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Remove Write Protection on USB/SD/Internal and External Hard Drive in Windows 10/8/7

Updated on Jul 24, 2018 by Tracy King to Storage Media Recovery

Summary

Does your SD card become write protected? Do you know how to remove write protection from your USB or internal/external hard drive and get all data back? Follow this article to unlock your storage devices and repair write-protected hard drive, USB or SD card etc on Windows 10/8/7 without losing any data now.

How to remove write protection on internal/external hard drive/USB/SD card?

  1. Case 1: My SD card shows up as write protected on my laptop, cannot access any data on the card. How to fix it?
  2. Case 2. Do you know how to remove write protection from USB or external hard drive? Desperate to find the solution. Help, thanks.
  3. Case 3. It's incredible that my computer hard drive becomes write protected for no reason. Do you know how to disable write protection on Windows 10?

Are you having this trouble that your removable storage devices such as external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card or Windows hard drive in Windows 10/8/7 suddenly become write protected? Does the data on your hard drive become inaccessible with a write protection error? So how to repair write-protected disk or removable devices without losing any data? Don't worry if you are having this issue. Follow below, you'll get your problem fixed within 2 simple steps.


Step 1. Remove write protection from internal/external hard drive/USB/SD in Windows 10/8/7

Here you'll find 3 options to remove and disable write protection on a hard drive, USB or SD card etc in Windows 10/8/7 computers.

Option 1. Unlock and remove write protection on SD/USB with physical switch

In order to protect data security on USB or SD card, some manufacturers would add a switch on USB/SD/memory card. Once the drive or SD card is locked (with switch locked), the device will become write protected on all PC or devices.

  • Unlock SD card with the physical switch:

Remove USB or SD write protection.

  • Remove write protection on USB by moving the physical switch:

Remove write protection on USB.

The option only works for you to unlock USB or SD card so to remove the write protection. And you'll not lose any data on your SD or USB flash drive.

Option 2. Remove/disable write protection on internal/external hard drive with Diskpart command in Windows 10/8/7 

This option applies to remove write protection on internal or external hard drive, and it also works on SD or USB flash drive. Let's see how to use Diskpart command line fix this issue now:

  1. 1. Press Win + R > Type: cmd and hit Enter to open Command Prompt.
  2. 2. Type: diskpart and hit Enter to open diskpart.

Run DiskPart cmd command to remove write protection.

  1. 3. Type: list disk and hit Enter.
  2. Remember the disk number of your write protected USB, SD or hard drive in Windows PC.

List disk to select remove write protection on disk.

  1. 4. Type: select disk 0 (0 is the number of your write protected USB/SD/hard drive) and hit Enter.
  2. 5. Type: attributes disk clear readonly and hit Enter to disable write protection on the storage device.
  3. 6. Close diskpart window once the write protection removing process is finished.

This method might cleanup all data saved on your USB, SD or hard drive. Then you'll need a powerful data recovery software for help. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard shall help and you may download it, follow the guidelines in Step 2 to get all lost data back.

Option 3. Remove write protection on all devices in Windows 10/8/7 with Registry  

Notice: Using Registry to fix USB, SD or internal/external hard drive write-protected error is effective. False operation with Registry may remove and even delete your files on your PC, hard drive, USB or SD card. Therefore, we highly suggest you follow the tutorial tips below very carefully.
  1. 1. Connect removable device which is write protected with Windows PC;
  2. 2. Click Start to open Run dialog > Type: regedit and hit Enter to open Registry.

Open Registry to fix write protected error on USB, SD or internal/external hard drive.

  1. 3. Click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > Expand System.
  2. 4. Click Current Control Set in System list > Click on Control.

Remove write protection on USB/SD/hard drive in Windows with Registry.

  1. 5. Check Storage Device Policies > Change the digit in the DWORD value box into "0" > Click OK to save the change;

Remove write protection from internal/external hard drive, USB or SD card.

  1. 6. Exit Regedit and reboot PC to keep all changes.

Option 4. Remove write protection from BitLocker partition in Windows 

Mostly, when you enable BitLocker on your hard drive partition, it will protect your files with its encryption feature. And you won't be able to do any changes to the BitLocker partition unless you remove or unlock the protection from it.

Here are the detail tips for unlocking and removing encryption (write protection) from BitLocker folders or partitions on your PC:

1. Open this PC and right-click on your BitLocker partition or storage devices, select  Manage BitLocker.

Remove BitLocker protection.

2. Select the right partition which is write-protected by BitLocker, and click Turn off BitLocker.

Unlock BitLocker partition.

3. Wait and BitLocker will decrypt on its own. 

Remove write protection from BitLocker partition.

Then you'll be able to see your partition or hard drive showing BitLocker off. And you can manage data on your partition without BitLocker write protection and save new files to it again now.

Unlock BitLocker partition and reuse it again.


Step 2. Restore data from internal/external hard drive/USB/SD in Windows 10/8/7
after removing Write Protection error

In order to avoid unnecessary data loss trouble after removing or disable write protection on USB, SD or internal/external hard drive in Windows 10/8/7 PC, it's highly recommended for you to restore and extract data from these storage devices. Powerful data recovery software from EaseUS can help you do the job.

It allows you to restore and extract all data on write-protected devices within 3 simple steps:

1. Connect write protected USB/SD etc with PC.
Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and select location of your devices which was write-proteced, click Scan.

Restore data from write protected hard drive, SD, USB.

2. EaseUS data recovery software will Quick Scan and Deep Scan to find all files and data for you;

Release write protection on SD/USB/Hard Drive without losing data.

3. Preview and restore files and data;
You can preview and select found data and click Recover to save found data into a safe spot in PC or external storage device.

Restore data from write protected SD, USB or hard drive in Windows 10/8/7.

Note: Don't save data into the devices which were write-protected again.


Step 3. Format USB/SD/internal/external hard drive to NTFS/FAT32

After restoring data from your storage devices with write-protected error, to format and reset your USB, SD card, internal or external hard drive file system to NTFS or FAT32 will guarantee you a usable and secure circumstance for saving data again.

A straightforward way for doing so is to format your device to NTFS/FAT32:

1. Insert the SD card, USB or connect the external hard drive to your computer.
2. Right-click on Start and select Device Manager.
3. Select Disk Management, locate and right-click on the SD card or other devices that you want to format, choose Format Volume...
4. Reset the file system of your SD card into NTFS/FAT32 and click OK to confirm.