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You’ve got your trusty USB flash drive plugged into your computer, and you go to copy some files to it. Then you get this – “The disk is write protected. Remove the write protection or use another disk.” Then you say, “Whaaaaaa….?!?!” How did this happen? This is your USB stick, you should be able to read, write and do whatever you want with it!

Deep breath and stay calm. It is just an error message. You and I are going to go through a few simple steps to fix write protection on USB drives and make your USB flash drive work again, in the manner that you expect it to. It’s just technology, we can fix it.

Step 1 – Check The USB Drive For Viruses

Every time you plug a USB drive into your computer, you should be automatically scanning it for viruses – especially if you have used it on computers that you don’t own, or public computers. Viruses often act in a manner that will fill your USB drive with nonsense files and this can make your USB drive respond with the Write Protected error.

Depending on the antivirus software that you have, you may be able to configure it to automatically scan USB Drives when they are plugged in. If not, usually you can navigate to the USB drive in Windows Explorer, right-click on it and make your antivirus software scan it manually.

fix write protection on usb

If you do find a virus, then it would be best to eliminate it using your antivirus software. I’d also recommend performing a scan with at least one other antivirus scanner, as not all antiviruses are 100% complete in their anti-virus definitions. Chances are where there is one virus, there are two or more.

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Step 2 – Check The USB Drive Body

Normally I’d make something this simple, step one. However I’d rather see you protected from viruses first and then have you check the simple thing factor. Some USB flash drives have a mechanical switch on them that puts them into Write Protect mode.  This can be a very small slider switch which may have caught on something in your pocket or computer case.

If this is the situation, then simply move the switch to the unlocked position and try to copy files again. It should work now.

fix write protection

On the upside there aren’t a lot of USB sticks with these locks on them anymore. So there is a good chance that’s not the issue for you. On the downside, if this isn’t the issue the following fixes are slightly more complicated.

Step 3 – Check To Make Sure the Flash Drive Isn’t Full

If your USB stick is full, you may also get the Write Protect error message. So, simply pop into Windows Explorer, find your USB Drive, right-click on it and select Properties. This will give you the nice pie chart display of the Used and Free space available on your USB Stick.

(Fun Fact: The scientific reason why pie charts are so popular is that people like pie). It appears that my drive is barely used at all!

fix write protection

Step 4 – Is It Just That File?

Make sure that it isn’t just the file that is write protected. Yes, you would get a different error message, but maybe you jumped to conclusions and thought it was the whole USB flash drive. It happens. If I can freak out like that, so could you.

fix write protection

Right-click on the file that you’re trying to write to and then click on Properties. Now you’ll see some options at the bottom of this window and one of them is Read-only. Make sure this box is unchecked and then click on the Apply button. You should now be able to write to this file.

fix write protect usb drive

Step 5 – Diskpart Command Line Utility

Have you ever worked in the command line on Windows? Well you’re about to. It’s not as scary as one might think, and as such it is the next logical step before going into the Windows Registry.

Click on your Start Menu and type cmd in the Search for programs and files field. Now, hit your Enter key. You’ll see a window looking like the following:

fix write protect usb drive

Type in the command diskpart and hit Enter. Diskpart is a disk-partitioning tool that is built into Windows and is accessible through the Command Line Utility. With it, we can change the values associated with your USB drive.

A new command line window will open. Type list disk and then hit Enter. You’ll now see a list of disks available in Windows. If your USB drive isn’t listed here, this won’t help you any. You can see in my example below that all that is showing are the two partitions on my computer’s hard drive. My USB drive doesn’t show up in here for whatever reason.

fix write protect usb drive

If it is listed here, make a note of the number beside it. Make sure that this is indeed your USB drive! Now type the command select disk 3, assuming your USB drive is number 3, and hit Enter. Type attributes disk clear readonly and then hit Enter. You have now cleared any Read-Only attribute that might be on that USB drive.

Type exit and hit Enter to leave the DiskPart utility. Try your USB drive again. Still getting the Write Protect Error?

Step 6 – Into the Registry We Go

If none of the previous steps helped you out, then we have to do something a little dangerous – we are going into the registry. If you are not comfortable going into the registry, I understand. You may want to skip to Step 7, but that means going on to formatting your USB drive. Or, you can have a friend who is a computer technician check the registry for you. Or you can try it out yourself. This is a fairly simple registry change, so hang in there. I think you can do it.

Click on your Start Menu and type regedit into the Search for programs and files field. You’ll see something like the image below.

Hit your Enter key. The Registry Editor window will now open. By clicking on the arrows next to the menu items, navigate to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies

and look for a key named WriteProtect.

If that key exists, right-click on it and click on Modify.

Now, you’ll probably find that the value for this is set to 1. 1 means “Yes, write protect my USB storage device.” So you can guess that 0 means “No, don’t write protect my USB storage device.” Now change that value to 0 and click on the OK button.

Close Registry Editor, remove your USB device and then plug it back in again. You should now be able to write to your USB stick.

If not, it is Disk Formatting Time.

Step 7 – Format The USB Drive

WARNING: Make sure that you back up all the files and information from your USB drive to your computer. All data will be lost once the USB drive is formatted.

Formatting the hard drive is a last resort. However, it should make your USB drive able to be read and written to. Prior to formatting the USB drive, determine what kind of file system it already has – NTFS or FAT32. Normally the file system that it already has will be the file system that is best suited for the drive.

Remember how we went into Windows Explorer, right-clicked on the USB drive and selected Properties back in Step 3? Let’s do that again.

There it is – File system: FAT32. If you want more information on file systems and formatting USB Flash Drives, Tina has a solid article on that, called, “How To Format A USB Drive & Why You Would Need To How To Format A USB Drive & Why You Would Need To How To Format A USB Drive & Why You Would Need To Read More “.

Close out the Properties window and right-click on your USB drive in Windows Explorer again. Click on Format.

In the Format window, you’ve got some options. We’ve already determined that we’re going to use the FAT32 File System for this particular drive. For Allocation Unit Size, select the highest amount you can if you’ve got a USB drive with a capacity over 1GB, go smaller if your USB drive is smaller. I don’t know of too many people with a USB flash drive less than 1GB so 64 kilobytes should be fine.

fix write protection on usb

You can make the Volume label something that is meaningful to you. I’m just leaving it as KINGSTON for now. Because we may be dealing with a USB drive with hardware issues, I suggest unchecking the Quick format box. That will force the format to do more than just erase files. If there is a bad sector on this USB drive, a full format will will throw an error. If that’s the case, then you may want to check out my article, “How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again Read More “.

The formatting shouldn’t take too long. Of course, the larger the volume, the longer the formatting will take. Assuming there is no physical problem with the drive, your USB drive will be formatted, cleaned and ready to read from and write to.

The Take Away

Sometimes the problem is simple and can be dealt with simply. Try those methods first as they are most often the correct ones. If the problem is deep and requires drastic measure, make sure that is indeed the case. You’ve got a lot more troubleshooting tools in your arsenal now and should be able to get your USB drives working again, potentially saving you a tidy sum of money.

And all we ask is that you let us know how it went, in the comments below. Of course, if you have any additional tips, we like to read those too.

Image Source: Padlock USB via Shutterstock

  1. Clinton Ouma
    September 23, 2016 at 9:59 am

    I have a 16GB flash drive that was provided by the firm I work for. It came from the manufacturer with write protection. All the suggestions above have not worked. I can't format it or delete any file from it. Please help

  2. Amir Haziq
    September 15, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Im on the last step but when i tried to format it, there is a box written in it "the disk is write-protected. what should i do now?

  3. stefan
    September 15, 2016 at 6:31 am

    hello,

    thanks everything is explaining very clearly but i have still the write proteced on with going to all the steps you write done.

  4. Bobber
    September 7, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    I have a 32 GB Cruzer that I am unable to Delete or Format. It has a copy of the Windows XP Folder.
    I have tried everything that I have found on the web and nothing works - it says it's Write-Protected but I can't remove the Read-Only Attribute. I have run "Unlocker" but that doesn't work.
    I can't find anything else to try.

  5. Fidel Bañuelos
    September 4, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! My thumb drive did have a write protection switch on it. Did not know that!

  6. puneet
    September 1, 2016 at 10:22 am

    followed all the 7 steps. at the last formatting step got a pop up window that read "the disk is write protected"

  7. Daniel Germano
    August 29, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I have done all of that but no change I'm just going to through this one in the bin and but another one

  8. Fady
    August 27, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    I have done everything you've mentioned and I'm still facing the same problem. Even failed to format it. But thanks for your help anyway.

  9. john
    August 26, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    i had to go into the registry, it worked. thanks for this :)

  10. Elly
    August 15, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    I completed the CMD but that didn't work. I went into the registry but I could only get to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control the next path wasn't there. There was storage but nothing that could help me.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies

    Also I can't format it because it says it's write protected. My USB was working fine last week.

    So I still can't use my USB which has all my files on. I have managed to deleted them from my NAS drive last night and this is an older, but not too old version. Really stressed now and have lost a day of work :(

    • Fady
      August 27, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      Right click on Storage and then click on a New DWORD (32-bit) Value and name it WriteProtect.

  11. Deepak Murkute
    August 9, 2016 at 8:56 am

    There is no option of storagepolicies in registry in given navigation path.

