Drive

Change the Volume label to something memorable. 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. For instance, if there is a bad sector on this USB drive, the “full” format will return an error.

Formatting won’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 and ready to go


How to Format a New Internal Hard Drive or Solid State Drive




How to Format a New Internal Hard Drive or Solid State Drive

If you have a new HDD or SSD, you should format it. Through formatting, you can wipe old data, malware, bloatware, and you can change the file system. Follow our step-by-step process.
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.

8. But I’ve Got an SD Card

Luckily, the majority of the USB drive Write Protection error fixes listed work with SD cards, too.

How to Fix Write Protection Errors on a USB Stick sd cards

Unlike regular USB drives, SD cards still tend to come with a physical write protection switch. Ensure this is toggled before you panic.



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SanDisk 64GB Class 4 SDXC Flash Memory Card, Frustration-Free Packaging- SDSDB-064G-AFFP (Label May Change)

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The Take Away

Sometimes, the problem is simple. Sometimes, the problem is difficult. Hopefully, we’ve found you a solution, in either case. If your USB drive issues persist, it could be that something more significant is afoot. In those cases, such as a deleted Partition Table, third-party software like TestDisk can save the day.

Regardless, you’ve got a lot more troubleshooting tools in your arsenal now and should be able to get your USB drives working again, potentially saving you a tidy sum of money, and the pain of losing all of your files!

What fixed your USB drive? Did you have to format everything? Or was it something more serious? Do you have any tips to share with our readers? Let us know your USB drive fixes in the comments below!

Image Credit: niphon via Shutterstock.com

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Leave a Reply Cancel reply

  1. Shafi
    August 3, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Son wonderfull, it helped me alot. much thanks.

    Reply

  2. Joe
    May 7, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Number 4 worked for me. Our exec admin is over the moon with gratitude! tx!!

    Reply

  3. Russ Doty
    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    Your video has no sound

    Reply

  4. Vikas
    January 26, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    I tried all but i still get the same error. the disk is write protected.

    Reply

    • Mayagh
      February 1, 2018 at 3:18 pm

      same happened to me. When I entered “clean” , an error occurred and it said that it’s write protected.
      Have you fund any solutions? please help

      Reply

    • Danish
      February 24, 2018 at 6:08 pm

      Same thing happened to me still not fixed
      Someone help me

      Reply

    • Kat
      April 22, 2018 at 4:06 pm

      Same. PLEASE HELP

      Reply

  5. David Conklin
    January 9, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    I have edited the registry as we are told (I did make a possible mirtake by using all lowercase letters in storagedevicepolicies).

    I used diskpart as outlined above.

    When I try to format the thumbdrive, I’m told that it is write-protected.

    Reply

  6. eric
    January 8, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    the command prompt disk attributes change to readonly worked. (wiping teardrop from eye) thank you

    Reply

  7. Mauricio Micoski
    November 18, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Nice tips! My Windows laptop showed the message “the disk is write protected”, even when I tryed another card with the same adapter. I tryed diskpart, and also the sd association SD Formatter, but what solved my problem was my old ZTE mobile. I put the card inside it and it was able to format.

    Reply

  8. mohamedkursith
    October 23, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Hi, But i have another problem. My pen drive shows like no media in command prompt. And also in disk management. Its not detected in explorer. Kindly help on this.

    Reply

  9. TechNovice
    October 23, 2017 at 2:58 am

    I tried everything on this list, making sure that I double checked it all before going forward. And it’s still ‘write protected’ and showing that it has nothing on it via the bytes when I hit properties. It says 0 bytes used, but also 0 bytes of free space. I am confused. I can’t access it at all, it just prompts me to format the USB disk. But… nothing will let me format it because it’s write-protected. And nothing works. I even did the Windows+X admin commands and the Registry. Still giving me the run around. Is there a way to fix this USB or is it a lost cause? I don’t know how it got this way. It was fine one day and suddenly it’s like this.

    Reply

  10. MJ
    October 21, 2017 at 6:39 am

    I have a write protection error…on an external drive. None of these steps work for me and some I won’t try (obviously, I don’t want to format and lose the data on my external drive!).

    The problem can be traced back to when the power pack to my old Vista laptop fell down about 2 feet from a shelf on my desk to another shelf. It didn’t mess up the power pack (the laptop battery hasn’t worked in years and the laptop has been on for hours of use since the issue, no outages). The fall of this power pack interrupted the backup that was working at the time, though I can’t fathom why it affected the external drive. It showed as disconnected from the laptop altogether, though I could still access it. When I went to copy files over, it said the disk was write protected. There was no delete command at all for any of the files on the external device. Highlighting files and pressing the delete key did nothing.

    After a reboot the same thing happened. After shutting down and restarting the laptop, same thing.

    The external drive works fine on a W10 laptop. I’ve made several backups since the issue occurred.

    I’m at my wits’ end to figure out what happened. I can still access the external drive on the old Vista laptop, read the files, open the folders, but what I can’t do is copy anything over or delete anything. From just the one computer, it’s read-only. From the other (W10), it’s working perfectly normally.

    Reply

  11. Tamas Szula
    October 20, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    I have a Silicon Power usb 64. None of the mentioned sollutions worked for me…
    But went to SP site and downloaded SP usb recovery tool after registering.
    Ran it and chose recover optiion.
    Gave succesful result. Now the drive is being formatted. So it seems working.
    Im relieved. Try

    Reply

  12. Mark Thompson
    October 17, 2017 at 4:08 am

    One more thing you can do is go into Diskpart as he suggests, then select the disk, then type CLEAN which will remove all partition and attribute information on the disk. This makes it act like a brand new disk

    Reply

  13. Sunil Kale
    October 8, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Thanks Your trick was worked..
    Sunil K. Navi Mumbai.

    Reply

  14. Willow
    August 18, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    hi, i’ve tried everything above and when i go to format it still says it’s write protected. do you think i’m screwed or it there another solution?

    Reply

  15. Robert
    August 3, 2017 at 3:12 am

    Still not work makes me soooo mad on xbox 360 next booted off game go to storage becuase says re insert storage device then i select the hard drive and it says make sure this device is not write-protected

    Reply

    • Gavin Phillips
      August 3, 2017 at 10:45 am

      Is this an Xbox specific drive?

      Reply

  16. David
    May 21, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    I went through these steps, in a slightly different order, with a faulty Sandisk Ultra on a PC with Windows 10. My main change was to try reformatting before finding these steps. My PC thinks the drive is write protected, and it appears to have failed during a file copy of some music. For me, these steps don’t work, in particular there is not the specified registry key in Windows 10 (Creator ed) on this PC. I’ve had a couple of drives fail similarly in the past, and it seems that a failure while writing often kills the drive. I blame the USB creators, not the drive makers; as USB drives can’t always be help perfectly still. In this case, I think the PC shifted and the mouse mat twisted it enough to break the link and cause an error. I’ve learned that Flash is like a physical HDD, they break sometimes. My only decision now is simple, do I try for a replacement (I have heaps so can’t prove the purchase date), or just wer it and buy another.

    Reply

    • Gavin Phillips
      August 3, 2017 at 10:36 am

      If the registry key isn’t there, you can try creating as per the video, and setting the value yourself. But yes, flash drives aren’t rugged, like people think — that said, it isn’t exactly like a HDD, in that there aren’t moving parts that break. I’m sure you’re already doing it, but purchasing metal cased, all-in-ones drives certainly helps (as opposed to a plastic case, with a USB connection protruding.

      Reply

      • David
        August 9, 2017 at 7:43 am

        Thanks Gavin,
        I actually have a lot of experience with commercial PC support, in the days of MS-DOS to through to Windows NT. I’ve also had a micro SD card fail since my post went up. Not bad given that last failure that I recall was 2005, or more likely that was the last failure of a newish flash device!
        But, that isn’t why I wrote in again! I have since found one very easy way (for PC users) to rescue all that is readable from dead flash. Fire up a command line and use robocopy, but google it first. Robocopy will retry dead files, and unlike anything else I found (eg xcopy) continue beyond a failure.
        Now, why would I insist you google robocopy first? Becasue it’s defaults are set to 1 million retries, 30 seconds apart. I don’t think anyone wants to wait THAT LONG, and yes I learned the the hard way. Anyone who doesn’t changes the defaults may need to be told use to break out and the do it correctly. I think I used 1 retry and 2 seconds.

        Reply

  17. BALDEVBHAI PANCHAL
    May 10, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    I HAVE A 32 GB USB WHICH HAS BECOME WRITE PROTECTED AUTOMATICALLY AND I CAN NEITHER COPY ANY FILE IN IT NOR CAN I FORMAT IT. I HAVE TRIED TO CLEAR WRITE PROTECT VIA DISK PART WHICH SHOWS THE WRITE PROTECT IS CLEARED NOW. THE I TACKLED THROUGH REGEDIT AND MADE THE VALUE OF WRITE PROTECT AS 0.
    AFTER DOING ALL THIS IT SHOWS WRITE PROTECT AND THE FORMATTING COMMAND DOES NOT WORK WITH A NOTE OF WRITE PROTECT.
    i AM NOW HELPLESS BECAUSE NOW NO EFFORT IS LEFT TO BE MADE AS FAR AS MY KNOW HOW GOES.
    KINDLY GUIDE ME.

    Reply

    • David
      May 21, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      I’ve just been through the same experience as you might see elsewhere. My guess is the drive is dead now, that’s the conclusion with mine.

      Reply

  18. jessie
    May 8, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    followed all steps with no joy, clicked ‘start’ on final last ditch attempt and it spat back at me “the disk is write protected”
    exactly what I thought I was getting rid of in the first place?!
    confused and frustrated

    Reply

  19. Kim
    April 30, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Worked like a charm. I had to do the formatting, but at least it’s not write-protected anymore. THank you soooo much!

    Reply

  20. BEKTASH
    April 23, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    i have one usb 124 gb and is write protectet and i cant format. i have try all this suggest of this site and is not posible. usb is in format exFAT.

    PLEASE HELP ME

    Reply

  21. Jaison
    March 23, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Just connect the USB drive to your android phone through usb otg. The write protection will be disabled. It worked for me.

    Reply

  22. Brian
    March 12, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    None of these solutions work. I have a Windows 8.1 bootable USB from Dell that I want to repurpose as storage drive, but apparently it was write-protected using the power of Thor’s Hammer. I heard there might be some kind of utility to reset the USB Controller, but my research has been inconclusive.
    =

    Reply

  23. Vishal
    March 12, 2017 at 7:48 am

    there is no storade device policy in my pc my pc is asus gl552vx

    Reply

  24. Rebecca
    February 13, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    I GOT IT TO WORK AGAIN!
    I tried all of the above with no luck….BUT I did put my usb stick into my other laptop and WAS able to format it! I couldn’t believe it was that simple. So maybe give that a try?

    Reply

  25. Dhvanit
    February 6, 2017 at 5:47 am

    that all way does not working on my Flash drive still show write protected plz give me some other wa.

    Reply

    • Rebecca
      February 13, 2017 at 7:12 pm

      Try putting it into another computer and try formatting it. When all of the above failed for me, I did that and it worked 🙂

      Reply

  26. Giovanni Pires da Silva
    January 24, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Thanks, step 5 helped me to fix my friends’ flash drive.

    Reply

  27. Yamkela
    January 15, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Its really not helping

    Reply

    • clark
      January 17, 2017 at 6:12 am

      same goes for me

      Reply

    • Rebecca
      February 13, 2017 at 7:12 pm

      Try putting it into another computer and try formatting it. When all of the above failed for me, I did that and it worked 🙂

      Reply

  28. Stephen I Misson
    January 14, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Nothing helped, still write protected. Wasn’t yesterday and I did nothing to it. Couldn’t find the registry key and can’t format it because it is write protected! It is a new 512GB flash drive on Windows 7.

    Reply

    • shakry3
      January 30, 2017 at 1:15 am

      Havent a clue, tried the reg thing, and it didnt even have the entire address for ,e to get to it, it went to storage, but that was it, [storage], the fix had a longer name, and my reg didnt have it, perhaps that is the problem, but i use other divices in all my ports, so that cannot be it, right. what i have, a 64gb microSD [which happens to be SD in size] which is not brand, i have stuff on it, but it has stopped working, wont format, wont delete, wont do much of anything. i want it back, is there a techie solution we may try? perhaps some software soultions to access it then go from there? has anyone tried any decent partitition software, just asking. please anyone, there has got to be a solution to this, right???

      Reply

  29. Eltsi
    January 13, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Still my flash is saying write protected!!!

    Reply

  30. Eltsi
    January 13, 2017 at 12:15 am

    Still my flash is saying write protected!!

    Reply

  31. John
    January 11, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    This did not work, when I try to format my USB, it tells me it is write protected.
    I guess I’ll just have to throw this one out and buy a new one.

    Reply

  32. TocSandwhich
    January 7, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    In case people are still having this issue I’ve tried 10 different ways to get some of my USB sticks to work and they all failed.

    I used Rufus 2.11 and finally got my USB sticks off the write-protection deathloop (they were all SanDisks 4gb – 8gb, 1 Blade, 2 Cruzers)

    A quick Background – I was using them individually to install various OS options, I think Chrome OS tool was the biggest culprit in causing issues with write-protection.

