How to Change the Read/Write Permission on a Flash Disk/Memory Card

Jean updated on Sep 10, 2020 to Partition Manager | How-to Articles

4 Ways to Change the Read/Write Permission on a Flash Drive/Memory Card

You receive the error "current read-only state yes", then you want to change or remove the write protection. However, 99% of the users change the read/write permission on a flash disk/memory card because the device has a physical problem. 99% of the cases cannot be solved. But if you are the 0.1% of people whose device doesn't have a physical problem, you can solve your problem with the solutions below. That is to say; if your device doesn't have a physical problem, you can change the read/write permission on a flash disk/memory card with the help of the following fixes.

Altogether, this guide offers four ways to obtain or deny the read/write permission on HDD, SSD, or a removable storage media.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Turn Off the Slide Switch Take out your object that doesn't allow you to make any change on it, and carefully examine it...Full steps
Fix 2. Set Security Permissions Correctly insert your USB stick or SD Card to the computer, and make sure Windows has detected it...Full steps
Fix 3. Use Command Prompt Press "Windows + R" simultaneously, type cmd and run as administrator...Full steps
Fix 4. Use CMD Alternative Run EaseUS Tools M on your PC, choose "Write Protection" mode...Full steps
Bonus Tips to Manage Partitions Install and launch EaseUS Partition Master. Right-click the partition you want to...Full steps

Overview of the Read/Write Permission on a Flash Disk/Memory Card

As you can figure out by yourself, there are read and write permissions on a hard disk drive, memory card, USB stick, pen drive, and jump drive. To gain full access to a drive and data within, or take further control, for example, copy, edit and delete files, partition, and format the disk, you must be authorized to use the storage with both read and write permissions. In most cases, the majority of people would be lost when they encountered trouble of not being to read or write data as they used to. So, a comprehensive tutorial about how to change read/write permission on a flash disk/memory card becomes urgent. 

Fix 1. Change Permission by Turning Off the Slide Switch

And, here is the first solution. Some USB flash drives or memory cards have a physical switch. If the switch is turned on, it needs to be closed to solve it.

To switch off the memory card physical switch:

Take out your object that doesn't allow you to make any change on it, and carefully examine it. Is there a little tiny slide switch that points to a Lock position downwards? This switch is designed to avoid accidentally deleting photos or unwanted access to the inside data. So, when you found yourself being blocked, turn the switch to the opposite direction of the Lock position, aka Unlock.

change read/write permission on flash disk/memory card by sliding the lock switch

What if the Lock and Unlock switch is broken? Do your best to recover data from a locked SD card.

To switch off USB flash drive physical switch:

Not all the flash drive has the lock switch. So, you should check first. Take out your USB, if there is a physical lock switch on the side, then slide the switch to the unlock area.

switch off usb write protection

Fix 2. Manually Set Drive Security Permissions

Nevertheless, quite a lot of removable storage devices are not coming with the Lock switch, what's the matter? Where to change the read/write permission? At this moment, you need to get about the task on a computer.

Step 1. Correctly insert your USB stick or SD Card to the computer, and make sure Windows has detected it.

Step 2. In Windows 10, 8 or 7, press "Windows + E" simultaneously to open File Explorer.

Step 3. Locate the drive letter that presents your device. Right-click on it, and select "Properties".

Step 4. Navigate to the Security tab, in the middle of the Properties window; you'll see 'To change permissions, click Edit'. This is where you can change read/write permission on the target disk. So, click "Edit", and the Security window immediately pops out.

change read/write permission on flash disk/memory card step 1

Step 5. Here, you'll find "Permissions for Authenticated Users" with either an "Allow" or "Deny" option. By checking the Deny boxes next to the permissions like Full Control, Modify, Read and Write, you're setting the drive and its contents to read-only. Otherwise, to disable the read-only attribute, check the Allow boxes. Click "Apply".

change read/write permission on flash disk/memory card step 2

Step 6. Click "OK". You should now do a successful change in the read/write permissions.

Fix 3. Remove Write Protection from a USB Stick or Memory Card Using CMD

In the event that Windows fails to format a disk with error messages like "the disk is write protected", you have to remove write protection with some advanced measures.

Step 1. Press "Windows + R" simultaneously, type cmd and run administrative "Command Prompt".

Step 2. Type the following command lines and hit Enter after each command line.

Click to copy

# is the number of the write-protected flash drive or memory card.

Step 3. Exit the Command Prompt.

remove write protection from flash disk/memory card to change read/write permission

Fix 4. Use CMD Alternative - Write Protection Removal Tool

If you are not professional in computing management and not familiar with command lines, don't worry. EaseUS R&D team has promoted a fresh kit for helping you resolve the write-protection issue on your hard drive, external hard drive, USB or SD card, etc., devices.