    • cdgcngc
      August 9, 2016 at 5:49 pm

      you have to create storagepolicies manually, juste type in google : storagepolicies doesn't exist and u will find the way to create it easilyyyyy, because i already had the same issue and that what i did exactly to resolve it

  12. Terence
    August 8, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Thanks very detailed & good information!

  13. Matt
    August 7, 2016 at 2:43 am

    Tried everything and nothing worked and I still can't format. I do not have an option for storagedevicepolicies. Anyhow thank you for this informative information.

  14. MDC
    August 5, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Tried everything suggested, still write protected and won't format, looks like a return

  15. Tanveer Anam
    August 2, 2016 at 10:38 am

    I've done as your tips, but still my pen-drive isn't formatting. What is next brother?

  16. Heather
    July 20, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    I'm on Windows 10 and after typing diskpart I am just given a long list of commands and not the list of disks. Is it different for Win 10?

    • Heather
      July 21, 2016 at 1:54 am

      I sorted that part out but I don't have the location storagedevicepolicies. I tried to format but it won't allow me to do that, gives the same error "this disk is write-protected". Any ideas?

    • Heather
      July 21, 2016 at 1:59 am

      I even did a search in the registry for writeprotect and didn't find anything.

  17. Lisette van de Graaf
    July 15, 2016 at 8:09 am

    After all these steps my USB stick still isn't working. :(

    • Toby Lehman
      July 22, 2016 at 1:11 am

      same here

  18. Gad
    July 11, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Thanks ! Step 6 worked for me ! :D

  19. Saurabh Sharma
    July 4, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    None of the steps worked for me

    • hgg
      July 19, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      me too

  20. Aaron
    June 24, 2016 at 7:25 am

    What should I do

  21. Aaron
    June 24, 2016 at 7:25 am

    None of the steps worked I might be having a serious problem with my USB

  22. Karen
    June 21, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    I made the StorageDevicePolicies folder in the Registry, but what now? What the heck is the DWORD? I've read the comments and am still clueless.

    • Guy McDowell
      June 21, 2016 at 7:47 pm

      The DWORD is a type of value for a registry key. If you're not comfortable working in the registry, I recommend staying out of it. A little mistake can lead to a big problem very quickly when working in the registry.

  23. Aunt Crabby
    June 21, 2016 at 1:34 am

    I did have to create the StorageDevicePolicies folder and add the DWORD, but by golly it worked. Many thanks.

    • Guy McDowell
      June 21, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      Excellent. Well done! It's risk, you took a chance, and it paid off.

  24. Behrooz
    June 17, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    The perfect way. solved my problem after a month .. great
    Thanks Sir

    • Guy McDowell
      June 21, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      Very glad I could be of some help.

  25. michael
    June 11, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Hi thanks for the info, but none of the methods worked on my USB stick

    • Guy McDowell
      June 15, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      Keep reading in the comments. There are lots of other suggestions from readers like you, who got their USB flash drives working.

  26. Robert
    June 9, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    In windows XP, it must be an issue with windows itself, not the card ot the usb drive, I tried it in a different computer with Win7 and I was able to format the card, came back to WinXP and same crap happened again. there must be another solution at OS level.

  27. Nishul Tomar
    June 7, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    there was no storageDeveicePolicies folder i could find

    • Guy McDowell
      June 15, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      You would have to create it. But messing around in the registry is a last resort. If you are not completely comfortable working in the registry, don't do it.

  28. Tiago
    June 6, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks. All the other websites were not working, since they didn't talk about the switch on and off option on the pend drive...

    • Guy McDowell
      June 15, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      Thank you.
      There are many things that can go wrong with technology. I'm glad I was able to offer the solution you needed.

  29. Ambro
    June 5, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Thanks, but it didn't work. I will keep looking.

    • Guy McDowell
      June 15, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      Keep reading through the comments. There are lots of ideas to try that couldn't be fit into the article.

  30. Kamran Faisal
    June 4, 2016 at 7:06 am

    I am greatful to you for sharing useful information. DISKPART method work for me on windows 10.

  31. rjane
    June 3, 2016 at 9:23 am

    it didnt work.. :(

  32. Muhammad Zain
    May 29, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing useful information. DISKPART method work for me on windows 10.

  33. Ravi
    May 29, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    not working any of them sir

    plz suggest software for san disk cruizer blade 32 gb

  34. Princess Moneba
    May 26, 2016 at 2:58 am

    I tried all your methods but it didn't work. Just like what you've said, " If your USB drive isn’t listed here, this won’t help you any. You can see in my example below that all that is showing are the two partitions on my computer’s hard drive. My USB drive doesn’t show up in here for whatever reason." So what i did is, I typed "SElect disk 3", But "no disk" was the response given to me.
    Then, i also tried the RegEdit.Exe, yet when I tried to find the "Storage Device Policies". It turns out that it has no "StorageDevicePolicies" instead it was just "Storage". That was available on my disk.

    So please help me with my problem. I don't know what to do. I'm losing hope and a bit frustrated to what had happen, about this "write Protected". Hopefully, you would help me because i don't wanna lose my files which is very important to me. I treasured all those so please i really need your help. Help me please to solve my problem.

    Please leave a message with my accounts.
    Gmail: princessjoycemoneba@gmail.com
    Yahoo: gongju_joiseu@yahoo.com
    Thank you in advance!! :) :)

  35. Bxc AC
    May 24, 2016 at 6:04 am

    i have tried all the methods but it doesn't work. I just can view the content of the USB but cannot do any changes to it.

    What should i do?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  36. Reece
    May 20, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    It wont let me format as FAT32

  37. farhad maiel
    May 20, 2016 at 10:24 am

    i have a san disk 32gb usb flash which is write protected.
    i have tried all those methods to fix it but it doesn't work any of them.
    it opens and show everything on it.
    but I cant delete,cut,copy,rename,format my flash
    if u can help me. please answer me on my facebook/ [ farhad maiel ] account or email :farhadmaiel10@gmail.com

  38. Glenda
    May 17, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    I have a Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk External Drive (file system exFAT) which I use with my old XP computer. All of a sudden today I started having problems with saving or backing up to it.

    When I tried to back up my Quicken files, I got this message: "Unable to access the disk in Drive G. Please make sure the drive is ready and the disk is not write-protected."
    When I tried to do "save as" for an Excel file, I got this message: "Cannot save the file. The location you want to save to is write-protected."

    Your advice was very helpful. I was able to remove write protection from my USB device by using the Diskpart Command Line Utility. I am now able to back up Quicken files and save Excel files to it.

    However, when I opened the Seagate properties tried to do error checking and disk defragmentation, I couldn't do either one. The defrag option gave this error: "Cannot run on this volume type" and check disk with the option to automatically fix file system errors, it gave this message: "Windows was unable to complete the disk check."

    In the past both of these had worked just fine. What else should I do?

    Many thanks for your help.

  39. Emmanuel
    May 11, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Thanks for the Tut but i could not find the StorageDevicePolicies registry

    • David
      May 18, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      I have the same problem! It just isn't there.

    • Guy McDowell
      May 20, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      You could create the key in that spot, but I'd only recommend that as a last resort. A real last resort. Messing with the registry can go bad in a hurry.

    • emma
      May 28, 2016 at 12:42 pm

      how do i create

  40. Ryan
    May 7, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Hi Everyone,

    I have been to multiple websites, Youtube videos and blogs. All end up with the same advice you provided. None of these have worked. My error happened while copying files tyo the drive. I can access thedata, and copy it off, but cannot modify or add new data. The easiest way to explain my methods is below.

    PHYSICAL CHECK - No switches or buttons (Kingston DT 100 G3 32GB USB3).

    ANTIVIRUS - Was the 1st thing I checked, Avast, AVG, Kapersky, Nortons, Malwarebytes, nothing found.

    DISKPART - It changed the Write Protect to NO, but the "Current Status Write Protect" will not change from YES. (tried multiple little tricks like removing straight away and plugging back in, rebooting, but nothing works)

    REGEDIT - Did not have StoageDevicePolicies. Found how to add this to my editor, but this also did not work.

    FORMAT - Will let me select all the requirements for my format but when click OK, just tells me its write protected. Manufacturer - Tried a Kingston USB3 format tool from their website for this exact product, but the same deal.

    MULTPLE PCS - I build and repair computers for friends, so tried testing on other machines (including all the steps already completed above) and still couldn't get a result.

    In conclusion, I find it puzzling that the drive still works except for the protection, but I can only deduce that it is a hardware fault and that I need to bin it when the data on it is no longer useful (just music and some documents). I have already spent enough time on this that I should have just bought a new one, especially when you work out your hourly pay rate. So if anyone else has this problem, don't keep searching if you've done all of the steps, just let it go.

    Cheers,
    Ryan

    • KL
      May 10, 2016 at 2:01 am

      Have you tried Linux (Ubuntu or Mint) via a live CD?

      Linux have a disk tool that comes with the linux operating system simply called DISK which you access from the start menu.
      My Kinston USB drive became unmountable after I made it a bootable USB........and I could not format the disk.
      However after firing up the DISK tool in Linux, the tool gave me 2 options.
      1) to delete partition.......or 2)Write a new file system .
      I tried both options...........but no2, "write new file system"..........worked and now my USB stick works as normal again.