    Anyway, in Rufus:
    1) click the Drop down arrow for Advanced Options – and select the “Add Fixes for Old Bios, (Extra Partitions, align, etc.)”

    2) Set the format type to Fat32

    3) MBR Partition scheme is fine

    4) Select “Create a bootable disk using : MS DOS” (Note sure how important this is but it was working so I didn’t try others)

    5) Cross your fingers and click Start

    Reply

    • David Abplanalp
      February 11, 2017 at 10:09 am

      Thank you! finally, I have been looking for a fix for this for hours now. My sd card became write protected after I tried to install Chrome os. It’s working now so thanks

      Reply

    • Rebecca
      February 13, 2017 at 7:15 pm

      I tried Rufus to, but it didn’t work as the usb was still saying it was write protected So I put my usb stick into my other laptop and tried formatting it and it worked 🙂

      Reply

    • Mohamed saied
      March 15, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      thanks a lot. its working for me

      Reply

    • jessie
      May 8, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      Didn’t Work
      “Error while partitioning device”
      =(

      Reply

    • Mike Walsh
      June 2, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      If you’re having problems with SanDisk USBs, be advised that this is a long-running issue with these sticks. SanDisk themselves have no answer other than ‘Send it back to us and we’ll replace it’.

      Digging around in remote, murky PDFs produced the information that SanDisk purchased a whole batch of USB controller chips from SK Hynix which turned out to be faulty. Hynix wouldn’t take them back, or refund the purchase price for the batch…..on the premise that having been soldered into the circuit boards, they now counted as ‘used’, and their returns policy didn’t cover this scenario.

      The Blades, in particular the 8 GB models, are honestly so cheap that they truly have become a disposable item. I’ve used quite a number of these over the last few years, and never keep anything important on them. For that, I prefer TDK drives.

      Reply

  33. Isaac
    January 5, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    I have gone through step 6 but I cant get ‘StorageDevicePolicies’ in my computer

    Reply

  34. Dorothy
    January 5, 2017 at 1:34 am

    your instructions are really easy to follow . I did the dispart, disklist, attributes etc etc and then tried to format again.

    no luck it says it is still read only…grrrrrr LOL.. it is a kingston 32GB/GO

    Is there actually any free softward that will reformat this dam thing.

    thank you

    Reply

  35. Simcha evron
    December 31, 2016 at 1:55 am

    I tried to format twice and none of the times worked.
    I tried the other option going to the registry, but i dont hace the “write protect” feature, so there is no way i can do that. I have a desktop with windows10 and a laptop with windows7, on both there is no way of finding the writeprotect file/folder.
    The usb has some mp3 files on it but i cannot add more and i cannot even delete the ones that are on it. It’s like it’s stuck. No adding, no deleting.

    Reply

  36. Guilherme
    December 26, 2016 at 1:15 am

    My case seems to be a little more troublesome… It is an SD card and I found your article through another one talking specifically about SD cards. I found the information here really valuable, but it couldn’t help me unfortunately.

    My SD card is write protected in a very interesting, but desperating way. I use it in my phone and it stopped recognising it. It had happened before when I filled it with vídeos (I use my phone as a cheap and more practical dashcam and this day I used it in a long trip. it made like 4 50min videos). I removed the files from it and my phone got back recognising it.

    Everything was going nice and good, but then I used it in another trip and before the trip ended, the câmera app crashed. No big deal, I thought, but at home I discovered that the phone stopped recognising it again. But unlike previously, now after deleting the files my phone still couldn’t read it.

    So I put it back in the PC and the files were actually still there! Tried deleting it again, removed and put it back and the files were there… like a Phoenix back from the ashes.

    Tried formatting it, but the Windows native program for formatting says it is write protected (it is not. If it was, Explorer would not even show me the delete and format options). Tried formatting it on Linux using gParted BUT even though it tells me all the steps were finished (erasing the partition and formatting the whole thing to FAT32), when I get to look into it again, it is still untouched like a Highlander SD card.

    Tried all of your suggestions with exception of the registry as it seems I don’t have that specific key (maybe a Windows 10 thing not having it?), but since it didn’t work even on Linux, I don’t think it would help either…

    I’m really upset about this issue as it is a 32GB micro SD Ultra from SanDisk… A quite expensive piece of tech for it’s size. Do you have any extra tips specifically for SD cards?

    Thanks!

    Reply

  37. Raouf Yasin
    December 21, 2016 at 7:00 am

    After all these message i am gettinh this error again.

    Reply

  38. Onyx
    December 20, 2016 at 3:53 am

    Shit none of it worked what do i do? i can’t format it always shows error and i can’t even change attrib with CMD

    Reply

  39. Allison
    December 7, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    None of these methods worked. All the way down to re-formatting. I get an error message that states the disk is write protected so I can not reformat the drive. I purchased SIMMAX brand and was in the middle of copying files when the first read only error message showed up.

    Reply

  40. Jooserab
    December 2, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    tks a lot Bro
    i been a long long time for searching this solutions
    i finally have solution from u, its work
    the instructions is very clear and easy to aplicated

    Reply

  41. Lee
    November 29, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Much appreciated. Very clear and comprehensive set of instructions (diskpart resolved my issue). Thanks for taking the time to put them together.

    Reply

  42. Anonymous
    November 25, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Thank you so much! I can’t explain how nice it is to read such a helpful, sincere article! It was easy to read, went through all of the available options, and even had a smidge of humor. I’ll probably come here for other computer tasks I need to get done from now on. Keep up the good work!

    Reply

  43. Ahmed
    November 25, 2016 at 4:37 am

    This should be on the top of the google search result…not the one from pc advisor…extremely helpful…

    Reply

  44. Ashley
    November 22, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Thankyou this worked 4 me 🙂

    Reply

  45. C.Clevinger
    November 17, 2016 at 5:44 am

    It was fun. I never had that confidence to touch the registry and some how I have some idea how to resolve it. Thank you very much for sharing this. 🙂

    Reply

  46. James Faulkner
    November 14, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    None of your options above worked on my Patriot 32GB. FYI: in the final attempt at –> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies there is no “StorageDevicePolicies” listed on my machine. I am assuming this is item has to be available to make my usb storage device “NOT” write protected?

    Reply

  47. kuriah
    November 12, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    i tried installing windows files using the usb drive and now its write protected. i have tried all the above methods to no avail

    Reply

  48. Carlos
    November 5, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Hi Guy McDowell:
    I have a 32Gb Kimtico USB flash memory that gives me that message: your disk is write protected, remove the….bla bla. I can copy the files but it won’t let me write into it nor format it, I have already tried all the methods you describe here and in some other sites. As well as many free software to clean, format, reuse, etc, (like disableUSB, HUFFYHUV, jetflash, SDformater, TestDisk, etc. and non of them seemed to have worked.
    Is there any other way to recover my USB, or is there an app that I might buy to do the task?
    Thanks in advance and you can Email me if you’d like.

    Reply

    • mason sousa
      November 7, 2016 at 1:09 am

      still says it protected lol after all that

      Reply

  49. Jithin J S
    November 1, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    This is not helpful
    its not worked
    ??

    Reply

  50. Jithin J S
    November 1, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    this is not helpful
    its not work

    Reply

  51. jack
    October 30, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    ok. my registry has no such storagedevicepolicies and it wont even let me format it. any ideas?

    Reply

  52. corey
    October 26, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    step 5 fixed it for me. Thank you.

    Reply

  53. Göran Alfvén
    October 24, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    I have a client who gets into trouble when copying files FROM the USB stick. Windows copies a few files and creates the folders needed (there are a lot of those), but then it says that the USB stick is write protected… hey… I was copying FROM the stick not TO it!

    What is this all about? Any clues?

    Reply

  54. Mike
    October 22, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Tried all your steps and non of them worked. Useless post, please remove!

    Reply

  55. clouddss
    October 15, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Hi, I need help here.

    Situation:
    I have a micro sd card (FAT 32) for my camera and when I try to delete files from computer (I’m using 64 bits win 7), it says “This media is write protected.”

    What I’ve done:
    1. Check for any read-only status, and the result is there is no file with read-only status.
    2. Try to format it, but again. It’s write protected.
    3. I try to use cmd command to clear disk read-only file and to clean it but it didn’t work.
    4. I try to open Storage Device Policies and change the Write protect dword registry but it’s already at 0.

    If anyone know what’s the problem and how to solve it please help me. Thanks.

    Reply

  56. Chuck
    October 10, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    I performed all steps except 6 since I was willing to reformat anyway. In all cases including reformatting, I received the same “The disk is write protected.” message.

    The drive is a Dane-Elec 8 GB drive with no physical switch.

    Reply

  57. Darien
    October 3, 2016 at 6:48 am

    I did all the steps, and my USB still READONLY.
    I can format, but when I copy file it says READONLY.

    Reply

  58. Clinton Ouma
    September 23, 2016 at 9:59 am

    I have a 16GB flash drive that was provided by the firm I work for. It came from the manufacturer with write protection. All the suggestions above have not worked. I can’t format it or delete any file from it. Please help

    Reply

  59. Amir Haziq
    September 15, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Im on the last step but when i tried to format it, there is a box written in it “the disk is write-protected. what should i do now?

    Reply

  60. stefan
    September 15, 2016 at 6:31 am

    hello,

    thanks everything is explaining very clearly but i have still the write proteced on with going to all the steps you write done.

    Reply

  61. Bobber
    September 7, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    I have a 32 GB Cruzer that I am unable to Delete or Format. It has a copy of the Windows XP Folder.
    I have tried everything that I have found on the web and nothing works – it says it’s Write-Protected but I can’t remove the Read-Only Attribute. I have run “Unlocker” but that doesn’t work.
    I can’t find anything else to try.

    Reply

  62. Fidel Bañuelos
    September 4, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! My thumb drive did have a write protection switch on it. Did not know that!

    Reply

  63. puneet
    September 1, 2016 at 10:22 am

    followed all the 7 steps. at the last formatting step got a pop up window that read “the disk is write protected”

    Reply

  64. Daniel Germano
    August 29, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I have done all of that but no change I’m just going to through this one in the bin and but another one

    Reply

  65. Fady
    August 27, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    I have done everything you’ve mentioned and I’m still facing the same problem. Even failed to format it. But thanks for your help anyway.

    Reply

  66. john
    August 26, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    i had to go into the registry, it worked. thanks for this 🙂

    Reply

  67. Elly
    August 15, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    I completed the CMD but that didn’t work. I went into the registry but I could only get to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control the next path wasn’t there. There was storage but nothing that could help me.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies

    Also I can’t format it because it says it’s write protected. My USB was working fine last week.

    So I still can’t use my USB which has all my files on. I have managed to deleted them from my NAS drive last night and this is an older, but not too old version. Really stressed now and have lost a day of work 🙁

    Reply

    • Fady
      August 27, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      Right click on Storage and then click on a New DWORD (32-bit) Value and name it WriteProtect.

      Reply

  68. Deepak Murkute
    August 9, 2016 at 8:56 am

    There is no option of storagepolicies in registry in given navigation path.

    Reply

    • cdgcngc
      August 9, 2016 at 5:49 pm

      you have to create storagepolicies manually, juste type in google : storagepolicies doesn’t exist and u will find the way to create it easilyyyyy, because i already had the same issue and that what i did exactly to resolve it

      Reply

  69. Terence
    August 8, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Thanks very detailed & good information!

    Reply

  70. Matt
    August 7, 2016 at 2:43 am

    Tried everything and nothing worked and I still can’t format. I do not have an option for storagedevicepolicies. Anyhow thank you for this informative information.

    Reply

    • Tina Sieber
      August 20, 2016 at 10:07 am

      As mentioned in a comment above, try to manually add the missing entry. This video explains how: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMiSVxJTwII

      Reply

  71. MDC
    August 5, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Tried everything suggested, still write protected and won’t format, looks like a return

    Reply

  72. Tanveer Anam
    August 2, 2016 at 10:38 am

    I’ve done as your tips, but still my pen-drive isn’t formatting. What is next brother?

    Reply

  73. Heather
    July 20, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    I’m on Windows 10 and after typing diskpart I am just given a long list of commands and not the list of disks. Is it different for Win 10?

    Reply

    • Heather
      July 21, 2016 at 1:54 am

      I sorted that part out but I don’t have the location storagedevicepolicies. I tried to format but it won’t allow me to do that, gives the same error “this disk is write-protected”. Any ideas?

      Reply

    • Heather
      July 21, 2016 at 1:59 am

      I even did a search in the registry for writeprotect and didn’t find anything.

      Reply

  74. Lisette van de Graaf
    July 15, 2016 at 8:09 am

    After all these steps my USB stick still isn’t working. 🙁

    Reply

    • Toby Lehman
      July 22, 2016 at 1:11 am

      same here

      Reply

  75. Gad
    July 11, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Thanks ! Step 6 worked for me ! 😀

    Reply

  76. Saurabh Sharma
    July 4, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    None of the steps worked for me

    Reply

    • hgg
      July 19, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      me too

      Reply

  77. Aaron
    June 24, 2016 at 7:25 am

    What should I do

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      June 24, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

      HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.

      mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

      Check these articles for additional help:

      How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
      How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
      Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

      Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

      Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
      PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

      If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

      If you don’t mind getting deeeeeep into your USB and some technology you might never have worked with, check out this firmware-based method that might recover your USB drive .