EaseUS Tools M is a practical computer fixing tool that is safe and light-weighted. It's a perfect alternative to the command line. 

Use this one-click tool to solve the write-protection issues on your own:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD and install EaseUS Tools M for free.

Step 2: Run EaseUS Tools M on your PC, choose the "Write Protection" mode.

Step 3: Select the device which is now "Write-Protected" and click "Disable" to remove the protection.

Remove Write Protection from storage devices.

Further Assistance - How to Manage Partitions

I hope that at least one solution helps you solve the read only or write protection issue and gain permission to change read/write attribute as you want. In the final part, I'd like to show you a mighty yet free partition manager that facilitates hard drive & partition management in Windows environment. It's EaseUS Partition Master. This tool provides fabulous management features that are useful in many situations.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

Try this disk management tool and explore other excellent functions now.


Step 1: Install and launch EaseUS Partition Master

Run EaseUS Partition Master

Step 2: Partition Hard Drive

Shrink partition:

1. Right-click on a partition that you want to shrink and select "Resize/Move".

Shrink partition

2. Drag the end of the partition rightward or leftward or adjust the space by clicking the "Partition size" column. Click "OK" to continue.

Extend partition:

1. To extend partition, you need to leave unallocated space next to the target partition. If not, shrink a partition as mentioned above to leave enough unallocated space behind the target partition first.

2. Then right-click on the target partition and select "Resize/Move".

Extend partition

3. Drag the target partition handle into the unallocated space to extend partition. Click "OK" to continue.

Create partition:

1. On the main window, right-click on the unallocated space on your hard drive or external storage device and select "Create".

Create partition on unallocated space

2. Set the partition size, partition label, drive letter, file system, etc. for the new partition and click "OK" to continue.

Delete partition:

1. On the main window, right-click on the hard drive partition which you want to delete and select "Delete".

Select parittion to delete

2. Click "OK" to confirm.

Change partition drive letter:

1. Right-click the partition, and choose "Change Drive Letter".

Change Drive Letter - Step 1

2. Click the down arrow, choose a drive letter for the partition, then click "OK".

Step 3: Execute operations

Click the "Execute Operation" button at the top corner and keep all changes by clicking "Apply".

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

Related Question to Changing the Read/write Permission

Some people still have problems after following the solutions above. Here, I have collected the frequently asked questions, read on.

How do I change the read/write permissions on my external hard drive?

There are four ways to change the read and write permission:

Fix 1. Switch Off the Slide Switch

Fix 2. Set Drive Security Permissions

Fix 3. Remove Write Protection Using CMD

Fix 4. Use Write Protection Removal Tool

How do I change a flash drive from read only?

You can switch off the physical lock if it has. Then, try to clear read-only using CMD:

Step 1. Press Windows + R simultaneously, type cmd and run as administrator.

Step 2. Type diskpart and hit Enter.

Step 3. Type list disk and hit Enter.

Step 4. Type select disk X and hit Enter.

Step 5. Type attributes disk clear readonly and hit Enter.

Step 6. Exit the Command Prompt.

Why did my external hard drive or USB become read only?

The cause of the read only behavior is due to the format of the file system. Many storage devices such as USB drives and external hard disk drives come pre-formatted in NTFS because a larger number of consumers are using them on PCs.

How do I undo write-protected USB?

To remove the write protection, navigate to the Security tab, in the middle of the Properties window. You can see To change permissions, click Edit. This is where you can change read or write permission on the target disk.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose EaseUS Partition Master?

"I've used Partition Master Professional many times to create, delete, format, move, rename, and resize partitions."PCWorld

"Partitioning tools have come a very long since the days of complicated command line utilities and EASEUS Partition Master is one of the most advanced programs available."TECH ADVISOR

"I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes."Lifewire

Will the "Migrate OS" feature transfer the Windows system files only or the whole C drive?

To ensure that the migrated system will boot normally, the Migrate OS feature will transfer all the files in the system and the boot partitions. Generally, the boot partition is the C drive so the transfer will include all the files in C.

Does EaseUS Partition Master license apply to multiple computers?

The license of Partition Master Professional and Server editions can be used on 1 computer only, while that for for the Technician and Unlimited editions can be used on multiple machines.

What is the difference between EaseUS Partition Master Trial version and the Free version?

Free is for home users only, with most basic functions available such as partition resize and clone. While trial can help you understand how this product works and test what a full license can do on a business or server OS machine.

Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

Generally, it will not cause any data loss or boot issue by resizing a partition. However, in order to protect your data, we suggest that you backup the partition before resizing, in case of any unexpected situations such as power outages, computer hardware failures, etc. You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to backup the partition and its trial version is fully functioned for 30 days.

What should I prepare before resizing the partition?

On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

About EaseUS Partition Master

All-round disk & partition management software for personal and commercial use. Let it manage your storage drive: resize, format, delete, clone, convert, etc.

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