"Unlock the Secrets: 7 Proven Ways to Format a Write Protected USB/Pen Drive"

2023-05-21 00:08:36 - Grace Browns Grace Browns has been a lifestyle, fashion, and beauty writer for over 5 years, and she currently serves as a senior editor at 422346.com.
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On this page, we offer solutions to rectify the error that you might be encountering on your write-protected pen drives, USBs, SD cards, or eternal hard drives/SSDs. 

What Causes the "Disk Is Write-Protected" Error on USBs/Pen Drives?

Do you receive the error message "disk is write-protected" when you try to format a flash drive, pen drive, or SD card? This error message suggests that your Windows operating system is imposing administrator limitations, the registry entry is compromised, there is a virus infection, or a third-party encryption program has locked your USB pen drive. The write protection hinders you from formatting the device and generates an error message that states "The disk is write-protected". 

You might be curious to know, "How can I delete write protection on a USB drive?" To begin with, you need to dismantle the write protection from the storage device, such as the pen drive or external hard drive, by applying the solutions discussed in Part 1. This is followed by formatting the device using a reliable disk formatting tool like EaseUS Partition Master in Part 2 to make it function seamlessly again. 

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Part 1. How to Fix "The Disk Is Write-Protected" Error on USBs/Pen Drives?

As formatting a write-protected device is out of the question, the initial step involves repairing the "disk is write-protected" error message by removing write protection from your storage devices. This segment encompasses six different techniques that you can try to eliminate write protection from your USB drives, pen drives, etc.

Explore all the available tools that you can employ for write-protection removal. Alternatively, follow the video depicted to the right to help you restore normalcy to your device. It includes 3 commonly employed approaches: 0:46 Use Registry; 1:49 Use CMD; 3:00 Use File Explorer.

After resolving this issue, if you're looking to format your USB flash drive and pen drive without any trouble, please refer to Part 2. 

#1. Unlock Write-Protected USB/Pen Drive by Flipping the Key.

If you have already locked your USB flash drive or pen drive by flipping the key to ON, it gets locked and write-protected. This implies you cannot format the device or make any changes to it. The following is a way to unlock the write-protected USB:

    Step 1. Locate the physical switch on your USB or pen drive.

    Step 2. Flip the switch from ON to OFF.

    You can now connect the USB to your PC and access or format the device again.

    #2. Fix Write-Protected USB/Pen Drive with Write Protection Removal Tool

    EaseUS Partition Master, with its innovative feature, the Write Protection, enables you to eliminate write protection from your USB pen drive or external hard drive in just one effortless click. Follow the steps illustrated below: 

    Eradicate write protection from your USB, SD card, or USB external disk quickly and easily with EaseUS Partition Master. The process is simple and efficient, requiring just a few clicks.

    To proceed with this operation, follow these steps:

      1. Start by downloading and installing EaseUS Partition Master, then navigate to the Toolkit section and select "Write Protection."

      2. Choose the write-protected device from the available options, whether it's a USB, SD card, or USB external disk, and click the "Disable" button.

      That's all there is to it! Removing write protection from your USB device with EaseUS Partition Master can't get any easier. Don't keep this great news to yourself, share it with your friends and loved ones.

      If your storage devices are write-protected or locked, it may be due to a virus infection. In that case, the best course of action is to run a professional virus cleaner software and remove the virus from the device to unlock it.

      Here are some recommended virus removal programs that you can try:

      • - Avast Antivirus
      • - Norton AntiVirus
      • - McAfee
      • - BitDefender
      • - AVG
      • Once installed, connect your device to your PC and let the virus cleaner tool scan and remove all write-protection viruses from your USB or pen drive.

      Suppose a device is locked or a disk is write-protected. In that case, you can use Registry Editor to change its key from 1 to 0 to unlock it.

      It is important to remember that you should be extremely cautious while using Registry Editor - Regedit.exe to remove write protection from a device, as any false operation or typo error can cause serious problems. If you're a beginner, we recommend you try the former solutions first.

      Here's how to remove write protection on a USB flash drive or pen drive using Regedit.exe:

        1. Type "Regedit" in the search box and select "Regedit.exe" to launch the Registry editor.

        2. Navigate to: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies

        3. Double-click on the "WriteProtect" value present in the right-hand pane of Regedit.exe.

        4. Make sure the volume data field is tagged as "0."

        5. Double-click to open it and change the "Value" data from "1" to "0," then click "OK" to save the change.

        Removing write-protection from your device using the above methods should be straightforward and effective.