      Reply

  78. Aaron
    June 24, 2016 at 7:25 am

    None of the steps worked I might be having a serious problem with my USB

    Reply

    • edwin
      July 6, 2016 at 10:02 am

      me too

      Reply

    • mohsen
      July 19, 2016 at 6:35 am

      me too

      Reply

    • renaud
      September 3, 2016 at 10:34 am

      I jave just tried ‘USB3.0 Repair tool’ (from Apacer) and it was solved.
      http://us.apacer.com/support/download/result/3,8,0 ,

      Reply

  79. Karen
    June 21, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    I made the StorageDevicePolicies folder in the Registry, but what now? What the heck is the DWORD? I’ve read the comments and am still clueless.

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      June 21, 2016 at 7:47 pm

      The DWORD is a type of value for a registry key. If you’re not comfortable working in the registry, I recommend staying out of it. A little mistake can lead to a big problem very quickly when working in the registry.

      Reply

  80. Aunt Crabby
    June 21, 2016 at 1:34 am

    I did have to create the StorageDevicePolicies folder and add the DWORD, but by golly it worked. Many thanks.

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      June 21, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      Excellent. Well done! It’s risk, you took a chance, and it paid off.

      Reply

  81. Behrooz
    June 17, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    The perfect way. solved my problem after a month .. great
    Thanks Sir

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      June 21, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      Very glad I could be of some help.

      Reply

  82. michael
    June 11, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Hi thanks for the info, but none of the methods worked on my USB stick

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      June 15, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      Keep reading in the comments. There are lots of other suggestions from readers like you, who got their USB flash drives working.

      Reply

  83. Robert
    June 9, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    In windows XP, it must be an issue with windows itself, not the card ot the usb drive, I tried it in a different computer with Win7 and I was able to format the card, came back to WinXP and same crap happened again. there must be another solution at OS level.

    Reply

  84. Nishul Tomar
    June 7, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    there was no storageDeveicePolicies folder i could find

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      June 15, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      You would have to create it. But messing around in the registry is a last resort. If you are not completely comfortable working in the registry, don’t do it.

      Reply

  85. Tiago
    June 6, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks. All the other websites were not working, since they didn’t talk about the switch on and off option on the pend drive…

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      June 15, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      Thank you.
      There are many things that can go wrong with technology. I’m glad I was able to offer the solution you needed.

      Reply

  86. Ambro
    June 5, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Thanks, but it didn’t work. I will keep looking.

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      June 15, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      Keep reading through the comments. There are lots of ideas to try that couldn’t be fit into the article.

      Reply

  87. Kamran Faisal
    June 4, 2016 at 7:06 am

    I am greatful to you for sharing useful information. DISKPART method work for me on windows 10.

    Reply

  88. rjane
    June 3, 2016 at 9:23 am

    it didnt work.. 🙁

    Reply

  89. Muhammad Zain
    May 29, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing useful information. DISKPART method work for me on windows 10.

    Reply

  90. Ravi
    May 29, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    not working any of them sir

    plz suggest software for san disk cruizer blade 32 gb

    Reply

  91. Princess Moneba
    May 26, 2016 at 2:58 am

    I tried all your methods but it didn’t work. Just like what you’ve said, ” If your USB drive isn’t listed here, this won’t help you any. You can see in my example below that all that is showing are the two partitions on my computer’s hard drive. My USB drive doesn’t show up in here for whatever reason.” So what i did is, I typed “SElect disk 3”, But “no disk” was the response given to me.
    Then, i also tried the RegEdit.Exe, yet when I tried to find the “Storage Device Policies”. It turns out that it has no “StorageDevicePolicies” instead it was just “Storage”. That was available on my disk.

    So please help me with my problem. I don’t know what to do. I’m losing hope and a bit frustrated to what had happen, about this “write Protected”. Hopefully, you would help me because i don’t wanna lose my files which is very important to me. I treasured all those so please i really need your help. Help me please to solve my problem.

    Please leave a message with my accounts.
    Gmail: [email protected]
    Yahoo: [email protected]
    Thank you in advance!! 🙂 🙂

    Reply

  92. Anonymous
    May 24, 2016 at 6:04 am

    i have tried all the methods but it doesn’t work. I just can view the content of the USB but cannot do any changes to it.

    What should i do?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Reply

  93. Reece
    May 20, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    It wont let me format as FAT32

    Reply

  94. farhad maiel
    May 20, 2016 at 10:24 am

    i have a san disk 32gb usb flash which is write protected.
    i have tried all those methods to fix it but it doesn’t work any of them.
    it opens and show everything on it.
    but I cant delete,cut,copy,rename,format my flash
    if u can help me. please answer me on my facebook/ [ farhad maiel ] account or email :[email protected]

    Reply

  95. Glenda
    May 17, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    I have a Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk External Drive (file system exFAT) which I use with my old XP computer. All of a sudden today I started having problems with saving or backing up to it.

    When I tried to back up my Quicken files, I got this message: “Unable to access the disk in Drive G. Please make sure the drive is ready and the disk is not write-protected.”
    When I tried to do “save as” for an Excel file, I got this message: “Cannot save the file. The location you want to save to is write-protected.”

    Your advice was very helpful. I was able to remove write protection from my USB device by using the Diskpart Command Line Utility. I am now able to back up Quicken files and save Excel files to it.

    However, when I opened the Seagate properties tried to do error checking and disk defragmentation, I couldn’t do either one. The defrag option gave this error: “Cannot run on this volume type” and check disk with the option to automatically fix file system errors, it gave this message: “Windows was unable to complete the disk check.”

    In the past both of these had worked just fine. What else should I do?

    Many thanks for your help.

    Reply

  96. Emmanuel
    May 11, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Thanks for the Tut but i could not find the StorageDevicePolicies registry

    Reply

    • David
      May 18, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      I have the same problem! It just isn’t there.

      Reply

      • Guy McDowell
        May 20, 2016 at 7:35 pm

        You could create the key in that spot, but I’d only recommend that as a last resort. A real last resort. Messing with the registry can go bad in a hurry.

        Reply

        • emma
          May 28, 2016 at 12:42 pm

          how do i create

  97. Ryan
    May 7, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Hi Everyone,

    I have been to multiple websites, Youtube videos and blogs. All end up with the same advice you provided. None of these have worked. My error happened while copying files tyo the drive. I can access thedata, and copy it off, but cannot modify or add new data. The easiest way to explain my methods is below.

    PHYSICAL CHECK – No switches or buttons (Kingston DT 100 G3 32GB USB3).

    ANTIVIRUS – Was the 1st thing I checked, Avast, AVG, Kapersky, Nortons, Malwarebytes, nothing found.

    DISKPART – It changed the Write Protect to NO, but the “Current Status Write Protect” will not change from YES. (tried multiple little tricks like removing straight away and plugging back in, rebooting, but nothing works)

    REGEDIT – Did not have StoageDevicePolicies. Found how to add this to my editor, but this also did not work.

    FORMAT – Will let me select all the requirements for my format but when click OK, just tells me its write protected. Manufacturer – Tried a Kingston USB3 format tool from their website for this exact product, but the same deal.

    MULTPLE PCS – I build and repair computers for friends, so tried testing on other machines (including all the steps already completed above) and still couldn’t get a result.

    In conclusion, I find it puzzling that the drive still works except for the protection, but I can only deduce that it is a hardware fault and that I need to bin it when the data on it is no longer useful (just music and some documents). I have already spent enough time on this that I should have just bought a new one, especially when you work out your hourly pay rate. So if anyone else has this problem, don’t keep searching if you’ve done all of the steps, just let it go.

    Cheers,
    Ryan

    Reply

    • KL
      May 10, 2016 at 2:01 am

      Have you tried Linux (Ubuntu or Mint) via a live CD?

      Linux have a disk tool that comes with the linux operating system simply called DISK which you access from the start menu.
      My Kinston USB drive became unmountable after I made it a bootable USB……..and I could not format the disk.
      However after firing up the DISK tool in Linux, the tool gave me 2 options.
      1) to delete partition…….or 2)Write a new file system .
      I tried both options………..but no2, “write new file system”……….worked and now my USB stick works as normal again.

      Reply

  98. Rohit
    May 4, 2016 at 4:09 am

    All Step are complete but not run my pen drive

    Reply

  99. T. Chris Minor
    May 3, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    Hi I have a 16GB Thumb drive that is giving the ‘write protected’ error, I have tried all your suggested steps and no matter what route I take it does not remove the write protect error.The only files on the thumb drive are a coupe of old transfer saves. If you have any further suggestions I’d love to hear them.
    Thanks,
    Chris Minor
    Sacramento CA

    I’m running Windows 10 Pro
    on a Intel I7 with 16GB of Memory

    Reply

  100. amro
    April 29, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    sorry i do all steps but it dosen’t fix

    Reply

  101. Elie
    April 26, 2016 at 11:36 am

    i followed step 6 step by step , but the problem was that i couldnt do the last step since i couldnt find the arrow “storage device policies” any help???

    Reply

    • Elie
      April 26, 2016 at 11:38 am

      in addition, none of the steps has worked out even the prompt, i really need ur help in fixing the problem

      Reply

  102. Colby Kordas
    April 26, 2016 at 2:50 am

    THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!!! it was literately the cards switch was on lock!

    Reply

  103. Max
    April 17, 2016 at 11:24 am

    THANK YOU! The command line thing worked 😀

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      April 19, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      Hi Max,

      I’m very glad I could help. Happy computing!

      Reply

  104. Guy McDowell
    April 8, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

    HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.

    mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

    Check these articles for additional help:

    How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
    How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
    Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

    Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

    Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
    Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
    Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
    PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
    Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

    If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

    If you don’t mind getting deeeeeep into your USB and some technology you might never have worked with, check out this firmware-based method that might recover your USB drive .

    Reply

  105. albert
    April 8, 2016 at 12:42 am

    I try all of those methodes and none of them works

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      April 8, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

      HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.

      mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

      Check these articles for additional help:

      How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
      How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
      Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

      Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

      Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
      PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

      If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

      Reply

  106. Vlad
    April 7, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    None of this methods didn`t work. I had tried all of them over and over again. Any other methods?

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      April 8, 2016 at 3:02 pm

      If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

      HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.

      mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

      Check these articles for additional help:

      How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
      How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
      Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

      Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

      Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
      PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

      If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

      Reply

  107. Greeze
    April 5, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    I tried everything and it didn’t work as well. It seems my usb disk is bricked or dead but the methods in this post helped me revive my 4GB thumb drive.

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      April 8, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      Cool. I’m glad you were able to find the fix you needed.

      We’ll probably add on to this article or write an updated one at some point.

      Thank you for reading and letting everyone know about another method.

      Reply

  108. john alvic
    April 4, 2016 at 1:49 am

    i try everything but it doesn’t work.

    Reply

  109. Nucho Vidas
    April 3, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Hi I didn’t find the path “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/StorageDevicePolicies”
    I just found “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/Storage” I’m using windows XP please help

    Reply

  110. Susan
    March 30, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Value Data was already set to 0.

    Reply

  111. John o
    March 25, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    None of the above fixed my flash drive. What did?
    1 back the whole thing up to your hard drive
    2 plug in the flash drive
    3 power pc down
    4 boot hitting F8 to come up in DOS SAFE Mode
    5 Format the FLASH DRIVE
    6 power down
    7 Boot to normal windows
    8 IF Windows does not recognize the flash drive, format it again. This will automatically be a ‘quick format’ (1 minute)
    Write protect is gone!! Done!!

    Reply

  112. Kenneth Juergens
    March 25, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    I had two Scan Disk USB flash drives (32GB & 64GB) that were formatted in the exFAT format that kept giving me the “Write Protected” warning when I tried to change the name of a file or erase a file. I am using a Dell Inspiron 530 with XP installed. I tried these suggestions and others that were similar that were found on the internet but I had no success.

    I then ran check disk on each USB Flash drive and this corrected the problem for both flash drives. I ran check disk by inserting a USB Flash Drive into the computer and then going to Run (under the start menu in Windows XP) and typing in chkdsk e: /r (spacing is important) and then selecting OK. It took about 130 seconds to complete for my 64GB Flash drive. Note: e: is the drive in which my Scan Disk 64GB USB Flash Drive was located.

    I am curious if I was lucky or if this is actually a solution so please post your results so others will know.

