Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
#1. Check the Physical Switch Step 1: Locate the physical write protection switch on the device. The location of the switch will vary depending on the...Full steps
#2. Uncheck Read-only Step 1: Open "File Explorer" and select the write-protected files. Step 2: Right-click the file and click "Properties"...Full steps
#3. Run CMD Step 1: Press Windows + R key simultaneously and type "cmd". Step 2: Type "sfc /scannow" and press Enter...Full steps
#4. Scan Virus Step 1: Click "Update & Security" in Windows Settings. Step 2: Click on "Windows Security". Step 3: Click...Full steps
#5. Use EaseUS CleanGenius Step 1: DOWNLOAD and install EaseUS CleanGenius (free) on your computer. Step 2: Run EaseUS CleanGenius...Full steps
Bonus Tip: Format Device after Removing Write Protection Step 1: Right-click the external drive or USB you intend to format and choose "Format". Step 2: Set the Partition label...Full steps

What Does It Mean "The Media is Write-protected"?

The media is write-protected means that the media (usually a disk) cannot be written. Several things may cause this error, including physical write-protection switches or software protections. In order to fix this problem, the write-protection must be disabled. Write-protection can be a helpful tool in preventing accidental writing or malware infections. However, it can also be irritating if you need to write to the media and don't know how to disable the protection.

Fix "The Media is Write-protected" in Windows (5 Methods)

Have you ever been annoyed by the message "the media is write-protected" when you try to copy, edit or delete files on a USB drive, SD card, or other removable storage devices? This error can be frustrating, especially if you're in a hurry and need to get work done.

There are a few different reasons why this "the media is write-protected "error might occur. It could be due to a corrupted file system, incorrect permissions, or physical damage to the storage device. Whatever the cause, don't worry; in this article, we'll show you some quick and easy fixes that will help you remove write protection and get your storage device working again in no time.

Relate articles about removing write protection:

#1. Check the Physical Switch when the Media is Write-protected

This error message may be caused by the physical write protection switch on the device. If the physical write protection switch is on, writing to the media will not be possible. To check the physical write protection switch, please follow the instructions below:

Step 1: Locate the physical write protection switch on the device. The location of the switch will vary depending on the make and model of the device. The switch is located on the side or the bottom of many devices.

write protection lock of sd card

Step 2: Check the switch position. If the switch is in the "on" position, it will be necessary to move the switch to the "off" position in order to write to the media.

Step 3: Once the switch has been moved to the "off" position, try writing to the media again. Please contact your device manufacturer for further assistance if you still cannot write to the media. You can also try the following fixes in our article.

#2. Uncheck Read-only in Properties when the Media is Write-protected

"The media is write-protected" error typically occurs because the file or drive is set to read-only, which means that it can only be read and not modified. The read-only setting can be disabled in the properties menu for the file or drive. Once it has been disabled, the users should be able to copy, delete, or move the files without any issues.

Step 1: Open "File Explorer" and select the write-protected files.

Step 2: Right-click the file and click "Properties".

Step 3: You can uncheck the "Read-Only" option under the "General" tab.

uncheck read only

#3. Run CMD to Remove Write Protection

Corrupted system files can also cause "the media is write-protected". If this is the case, you can try running the System File Checker (SFC) scan and Deployment Image & Servicing Management (DISM) scan. The SFC checks and fixes corrupted system files while the DISM scan will repair the Windows image. To run the SFC and DISM scan, follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Press Windows + R key simultaneously and type "cmd".

Step 2: Type "sfc /scannow" and press Enter. It may take 20-30 minutes to scan. Do not close the Command Prompt during this process.

sfc scannow

Step 3: Restart your computer and repeat step 1 to open the command prompt.

Step 4: Type the following command and press Enter after typing each command.

  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth

checkhealth command

  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

scanhealth command

  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

restorehealth command

#4. Scan Virus to Remove Write Protection

In some instances, the "media is write-protected" error may be caused by malware that has infected your computer. Malware can cause various issues on your computer, including errors. Some malware can write-protect drives to prevent their own deletion. If you suspect that malware is the cause of the error, you should scan your system with an antivirus program. You can choose the Windows built-in Windows Defender antivirus to scan.

Step 1: Click "Update & Security" in Windows Settings.

Step 2: Click on "Windows Security".

Step 3: Click "Virus & threat protection" under the "Protection area".

virus and threat protection

Step 4: Click "Scan options". We recommend you to choose "Microsoft Defender Offline" here.

Step 5: Click "Scan now".

microsoft defender offline scan

#5. Use Software to Remove Write Protection

A straightforward way to remove write protection is using EaseUS Clean Genius. This software is designed to clean up your drives and can also remove write protection. To use it, download and install the software, then launch it. The software will then scan the drive and remove any present write protection.

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.

Bonus Tip: Format Device after Removing Write Protection

The media is write-protected error can be fixed by following the methods above. Once write protection is removed, users can format their device with EaseUS Partition Master.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

  • Right-click the external drive or USB you intend to format and choose "Format".
  • Set the Partition label, File system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4/exFAT), and Cluster size, then click "OK".
  • Click "Yes" to continue.
  • Click the "Execute 1 Task(s)" button and click "Apply" to format the hard drive partition.

EaseUS Partition Master has many advantages, such as resizing, moving, copying, merging, splitting, and converting partitions without data loss. It is also compatible with Windows 10/8.1/8/7 and XP.

Conclusion

When the media is write-protected, it means that the data on the media cannot be modified. This can be incredibly annoying for users, especially if they don't know how to fix the problem. In our article, we have shown you some solutions to remove write protection. Whichever method you choose, be sure to follow the instructions carefully so that you don't cause any damage to your computer. With a little bit of effort, you should be able to get rid of the write protection and reaccess your files.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

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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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