The Disk Is Write Protected in Windows 10/8/7

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

Top 5 Ways to Fix The Disk Is Write Protected

Write protection issue is 99.9% because the device has a physical problem, but you can still try the following measures:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Change Physical Switch Find the physical switch on your USB or SD card. Remove the physical switch...Full steps
Fix 2. Check & Kill Viruses Download and launch Avira. Open this software and click "Run a quick scan"...Full steps
Fix 3. Uncheck Read-only Status Right-click the file with write protection and select "Properties". Check the options...Full steps
Fix 4. Run CMD Press "Windows + R" simultaneously, type cmd and run administrative "Command Prompt"...Full steps
Fix 5. Try CMD Alternative DOWNLOAD and install EaseUS Tools M for free. Choose "Write Protection"...Full steps

Have you ever received the error "the disk is write protected" when trying to format a removable disk such as USB flash drive, SD card, CD, or pen drive? The disk is write-protected error in Windows 10/8/7 that stops the operation of formatting, writing data, i.e., copy & paste files to the generic USB stick. It's imperative to remove write protection on the drive. Learn the how-to guide step by step to fix the "disk is write-protected, remove the write-protection or use another disk, removable disk" now.

the disk is write-protected

Fix 1. Remove Write Protection with Physical Switch

We use removable storage devices a lot on a Windows computer, and some of you may encounter the issue of the disk malfunction, which is mostly about "the disk is write-protected". When Windows starts to write-protect your disk, for example, a SanDisk 4GB USB flash drive, you can no longer use it anymore until you remove the write protection. But you can easily solve this problem if you have a physical switch. Some USB flash drives and SD cards have physical switches on the side to protect data. If the USB drive or SD card switch is locked, the device could become write-protected on all PC or devices. You can get out of this problem by turning off the switch.

Step 1. Find the physical switch on your USB or SD card.

Step 2. Remove the physical switch from ON to OFF and unlock the device.

Unlock SD card with the physical switch:

unlock sd card

Unlock USB with the physical switch:

unlock usb

Fix 2. Remove Write Protection by Killing Viruses

The next thing is checking and killing USB flash drive, SD card, or hard drive viruses. When you connect your storage media to your computer, it can be infected and attacked by viruses easily. The USB flash drives and SD cards become locked or attacked after downloading from an illegal website. The data would be locked or becoming inaccessible, which can lead to the disk is write-protected error.

On this occasion, you need to find reliable anti-virus software to check and kill viruses. If you don't have one, you can download or transfer anti-virus software to your computer to do this job. Take Avira as an example:

Step 1. Download and launch Avira.

Step 2. Open this software and click "Run a quick scan".

Step 3. Wait for the process to complete.

remove write protection using antivirus

Fix 3. Uncheck Read-only Status in Properties

Sometimes a single file can upset the balance. When you want to make changes to a single file but can't, the file might be write-protected. At this time, you must make sure that the read-only option is unchecked. 

Step 1. Right-click the file with write protection and select "Properties". 

Step 2. Check the options on the bottom, ensure that the "Read-only" option is unchecked. Then, click "Apply" to let this change effective.

unckeck read only on a single file

Fix 4. Run CMD to Clear Write Protection

Another effective way to remove write-protection and solve "the disk is write-protected" error is using Command Prompt. If you are familiar with CMD, follow the steps below:

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

attributes disk clear readonly

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

Step 3. Exit the Command Prompt.

run cmd to remove write protection

Fix 5. Remove Write Protection with CMD Alternative 

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.

Bonus Tips - Format the USB Flash Drive/ SD Card 

After you have tried the 5 solutions above, you may have fixed "the disk is write-protected" error. To avoid this situation and make your external devices work well, you can format them. If you fail to solve your problem, you can try to format the device to solve your case.

To solve your problem, free USB formatter - EaseUS free partition software is recommended. It can format your HDD, SSD, USB, memory card, SD card, or delete a partition to make it available for reuse. Follow the steps below to format your USB drive now.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

Step 1: Select the USB drive to format.

Connect the USB drive or pen drive to your computer. Download and launch EaseUS partition software. Right-click the USB drive you intend to format and choose "Format".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 1

Step 2: Set the drive letter and file system.

Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 2

Step 3: Check the warning box.

Click "OK" if you see the Warning window. If you have important data on it, back up the data in advance.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 3

Step 4: Apply the changes.

Click the "Execute operation" button first, and then click "Apply" to format the USB drive.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 4

Conclusion

Hopefully, we've found your solutions. Any one of the solutions above can solve "the disk is write-protected" error effectively. It is time for you to try the solutions above so you can start accessing and changing the data on your storage device.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

Disk Write Protected FAQs

1. How do I remove write protection?

To remove the write protection in Windows 10, 8, or 7:

  1. Fix 1. Remove Write Protection with Physical Switch
  2. Fix 2. Remove Write Protection by Killing Viruses
  3. Fix 3. Uncheck Read-only Status in Properties
  4. Fix 4. Run CMD to Clear Write Protection
  5. Fix 5. Remove Write Protection with CMD Alternative 

2. How do I remove write protection on a USB drive?

You can get out of this problem by turning off the switch:

Step 1. Find the physical switch on your USB flash drive.

Step 2. Remove the physical switch from ON to OFF and unlock the device.

3. How do I remove write protection on the micro SD card?

You can get out of this problem by turning off the switch:

Step 1. Find the physical switch on your SD card.

Step 2. Remove the physical switch from ON to OFF and unlock the SD card.

4. What does write-protected mean?

Write-protection is the ability of a hardware device or software program to prevent new information from being written or old information being changed.

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