    Reply

    • Kenneth Juergens
      March 25, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      Note: In the above post I used chkdsk e: /r because my USB Flash Drive was using the e: drive. If yours uses a different drive after you inser it, then use that drive letter in in place of e:

      Reply

  113. jack
    March 24, 2016 at 9:08 am

    did not work 🙁

    Reply

    • jack
      March 24, 2016 at 9:09 am

      tried every single thing.
      🙁

      Reply

  114. david
    March 20, 2016 at 6:06 am

    Hi I didn’t find the path “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/StorageDevicePolicies”
    I just found “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/Storage” I’m using windows 10 Thnaks

    Reply

  115. mofid
    March 18, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    I tried all the ways but in vain

    Reply

  116. Kosovar
    March 17, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Thank youuuuuuuu, from KOSOVO

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      March 17, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      You’re very welcome!
      Thank you for reading. 🙂

      Reply

  117. Christina
    March 4, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    My problem hasn’t been resolved after all this, sorry to say.

    My USB drive suddenly started telling me that the disk is write protected. It has been working fine prior to this msg and now it isn’t at all. Someone please help, as I cannot insert my windows disc to make it all go away like Sead has mentioned. Also, I’m using Windows 10 if that changes any steps I would have to take.

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      March 14, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

      HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.

      mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

      Check these articles for additional help:

      How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
      How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
      Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

      Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

      Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
      PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

      If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

      Reply

  118. Ravi Shrestha
    February 28, 2016 at 3:52 am

    Thanks mate.. the diskpart command utility line worked in my case.. Cheerzzz

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      February 29, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      Glad to hear it. Thanks for reading!

      Reply

  119. Yemi
    February 26, 2016 at 8:32 am

    You are damn Good Buddy

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      February 29, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      I does what I cans. 🙂

      Reply

  120. amdb
    February 23, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    My USB
    1. Doesn’t have virus on it,
    2. It is not even full,
    3. All the files are write protected (i’ve tried the properties and unchecked the readonly, but still failed)
    4. And my USB body doesn’t have the write protect switch,
    5. I’ve tried the CMD, it says that it was successful but it didn’t,
    6. I tried regedit but i can’t find the StorageDevicePolicies, mine only has storage,
    7. And the last i tried to format it, but it says that it can’t be format because it is WRITE PROTECTED

    By the way i am using windows 7, and my laptop is a notebook, so i can’t insert a CD like saed adjar said, i was wondering if it were because my chipset usb are broken or maybe it was because i am using windows 7, please anyone do kindly help me, I would be bless, thank you.

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      February 23, 2016 at 11:14 pm

      From what you say, I don’t think the chip set is damaged. It shouldn’t be because you’re using Windows 7 either.

      If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

      HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.

      mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

      Check these articles for additional help:

      How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
      How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
      Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

      Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

      Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
      PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

      If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

      Reply

  121. krishna
    February 21, 2016 at 11:12 am

    I am using windows 8.1 and i don’t have that directory. I mean it has storage and storage management but, there is no storage device policies

    Reply

  122. Sead Ajdar
    February 18, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    I have a variant how to remove Write protection on your USB Flash drive
    Step 1. insert your CD with Windows XP
    Step 2. insert your USB Flash drive into your PC
    Step 3. reboot your system (keep in mind that you are about to fix the issue about your usb not installing windows XP)
    Step 4.Boot form CD
    Step.5 Press any key to boot form CD…..
    Step 6.Follow the instruction properly till you reach the step on witch partition you like to install windows
    Step 7. Locate your USB Flash drive and delete it
    Step 8. Reboot your system
    Step 9. When your system booted to windows go to my computer right-click click to manage
    step 10. go to disk management and repartition your USB to normal condition and format with FAT32

    Done!!!! you have fixed the issue with your usb flash drive

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      February 18, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      Creative, and I can see how that would work. I’d imagine that might work with any version of Windows install disk.

      Reply

  123. LP
    February 15, 2016 at 3:35 am

    I USED ALL THE METHODS NOTHING HAPPEN IN MY USB FLASH DRIVE. AND STILL IT HAS A FILE .TMP I DONT KNOW WHAT IS THAT.

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      February 23, 2016 at 11:17 pm

      .tmp is a temporary file. It might get created whenever you plug in your USB flash drive. Temporary, or temp, files are little system files where things like variables and other settings get written to.

      Once whatever application needs that info is done with it, it sometimes gets erased. Depends on what’s using it.

      You don’t see them much because they are often hidden from view as either hidden or system files. Maybe you have View Hidden Files turned on in your Windows Explorer.

      It’s nothing to worry about.

      Reply

  124. vivek
    February 13, 2016 at 10:39 am

    the diskpart cmd worked great! awesome write up mate 🙂

    Reply

  125. Maurice
    February 11, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Guy McDowell musbfixer worked fine for me thanks

    Reply

  126. savio nsereko gibson
    February 11, 2016 at 8:42 am

    ALL THIS STEPS DID NOT WORK FOR ME BECAUSE WHEN I INSERTED MY USB IT SAID YOU NEED TO FORMAT THE DRIVE THEN TRIED TO FORMAT BT STIL CNT DO THAT BECAUSE IT SAYS ITS WRITE PROTECTED.CAN U HELP ME WITH FULL STEPS OF CMD.

    Reply

  127. Kristopher
    February 10, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    This didn’t work for me. I scanned my USB drive for viruses and it found none, and it won’t let me format it or check it for errors. Whenever I try to do either, it just gives me an error saying that it’s write-protected. What can I do?

    Reply

  128. PL
    February 10, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Thanks, “Step 5 – Diskpart Command Line Utility” worked for me. Fixed my microSD write protect.

    Reply

  129. Guy McDowell is an Idiot
    February 5, 2016 at 4:10 am

    Your files are garbage. I ran through all of your steps, clicked through your links and no solution. This is a brand new thumb drive that I just wasted hours transferring data onto, ejected it, inserted into a new computer to have Windows tell me it is write protected when I never chose to do so.

    Clearly you know as little as Windows as to why this is happening so thanks for nothing.

    Reply

  130. hello
    January 26, 2016 at 1:43 am

    Could be that you’re trying to copy a file larger than 4GB to a FAT32 formatted drive. That’s what the problem I was having was, and you’ll need to format it to something other than FAT32 to fix it.

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      January 27, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      Good call. Thank you!

      Reply

  131. Romeo R
    January 24, 2016 at 7:58 am

    If you have already tried all these methods and did not work, please contact me via e-mail and I will get instruction for format your stick (rada_romeo at yahoo dot com)

    Reply

    • yudi
      January 29, 2016 at 9:57 am

      i tried with attributes clear from cmd, use registry, and low level fix, still not working, my usb still write protected

      Reply

      • Guy McDowell
        February 3, 2016 at 12:39 pm

        If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

        HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.

        mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

        Check these articles for additional help:

        How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
        How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
        Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

        Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

        Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
        Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
        Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
        PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
        Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

        If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

        Reply

  132. arshad
    January 17, 2016 at 5:35 am

    try partition guro pro

    Reply

  133. Rizky Yoga O
    January 16, 2016 at 11:04 am

    I have write protected usb and cant be solve till now. another website tell me the chip set was broken. and I just go to the store to buy new USB.

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      January 18, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      This article helped you out? I hope so.

      Sometimes the drive can be damaged inside beyond repair. It does happen.

      Reply

  134. joe blo-me
    January 10, 2016 at 1:59 am

    didn’t work. waste of time / 10

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      February 3, 2016 at 12:39 pm

      If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

      HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.

      mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

      Check these articles for additional help:

      How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
      How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
      Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

      Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

      Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
      PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

      If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

      Reply

      • Ales
        February 4, 2016 at 7:59 am

        Guy McDowell – thank you mate ! After I tried everything the last resort – HDD Low level format worked for me ! Thanks a ton ! 🙂

        Reply

        • Guy McDowell
          February 5, 2016 at 3:11 pm

          Hi Ales,

          I’m glad I could help. Cheers!

  135. Rajat
    January 8, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Okay, tried almost every damn thing that is listed here. But, no luck. I bought my Dell Pendrive just a few days ago, and it didn’t work at the first go. I formatted it and it showed, “your disk is now writeprotected”. Please help me, man. I need this drive urgently. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      January 8, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      If the drive is just a few days old, I suggest looking at returning it for a replacement. That may be your quickest solution.

      If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

      HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.
      mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

      Check these articles for additional help:

      How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
      How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
      Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

      Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

      Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
      PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

      If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

      Reply

  136. Onkar RK
    December 25, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    I brought this new Samsung SD card, and it got corrupted all by it own within the first two weeks. I recovered the data, somehow, but I’m unable to format it using all the above methods. What do I do?

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      December 28, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      I recommend returning it to where you bought it. They may refund your money or exchange it for a new one.

      Reply

  137. CK
    December 16, 2015 at 11:06 am

    I did everything you said, and when nothing worked I followed your formatting instructions and it would not format….gave message disk is write protected. This is a drive that I have written/rewritten on for several years and suddenly I can’t write anything. I have an MIS background and followed the instructions exactly.

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      December 16, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      Even flash drives have a lifespan. You say you’ve been using it for years. Perhaps yours is at the end of its lifespan.

      This article is also not comprehensive in that there are far too many variables as to why a USB flash drive might be write protected.

      In the comments, there are further ideas on how you might fix this issue. Please review them and try those suggestions that seem appropriate to you.

      If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

      HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.
      mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

      Check these articles for additional help:

      How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
      How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
      Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

      Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

      Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
      PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

      If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

      Reply

  138. pavan
    December 8, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    i cant find writeprotect icon in regedit process

    Reply

    • KENNETH
      January 4, 2016 at 7:43 pm

      ME EITHER ITS NOT THERE

      Reply

    • Suraj
      January 13, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      If u cannot find then you have to create the folder.
      Refer to this site: http://www.wikihow.com/Disable-Write-Protection
      See under method 3.

      Reply

  139. Arbadee
    November 30, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Flash sticks have become pretty cheap in the last few years and I agree with Guy. “Don’t spend a lot of time trying to fix one – just buy a newer “bigger and better” one if the simple solutions don’t work.” Usually if the simple ones don’t work it probably means the device is toast anyway and you are just trying to chase your own shadow.

    These devices don’t make good backups so don’t rely on them and assume the data you copy to them is %100 save – it’s not. If it’s important data keep an extra copy on a separate flash stick. I have seen too many of these devices fail and it always seems to be at the most inappropriate time.

    Reply

  140. Haster
    November 30, 2015 at 2:30 am

    I purchased a 32 GB USB drive and suspected that it was a fake because of the cheap price. So I used a very common testing program from Germany (forgot the name). Don’t use the testing program. The testing program corrupted the drive and it became unformattable. Prior to that, it was possible to format the drive. The testing program tries to write into locations outside of its address range, and I suspect it wrote into the programmable logic.

    The USB drive indeed had a problem with FAT32 folders and broke its own file system when writing on multiple folders, needing reformatting. However, it could actually store 32 GB, if there were no folders and subfolders. I suspected a problem so ran the testing program, which corrupted the drive and now I cant format it.

    Reply

  141. Masamune
    November 30, 2015 at 1:55 am

    None of the methods worked for me. Although I suspect it’s because of the age of my flash drive (At least 7 years).

    I think i’ve read about it somewhere that a flash drive can only be written on for a finite number of times. Somewhere within the thousand range. After that, you won’t be able to put files into the drive, but you can still read the files that was inside it.

    My flash drive is pretty much like that. I could use it to play the music in it days ago but yesterday, however, I formatted my drive and it became write protected. So yeah. Just though it might be worth mentioning.

    Reply

  142. Haster
    November 29, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Everyone here is reporting that these suggestions don’t work. Problem is that the drive is not formatted. But when trying to format it, it says write protected. The bios on the drive seems to be corrupted.

    Guy McDowell should get a clue and update his solutions so that he offers a solution to this most common case.

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      November 29, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      I’ve offered some approaches for a problem that could be caused by a multitude of issues.

      These approaches have helped some people but not others. No one article could comprehensively address all possible causes.

      If what I’ve offered doesn’t solve your specific problem, feel free to move on. There are thousands of articles out there. Surely one of them will assist you better.

      Reply

      • Haster
        November 29, 2015 at 10:48 pm

        Fair reply. But I think my problem is pretty common and that is what drives people to search for a solution on Google. Most of the comments below are referring to the same problem – unable to format an unformatted drive. And we don’t know who the manufacturer is. Is there a way to find out?

        Is it the case that USB drives or flash cards have a piece of programmable logic or firmware that can get corrupted, hence making them unformattable?

        Given your extensive knowledge on such matters, I would think you can shed some light on this pressing problem.

        Thanks.

        Reply

        • Guy McDowell
          November 30, 2015 at 5:07 pm

          I think the specific subject is worthy of a new article.

          Adding on within this article is a bit of an editing nightmare.

          On USB flash drives there are two main parts: a controller and the flash chip.
          One or both of those could be damaged physically. Configuration and firmware could be corrupted as well.

          The process of fixing those has a pretty high likelihood of rendering the drive unrecoverable. That’s why I recommend getting a new one if the fixes in this article don’t work.

          If you want to fix it for the fun of trying, it might be worthwhile. If you’re trying to fix it to save money, you may have already spent enough time to have earned the money to buy a new one.

  143. Haster
    November 29, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    The problem is that there seems to be some kind of bios on the flash drive. If this bios is corrupted, then nothing by Windows works.

    Where I can find a piece of software to reset the bios on the flash drive?

    Reply

  144. Haster
    November 29, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    This set of suggestions is useless for the problem that brings us here. Google should not put this on top of search.