  41. Rohit
    May 4, 2016 at 4:09 am

    All Step are complete but not run my pen drive

  42. T. Chris Minor
    May 3, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    Hi I have a 16GB Thumb drive that is giving the 'write protected' error, I have tried all your suggested steps and no matter what route I take it does not remove the write protect error.The only files on the thumb drive are a coupe of old transfer saves. If you have any further suggestions I'd love to hear them.
    Thanks,
    Chris Minor
    Sacramento CA

    I'm running Windows 10 Pro
    on a Intel I7 with 16GB of Memory

  43. amro
    April 29, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    sorry i do all steps but it dosen't fix

  44. Elie
    April 26, 2016 at 11:36 am

    i followed step 6 step by step , but the problem was that i couldnt do the last step since i couldnt find the arrow "storage device policies" any help???

    • Elie
      April 26, 2016 at 11:38 am

      in addition, none of the steps has worked out even the prompt, i really need ur help in fixing the problem

  45. Colby Kordas
    April 26, 2016 at 2:50 am

    THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!!! it was literately the cards switch was on lock!

  46. Max
    April 17, 2016 at 11:24 am

    THANK YOU! The command line thing worked :D

    • Guy McDowell
      April 19, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      Hi Max,

      I'm very glad I could help. Happy computing!

  47. Guy McDowell
    April 8, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    If you're still having problems with your USB flash drive, here are some other resources to try:

    HDD Low Level Format helps perform a very thorough formatting of a drive. Be sure to select the right drive.

    mUsbFixer is a free and tiny tool to remove write-protection and format the pendrives and SD cards.

    Check these articles for additional help:

    How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive
    How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again
    Windows Can’t Format Your Disk? How to Fix It.

    Also, check with the maker of your USB thumb drive to see if they have any tools to help, or advice to give. They may even offer a refund. Here are some links to some major USB thumb drive makers:

    Sandisk USB Flash Drive Support Page
    Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page
    Transcend USB Flash Drive Support Page
    PNY USB Flash Drive Support Page
    Patriot Memory USB Flash Drive Support Page

    If the maker of your USB Flash Drive is not in that list, try searching for them with Google, Bing, whatever search engine you like.

    If you don't mind getting deeeeeep into your USB and some technology you might never have worked with, check out this firmware-based method that might recover your USB drive.

  48. albert
    April 8, 2016 at 12:42 am

    I try all of those methodes and none of them works

  49. Vlad
    April 7, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    None of this methods didn`t work. I had tried all of them over and over again. Any other methods?

  50. Greeze
    April 5, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    I tried everything and it didn't work as well. It seems my usb disk is bricked or dead but the methods in this post helped me revive my 4GB thumb drive.

    • Guy McDowell
      April 8, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      Cool. I'm glad you were able to find the fix you needed.

      We'll probably add on to this article or write an updated one at some point.

      Thank you for reading and letting everyone know about another method.

  51. john alvic
    April 4, 2016 at 1:49 am

    i try everything but it doesn't work.

  52. Nucho Vidas
    April 3, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Hi I didn’t find the path “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/StorageDevicePolicies”
    I just found “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/Storage” I’m using windows XP please help

  53. Susan
    March 30, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Value Data was already set to 0.

  54. John o
    March 25, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    None of the above fixed my flash drive. What did?
    1 back the whole thing up to your hard drive
    2 plug in the flash drive
    3 power pc down
    4 boot hitting F8 to come up in DOS SAFE Mode
    5 Format the FLASH DRIVE
    6 power down
    7 Boot to normal windows
    8 IF Windows does not recognize the flash drive, format it again. This will automatically be a 'quick format' (1 minute)
    Write protect is gone!! Done!!

  55. Kenneth Juergens
    March 25, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    I had two Scan Disk USB flash drives (32GB & 64GB) that were formatted in the exFAT format that kept giving me the "Write Protected" warning when I tried to change the name of a file or erase a file. I am using a Dell Inspiron 530 with XP installed. I tried these suggestions and others that were similar that were found on the internet but I had no success.

    I then ran check disk on each USB Flash drive and this corrected the problem for both flash drives. I ran check disk by inserting a USB Flash Drive into the computer and then going to Run (under the start menu in Windows XP) and typing in chkdsk e: /r (spacing is important) and then selecting OK. It took about 130 seconds to complete for my 64GB Flash drive. Note: e: is the drive in which my Scan Disk 64GB USB Flash Drive was located.

    I am curious if I was lucky or if this is actually a solution so please post your results so others will know.

    • Kenneth Juergens
      March 25, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      Note: In the above post I used chkdsk e: /r because my USB Flash Drive was using the e: drive. If yours uses a different drive after you inser it, then use that drive letter in in place of e:

  56. jack
    March 24, 2016 at 9:08 am

    did not work :(

    • jack
      March 24, 2016 at 9:09 am

      tried every single thing.
      :(

  57. david
    March 20, 2016 at 6:06 am

    Hi I didn't find the path "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/StorageDevicePolicies"
    I just found "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/Storage" I'm using windows 10 Thnaks

  58. mofid
    March 18, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    I tried all the ways but in vain

  59. Kosovar
    March 17, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Thank youuuuuuuu, from KOSOVO

    • Guy McDowell
      March 17, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      You're very welcome!
      Thank you for reading. :)

  60. Christina
    March 4, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    My problem hasn't been resolved after all this, sorry to say.

    My USB drive suddenly started telling me that the disk is write protected. It has been working fine prior to this msg and now it isn't at all. Someone please help, as I cannot insert my windows disc to make it all go away like Sead has mentioned. Also, I'm using Windows 10 if that changes any steps I would have to take.

  61. Ravi Shrestha
    February 28, 2016 at 3:52 am

    Thanks mate.. the diskpart command utility line worked in my case.. Cheerzzz

    • Guy McDowell
      February 29, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      Glad to hear it. Thanks for reading!

  62. Yemi
    February 26, 2016 at 8:32 am

    You are damn Good Buddy

    • Guy McDowell
      February 29, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      I does what I cans. :)

  63. amdb
    February 23, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    My USB
    1. Doesn't have virus on it,
    2. It is not even full,
    3. All the files are write protected (i've tried the properties and unchecked the readonly, but still failed)
    4. And my USB body doesn't have the write protect switch,
    5. I've tried the CMD, it says that it was successful but it didn't,
    6. I tried regedit but i can't find the StorageDevicePolicies, mine only has storage,
    7. And the last i tried to format it, but it says that it can't be format because it is WRITE PROTECTED

    By the way i am using windows 7, and my laptop is a notebook, so i can't insert a CD like saed adjar said, i was wondering if it were because my chipset usb are broken or maybe it was because i am using windows 7, please anyone do kindly help me, I would be bless, thank you.

  64. krishna
    February 21, 2016 at 11:12 am

    I am using windows 8.1 and i don't have that directory. I mean it has storage and storage management but, there is no storage device policies

  65. Sead Ajdar
    February 18, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    I have a variant how to remove Write protection on your USB Flash drive
    Step 1. insert your CD with Windows XP
    Step 2. insert your USB Flash drive into your PC
    Step 3. reboot your system (keep in mind that you are about to fix the issue about your usb not installing windows XP)
    Step 4.Boot form CD
    Step.5 Press any key to boot form CD.....
    Step 6.Follow the instruction properly till you reach the step on witch partition you like to install windows
    Step 7. Locate your USB Flash drive and delete it
    Step 8. Reboot your system
    Step 9. When your system booted to windows go to my computer right-click click to manage
    step 10. go to disk management and repartition your USB to normal condition and format with FAT32

    Done!!!! you have fixed the issue with your usb flash drive

    • Guy McDowell
      February 18, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      Creative, and I can see how that would work. I'd imagine that might work with any version of Windows install disk.

  66. LP
    February 15, 2016 at 3:35 am

    I USED ALL THE METHODS NOTHING HAPPEN IN MY USB FLASH DRIVE. AND STILL IT HAS A FILE .TMP I DONT KNOW WHAT IS THAT.

    • Guy McDowell
      February 23, 2016 at 11:17 pm

      .tmp is a temporary file. It might get created whenever you plug in your USB flash drive. Temporary, or temp, files are little system files where things like variables and other settings get written to.

      Once whatever application needs that info is done with it, it sometimes gets erased. Depends on what's using it.

      You don't see them much because they are often hidden from view as either hidden or system files. Maybe you have View Hidden Files turned on in your Windows Explorer.

      It's nothing to worry about.

  67. vivek
    February 13, 2016 at 10:39 am

    the diskpart cmd worked great! awesome write up mate :)

  68. Maurice
    February 11, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Guy McDowell musbfixer worked fine for me thanks

  69. savio nsereko gibson
    February 11, 2016 at 8:42 am

    ALL THIS STEPS DID NOT WORK FOR ME BECAUSE WHEN I INSERTED MY USB IT SAID YOU NEED TO FORMAT THE DRIVE THEN TRIED TO FORMAT BT STIL CNT DO THAT BECAUSE IT SAYS ITS WRITE PROTECTED.CAN U HELP ME WITH FULL STEPS OF CMD.

  70. Kristopher
    February 10, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    This didn't work for me. I scanned my USB drive for viruses and it found none, and it won’t let me format it or check it for errors. Whenever I try to do either, it just gives me an error saying that it’s write-protected. What can I do?

  71. PL
    February 10, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Thanks, "Step 5 – Diskpart Command Line Utility" worked for me. Fixed my microSD write protect.