        Step 5. Save your changes in Regedit and reboot your computer.

         If you can't find the StorageDevicePolicies folder in Registry, you can make a new one by following these steps:

          1. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control, right-click on the Control (folder) key and select "New".

          2. Click on "Key", name the new folder "StorageDevicePolicies", and press Enter.

          3. Right-click the empty space in the right pane of StorageDevicePolicies folder, and select "New".

          4. Choose "DWORD (32-bit) Value", and rename the file to "WriteProtect" and hit Enter.

          5. Double-click the WriteProtect key, and change the value data in DWORD value from "0" to "1".

          After this, you can reconnect your USB drive or pen drive to your PC again, and the write protection should be removed, and the device should no longer be write-protected.

          #6. Change Read-Only or Write-Protected Files/Folders on USB/Pen Drive to Normal

          Sometimes, you may have set your drive to read-only, which could also cause the device to become locked or write-protected. In this case, you can change the read-only status to remove the write protection on your device. 

          Note that this method can also be applied to remove the read-only state on your files and return them to normal.

          Step 1. Plug your USB or pen drive into your PC.

          Step 2. Open Windows File Explorer, locate and right-click the files or folder which is write-protected in your USB drive, and select "Property".

          Step 3. Go to the General tab, uncheck "Read Only", click "Apply" and "OK" to complete the process.

          Once you remove the write protection on your USB drive or pen drive, you should have no problems accessing the device. However, if your USB or pen drive still has logical or internal errors, you may need to format it to recognize it again.

          Part 2. How to Format Write Protected USB Pen Drive after Removing Protection

          Usually, Disk Management or Windows File Explorer can format a device that is in a normal state. However, if your storage device is in a special state, such as displaying I/O device error, Windows was unable to complete the format, USB cannot be formatted, etc., you will need a professional all-in-one formatting tool.

          EaseUS Partition Master can format your USB or pen drive, etc., that has any of the above logical errors. Besides a USB flash drive, the program also allows you to format a write-protected SD card after removing the write protection error.

          Download for Free

          Compatible with Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

          Here are the detailed instructions:

            Step 1. Open EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the partition on your external hard drive/USB/SD card you want to format, and choose the "Format" option.

            Step 2. Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4/exFAT), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

            Step 3. In the Warning window, click "Yes" to continue.

            Execute the formatting process for your external hard drive/USB/SD card by selecting "Execute 1 Task(s)" button positioned in the top-left corner of your screen, then tap the "Apply" button to complete the process.

            Apart from USB drives, there are various other write-protected storage devices that you can also adapt to be formatted using the EaseUS Partition Master tool. To know more about these devices and their respective solutions, follow the links mentioned here:

            • - Format Write-Protected SD Card
            • - Format Sandisk Write-Protected USB
            • After completing the formatting process, your USB/pen drive will be in an excellent condition to store and save data.
            • Frequently asked questions about USB, Pen Drive, SD Write Protection

            In this section, you will find answers to many commonly asked questions regarding removing write protection on a USB drive and formatting a write-protected pen drive. With the solutions provided in Part 1 and Part 2, you can effortlessly eradicate errors like "The disk is write-protected" and format your USB flash drive, pen drive, SD card, external hard drive, and even internal hard drive after removing the write protection.

            However, if you still have doubts regarding write protection issues, we have compiled a list of top FAQs that usually appear in Google search, along with brief answers to each question. Go through them and get your queries resolved immediately.

            1. How to Format Write-Protected USB in Windows 10?

            As mentioned on this page, follow the methods mentioned in Part 1 to remove the write protection and then use EaseUS Partition Master or Windows' in-built formatting tools such as Disk Management, Windows File Explorer, or CMD to format the USB in Windows 10.

            2. What is the Best Write-Protected USB Format Tool?

            There is no dedicated professional free write-protected USB format tool available online as the write protection error is a complex issue. The best solution is to remove the USB write protection first and then use EaseUS Partition Master, the best USB format tool for help.

            3. How to Format Read-Only USB?

            If your USB displays as read-only on your computer, you need to remove or fix the "Read Only" error on USB to format the device. Then, use Windows Disk Management, File Explorer or EaseUS formatting software such as EaseUS Partition Master to format the USB to FAT32 (usable) again.

            4. Can You Recover Data After Formatting a Write-Protected SD Card?

            Once you have removed the write protection and formatted your SD card, it is safe to reuse the card for saving data. In case you have lost data, you can utilize powerful data recovery software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover data from the SD card.

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