    Problem: When trying to format, it says write protected.

    None of the suggestions works if the damn thing is not formatted.

    Reply

  145. www
    November 13, 2015 at 10:06 am

    hazvishande zvima steps zvacho…..not working all them

    Reply

  146. S.Luke
    November 12, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Unfortunately none of those suggestions worked. When I tried to format the USB I still got the error message that it was a protected disk. I did the Diskpart and the read-only state said yes but the read-only said no. This is a 2 gb usb and I would like to be able to use it. I did have files on there but now can’t seem to see them. I’m willing to lose them if I could get it to format.

    Reply

  147. Anonymous
    November 11, 2015 at 4:53 am

    The reason I want to write protect is to be able to insert my pen drive into public computers without the pen drive being infected with viruses. I give lectures at university and most computers are infected. I have managed to write protect using the attributes set readonly command but it will only protect my pen drive on the computer I have enabled write protect. Is there a way to write protect it for all computers.?

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      November 14, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      In Windows Explorer, select your USB drive.
      Right-click on that drive and select Properties.
      In the new window, click on the Security tab.
      Select the user Everyone and click on the Edit button.
      At the bottom of the resulting window check the boxes in the Deny column next to Full Control, Modify, and Write.
      Click on the OK button.

      Now that drive cannot be written to from anyone, including yourself. To undo that, just follow the same steps but uncheck the Full Control, Modify, and Write boxes.

      Reply

  148. Anonymous
    October 31, 2015 at 12:09 am

    With me the readonly would only come a certain amount of time after connecting the usb… maybe 30 seconds, so I had that much time to start formatting, but after this time, none of the 7 steps helped.

    Reply

  149. Anonymous
    October 29, 2015 at 5:30 am

    I’ve finished trying your Steps 1 to 7 but none of them worked. I’m still encountering same problem. Every time I try to format my USB drive, I still receive a message “The disk is write protedted.” Please helped me. I am also a technical person but may be not as good as you. In fact I have done all your steps except for Stept 6 (editing the registry) before I come to encouter your web site. What else can I do to remove that protection?

    Reply

    • Anonymous
      October 29, 2015 at 5:35 am

      By the way when I tried to edit my registry, I don’t have the folder …..\StorageDevicePolicies all I have is …..\Storage

      Reply

      • irene
        November 20, 2015 at 1:21 pm

        same problem here. How did you fix it at last?

        Reply

        • Guy McDowell
          November 20, 2015 at 8:43 pm

          You can create that folder. But I get the feeling you’re not an expert with the registry, so maybe you should try something else.

          Working in the registry is tricky business. It can make your Windows inoperable and force you to reinstall it.

  150. Anonymous
    October 28, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Got to step 7 but I can’t format my USB, it still says that it’s write protected.

    Reply

  151. Anonymous
    October 28, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    hi
    i used all above steps. but this error: “write protected” is shown, yet. even i cant format usb disk. what am i doing? help me please.

    Reply

  152. Anonymous
    October 23, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Step 6 worked very well with me .. Thanks alot.

    Reply

  153. Anonymous
    October 22, 2015 at 4:53 am

    The Registry editor trick helped me a lot 🙂 Thanks for the help …. Appreciated …

    Reply

  154. Anonymous
    October 12, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    write protect switch helped me, thanks a lot 🙂

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      October 14, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      My pleasure. Thank you for reading.

      Reply

  155. Anonymous
    October 9, 2015 at 10:24 am

    The Registry helped me. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      October 9, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      Glad it worked out for you. You’re welcome!

      Reply

  156. Anonymous
    September 25, 2015 at 1:01 am

    When i used my The Registry Editor there was no write protect or storage device policies the closet thing i have is Usbflags. what do i do? it won’t even format instead it say can not format write protected.

    Reply

  157. Anonymous
    August 24, 2015 at 9:41 am

    i have what you said but nothings happen…my USB is SANDISK.

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      August 24, 2015 at 11:22 pm

      If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

      HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.
      mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

      Check these articles for additional help:

      How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
      How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
      Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

      Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

      Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
      PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

      If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

      Reply

      • Anonymous
        October 21, 2015 at 1:11 pm

        Sir,
        None of these steps help me. My flash drive is still not working. i cannot format it because it says, it is write protected though it doesnt have any manual lock or switch. i found this two annoying and i think a kind of virus or autorun within my flash drive: J:\4#S.ini and J:\trz27DA.tmp. my flash drive is on drive J. Even Avast and USB fix failed to clean these two. and until now my flashdrive is write protected.

        Please help me.

        Reply

      • Haster
        November 29, 2015 at 9:34 pm

        And what if you don’t know who the maker of your drive is? My seller is on eBay and he doesn’t even know who the maker is.

        Reply

  158. Anonymous
    August 20, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    i had done all ur methods but still am getting “your disk is write protected ” while i was formating so plz help me and respond asap

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      August 24, 2015 at 11:23 pm

      If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

      HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.
      mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

      Check these articles for additional help:

      How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
      How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
      Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

      Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

      Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
      PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

      If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

      Reply

  159. Anonymous
    July 31, 2015 at 2:04 am

    Hi.
    I’ve tried all of your options but my USB is still write protected. It won’t even let me format it as it just comes up and says the disk is write protected.
    I have just found out that my laptop is now write protecting every single USB drive I put into my ports.
    Do you have any advice on how to sort out this issue?
    Thanks.

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      August 24, 2015 at 11:23 pm

      If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

      HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.
      mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

      Check these articles for additional help:

      How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
      How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
      Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

      Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

      Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
      PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

      If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

      Reply

  160. Anonymous
    July 24, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Hey McDowell:-
    I have 8gb sony usb flash drive I try all the soft wares and cmd,reg edit and I also scan with antivirus but it does not worked. and also check the maker of USB thumb support page but doesn’t format…………. so please help me……

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      July 24, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      Hi Umer,

      It’s probably time to say goodbye to it.

      My rule of thumb for when to give up on something like this is time to fix multiplied what I make an hour. When that becomes more than it would cost to buy a new one, it’s time to get a new one.

      If the flash drive costs $20, and I make $10 an hour, I’m not going to work on it for more than two hours.I might work on it longer if there are critical files on it, but not much longer.

      Just a different way to look at it. Hope that helps somehow.

      Reply

      • Anonymous
        August 13, 2015 at 12:51 am

        ITs easyest to say buy new ..but in one week 2 my usb kingstont usb sticks just locked 2 write for no f obwius reason and they are all just 2 months old and were not cheap at all..i tryed every single thing there is on the internet but no go..still write protect .. cant format with anuthing on any computer even with kingston format tool..disk part also nothing ..its shame that they sell this crap

        Reply

        • Guy McDowell
          August 13, 2015 at 5:05 pm

          Have you tried calling or writing to Kingston? If the flash drives are that new, they are probably still under warranty.

          Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page

          Another thing to look at is if your USB ports are providing too high or too low voltage and amperage. Is it possible the USB ports are damaged and that is causing damage to the flash drives? To get you started, review my article, Dead USB Port? Here’s How to Diagnose and Fix It!

          Also check for viruses, malware, etc. on your computer that may be affecting the USB drives.

          See, you probably haven’t tried EVERYTHING on the Internet. 😉 That’s a big old Internet out there.

  161. Anonymous
    July 15, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    When trying to format my USB it says “the disk is write protected”.. I have tried everything including the Registry method and its still not working. I’ve tried installing software but its still not working? What should I do?

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      July 16, 2015 at 12:10 pm

      If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some

      other resources to try:

      HDD Low Level Format

      helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select

      the right drive.
      mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-

      protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

      Check these articles for additional help:

      How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
      How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
      Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

      Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have

      any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here

      are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

      Sandisk USB

      Flash Drive Support Page
      Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Transcend USB Flash Drive

      Support Page
      PNY

      USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Patriot Memory USB

      Flash Drive Support Page

      If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching

      for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

      Reply

  162. Anonymous
    June 22, 2015 at 12:48 am

    http://musbfixer.in/

    this fixed my “this drive is write protected”.

    thanks commenter above for the clue!

    Reply

  163. Anonymous
    June 20, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    This is a great article! However, there’s no way my USB stick is getting formatted. It still comes up with “Write Protect”.

    The DISKPART stuff all works! Well, it says it does. When I go into regedit: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control

    I have no \StorageDevicePolicies. So even though I’ve created that key and the Dword (WriteProtect) within it, still no luck!

    I started to do a full format and it got to 3% but had to leave my computer. When I came back it said it was write protected (after a few hours of leaving the computer).

    Is my USB stick screwed?

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      June 22, 2015 at 2:16 pm

      Hard to say without being able to test it myself.

      If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

      HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.
      mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

      How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
      How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
      Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

      Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

      Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
      PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

      If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

      Reply

  164. Anonymous
    June 20, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Omg it worked for me
    Made my dead pendrive in life again after two years!!!!
    Thanks a lot

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      June 22, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      I’m glad we could help, Akash. Thanks for reading!

      Reply

  165. Anonymous
    June 17, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    I did all the methods and got to the formatting. once i tried it it said that it was write protected. I need help because this has all of my work for everything on it

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      June 22, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

      HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.
      mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

      How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
      How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
      Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

      Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

      Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
      PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

      If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

      Reply

  166. Anonymous
    June 9, 2015 at 2:28 am

    I try lots of method with many times but still my usb drive is write protection, please please help me by right method

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      June 17, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

      HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.
      mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

      How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
      How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
      Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

      Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

      Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
      PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

      If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

      Reply

  167. Anonymous
    June 7, 2015 at 2:02 am

    my pendrive is full..it has no left space…plz tell me what to do…it says me to format it..but againg a message come that “This Drive Is Write Protected” plz plz plz help

    Reply

  168. seyed_jafar2010
    May 26, 2015 at 8:38 am

    all of that ways not working . i tested all of way but not work when i do format not possible show message warning(you can not format. this is protect ). i dont know what i must to do. 

    Reply

  169. ryan
    May 15, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    i have a duracell 16gb usb stick and i followed all these steps but nothing works!! Help!!

    Reply

    • Guy
      May 16, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

      HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.
      mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

      How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
      How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
      Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

      Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

      Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
      PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

      If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

      Reply

  170. Crystal
    May 13, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    What if I don’t have a ControlStorageDevicePolicies folder in my registry editor? I just have Storage, and after that, SystemInformation.

    Reply

  171. sam
    May 12, 2015 at 1:47 am

    i’ve tried all of your steps in this article. but instead of a flashdrive i’m using a microSD card. it won’t let me re-format it and it says it is full but there is 0 bytes on it. im not sure whats wrong or if i should just discard it.. thanks for the help

    Reply

  172. Sudip
    May 11, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Not working. Tried every method but none of them gave the result. Is there any other way?

    Reply

  173. Danielle
    May 8, 2015 at 4:51 am

    Non of the above options work. When in the end I try to format the sub drive I get the message that the drive is write protected. It wasn’t write protected before and I used it normally for years.

    Reply

  174. Ofek
    May 7, 2015 at 11:13 am

    WOW! So helpful!
    thanks!

    Reply

  175. Manjula
    May 6, 2015 at 5:27 am

    Article is very helpful, Thank you.

    Reply

    • Guy
      May 6, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      You very welcome. I’m glad it helped you.

      Reply

  176. gcs
    May 5, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    Great article!!! Thank you. It was simply the on-off switch, which I never even knew existed!!!
    After much confusion, consultation with others, and a lot of needless work on re-installing drivers, etc., I found your article on Google. Thank You!!!! Excellent stuff!

    Reply

  177. Geonut
    May 4, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    my USB drive is full. I am trying to copy to a larger USB but I am getting the write protected error and it will not copy the files. The article mentions this can happen but nothing suggested works. Any advice? Please keep in mind I am a novice when it comes to computers.

    Reply

  178. Mickmac
    April 29, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Tried all the above steps but unfortunately none of them worked. I think it is time to drop this USB stick in the bin and buy a new one. A shame as it worked well until I used a file rescue programme to rescue and download files from a Mac Pro, then it all went pear shaped.

    Reply

  179. Sef
    April 18, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    im doomed no one else works on my sandisk 64GB 🙁

    Reply

  180. Dubron
    April 16, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Well regedit thing worked but I had to create the registry key. Thank you!

    Reply

    • Guy
      April 16, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      Hi Dubron,

      I’m glad that worked for you.

      Reply

  181. BJ
    April 12, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Sorry but none of these worked. Especially the last one. I can’t format a drive if it’s write protected. Any other ideas to force it?

    Reply

    • Guy
      April 16, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

      HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.
      mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

      How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
      How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
      Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

      Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

      Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
      PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

      If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

      Reply

  182. DiskeeProblemo
    April 7, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    @JorenD The Apacer tool worked for me when all else failed. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Guy
      April 8, 2015 at 12:23 am

      Really glad to hear that! I hope Apacer knows how many people they’re helping. Definitely makes me more likely to buy their flash drives.

      Reply

  183. Nnamdi
    April 6, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Hi. my name is Nnamdi. Some days ago, i tried accessing the contents of my flashdrive, but i kept getting the “this disk is write-protected” reply. But i was able to remove the protection through the help of search results from google

    Now i have a memory card containing videos that i wouldnt want to be sent to anyone throiugh bluetooth or computer explorer. Is there a way i can write-protect this memory card too???