  72. Guy McDowell is an Idiot
    February 5, 2016 at 4:10 am

    Your files are garbage. I ran through all of your steps, clicked through your links and no solution. This is a brand new thumb drive that I just wasted hours transferring data onto, ejected it, inserted into a new computer to have Windows tell me it is write protected when I never chose to do so.

    Clearly you know as little as Windows as to why this is happening so thanks for nothing.

  73. hello
    January 26, 2016 at 1:43 am

    Could be that you're trying to copy a file larger than 4GB to a FAT32 formatted drive. That's what the problem I was having was, and you'll need to format it to something other than FAT32 to fix it.

    • Guy McDowell
      January 27, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      Good call. Thank you!

  74. Romeo R
    January 24, 2016 at 7:58 am

    If you have already tried all these methods and did not work, please contact me via e-mail and I will get instruction for format your stick (rada_romeo at yahoo dot com)

  75. arshad
    January 17, 2016 at 5:35 am

    try partition guro pro

  76. Rizky Yoga O
    January 16, 2016 at 11:04 am

    I have write protected usb and cant be solve till now. another website tell me the chip set was broken. and I just go to the store to buy new USB.

    • Guy McDowell
      January 18, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      This article helped you out? I hope so.

      Sometimes the drive can be damaged inside beyond repair. It does happen.

  77. joe blo-me
    January 10, 2016 at 1:59 am

    didn't work. waste of time / 10

  78. Rajat
    January 8, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Okay, tried almost every damn thing that is listed here. But, no luck. I bought my Dell Pendrive just a few days ago, and it didn't work at the first go. I formatted it and it showed, "your disk is now writeprotected". Please help me, man. I need this drive urgently. Thanks!

  79. Onkar RK
    December 25, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    I brought this new Samsung SD card, and it got corrupted all by it own within the first two weeks. I recovered the data, somehow, but I'm unable to format it using all the above methods. What do I do?

    • Guy McDowell
      December 28, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      I recommend returning it to where you bought it. They may refund your money or exchange it for a new one.

  80. CK
    December 16, 2015 at 11:06 am

    I did everything you said, and when nothing worked I followed your formatting instructions and it would not format....gave message disk is write protected. This is a drive that I have written/rewritten on for several years and suddenly I can't write anything. I have an MIS background and followed the instructions exactly.

  81. pavan
    December 8, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    i cant find writeprotect icon in regedit process

    • KENNETH
      January 4, 2016 at 7:43 pm

      ME EITHER ITS NOT THERE

    • Suraj
      January 13, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      If u cannot find then you have to create the folder.
      Refer to this site: http://www.wikihow.com/Disable-Write-Protection
      See under method 3.

  82. Arbadee
    November 30, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Flash sticks have become pretty cheap in the last few years and I agree with Guy. "Don't spend a lot of time trying to fix one - just buy a newer "bigger and better" one if the simple solutions don't work." Usually if the simple ones don't work it probably means the device is toast anyway and you are just trying to chase your own shadow.

    These devices don't make good backups so don't rely on them and assume the data you copy to them is %100 save - it's not. If it's important data keep an extra copy on a separate flash stick. I have seen too many of these devices fail and it always seems to be at the most inappropriate time.

  83. Haster
    November 30, 2015 at 2:30 am

    I purchased a 32 GB USB drive and suspected that it was a fake because of the cheap price. So I used a very common testing program from Germany (forgot the name). Don't use the testing program. The testing program corrupted the drive and it became unformattable. Prior to that, it was possible to format the drive. The testing program tries to write into locations outside of its address range, and I suspect it wrote into the programmable logic.

    The USB drive indeed had a problem with FAT32 folders and broke its own file system when writing on multiple folders, needing reformatting. However, it could actually store 32 GB, if there were no folders and subfolders. I suspected a problem so ran the testing program, which corrupted the drive and now I cant format it.

  84. Masamune
    November 30, 2015 at 1:55 am

    None of the methods worked for me. Although I suspect it's because of the age of my flash drive (At least 7 years).

    I think i've read about it somewhere that a flash drive can only be written on for a finite number of times. Somewhere within the thousand range. After that, you won't be able to put files into the drive, but you can still read the files that was inside it.

    My flash drive is pretty much like that. I could use it to play the music in it days ago but yesterday, however, I formatted my drive and it became write protected. So yeah. Just though it might be worth mentioning.

  85. Haster
    November 29, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Everyone here is reporting that these suggestions don't work. Problem is that the drive is not formatted. But when trying to format it, it says write protected. The bios on the drive seems to be corrupted.

    Guy McDowell should get a clue and update his solutions so that he offers a solution to this most common case.

    • Guy McDowell
      November 29, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      I've offered some approaches for a problem that could be caused by a multitude of issues.

      These approaches have helped some people but not others. No one article could comprehensively address all possible causes.

      If what I've offered doesn't solve your specific problem, feel free to move on. There are thousands of articles out there. Surely one of them will assist you better.

    • Haster
      November 29, 2015 at 10:48 pm

      Fair reply. But I think my problem is pretty common and that is what drives people to search for a solution on Google. Most of the comments below are referring to the same problem - unable to format an unformatted drive. And we don't know who the manufacturer is. Is there a way to find out?

      Is it the case that USB drives or flash cards have a piece of programmable logic or firmware that can get corrupted, hence making them unformattable?

      Given your extensive knowledge on such matters, I would think you can shed some light on this pressing problem.

      Thanks.

    • Guy McDowell
      November 30, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      I think the specific subject is worthy of a new article.

      Adding on within this article is a bit of an editing nightmare.

      On USB flash drives there are two main parts: a controller and the flash chip.
      One or both of those could be damaged physically. Configuration and firmware could be corrupted as well.

      The process of fixing those has a pretty high likelihood of rendering the drive unrecoverable. That's why I recommend getting a new one if the fixes in this article don't work.

      If you want to fix it for the fun of trying, it might be worthwhile. If you're trying to fix it to save money, you may have already spent enough time to have earned the money to buy a new one.

  86. Haster
    November 29, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    The problem is that there seems to be some kind of bios on the flash drive. If this bios is corrupted, then nothing by Windows works.

    Where I can find a piece of software to reset the bios on the flash drive?

  87. Haster
    November 29, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    This set of suggestions is useless for the problem that brings us here. Google should not put this on top of search.

    Problem: When trying to format, it says write protected.

    None of the suggestions works if the damn thing is not formatted.

  88. www
    November 13, 2015 at 10:06 am

    hazvishande zvima steps zvacho.....not working all them

  89. S.Luke
    November 12, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Unfortunately none of those suggestions worked. When I tried to format the USB I still got the error message that it was a protected disk. I did the Diskpart and the read-only state said yes but the read-only said no. This is a 2 gb usb and I would like to be able to use it. I did have files on there but now can't seem to see them. I'm willing to lose them if I could get it to format.

  90. Jeremy Lanfranco
    November 11, 2015 at 4:53 am

    The reason I want to write protect is to be able to insert my pen drive into public computers without the pen drive being infected with viruses. I give lectures at university and most computers are infected. I have managed to write protect using the attributes set readonly command but it will only protect my pen drive on the computer I have enabled write protect. Is there a way to write protect it for all computers.?

    • Guy McDowell
      November 14, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      In Windows Explorer, select your USB drive.
      Right-click on that drive and select Properties.
      In the new window, click on the Security tab.
      Select the user Everyone and click on the Edit button.
      At the bottom of the resulting window check the boxes in the Deny column next to Full Control, Modify, and Write.
      Click on the OK button.

      Now that drive cannot be written to from anyone, including yourself. To undo that, just follow the same steps but uncheck the Full Control, Modify, and Write boxes.

  91. Larry Zweig
    October 31, 2015 at 12:09 am

    With me the readonly would only come a certain amount of time after connecting the usb... maybe 30 seconds, so I had that much time to start formatting, but after this time, none of the 7 steps helped.

  92. Rosano Torres
    October 29, 2015 at 5:30 am

    I've finished trying your Steps 1 to 7 but none of them worked. I'm still encountering same problem. Every time I try to format my USB drive, I still receive a message "The disk is write protedted." Please helped me. I am also a technical person but may be not as good as you. In fact I have done all your steps except for Stept 6 (editing the registry) before I come to encouter your web site. What else can I do to remove that protection?

    • Rosano Torres
      October 29, 2015 at 5:35 am

      By the way when I tried to edit my registry, I don't have the folder .....\StorageDevicePolicies all I have is .....\Storage

    • irene
      November 20, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      same problem here. How did you fix it at last?

    • Guy McDowell
      November 20, 2015 at 8:43 pm

      You can create that folder. But I get the feeling you're not an expert with the registry, so maybe you should try something else.

      Working in the registry is tricky business. It can make your Windows inoperable and force you to reinstall it.

  93. Max Xe
    October 28, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Got to step 7 but I can't format my USB, it still says that it's write protected.

  94. Zhaleh Manbari
    October 28, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    hi
    i used all above steps. but this error: "write protected" is shown, yet. even i cant format usb disk. what am i doing? help me please.

  95. rahialrahi
    October 23, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Step 6 worked very well with me .. Thanks alot.

  96. Vivek Vardhan
    October 22, 2015 at 4:53 am

    The Registry editor trick helped me a lot :) Thanks for the help .... Appreciated ...

