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The Disk Is Write Protected in Windows 10/8/7 (6 Fixes)

Updated by Roxanne on Jun 21, 2021
Written by Jean on Sep 02, 2016

Top 6 Ways to Fix The Disk Is Write Protected in Windows 10/8/7

When your USB/ SD card, internal, or an external hard drive is write-protected, you can neither access the saved data nor do any changes to your device. So, how to remove the write protection? 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 Command Prompt Press "Windows + R" simultaneously, type cmd, and run administrative "Command Prompt"...Full steps
Fix 5. Try CMD Alternative DOWNLOAD and install EaseUS CleanGenius for free. Choose "Write Protection"...Full steps
Fix 6. Edit The Registry Press Win+R and then type Regedit to open Registry Editor...Full steps

How to Remove Write Protection on Windows 10, 8, and 7

Have you ever received the error "the disk is write protected" when trying to format a removable disk such as a USB flash drive, SD card, CD, or pen drive? The "disk is write-protected" error in Windows 10/8/7 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 in Windows 10, 8, 7

Fix 1. Remove Write Protection with Physical Switch (SD Card/USB)

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

remove write protection on SD crad - unlock sd card

  • Unlock USB with the physical switch

how to fix the disk is write protected - 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 pen drives and SD cards can be 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 to Remove Write Protection

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 to fix the disk is write protected

Fix 4. Run CMD to Clear Write Protection

Another effective way to remove write-protection and solve the "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.

  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk #
  • 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 don't consider yourself a pro-computer user and you're not familiar with command-lines, don't worry. There are graphical-based solutions to help you remove write-protection from your hard drives, USB drives, and even SD cards.

EaseUS CleanGenius is one of these tools that helps you fix aforementioned issues on your drives without knowing a thing about command-line.

Here's an easy-to-follow guide on how to use this tool to get your issues sorted:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD and install EaseUS CleanGenius (free) on your computer.

Step 2: Run EaseUS CleanGenius on your PC, select Optimization and choose the Write Protection mode.

disable write protection

Step 3: Select the device that is write-protected and click Disable to remove the protection.

Disable Write Protection from storage devices.

Fix 6. Edit The Registry to Remove Write Protection

There are many ways to remove write protection from USB drives in Windows. One popular method is to edit the Registry. Here are the steps to remove write protection from a USB drive. Before you start, connect your write-protected USB drive to your computer.

Step 1. Press Win+R and then type Regedit to open Registry Editor. 

Step 2. Navigate to the following location to look for a key named WriteProtect:


Step 3. If this key exists, right-click it to select "Modify" to change the value from 1 to 0.

how to fix the disk is write protected with registry editor

Bonus Tip: Format the USB Flash Drive/SD Card 

After you have tried the 6 solutions above, you may have fixed the "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, powerful USB drive formatter - EaseUS 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.

Check the video tutorial to format SD card/USB to FAT32/NTFS:

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 USB - 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 USB - 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 USB - 3

Step 4. Apply the changes.

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

format USB - 4

If you lost data after formatting, you can run EaseUS data recovery software. It can restore data from SD card, recycle bin, hard drive, USB flash drive, and more. No matter how you lost your data, you can always get back files with simple steps.


Hopefully, we've found your solutions. Any one of the solutions above can solve the "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. For me, Fix 1 works perfectly, for most write protection problems are caused by physical problems. I'd like to appreciate it if you contact us by email or send your feedback on Facebook.

This Disk Is Write Protected FAQs

There are some frequently asked questions about disk write protection. If you want to get additional help, you can read on.

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 from being changed.

Why is my micro SD card suddenly write protected?

The lock Switch is usually by the top left side of the SD cards or the adapters. If it's broken, you won't see it. The SD card will become "Write-Protected" by default.

How do I remove write protection on a USB drive?

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

  • Find the physical switch on your USB flash drive.
  • Remove the physical switch from ON to OFF and unlock the device.

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

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

  • Find the physical switch on your SD card.
  • Remove the physical switch from ON to OFF and unlock the SD card.

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Updated by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

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Written by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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