    Reply

    • Guy
      April 8, 2015 at 12:27 am

      Write-protecting the card won’t prevent anyone from seeing the files that are on it.

      Look for ways to password protect and maybe even encrypt the card. There are several different ways to do this.

      Reply

  184. simha
    April 5, 2015 at 11:58 am

    HELLO Buddy……
    i followed all the steps but ……….. still my pen drive still have write protected ……. as its there i couldn’t able to format it too…… what to do next pls guide me…….

    i’m using sandisk pen-drive , usb 3.0

    Reply

  185. JorenD
    March 29, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Maybe an other solution, I tried everything but my usb wa still write protected.
    I downloaded an apacer tool but the format failed but the restore did it.

    here is the link : http://us.apacer.com/support/download/result/3,8,0 ,

    hope it helped you.

    Reply

    • simha
      April 5, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      thanks buddy………..
      i don’t which process helped me to remove write protected………..
      i’m thankful to every one

      Reply

  186. cody
    March 24, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    nothing of what you explained worked for my device!

    Reply

  187. Silentwalker
    March 24, 2015 at 11:03 am

    I tried all this and none of this worked.

    Reply

  188. edenboy
    March 19, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    i have tried every thing nothing is happening card is still write protected

    Reply

  189. jjjj
    March 19, 2015 at 9:22 am

    i have tried till 7..yet still say write protected…i cant format my device help????

    Reply

  190. Ajay
    March 19, 2015 at 8:44 am

    trying the tutorial and not proper working.. I have read but storeg polices are changes the values 1 to 0 please ans me…

    Reply

  191. darwan
    March 13, 2015 at 7:39 am

    (terima kasih atas infonya,benar benar dapat membantu saya)… Thanks,its very help me…

    Reply

    • Guy
      March 25, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      Hi Darwan,

      Thank you! I’m glad the article helped you.

      Reply

  192. Patriot Memory User
    March 8, 2015 at 2:18 am

    I have an USB Storage from manufacturer Patriot Memory where Windows everytime said that it is write protected.
    After browsing the internet for help I don’t have found any functional solution to disable the write protection.
    On the manufacturer website I’ve found a tool to format/restore that fortunately works fine.
    I’ve choosed the option restore an the tool has deleted all contents an formated it.
    Now my usb-sticks works fine.
    My next stick will be again a Patriot Memory 🙂

    Try to find a similar solution for your stick 🙂

    Reply

  193. priyanka
    March 6, 2015 at 5:36 am

    under contol i didnt find the storagedevice policies option…????what to do

    Reply

  194. Joey
    March 5, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    My disk is empty. Regedit does not go any further than HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControl and the registry does not contain StorageDevicePolicies. I’m running windows 8.1.

    Reply

    • Guy
      March 25, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      If you’re still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

      HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.
      mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

      How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
      How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
      Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

      Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

      Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
      PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
      Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

      If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

      Reply

  195. Marjetka
    February 26, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Thank you, the cmd method worked for me too!

    Reply

  196. Guy
    February 25, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Maybe try some of the suggestions posted in the comments here? Lots of people were willing to share what ultimately worked for them. Might work for you!

    Reply

  197. lykouse
    February 24, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Can’t say the article was helpful as I keep getting a message drive needs to be formatted before use but won’t format cause it is write protected. And none of the listed steps helped.

    Reply

  198. Easton
    February 24, 2015 at 6:32 am

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! The CMD method worked for me!

    Reply

  199. Andy
    February 23, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Tried all of these methods with no success and continue to get ‘ The disk is write protected ‘ message popping up. With the registry edit method there was no storage device policies at all , only Storage with no open-up arrow on the left of it.

    Reply

  200. Brad
    February 23, 2015 at 3:18 am

    I was having the same write issue with my flash drive.. my file system was also set to RAW.. I tried using diskpart with no luck. I downloaded the program ‘HDD Low Level Format tool ver.4.40’setup which can be found here:

    http://hddguru.com/software/HDD-LLF-Low-Level-Format-Tool/

    Run the program, select continue at the first box (unless you want to donate money) and then select the flash drive on the next screen and select continue. Next, select the tab named LOW-LEVEL FORMAT and click the FORMAT THIS DISK button on the bottom.

    After it finished running, my disk was converted back to FAT32 and had no read-only attribute. I was then able to convert it to NTFS with no issues. Hope this helps!

    Reply

  201. Dinesh
    February 21, 2015 at 11:51 am

    my pen drive give error “write protected”…i used all the method ..but still give me error

    Reply

    • Guy
      February 21, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Sorry to read that Dinesh. Have you tried the other methods mentioned throughout the comments?

      Reply

  202. Guy
    February 21, 2015 at 12:37 am

    Hi Justine,

    We don’t have a way to upload files to us, or to share them either. It’s a legally sticky area.
    But thank you for thinking of us! If you find the link, I’d like it if you could share it here. Our other readers probably would like that too. 🙂

    Reply

  203. Justine
    February 20, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Hello , i had the same problem guys but i got mine fixed already. I downloaded this file from a website and the name is restore (i forgot where did i downloaded it) but i got the file , i wish i could share this to you but how can i upload this file ? sorry for my bad english , i’m from phillipines . Wish i can help you guys.

    Reply

  204. larry
    February 20, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Well, that skimmed the surface, however for drives that are really fubar it didn’t make a scratch. Also there were no comments on initializing the drive either, which did help me get the sad little stick to “look” like it was WR, however it isn’t . There’s a 12MB partition on it that just won’t go away. I’ve dealt with encrypted disks, been all over diskpart and other utilities and it just won’t reformat, re-initialize, etc to a usable form. Maybe something did go bad on the stick, however as we’re having problems sometimes with the encrypted OS going RO, I’m thinking it’s related. Oh well, back to searching.

    Reply

  205. Guy
    February 12, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    It’s possible. Have you checked Kingston Data’s website for their USB repair tool?

    Reply

  206. Leif Courtenay
    February 12, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Hi, I’ve been happily using my Kingston dataTraveler USB for months when all of a sudden I couldn’t write to it any more. A week or so back I reformatted it as NTFS as I needed to backup some big files (6-7GB) and it seemed to work fine until yesterday. I tried your steps 1-6 (1-5 made no difference) but when I got into the registry settings there is no StorageDevicePolicies listed at all….is that where the problem lies? I’d be grateful for your advice!

    Reply

  207. Kennard
    February 10, 2015 at 3:38 am

    did all the steps suggested, unfortunately problem still persist.

    Went to download mUSBfixer, works like a cham! Hoolaaa~~

    Reply

    • Guy
      February 10, 2015 at 9:34 pm

      Hi Kennard,

      I glad that worked for you. I’m posting this link to mUSBfixer .

      If I recall my research correctly, that was one of the utilities I tried, but it didn’t work for me – so I couldn’t really recommend it.

      Reply

  208. Becky Trotter
    February 9, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    It is new, but tossed the darned receipt away (STUPID). I have checked Scan Disk’s site, and sent them an email. They replied a day later (OMG!! so quick). It seems from the email that they too believe the “…USB drive has gone bad and needs to get replaced.” They are willing to replace it at their expense, including shipping. Holy Moly a company that stands by their product and will replace if faulty!!!!!

    So far, my faith in the company AND product has been restored (angelic music in the background).

    Reply

    • Guy
      February 10, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      That’s excellent Becky! Very glad to hear that about SanDisk.
      It’s just plain good business to do such a thing. I wish more folks were like that.

      Reply

  209. BeckyT
    February 7, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Have tried ALL you solutions to remove the write-protection (not just file write protection): diskpart in command prompt, regedit (had to create the StorageDevicePolices folder), format quick/format non-quick. NOTHING works.

    The flash drive is a ScanDisk Ultra 32 G and BRAND-flippin-NEW. It’s not full, no switch, and JUST started acting up when I was copying files from my hard drive to it.

    I want to delete the data on it, but shy of complete incineration (and the disgust of $60 wasted), I can’t get the puppy to un-write-protect.

    HELP, PLEASE!!!!!

    Reply

    • Guy
      February 8, 2015 at 3:47 pm

      Hi Becky,

      If it’s new, maybe return it for a refund or replacement. Maybe it’s a manufacturer’s defect.

      Have you checked SanDisk’s website for any utilities that might help? Or support information?

      Reply

  210. Hussain
    February 5, 2015 at 10:43 am

    I tried all the way but it not working.
    kindly help

    Reply

  211. Zdenko Dubreta
    February 4, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Nice article but nothing worked to many users!

    Even when you tried to format your USB Key it didn’t allow you saying “the disk is write protected”!
    I have had the same problem and I RESOLVED IT ! The problem is very dilated, you know for it, but may be also manufakturers of yours USB key knows for it? I have 4GB USB Key Transcend and I found a Tool “Restore/Format” write protected USB Key on their site. With it I succefully formated my Key. i suggest you to look in the site of your manufacturer for the tool or ask them for help.

    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.
    Very glad if I help you, yours Zdenko (73 years old)

    Reply

    • Guy
      February 4, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      Thank you Zdenko,

      It’s always a good idea to check the manufacturers website to see if they have any tools that might help.

      That might not be mentioned in this article or it’s comments, but it is mentioned in a similar article on our site How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive .

      Again, thank you for mentioning checking with the manufacturer.

      Reply

  212. Carlos
    February 3, 2015 at 1:12 am

    I’ve tried EVERYTHING and nothing worked with my micro SD card… It was used in an Android phone and don’t know what happened to it nor how to fix it

    Reply

  213. deepti
    February 1, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    in regedit after thisHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlStorageDevicePolicies
    i dont have the option – storagedevicepolicies
    what to do now ??????????

    Reply

    • Guy
      February 2, 2015 at 12:09 am

      Hi Deepti,

      You can create the key, and assign the value as recommended in the article. Make sure you back up your registry before you try this, though.

      Reply

  214. Buhril
    January 30, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    I had my 4gb micro sd card that i used with my mobile, I removed the card for saving/moving/moving some file to my Laptop it work well, but when i re-inserted the card my mobile asked me to format for continuing using I denied and removed and insert again in my Laptop, here too the same pop-up, i.e., format the card,,, Here i do format i tried every possibility but the result is only Windows couldn’t complete format. then i go my mobile there’s no good result!!! Please help me out.

    Reply

    • Guy
      January 30, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      Hi Burhil,

      Check to see if the maker of your micro SD card has some sort of utility to test it with.

      Sometimes if we don’t eject the USB device or SD card prior to physically pulling it out, this sort of thing can happen. Is it possible that’s what might have happened?

      Occasionally, putting the card back in the laptop, then following the proper eject card procedure, the card might be made useful again.

      Reply

  215. abdul rahman
    January 25, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    I have installed windows 8.1 from usb but after installation i am not able to format usb.
    I have tried all above suggestions e.g create registry key try HP formatting tool but my usb not formatted… what next???

    please suggest…

    Reply

    • Guy
      January 30, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      Have you ever worked with a Live Boot CD before?

      Justin Pot has an excellent article called Parted Magic: A Complete Hard Drive Toolbox On One Live CD that will show you how to use this.

      Welcomed newcomer, Gavin Phillips has a great article on the 5 Best Rescue Disks For A Windows System Restore . It highlights some other Live CD utilities that might help you check the health of the USB thumb drive from outside of Windows.

      Each of these Live CDs or Rescue Disks have utilities for formatting that may work better than what you can run in Windows. It’s worth a shot. Especially if it’s an expensive USB drive.

      Reply

  216. Terrance Sweeney
    January 25, 2015 at 12:19 am

    None of the processes worked. My operating system is Vista and no matter what I did I could not remove the “read only” or “write protected”. I followed the suggestions, the Cmd window would open but no matter what I typed it always displayed the descriptions of the action words. When I tried to remove the “read only” on a file it again displayed the file is “read only”. I got the same results when I tried to Format. I have no idea how to solve this which is very frustrating as I have the same problem with 4 other flash drives.

    Reply

    • Guy
      January 30, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      Hi Terrance,

      I can empathize. Check my response to Abdul below for advice on using Live CDs or Rescue Disks with your computer and using the utilities in them to try to fix your flash drives.

      Reply

  217. Peter
    January 23, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Hi, I tried all of the above options but am still getting a write protected message.

    Reply

  218. notasstupid
    January 19, 2015 at 8:43 am

    LOL… Idiots that say to FORMAT the drive with HP utility shit are just morons. How can you format a drive that is STILL write protected? MORON!

    Reply

    • Guy
      January 19, 2015 at 5:53 pm

      And yet, somehow it happens! 🙂

      Reply

  219. Lucia
    January 14, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Hi there- my registry doesn’t seem to have Storage device policies. I do have Storage and Storage Management but neither seem to contain the components needed. I’ve tried all previous steps.

    Reply

    • Guy
      January 19, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      Hi Lucia,

      If the KEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlStorageDevicePolicies does not have the WriteProtect key in it, you can create that key.