  97. Samer Alkayyali
    October 12, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    write protect switch helped me, thanks a lot :)

    • Guy McDowell
      October 14, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      My pleasure. Thank you for reading.

  98. Johnsy Mondejar Aure
    October 9, 2015 at 10:24 am

    The Registry helped me. Thanks!

    • Guy McDowell
      October 9, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      Glad it worked out for you. You're welcome!

  99. Kane Bekkattla
    September 25, 2015 at 1:01 am

    When i used my The Registry Editor there was no write protect or storage device policies the closet thing i have is Usbflags. what do i do? it won't even format instead it say can not format write protected.

  100. Maryjane Miranda
    August 24, 2015 at 9:41 am

    i have what you said but nothings happen...my USB is SANDISK.

  101. Mallik
    August 20, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    i had done all ur methods but still am getting "your disk is write protected " while i was formating so plz help me and respond asap

  102. markmarriottuk
    July 31, 2015 at 2:04 am

    Hi.
    I've tried all of your options but my USB is still write protected. It won't even let me format it as it just comes up and says the disk is write protected.
    I have just found out that my laptop is now write protecting every single USB drive I put into my ports.
    Do you have any advice on how to sort out this issue?
    Thanks.

  103. umer farooq
    July 24, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Hey McDowell:-
    I have 8gb sony usb flash drive I try all the soft wares and cmd,reg edit and I also scan with antivirus but it does not worked. and also check the maker of USB thumb support page but doesn't format............. so please help me......

    • Guy McDowell
      July 24, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      Hi Umer,

      It's probably time to say goodbye to it.

      My rule of thumb for when to give up on something like this is time to fix multiplied what I make an hour. When that becomes more than it would cost to buy a new one, it's time to get a new one.

      If the flash drive costs $20, and I make $10 an hour, I'm not going to work on it for more than two hours.I might work on it longer if there are critical files on it, but not much longer.

      Just a different way to look at it. Hope that helps somehow.

    • NIkola Rad
      August 13, 2015 at 12:51 am

      ITs easyest to say buy new ..but in one week 2 my usb kingstont usb sticks just locked 2 write for no f obwius reason and they are all just 2 months old and were not cheap at all..i tryed every single thing there is on the internet but no go..still write protect .. cant format with anuthing on any computer even with kingston format tool..disk part also nothing ..its shame that they sell this crap

    • Guy McDowell
      August 13, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      Have you tried calling or writing to Kingston? If the flash drives are that new, they are probably still under warranty.

      Kingston Data USB Flash Drive Support Page

      Another thing to look at is if your USB ports are providing too high or too low voltage and amperage. Is it possible the USB ports are damaged and that is causing damage to the flash drives? To get you started, review my article, Dead USB Port? Here’s How to Diagnose and Fix It!

      Also check for viruses, malware, etc. on your computer that may be affecting the USB drives.

      See, you probably haven't tried EVERYTHING on the Internet. ;) That's a big old Internet out there.

  104. Raffaele Alessandro
    July 15, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    When trying to format my USB it says "the disk is write protected".. I have tried everything including the Registry method and its still not working. I've tried installing software but its still not working? What should I do?

  105. Jesus Garcia
    June 22, 2015 at 12:48 am

    http://musbfixer.in/

    this fixed my "this drive is write protected".

    thanks commenter above for the clue!

  106. Blake Byrnes
    June 20, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    This is a great article! However, there's no way my USB stick is getting formatted. It still comes up with "Write Protect".

    The DISKPART stuff all works! Well, it says it does. When I go into regedit: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control

    I have no \StorageDevicePolicies. So even though I've created that key and the Dword (WriteProtect) within it, still no luck!

    I started to do a full format and it got to 3% but had to leave my computer. When I came back it said it was write protected (after a few hours of leaving the computer).

    Is my USB stick screwed?

  107. Akash Gomez
    June 20, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Omg it worked for me
    Made my dead pendrive in life again after two years!!!!
    Thanks a lot

    • Guy McDowell
      June 22, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      I'm glad we could help, Akash. Thanks for reading!

  108. Ned Imrie
    June 17, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    I did all the methods and got to the formatting. once i tried it it said that it was write protected. I need help because this has all of my work for everything on it

  109. Umesh Pandey
    June 9, 2015 at 2:28 am

    I try lots of method with many times but still my usb drive is write protection, please please help me by right method

  110. Sarthak Sharma
    June 7, 2015 at 2:02 am

    my pendrive is full..it has no left space...plz tell me what to do...it says me to format it..but againg a message come that "This Drive Is Write Protected" plz plz plz help

  111. seyed_jafar2010
    May 26, 2015 at 8:38 am

    all of that ways not working . i tested all of way but not work when i do format not possible show message warning(you can not format. this is protect ). i don't know what i must to do.

  112. ryan
    May 15, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    i have a duracell 16gb usb stick and i followed all these steps but nothing works!! Help!!

  113. Crystal
    May 13, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    What if I don't have a ControlStorageDevicePolicies folder in my registry editor? I just have Storage, and after that, SystemInformation.

  114. sam
    May 12, 2015 at 1:47 am

    i've tried all of your steps in this article. but instead of a flashdrive i'm using a microSD card. it won't let me re-format it and it says it is full but there is 0 bytes on it. im not sure whats wrong or if i should just discard it.. thanks for the help

  115. Sudip
    May 11, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Not working. Tried every method but none of them gave the result. Is there any other way?

  116. Danielle
    May 8, 2015 at 4:51 am

    Non of the above options work. When in the end I try to format the sub drive I get the message that the drive is write protected. It wasn't write protected before and I used it normally for years.

  117. Ofek
    May 7, 2015 at 11:13 am

    WOW! So helpful!
    thanks!

  118. Manjula
    May 6, 2015 at 5:27 am

    Article is very helpful, Thank you.

    • Guy
      May 6, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      You very welcome. I'm glad it helped you.

  119. gcs
    May 5, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    Great article!!! Thank you. It was simply the on-off switch, which I never even knew existed!!!
    After much confusion, consultation with others, and a lot of needless work on re-installing drivers, etc., I found your article on Google. Thank You!!!! Excellent stuff!

  120. Geonut
    May 4, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    my USB drive is full. I am trying to copy to a larger USB but I am getting the write protected error and it will not copy the files. The article mentions this can happen but nothing suggested works. Any advice? Please keep in mind I am a novice when it comes to computers.

  121. Mickmac
    April 29, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Tried all the above steps but unfortunately none of them worked. I think it is time to drop this USB stick in the bin and buy a new one. A shame as it worked well until I used a file rescue programme to rescue and download files from a Mac Pro, then it all went pear shaped.

  122. Sef
    April 18, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    im doomed no one else works on my sandisk 64GB :(

  123. Dubron
    April 16, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Well regedit thing worked but I had to create the registry key. Thank you!

    • Guy
      April 16, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      Hi Dubron,

      I'm glad that worked for you.

  124. BJ
    April 12, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Sorry but none of these worked. Especially the last one. I can't format a drive if it's write protected. Any other ideas to force it?

  125. DiskeeProblemo
    April 7, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    @JorenD The Apacer tool worked for me when all else failed. Thanks!

    • Guy
      April 8, 2015 at 12:23 am

      Really glad to hear that! I hope Apacer knows how many people they're helping. Definitely makes me more likely to buy their flash drives.

  126. Nnamdi
    April 6, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Hi. my name is Nnamdi. Some days ago, i tried accessing the contents of my flashdrive, but i kept getting the "this disk is write-protected" reply. But i was able to remove the protection through the help of search results from google

    Now i have a memory card containing videos that i wouldnt want to be sent to anyone throiugh bluetooth or computer explorer. Is there a way i can write-protect this memory card too???

    • Guy
      April 8, 2015 at 12:27 am

      Write-protecting the card won't prevent anyone from seeing the files that are on it.

      Look for ways to password protect and maybe even encrypt the card. There are several different ways to do this.

  127. simha
    April 5, 2015 at 11:58 am

    HELLO Buddy......
    i followed all the steps but ........... still my pen drive still have write protected ....... as its there i couldn't able to format it too...... what to do next pls guide me.......

    i'm using sandisk pen-drive , usb 3.0

  128. JorenD
    March 29, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Maybe an other solution, I tried everything but my usb wa still write protected.
    I downloaded an apacer tool but the format failed but the restore did it.

    here is the link : http://us.apacer.com/support/download/result/3,8,0,

    hope it helped you.

    • simha
      April 5, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      thanks buddy...........
      i don't which process helped me to remove write protected...........
      i'm thankful to every one

  129. cody
    March 24, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    nothing of what you explained worked for my device!

  130. Silentwalker
    March 24, 2015 at 11:03 am

    I tried all this and none of this worked.

  131. edenboy
    March 19, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    i have tried every thing nothing is happening card is still write protected

  132. jjjj
    March 19, 2015 at 9:22 am

    i have tried till 7..yet still say write protected...i cant format my device help????

  133. Ajay
    March 19, 2015 at 8:44 am

    trying the tutorial and not proper working.. I have read but storeg polices are changes the values 1 to 0 please ans me...

  134. darwan
    March 13, 2015 at 7:39 am

    (terima kasih atas infonya,benar benar dapat membantu saya)... Thanks,its very help me...

    • Guy
      March 25, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      Hi Darwan,

      Thank you! I'm glad the article helped you.

