How to remove write protection from a USB drive

Updated April 17, 2017

Write protection is a feature that can be found on many different types of media. When write protection is turned on, you will be able to view the information on the disk or USB drive, but you will not be able to write or transfer information to it. Write protection is a protective element that will prevent accidental deletion of important data. Sometimes, turning off write protection is as simple as uncapping the USB drive to find a manual switch. If your drive does not have an external switch, the procedure requires a few more steps to complete.

Turn on your computer and plug in the drive after your operating system has loaded.

Open "My Computer" and search the list of drives until you find your USB drive letter.

Right-click on the name and click "Properties." Go through the tabs until you see the option to remove write protection. If this does not work, go to the next step.

Visit the company website for your USB drive. Go to the help or support section and search for "write protection."

Search the internet for software that will remove write protection. Download the program and install it on your computer.

Open the software program. Follow the instructions to remove write protection from your USB drive.


If nothing works to unlock your USB drive, search the company's help file. You may have a dead USB in hand. Simply replace the drive with a new one. When you buy a USB drive, try to make sure that it comes with a write protection switch, to avoid future problems. If one computer is having trouble with the write protection of your USB drive, test the drive on another computer to be sure that the problem is the drive itself and not your PC.


Using third party software or registry editors can damage your USB drives, so use with caution.

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About the Author

Marsha James has spent the last 10 years working as a freelance writer. During that time she has written newsletters, e-Books, content for websites such as Associated Content, eHow and Rent A Coder, and has contracts with private clients.