      Make sure you backup a copy of registry first, and be sure to set the WriteProtect key value to 0 (zero), which means “No, don’t write protect my USB storage device.”

      Properly eject your USB flash drive, plug it back in, and check if it is still write-protected. Hopefully, it won’t be.

      Reply

  220. sharon
    January 12, 2015 at 11:57 am

    good advice but none of it worked for me
    1 it wont format
    2 when go into regedit I get storage but not storage protect
    3 it wont format says cannot format read only
    4 when I click on its properties its totally empty

    5 I give up

    Reply

    • Guy
      January 18, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      Try creating the storage protect key in the registry and entering the appropriate values.

      Reply

  221. Bob Paw
    January 7, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    My USB is of the RAW file system, corrupted, write-protected, no [visible] switch, and it’s not registry, because my other USBs work fine! Have you any idea what could be wrong?

    Reply

    • Guy
      January 8, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      You did say corrupted right? Have you tried fixing whatever the corruption is first? Until that’s done, these steps will probably be of no use.

      Reply

  222. Nitin
    January 5, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    I find nothing except Write protected…. Its Sandsik Crusier Blade 8 Gb…i also used HP repair tool, had done diskpart, regedit.exe, etc. etc. but all are just unuseful for me ….

    Your All Steps Failed Mr.Guy Mc Dowell.

    Reply

    • Guy
      January 8, 2015 at 12:29 pm

      Hi Nitin,

      I’m sorry to hear that you weren’t able to remove write protection.

      However, before you judge this article so negatively, you may want to consider what lead to having the write protection error in the first place. I can assure you, it had nothing to do with me.

      Issues like this are almost always the result of what the user of the drive does. Do you just pull the drive out when you remove it, or do you follow the proper ejection procedure? Even if you don’t do it properly just once, it can cause this issue.

      Did you put the write protection on in the first place? If so, then it’s there because you put it there, not because the plethora of advice you got for free didn’t happen to be the solution for your situation.

      And there is one step you haven’t tried. Give up on that drive and get a new one.
      Sometimes things are just plain broken and you have to move on.

      Reply

  223. peter
    January 4, 2015 at 7:59 am

    tried all methods nothing worked

    Reply

  224. Dr. Saleem
    January 3, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    Hi there! Im using 4gb micro sd card in my android phone. It reads perfectly. however, it fails to write anything at all. I tried to format it but it failed. I followed the given procedure here in totality and i was at last successful at formatting it. However, I was astonished to see the same data on the card a moment later. I scanned my card under HDtune and it was perfect. I then deleted the partition and formatted it again but the data just keeps appearing back again. Even I tried low level formatting, yet it failed and data appeared again. Not only done the procedure using the phone’s connectivity but also various card readers. Can any technocrat please help me to solve this issue? I will be very thankful.

    Reply

  225. Azam Khan
    December 30, 2014 at 6:06 am

    i was having problem of write protected and i make it too dificult to “clean” the USB by clean command in “diskpart” . Now it is no showing in My Computer it is showig only in “ComputerManageDisk Management ” and in Windows XP installation setup. But XP is not able to delete the partition. Now what should i do, help me please….

    Reply

    • Guy
      December 30, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      Hi Azam,

      If it is showing in Disk Management, check the drive letter. It may have decided to use a drive letter in use by another device. You can change it to just about any letter.

      I’m not sure what you mean by ‘not able to delete the partition’. Did you create a partition on your USB flash drive?

      In Disk Management, does it say that the file system on the USB flash drive is RAW, NTFS, FAT32, EXT3, etc?

      If it is anything BUT FAT32, try changing the file format to one of those. Depeding on the size of your flash drive, you may need to adjust the cluster size. Here’s a little bit about FAT32 cluster sizes, courtesy of mcmcse.com :

      The FAT32 file system can support drives up to 2 terabytes in size (in theory) and because it uses space more efficiently, FAT32 uses smaller clusters (that is, 4,096 byte clusters for drives up to 8 GB in size), resulting in more efficient use of disk space relative to large FAT16 drives.

      FAT32 file system cluster sizes

      Partition Size Cluster Size
      0M to less than 260MB 512 bytes
      260MB through 8GB 4,096 bytes
      8GB through 16GB 8,192 bytes
      16GB through 32GB 16,384 bytes
      32GB through 2TB 32,768 bytes

      Reply

  226. cosmin
    December 29, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    So this is the same like memory cards, i have a memory card about 16GB i try everything is possible from here or internet, i can find a solution to reactivate(format) my memory card.
    Everything i try sad: the disk is write protected…..
    Any ideea???

    Reply

    • Guy
      December 29, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      They are similar, but quite different as well. First step is to check and see if the manufacturer has any sort of tool to help you.

      Reply

  227. valdir
    December 28, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Only problem is it does not WORK!
    Tryed everithing it simply doesn’t work
    I’d like to know if anyone here was able to format the device?

    Reply

    • Guy
      December 29, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      Valdir,

      Did you try the suggestions in the other article as well?
      How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive

      Reply

  228. Guy
    December 22, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    You may want to check out another article on the topic here: How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive

    Reply

  229. santhosh k
    December 22, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    I am using Sandisc Cruiser 30 GB .
    I tried all the above and other steps from other portals.
    No luck 🙁

    somebody please help.

    Reply

  230. Howard Olen
    December 22, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Thanks for this article. I’ve tried everything and am fairly tech literate. I went into the regedit but the key “storage device policies” doesnt exist. Now what. Nothing I do will allow me to erase or format this this disk (128GB mSD with SD Adapter lock switch off)

    Reply

    • Guy
      December 22, 2014 at 7:09 pm

      Sorry, this article addresses only USB Flash Drives not microSD cards.

      This link may help: How can I format a MicroSD card which is no longer detected after a failed format?

      Reply

  231. itt
    December 17, 2014 at 10:53 am

    buzzbomb SOLVED it is THAT SIMPLE!!!
    THANK YOU buzzbomb!!!
    buzzbomb!!!
    go to c/windows/inf search for usbstor.pnf in search panel right click it
    select properties>security>users(your name pc) edit permissions give your name
    write permissions

    Reply

  232. Ange
    December 17, 2014 at 2:06 am

    I agree with the last few comments – the “regedit” did nothing for my flash drive and after doing it several thousand times, it has failed me altogether and has now forced me to format the drive… Great.

    Reply

  233. Weed
    December 15, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    None of the above worked.

    Reply

  234. Andy
    December 14, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Tried all the aove to fix a write protected flash drive all to no avail! 🙁

    Reply

  235. pawan
    December 12, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    After regedit in storage device policy there no write protect file but i created one even after that i am not able to formet that removable drive…help please?

    Reply

  236. pawan
    December 12, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    I have tried that regedit option but still unable to formet that removable disk.how can i formet that cause everytime i try to formet it show the same massage ‘disk is write protected’ error.help?

    Reply

  237. Markus
    December 12, 2014 at 5:18 am

    Followed all directions above, used two different computers, one laptop running windows 7 home pro 64bit and one desktop running windows 8.1, my usb drive is still write protected. I tried the HP USB Disk Format Utility and EaseUS, neither worked. There is no physical switch, slide, knob, or button on the flash drive other than the one that slides it in and out of it’s decorative/protective case. I can not format the drive because I get a message saying it is write protected. I tried taking ownership of the files on it, that worked but still could do nothing with them because the drive itself is write protected. I have been fighting with this drive for months to try to regain control of it so I can actually use it. It’s a 64GB drive that currently has approximately 2GB of data on it. I was using it for movies to watch on my WD TV box (not the current model displayed on their website but this one http://www.ebay.com/itm/Western-Digital-TV-Live-Digital-HD-Media-Streamer/231413075417?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D27538%26meid%3Dd5926d7ee99b4f349c211d9286c57e0a%26pid%3D100005%26prg%3D11353%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D331408739905rt=nc )

    Reply

  238. H.Herrmann
    December 9, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Sounds all quite interesting. However my USB flash drive is still write-protected although I proceeded according to above instructions. There is no ‘StorageDevicePolicies’ in my HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControl
    My operating system is Windows 7, 32-bit. So it would be wonderful to get instructions how to get ‘StorageDevicePolicies’ in my registry. It should be between: ‘Stillmage and SystemInformation’.

    Reply

  239. Malia
    November 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I was on registry step 6 but when I foloowed the instruction there was no option called “WriteProtect”. But my USB is still write protected it gives me that erorr message.
    “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlStorageDevicePolicies
    and look for a key named WriteProtect.”

    I can’t even format it because of the write protection error.
    This means whatever I put into the USB I can never delete. I have backed up my USB though.

    Reply

  240. Some
    November 2, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    IDK if this gonna work… but it works for me.

    We need to uninstall our device’s driver, here explain all that shit:

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/246041/how_to_uninstall_drivers_in_windows.html

    After uninstall drivers, we connect our device and windows will start to install drivers again and profit!!!! … if didn’t work, well… shit happens : D

    And sorry for my english, it’s horrible but hope this help somebody.

    Reply

  241. Valdas
    October 31, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    My Data Traveler is both write-protected and in a RAW file system, nothing that was mentioned here helps :/ anyone found a solution?

    Reply

  242. frank
    October 28, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    my usb is refusingto be formated

    Reply

  243. Mattt
    October 24, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    None of steps worked for me. I even created StorageDevicePolicies key and added the flag. Again, it did not work either. I had never been this much frustrated with Windows till now.

    Reply

  244. Jon Pawson
    October 20, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    None of these steps worked. In particular, in Step Six ‘StorageDevicePolicies’ isn’t there. I tried everything else to no avail. I should probably throw the drive away, right? They’re inexpensive nowadays, I don’t know why I’m bothering to go through all this work.

    Reply

    • Guy M
      October 21, 2013 at 11:33 am

      Have you tried creating the key ‘StorageDevicePolicies’? That’s another thing you could try.

      Reply

  245. sanarya
    October 16, 2013 at 6:23 am

    awww <3 thank u thank u ..ii was about to go insane 😀 <3

    Reply

  246. Dane
    October 14, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    I tried everything here and still my USB is write protected. I can’t even format the thing! I created the StorageDevicePolicy key in my registry but still no go.

    In diskpart when I do the “attributes” command it shows that it’s not write protected but that it’s “current status” = write protected (that seems more than a bit contrary).

    I’m not desperate to have a 16 GB USB…went and bought another – I just want to fix it because it’s bugging me *lol* Any help would go a long way toward soothing my psychosis – thanks!

    Reply

  247. tiblu
    October 9, 2013 at 3:10 am

    Bingo thank you.

    Reply

  248. BrieAdams
    October 8, 2013 at 7:25 am

    please help i have tried all these steps but i am still having the issues

    Reply

  249. Sarwar Khan
    October 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    its good thanks.but its not working on window 7

    Reply

  250. Guy M
    October 7, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Glad we could help!

    Reply

  251. Vaibhav
    October 6, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Thanx a lot dude …..my device has started working properly……it was a great help…..awesome…..thanx thanx and thanxx????????????????????????

    Reply

  252. Ronald simiyu
    September 30, 2013 at 6:58 am

    Thanks for the article, i have been looking for this information for a long period of time but now i have it

    Reply

    • Guy M
      September 30, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      Glad we could help!

      Reply

  253. Kean
    September 29, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Great article. One tip – If you have no such Key (StorageDevicePolicies ) in your registry – then create one! Cause in my case I couldn’t even format the drive until I created that key! cheers!

    Reply

    • Guy M
      September 30, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      Good call! The key was mentioned, but I don’t think I mentioned creating it if it wasn’t there. Thank you!

      Reply

  254. julie
    September 26, 2013 at 2:51 am

    its not working both cmd and regedit, even formatting the usb won’t work.Is any body there who knows the solution with this problem?thanks

    Reply

    • Guy M
      September 30, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Glad we could help!

      Reply

    • Guy M
      September 30, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Try what Kean suggests below. Check for the key in the registry and if it isn’t there, create it.

      Reply

  255. sarmda
    September 25, 2013 at 1:58 am

    Trying to insert window 8 in flash, but it turned to be writeprotected, no a single method that can solved beside buying new flash…………………. It is just little error but turn to throw the 8Gb flash away. Amazingly, How come? for this little mistake. After all thank you for the article, and it can’t help…..

    Reply

  256. Flappie
    September 16, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    I solved this by adding the StorageDevicePolicies key to the registry in W7 and only by doing that (and a format with Windows Computer Management cause It wouldnt show in Explorer otherwise…) So, good Guy M, it might be an excellent idea to add a small howtoaddthattotheregistry to Step 6. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

    Reply

  257. CIEG
    September 16, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    all step didn’t worked for me either…
    i can’t format it in every way and every site show me….
    still “write protected”
    i use bitdefender though but didn’t find any malware or virus….
    4 days ago i copied files to my pc… after i copied the files, the usb flash drive turn “write protected” i check bit locker, but bitlocker is turned of on my usb….

    Reply

  258. Eashan
    September 13, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    @ GuyM I tried all the above steps given by u but still getting the same problem. Is there any other way of removing this??? Or should I do the same procedure from the laptop which originated this problem???