  135. Patriot Memory User
    March 8, 2015 at 2:18 am

    I have an USB Storage from manufacturer Patriot Memory where Windows everytime said that it is write protected.
    After browsing the internet for help I don't have found any functional solution to disable the write protection.
    On the manufacturer website I've found a tool to format/restore that fortunately works fine.
    I've choosed the option restore an the tool has deleted all contents an formated it.
    Now my usb-sticks works fine.
    My next stick will be again a Patriot Memory :)

    Try to find a similar solution for your stick :)

  136. priyanka
    March 6, 2015 at 5:36 am

    under contol i didnt find the storagedevice policies option...????what to do

  137. Joey
    March 5, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    My disk is empty. Regedit does not go any further than HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControl and the registry does not contain StorageDevicePolicies. I'm running windows 8.1.

  138. Marjetka
    February 26, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Thank you, the cmd method worked for me too!

  139. Guy
    February 25, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Maybe try some of the suggestions posted in the comments here? Lots of people were willing to share what ultimately worked for them. Might work for you!

  140. lykouse
    February 24, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Can't say the article was helpful as I keep getting a message drive needs to be formatted before use but won't format cause it is write protected. And none of the listed steps helped.

  141. Easton
    February 24, 2015 at 6:32 am

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! The CMD method worked for me!

  142. Andy
    February 23, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Tried all of these methods with no success and continue to get ' The disk is write protected ' message popping up. With the registry edit method there was no storage device policies at all , only Storage with no open-up arrow on the left of it.

  143. Brad
    February 23, 2015 at 3:18 am

    I was having the same write issue with my flash drive.. my file system was also set to RAW.. I tried using diskpart with no luck. I downloaded the program 'HDD Low Level Format tool ver.4.40'setup which can be found here:

    http://hddguru.com/software/HDD-LLF-Low-Level-Format-Tool/

    Run the program, select continue at the first box (unless you want to donate money) and then select the flash drive on the next screen and select continue. Next, select the tab named LOW-LEVEL FORMAT and click the FORMAT THIS DISK button on the bottom.

    After it finished running, my disk was converted back to FAT32 and had no read-only attribute. I was then able to convert it to NTFS with no issues. Hope this helps!

  144. Dinesh
    February 21, 2015 at 11:51 am

    my pen drive give error "write protected"...i used all the method ..but still give me error

    • Guy
      February 21, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Sorry to read that Dinesh. Have you tried the other methods mentioned throughout the comments?

  145. Guy
    February 21, 2015 at 12:37 am

    Hi Justine,

    We don't have a way to upload files to us, or to share them either. It's a legally sticky area.
    But thank you for thinking of us! If you find the link, I'd like it if you could share it here. Our other readers probably would like that too. :)

  146. Justine
    February 20, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Hello , i had the same problem guys but i got mine fixed already. I downloaded this file from a website and the name is restore (i forgot where did i downloaded it) but i got the file , i wish i could share this to you but how can i upload this file ? sorry for my bad english , i'm from phillipines . Wish i can help you guys.

  147. larry
    February 20, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Well, that skimmed the surface, however for drives that are really fubar it didn't make a scratch. Also there were no comments on initializing the drive either, which did help me get the sad little stick to "look" like it was WR, however it isn't . There's a 12MB partition on it that just won't go away. I've dealt with encrypted disks, been all over diskpart and other utilities and it just won't reformat, re-initialize, etc to a usable form. Maybe something did go bad on the stick, however as we're having problems sometimes with the encrypted OS going RO, I'm thinking it's related. Oh well, back to searching.

  148. Guy
    February 12, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    It's possible. Have you checked Kingston Data's website for their USB repair tool?

  149. Leif Courtenay
    February 12, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Hi, I've been happily using my Kingston dataTraveler USB for months when all of a sudden I couldn't write to it any more. A week or so back I reformatted it as NTFS as I needed to backup some big files (6-7GB) and it seemed to work fine until yesterday. I tried your steps 1-6 (1-5 made no difference) but when I got into the registry settings there is no StorageDevicePolicies listed at all....is that where the problem lies? I'd be grateful for your advice!

  150. Kennard
    February 10, 2015 at 3:38 am

    did all the steps suggested, unfortunately problem still persist.

    Went to download mUSBfixer, works like a cham! Hoolaaa~~

    • Guy
      February 10, 2015 at 9:34 pm

      Hi Kennard,

      I glad that worked for you. I'm posting this link to mUSBfixer.

      If I recall my research correctly, that was one of the utilities I tried, but it didn't work for me - so I couldn't really recommend it.

  151. Becky Trotter
    February 9, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    It is new, but tossed the darned receipt away (STUPID). I have checked Scan Disk's site, and sent them an email. They replied a day later (OMG!! so quick). It seems from the email that they too believe the "...USB drive has gone bad and needs to get replaced." They are willing to replace it at their expense, including shipping. Holy Moly a company that stands by their product and will replace if faulty!!!!!

    So far, my faith in the company AND product has been restored (angelic music in the background).

    • Guy
      February 10, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      That's excellent Becky! Very glad to hear that about SanDisk.
      It's just plain good business to do such a thing. I wish more folks were like that.

  152. BeckyT
    February 7, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Have tried ALL you solutions to remove the write-protection (not just file write protection): diskpart in command prompt, regedit (had to create the StorageDevicePolices folder), format quick/format non-quick. NOTHING works.

    The flash drive is a ScanDisk Ultra 32 G and BRAND-flippin-NEW. It's not full, no switch, and JUST started acting up when I was copying files from my hard drive to it.

    I want to delete the data on it, but shy of complete incineration (and the disgust of $60 wasted), I can't get the puppy to un-write-protect.

    HELP, PLEASE!!!!!

    • Guy
      February 8, 2015 at 3:47 pm

      Hi Becky,

      If it's new, maybe return it for a refund or replacement. Maybe it's a manufacturer's defect.

      Have you checked SanDisk's website for any utilities that might help? Or support information?

  153. Hussain
    February 5, 2015 at 10:43 am

    I tried all the way but it not working.
    kindly help

  154. Zdenko Dubreta
    February 4, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Nice article but nothing worked to many users!

    Even when you tried to format your USB Key it didn’t allow you saying “the disk is write protected”!
    I have had the same problem and I RESOLVED IT ! The problem is very dilated, you know for it, but may be also manufakturers of yours USB key knows for it? I have 4GB USB Key Transcend and I found a Tool "Restore/Format" write protected USB Key on their site. With it I succefully formated my Key. i suggest you to look in the site of your manufacturer for the tool or ask them for help.

    WARNING: Make sure that you back up all the files and information from your USB drive to your computer. All data will be lost once the USB drive is formatted.
    Very glad if I help you, yours Zdenko (73 years old)

    • Guy
      February 4, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      Thank you Zdenko,

      It's always a good idea to check the manufacturers website to see if they have any tools that might help.

      That might not be mentioned in this article or it's comments, but it is mentioned in a similar article on our site How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive.

      Again, thank you for mentioning checking with the manufacturer.

  155. Carlos
    February 3, 2015 at 1:12 am

    I've tried EVERYTHING and nothing worked with my micro SD card... It was used in an Android phone and don't know what happened to it nor how to fix it

  156. deepti
    February 1, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    in regedit after thisHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlStorageDevicePolicies
    i dont have the option - storagedevicepolicies
    what to do now ??????????

    • Guy
      February 2, 2015 at 12:09 am

      Hi Deepti,

      You can create the key, and assign the value as recommended in the article. Make sure you back up your registry before you try this, though.

  157. Buhril
    January 30, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    I had my 4gb micro sd card that i used with my mobile, I removed the card for saving/moving/moving some file to my Laptop it work well, but when i re-inserted the card my mobile asked me to format for continuing using I denied and removed and insert again in my Laptop, here too the same pop-up, i.e., format the card,,, Here i do format i tried every possibility but the result is only Windows couldn't complete format. then i go my mobile there's no good result!!! Please help me out.

    • Guy
      January 30, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      Hi Burhil,

      Check to see if the maker of your micro SD card has some sort of utility to test it with.

      Sometimes if we don't eject the USB device or SD card prior to physically pulling it out, this sort of thing can happen. Is it possible that's what might have happened?

      Occasionally, putting the card back in the laptop, then following the proper eject card procedure, the card might be made useful again.

  158. abdul rahman
    January 25, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    I have installed windows 8.1 from usb but after installation i am not able to format usb.
    I have tried all above suggestions e.g create registry key try HP formatting tool but my usb not formatted... what next???

    please suggest...

    • Guy
      January 30, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      Have you ever worked with a Live Boot CD before?

      Justin Pot has an excellent article called Parted Magic: A Complete Hard Drive Toolbox On One Live CD that will show you how to use this.

      Welcomed newcomer, Gavin Phillips has a great article on the 5 Best Rescue Disks For A Windows System Restore. It highlights some other Live CD utilities that might help you check the health of the USB thumb drive from outside of Windows.

      Each of these Live CDs or Rescue Disks have utilities for formatting that may work better than what you can run in Windows. It's worth a shot. Especially if it's an expensive USB drive.

