How to remove write-protect from the USB drive

Updated April 17, 2017

Write-protect, or write-protection, prevents a user from deleting or modifying the files on a drive. If a USB drive is write-protected an error message may appear when you attempt to format the storage device, or create, edit or remove the files saved to the storage device. Some USB flash drives come with a small switch that you can flip to turn write-protect on or off. If manually disabling write-protect fails to convert the drive to read-write mode a setting in the registry may be affecting the performance of the storage device.

Disconnect the USB drive from the computer. Check each side of the USB drive for a small switch.

Flip the switch to change the USB flash drive to read-write mode. Reconnect the USB drive to the computer.

Attempt to add a file to, or delete a file from, the drive. If an error message appears informing you that the drive is write-protected click "Start." Type "regedit" into the search box. Hit "Enter" to open Registry Editor.

Expand the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE," "SYSTEM," "CurrentControlSet" and "Control" keys.

Click "StorageDevicePolicies." Double-click "WriteProtect" from the right pane. Change the "Value Data" field to "0."

Click "OK" to modify the DWORD value. Remove the USB drive from the computer. Wait five seconds, then reinsert the drive into the USB port.

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About the Author

Ruri Ranbe has been working as a writer since 2008. She received an A.A. in English literature from Valencia College and is completing a B.S. in computer science at the University of Central Florida. Ranbe also has more than six years of professional information-technology experience, specializing in computer architecture, operating systems, networking, server administration, virtualization and Web design.