    Reply

    • Guy M
      September 13, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      If there is another way, I don’t know what it is. Sorry. Doing this on the original laptop shouldn’t make a difference. Maybe if one was Windows and one was Mac, but even then I don’t think it should make a difference.

      Reply

  259. Eashan
    September 12, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I am getting a problem while editing the registries for the same problem. The storagedevicepolicies option is not present there. Only storage option is there. So what should I do???

    Reply

    • Guy M
      September 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      You can create the registry key. Just make sure to back up your registry before you make any changes.

      Reply

  260. usbman
    September 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I use this simple tools and it works for me. You may also try this if you thing this steps are complex http://www.myusbtools.com/2013/09/windows-cant-format-your-disk-how-to.html

    Reply

  261. Narendra
    September 8, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Thank you!! It worked.

    Reply

  262. angry
    September 3, 2013 at 8:51 am

    I’ve done every single step. I tried the Reg key before i found this page. Still doesn’t work . . The whole point for me was to format it and that is exactly what I can’t do, because the usb drive is write protected >_>

    Reply

    • karen
      September 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      i’m having the same problem too.. i can’t format it because my drive is write protected..
      please help Mr. Guy McDowell!!

      Reply

    • Guy M
      September 13, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      Other than the steps in this article and some of the tips and software mentioned in the comments, I don’t really have any advice to give. Other than, maybe it’s time for a new USB drive.

      Reply

  263. Adil
    August 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    i dont have storage device policies please help me

    Reply

  264. Victor
    August 28, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Was really helpful…….thanks!!!!

    Reply

    • rajkumar
      April 28, 2015 at 4:53 am

      please tell me to which method is efficient.

      Reply

  265. Don Scan
    August 24, 2013 at 11:05 am

    baaaaaaaaaaaaaad tutorial

    Reply

    • Guy M
      August 25, 2013 at 12:22 am

      We’re all open to learning here. What would you like to add?

      Reply

  266. $ayaam Khan
    August 22, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Nothing Worked

    Reply

  267. john
    August 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    i can not see the storage device policy in my system how do i do that i can only see storage device

    Reply

    • rahul
      August 11, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      u hv to create it…

      Reply

  268. Navin
    August 5, 2013 at 6:35 am

    Very good artical but i did not solve problem. i try all any can help me

    Reply

  269. Big Tone in UK
    July 23, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    thanks pal. All I had to do was disable the write protection on the flash stick and you were the only person on the www who said that. Thanks for solving my problem so easily as I didn’t know such a switch existed. I owe you a pint of cold beer

    Reply

  270. John R
    July 5, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    I followed the seven steps for clearing a write protected flash drive. Step 6 in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies di not have the entry “StorageDevicePolices”. Even did a search for it. No dice. I am using Win 7 and flash drive is recognized.(seen) but, I just can.t touch it. It didn’t list it through Regedit. In trying to format it in windows, it tells me it s write Protected.

    Reply

    • buzzbomb
      July 14, 2013 at 9:39 am

      go to this link to add the storagedevice policies key to registry
      then reboot then go to registry navigate to said key open it look in right pane
      double click write protect modify value to 0
      http://www.troublefixers.com/remove-write-protection-on-usb-pen-drive-or-memory-card-or-ipod/

      Reply

  271. MARTIN MWANGI
    July 2, 2013 at 9:54 am

    HELLO, I HAVE TRIED ALL THE STEP TO REMOVE WRITE PROTECTION BUT NON OF THEM HAS WORKED OUT TO SOLVE MY PROBLEM.

    I USED TO COPY SONG FROM YOUTUBE AFTER CONVERTING THEM TO A FORMAT THAT THAT ENABLED ME TO WATCH THE VIDEOS FROM IN IT USING A DVD PLAYER, PLEASE HELP ME SOLVE THIS PROBLEM.

    Reply

  272. kostas
    June 25, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    nice article but nothing worked. Even when i tried thw format it didn’t allow me saying “the disk is write protected”!! Any suggestions here?
    Thanks

    Reply

  273. lsekopa
    June 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Thanks for the info. I tried all of this and it still gives the message after I click the start button on the formatting screen.

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      June 19, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      Have you tried the HP USB Disk Format Utility ?

      Reply

  274. lanete_08
    May 20, 2013 at 8:30 am

    All the steps didn’t work for me. :[

    Reply

    • ralph
      May 30, 2013 at 3:48 am

      all procedures were done but still didnt work unfortunately 🙁

      Reply

  275. sumith harshan
    May 16, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    It worked very well. Thanks a lot.!

    Reply

  276. gh
    May 14, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    I have never had this problem with a flash drive but i have never been able to write to any of my camera cards on my hp pavilion g7 since puchasing new.

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      May 15, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      Do you get a Write Protect error when you try?

      What kind of camera cards are they? Compact Flash? SD, microSD, other?

      Reply

  277. Victor Ong
    May 14, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Great tips! Definitely going to be reviewing this one when I come across a bad USB

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      May 14, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      Keep in mind the other tips in the comments and other articles on MUO. We’re here to help!

      Reply

  278. Garey B
    May 14, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I had this problem and tried all of the options mentioned in the article with no avail. I temporarily got write permissions with the diskpart command then I had had to make adjustments in the security tab on the properties section of the drive itself. Somehow the owner had been changed with many of the permissions changed as well. I believe one of my kids was to suspect not sure though.

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      May 14, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      That could happen, but to intentionally do it would be a sign of good computer literacy by your kid. So, be proud, I guess?

      Reply

  279. mohammadwasi786
    May 14, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Many time i face this problem now i will fix this problem insha Allah
    superb article

    Reply

  280. null
    May 14, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Some times the pendrive can go into RAW format. You cannot format it and when you try to, Windows will display ‘Write Protected. Cannot format’

    If you pendrive was working fine till it became RAW, try to format it using EaseUS partition master home edition. Pretty neat software!

    Very good article indeed. Thanks a lot Guy!

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      May 14, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      EaseUS has been in my toolbox for many years. Great tool.

      Reply

  281. Dany Bouffard
    May 14, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Sometimes the normal windows format dont work in those times its often good to use HP Format Tool, its a great tool to format USB Drives.

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      May 14, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      Good point. There is another one out there from one of the leading computer manufacturers as well. Can’t recall it at this moment.

      Reply

  282. Curt Schroeder
    May 14, 2013 at 9:43 am

    You missed a step. You should run “chkdsk /F” on the USB drive before resorting to a reformat, especially if you write to a FAT32 USB drive with both Linux and Windows.

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      May 14, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      I was thinking I was going to do that, but that isn’t so much to check for Write Protection as it is for working on a USB drive that may have corrupt files. Good call nonetheless.

      I covered how to do that in How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again .

      Reply

  283. Nevzat A
    May 14, 2013 at 6:39 am

    Well I’ve been in such a situtation recently, I’ve tried nearly everything but unable to solve the problem. My final decision is : the drive is corrupt and no way to rescue it. Sometimes it occurs.

    Reply

  284. Raymond Led Carasco
    May 14, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Very nice and very informative. Thanks :))

    Reply

  285. barney
    May 14, 2013 at 5:31 am

    Well-l-l-l,
    File manager does not recognize the drive.
    Disk Management recognizes the drive is in place, but does not assign a letter, nor can I click on the drive – Disk 6 in this instance – in the uper screen, although the drive shows in the lower window with only the size, 59.77 GB, which is identical to a similar drive. It sees the space, but will not allow any further action. Appears I’ll have to use gparted or similar in order to fix. Shouldn’t have to reboot, nor to use a foreign tool, to fix a Windows drive.

    Reply

    • Guy McDowell
      May 14, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      Did you unplug any other USB drives? Might the USB drive you want to work on have the same drive letter as something else? That does happen.

      I covered how to check and change that in How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again

      Reply

  286. Brandon Ragoo
    May 14, 2013 at 5:30 am

    Please help !! I have been having this issue with my flash drive for months now. I tried everything I knew even did research and ask for help online in the past months but no one seems to have the solution. After reading this article I decided to give it a try again but unfortunately none of the methods seemed to work. I did manage to discover that the folder which contains an ISO fie stored on the flash drive is wright protected, however when I follow the instructions given in step 4 and 5 that doesn’t remove the wright protection because when I attempt to remove the wright protection from the folder it give the error message “An error occurred applying attributes to the file: The media is wright protected. ” Please help

    Reply

    • David Moreira
      May 14, 2013 at 8:29 am

      Use HP USB Disk Format Utility and format the pen.

      Reply

      • Guy McDowell
        May 14, 2013 at 4:20 pm

        I’m behind David on this. Sounds like you need to format it. The HP utility he mentions should do the job.

        Reply

        • Brandon Ragoo
          May 30, 2013 at 5:30 am

          I tried it before reading this article but unfortunately it failed any other suggestions

    • buzzbomb
      July 14, 2013 at 9:19 am

      have you tried taking ownership of said file
      http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/add-take-ownership-to-explorer-right-click-menu-in-vista/
      go to c/windows/inf search for usbstor.pnf in search panel right click it
      select properties>security>users(your name pc) edit permissions give your name
      write permissions

      Reply

    • Fin Butler
      October 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      I totally agree with Brandon Ragoo, my USB has just started playing up and I have not used anything that is protected or copyrighted in my USB. I really need help. My USB is essential

      Reply

    • eric
      November 9, 2013 at 11:40 am

      I look up on the methods from 1 to last, no solutions for my usb problem, it has created a write protection rules, I have observed that all files can’t be delete, some has unknown and special character file named to the folders, but still can be view or can be copy but can’t be moved, I tried HB USB Format but still it is write protected… I am asking for help how can I solve it? is it a bad sector behavior, or a damage USB?

      Reply

    • AKGuy
      February 3, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      Could be that he is being hindered by some Bitlocker GPO settings. In this case he will be unable to write to the disk without proper permissions from an Administrator.

      Reply

  287. Sam Nicko
    May 14, 2013 at 4:24 am

    Very Good Article! Thank you!

    Reply

Gavin Phillips


348 articles

Gavin is a senior writer, focusing predominantly on security.

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How to remove write protection from USB drives and memory cards

Write protection always seems to rear it’s ugly head at the worst possible moment but fear not, we’ve put together a handy guide so you can get around it fast.

By

Jim Martin







how to erase a write protected usb drive or sd card

Write protection being difficult is one of the more frustraiting issues to deal with when you’re trying to leave the office for the day. Not being able to move your files over onto a USB stick or drive is the last thing you want to deal with. And you’re 100% certain you’ve got the ‘lock’ switch in the correct position on the stick, yes?

But just in case this switch is news to you, it is well worth checking that your device has the switch set to ‘unlocked’. When set to ‘locked’ you won’t be able to copy any new files on to the memory card or USB stick, and it also stops you from accidentally formatting it. We’ve all locked our USB without noticing it, don’t worry.

You’ll still be able to view files which are already stored on the drive, but you can’t delete them (they sometimes seem to delete OK, but the next time you check, there they are again!).

But if this isn’t the problem, you might still be able to fix things and continue to use your USB flash drive or SD card – we’ll explain how.

Unfortunately, in some cases the device may be corrupt or physically broken and no tricks or software will make it work again. The only solution in this case is to buy a new drive. And if you’re just trying to get back lost data, see our guide on how to recover deleted files for free .

Regedit

    In any version of Windows from XP onwards, run Regedit.exe.

    If you’re not sure how to find it, searching ‘regedit’ in the Start menu will usually show the program at the top of the list.

    It’s a bit like File Explorer, so use the pane on the left to navigate to the following key:

    Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies

    Note: if you can’t find StorageDevicePolicies, see the next step.

    Double-click on the WriteProtect value in the right-hand pane. You can now change the Value data from 1 to 0. Then click OK to save the change. Close Regedit and restart your computer. Connect your USB drive again and, with a bit of luck, you should find it is no longer write protected.

    You can now continue to use the drive, but it’s worth copying off any files you want to keep and then formatting it by right-clicking on it in the list of drives in File Explorer and choosing Format.

    StorageDevicePolicies

      If you can’t find StorageDevicePolicies, you can create it by right-clicking in the white space in the ‘Control’ folder and choosing New -> Key and entering the name StorageDevicePolicies.

      Now double-click on the new key (it will show as a folder) and right-click once again in the white space and choose New -> DWORD. Name this WriteProtect and set its value to 0. Click OK, exit Regedit and reboot your computer.

      If this method doesn’t work, go to the next step.

      Diskpart

        With your USB drive or memory card attached to your computer, launch a command prompt. You can do this by searching for cmd.exe or ‘Command Prompt’ in the Start menu.

        Note: you may need to run cmd.exe with administrator privileges if you see an “access is denied” message. To do this, right-click on Command Prompt in the Start menu and choose ‘Run as administrator’ from the menu that appears.

        If you have Windows 10, simply right-click on the Start button (bottom left of the screen) and choose Command Prompt (admin).

        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)
        attributes disk clear readonly
        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, it’s bad news and there’s nothing more to be done. Your stick or memory card is scrap and fit only for the bin. But the good news is that storage is cheap, and you can get a great microSD card for next to nothing. 

        Tags:

        • Windows
        • Storage
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