  159. Terrance Sweeney
    January 25, 2015 at 12:19 am

    None of the processes worked. My operating system is Vista and no matter what I did I could not remove the "read only" or "write protected". I followed the suggestions, the Cmd window would open but no matter what I typed it always displayed the descriptions of the action words. When I tried to remove the "read only" on a file it again displayed the file is "read only". I got the same results when I tried to Format. I have no idea how to solve this which is very frustrating as I have the same problem with 4 other flash drives.

    • Guy
      January 30, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      Hi Terrance,

      I can empathize. Check my response to Abdul below for advice on using Live CDs or Rescue Disks with your computer and using the utilities in them to try to fix your flash drives.

  160. Peter
    January 23, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Hi, I tried all of the above options but am still getting a write protected message.

  161. notasstupid
    January 19, 2015 at 8:43 am

    LOL... Idiots that say to FORMAT the drive with HP utility shit are just morons. How can you format a drive that is STILL write protected? MORON!

    • Guy
      January 19, 2015 at 5:53 pm

      And yet, somehow it happens! :)

  162. Lucia
    January 14, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Hi there- my registry doesn't seem to have Storage device policies. I do have Storage and Storage Management but neither seem to contain the components needed. I've tried all previous steps.

    • Guy
      January 19, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      Hi Lucia,

      If the KEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlStorageDevicePolicies does not have the WriteProtect key in it, you can create that key.

      Make sure you backup a copy of registry first, and be sure to set the WriteProtect key value to 0 (zero), which means “No, don’t write protect my USB storage device.”

      Properly eject your USB flash drive, plug it back in, and check if it is still write-protected. Hopefully, it won't be.

  163. sharon
    January 12, 2015 at 11:57 am

    good advice but none of it worked for me
    1 it wont format
    2 when go into regedit I get storage but not storage protect
    3 it wont format says cannot format read only
    4 when I click on its properties its totally empty

    5 I give up

    • Guy
      January 18, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      Try creating the storage protect key in the registry and entering the appropriate values.

  164. Bob Paw
    January 7, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    My USB is of the RAW file system, corrupted, write-protected, no [visible] switch, and it's not registry, because my other USBs work fine! Have you any idea what could be wrong?

    • Guy
      January 8, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      You did say corrupted right? Have you tried fixing whatever the corruption is first? Until that's done, these steps will probably be of no use.

  165. Nitin
    January 5, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    I find nothing except Write protected.... Its Sandsik Crusier Blade 8 Gb...i also used HP repair tool, had done diskpart, regedit.exe, etc. etc. but all are just unuseful for me ....

    Your All Steps Failed Mr.Guy Mc Dowell.

    • Guy
      January 8, 2015 at 12:29 pm

      Hi Nitin,

      I'm sorry to hear that you weren't able to remove write protection.

      However, before you judge this article so negatively, you may want to consider what lead to having the write protection error in the first place. I can assure you, it had nothing to do with me.

      Issues like this are almost always the result of what the user of the drive does. Do you just pull the drive out when you remove it, or do you follow the proper ejection procedure? Even if you don't do it properly just once, it can cause this issue.

      Did you put the write protection on in the first place? If so, then it's there because you put it there, not because the plethora of advice you got for free didn't happen to be the solution for your situation.

      And there is one step you haven't tried. Give up on that drive and get a new one.
      Sometimes things are just plain broken and you have to move on.

  166. peter
    January 4, 2015 at 7:59 am

    tried all methods nothing worked

  167. Dr. Saleem
    January 3, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    Hi there! Im using 4gb micro sd card in my android phone. It reads perfectly. however, it fails to write anything at all. I tried to format it but it failed. I followed the given procedure here in totality and i was at last successful at formatting it. However, I was astonished to see the same data on the card a moment later. I scanned my card under HDtune and it was perfect. I then deleted the partition and formatted it again but the data just keeps appearing back again. Even I tried low level formatting, yet it failed and data appeared again. Not only done the procedure using the phone's connectivity but also various card readers. Can any technocrat please help me to solve this issue? I will be very thankful.

  168. Azam Khan
    December 30, 2014 at 6:06 am

    i was having problem of write protected and i make it too dificult to "clean" the USB by clean command in "diskpart" . Now it is no showing in My Computer it is showig only in "ComputerManageDisk Management " and in Windows XP installation setup. But XP is not able to delete the partition. Now what should i do, help me please....

    • Guy
      December 30, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      Hi Azam,

      If it is showing in Disk Management, check the drive letter. It may have decided to use a drive letter in use by another device. You can change it to just about any letter.

      I'm not sure what you mean by 'not able to delete the partition'. Did you create a partition on your USB flash drive?

      In Disk Management, does it say that the file system on the USB flash drive is RAW, NTFS, FAT32, EXT3, etc?

      If it is anything BUT FAT32, try changing the file format to one of those. Depeding on the size of your flash drive, you may need to adjust the cluster size. Here's a little bit about FAT32 cluster sizes, courtesy of mcmcse.com:

      The FAT32 file system can support drives up to 2 terabytes in size (in theory) and because it uses space more efficiently, FAT32 uses smaller clusters (that is, 4,096 byte clusters for drives up to 8 GB in size), resulting in more efficient use of disk space relative to large FAT16 drives.

      FAT32 file system cluster sizes

      Partition Size Cluster Size
      0M to less than 260MB 512 bytes
      260MB through 8GB 4,096 bytes
      8GB through 16GB 8,192 bytes
      16GB through 32GB 16,384 bytes
      32GB through 2TB 32,768 bytes

  169. cosmin
    December 29, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    So this is the same like memory cards, i have a memory card about 16GB i try everything is possible from here or internet, i can find a solution to reactivate(format) my memory card.
    Everything i try sad: the disk is write protected.....
    Any ideea???

    • Guy
      December 29, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      They are similar, but quite different as well. First step is to check and see if the manufacturer has any sort of tool to help you.

  170. valdir
    December 28, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Only problem is it does not WORK!
    Tryed everithing it simply doesn't work
    I'd like to know if anyone here was able to format the device?

  171. Guy
    December 22, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    You may want to check out another article on the topic here: How To Format A Write Protected USB Flash Drive

  172. santhosh k
    December 22, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    I am using Sandisc Cruiser 30 GB .
    I tried all the above and other steps from other portals.
    No luck :(

    somebody please help.

  173. Howard Olen
    December 22, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Thanks for this article. I've tried everything and am fairly tech literate. I went into the regedit but the key "storage device policies" doesnt exist. Now what. Nothing I do will allow me to erase or format this this disk (128GB mSD with SD Adapter lock switch off)

  174. itt
    December 17, 2014 at 10:53 am

    buzzbomb SOLVED it is THAT SIMPLE!!!
    THANK YOU buzzbomb!!!
    buzzbomb!!!
    go to c/windows/inf search for usbstor.pnf in search panel right click it
    select properties>security>users(your name pc) edit permissions give your name
    write permissions

  175. Ange
    December 17, 2014 at 2:06 am

    I agree with the last few comments - the "regedit" did nothing for my flash drive and after doing it several thousand times, it has failed me altogether and has now forced me to format the drive... Great.

  176. Weed
    December 15, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    None of the above worked.

  177. Andy
    December 14, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Tried all the aove to fix a write protected flash drive all to no avail! :(

  178. pawan
    December 12, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    After regedit in storage device policy there no write protect file but i created one even after that i am not able to formet that removable drive...help please?

  179. pawan
    December 12, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    I have tried that regedit option but still unable to formet that removable disk.how can i formet that cause everytime i try to formet it show the same massage 'disk is write protected' error.help?

  180. Markus
    December 12, 2014 at 5:18 am

    Followed all directions above, used two different computers, one laptop running windows 7 home pro 64bit and one desktop running windows 8.1, my usb drive is still write protected. I tried the HP USB Disk Format Utility and EaseUS, neither worked. There is no physical switch, slide, knob, or button on the flash drive other than the one that slides it in and out of it's decorative/protective case. I can not format the drive because I get a message saying it is write protected. I tried taking ownership of the files on it, that worked but still could do nothing with them because the drive itself is write protected. I have been fighting with this drive for months to try to regain control of it so I can actually use it. It's a 64GB drive that currently has approximately 2GB of data on it. I was using it for movies to watch on my WD TV box (not the current model displayed on their website but this one http://www.ebay.com/itm/Western-Digital-TV-Live-Digital-HD-Media-Streamer/231413075417?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D27538%26meid%3Dd5926d7ee99b4f349c211d9286c57e0a%26pid%3D100005%26prg%3D11353%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D331408739905&rt=nc)

  181. H.Herrmann
    December 9, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Sounds all quite interesting. However my USB flash drive is still write-protected although I proceeded according to above instructions. There is no 'StorageDevicePolicies' in my HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControl
    My operating system is Windows 7, 32-bit. So it would be wonderful to get instructions how to get 'StorageDevicePolicies' in my registry. It should be between: 'Stillmage and SystemInformation'.

  182. Malia
    November 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I was on registry step 6 but when I foloowed the instruction there was no option called "WriteProtect". But my USB is still write protected it gives me that erorr message.
    "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlStorageDevicePolicies
    and look for a key named WriteProtect."

    I can't even format it because of the write protection error.
    This means whatever I put into the USB I can never delete. I have backed up my USB though.

  183. Some
    November 2, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    IDK if this gonna work... but it works for me.

    We need to uninstall our device's driver, here explain all that shit:

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/246041/how_to_uninstall_drivers_in_windows.html

    After uninstall drivers, we connect our device and windows will start to install drivers again and profit!!!! ... if didn't work, well... shit happens : D

    And sorry for my english, it's horrible but hope this help somebody.

  184. Valdas
    October 31, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    My Data Traveler is both write-protected and in a RAW file system, nothing that was mentioned here helps :/ anyone found a solution?

  185. frank
    October 28, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    my usb is refusingto be formated

  186. Mattt
    October 24, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    None of steps worked for me. I even created StorageDevicePolicies key and added the flag. Again, it did not work either. I had never been this much frustrated with Windows till now.

  187. Jon Pawson
    October 20, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    None of these steps worked. In particular, in Step Six 'StorageDevicePolicies' isn't there. I tried everything else to no avail. I should probably throw the drive away, right? They're inexpensive nowadays, I don't know why I'm bothering to go through all this work.

    • Guy M
      October 21, 2013 at 11:33 am

      Have you tried creating the key 'StorageDevicePolicies'? That's another thing you could try.

  188. sanarya
    October 16, 2013 at 6:23 am

    awww <3 thank u thank u ..ii was about to go insane :D <3

  189. Dane
    October 14, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    I tried everything here and still my USB is write protected. I can't even format the thing! I created the StorageDevicePolicy key in my registry but still no go.

    In diskpart when I do the "attributes" command it shows that it's not write protected but that it's "current status" = write protected (that seems more than a bit contrary).

    I'm not desperate to have a 16 GB USB...went and bought another - I just want to fix it because it's bugging me *lol* Any help would go a long way toward soothing my psychosis - thanks!

  190. tiblu
    October 9, 2013 at 3:10 am

    Bingo thank you.

  191. BrieAdams
    October 8, 2013 at 7:25 am

    please help i have tried all these steps but i am still having the issues

  192. Sarwar Khan
    October 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    its good thanks.but its not working on window 7

  193. Guy M
    October 7, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Glad we could help!

  194. Vaibhav
    October 6, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Thanx a lot dude .....my device has started working properly......it was a great help.....awesome.....thanx thanx and thanxx????????????????????????

  195. Ronald simiyu
    September 30, 2013 at 6:58 am

    Thanks for the article, i have been looking for this information for a long period of time but now i have it

    • Guy M
      September 30, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      Glad we could help!

  196. Kean
    September 29, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Great article. One tip - If you have no such Key (StorageDevicePolicies ) in your registry - then create one! Cause in my case I couldn't even format the drive until I created that key! cheers!

    • Guy M
      September 30, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      Good call! The key was mentioned, but I don't think I mentioned creating it if it wasn't there. Thank you!

  197. julie
    September 26, 2013 at 2:51 am

    its not working both cmd and regedit, even formatting the usb won't work.Is any body there who knows the solution with this problem?thanks

    • Guy M
      September 30, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Glad we could help!

    • Guy M
      September 30, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Try what Kean suggests below. Check for the key in the registry and if it isn't there, create it.

  198. sarmda
    September 25, 2013 at 1:58 am

    Trying to insert window 8 in flash, but it turned to be writeprotected, no a single method that can solved beside buying new flash...................... It is just little error but turn to throw the 8Gb flash away. Amazingly, How come? for this little mistake. After all thank you for the article, and it can't help.....

  199. Flappie
    September 16, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    I solved this by adding the StorageDevicePolicies key to the registry in W7 and only by doing that (and a format with Windows Computer Management cause It wouldnt show in Explorer otherwise...) So, good Guy M, it might be an excellent idea to add a small howtoaddthattotheregistry to Step 6. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

  200. CIEG
    September 16, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    all step didn't worked for me either...
    i can't format it in every way and every site show me....
    still "write protected"
    i use bitdefender though but didn't find any malware or virus....
    4 days ago i copied files to my pc... after i copied the files, the usb flash drive turn "write protected" i check bit locker, but bitlocker is turned of on my usb....

  201. Eashan
    September 13, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    @ GuyM I tried all the above steps given by u but still getting the same problem. Is there any other way of removing this??? Or should I do the same procedure from the laptop which originated this problem???

    • Guy M
      September 13, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      If there is another way, I don't know what it is. Sorry. Doing this on the original laptop shouldn't make a difference. Maybe if one was Windows and one was Mac, but even then I don't think it should make a difference.

  202. Eashan
    September 12, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I am getting a problem while editing the registries for the same problem. The storagedevicepolicies option is not present there. Only storage option is there. So what should I do???

    • Guy M
      September 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      You can create the registry key. Just make sure to back up your registry before you make any changes.

  203. usbman
    September 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I use this simple tools and it works for me. You may also try this if you thing this steps are complex http://www.myusbtools.com/2013/09/windows-cant-format-your-disk-how-to.html

  204. Narendra
    September 8, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Thank you!! It worked.

  205. angry
    September 3, 2013 at 8:51 am

    I've done every single step. I tried the Reg key before i found this page. Still doesn't work . . The whole point for me was to format it and that is exactly what I can't do, because the usb drive is write protected >_>

    • karen
      September 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      i'm having the same problem too.. i can't format it because my drive is write protected..
      please help Mr. Guy McDowell!!

    • Guy M
      September 13, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      Other than the steps in this article and some of the tips and software mentioned in the comments, I don't really have any advice to give. Other than, maybe it's time for a new USB drive.

  206. Adil
    August 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    i dont have storage device policies please help me

  207. Victor
    August 28, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Was really helpful.......thanks!!!!

    • rajkumar
      April 28, 2015 at 4:53 am

      please tell me to which method is efficient.

  208. Don Scan
    August 24, 2013 at 11:05 am

    baaaaaaaaaaaaaad tutorial

    • Guy M
      August 25, 2013 at 12:22 am

      We're all open to learning here. What would you like to add?

  209. $ayaam Khan
    August 22, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Nothing Worked

  210. john
    August 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    i can not see the storage device policy in my system how do i do that i can only see storage device

    • rahul
      August 11, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      u hv to create it...

  211. Navin
    August 5, 2013 at 6:35 am

    Very good artical but i did not solve problem. i try all any can help me

  212. Big Tone in UK
    July 23, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    thanks pal. All I had to do was disable the write protection on the flash stick and you were the only person on the www who said that. Thanks for solving my problem so easily as I didn't know such a switch existed. I owe you a pint of cold beer

  213. John R
    July 5, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    I followed the seven steps for clearing a write protected flash drive. Step 6 in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies di not have the entry "StorageDevicePolices". Even did a search for it. No dice. I am using Win 7 and flash drive is recognized.(seen) but, I just can.t touch it. It didn't list it through Regedit. In trying to format it in windows, it tells me it s write Protected.

  214. MARTIN MWANGI
    July 2, 2013 at 9:54 am

    HELLO, I HAVE TRIED ALL THE STEP TO REMOVE WRITE PROTECTION BUT NON OF THEM HAS WORKED OUT TO SOLVE MY PROBLEM.

    I USED TO COPY SONG FROM YOUTUBE AFTER CONVERTING THEM TO A FORMAT THAT THAT ENABLED ME TO WATCH THE VIDEOS FROM IN IT USING A DVD PLAYER, PLEASE HELP ME SOLVE THIS PROBLEM.

  215. kostas
    June 25, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    nice article but nothing worked. Even when i tried thw format it didn't allow me saying "the disk is write protected"!! Any suggestions here?
    Thanks

  216. lsekopa
    June 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Thanks for the info. I tried all of this and it still gives the message after I click the start button on the formatting screen.

  217. lanete_08
    May 20, 2013 at 8:30 am

    All the steps didn't work for me. :[

    • ralph
      May 30, 2013 at 3:48 am

      all procedures were done but still didnt work unfortunately :(

  218. sumith harshan
    May 16, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    It worked very well. Thanks a lot.!

  219. gh
    May 14, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    I have never had this problem with a flash drive but i have never been able to write to any of my camera cards on my hp pavilion g7 since puchasing new.

    • Guy McDowell
      May 15, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      Do you get a Write Protect error when you try?

      What kind of camera cards are they? Compact Flash? SD, microSD, other?

  220. Victor Ong
    May 14, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Great tips! Definitely going to be reviewing this one when I come across a bad USB

    • Guy McDowell
      May 14, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      Keep in mind the other tips in the comments and other articles on MUO. We're here to help!

  221. Garey B
    May 14, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I had this problem and tried all of the options mentioned in the article with no avail. I temporarily got write permissions with the diskpart command then I had had to make adjustments in the security tab on the properties section of the drive itself. Somehow the owner had been changed with many of the permissions changed as well. I believe one of my kids was to suspect not sure though.

    • Guy McDowell
      May 14, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      That could happen, but to intentionally do it would be a sign of good computer literacy by your kid. So, be proud, I guess?

  222. mohammadwasi786
    May 14, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Many time i face this problem now i will fix this problem insha Allah
    superb article

  223. null
    May 14, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Some times the pendrive can go into RAW format. You cannot format it and when you try to, Windows will display 'Write Protected. Cannot format'

    If you pendrive was working fine till it became RAW, try to format it using EaseUS partition master home edition. Pretty neat software!

    Very good article indeed. Thanks a lot Guy!

    • Guy McDowell
      May 14, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      EaseUS has been in my toolbox for many years. Great tool.

  224. Dany Bouffard
    May 14, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Sometimes the normal windows format dont work in those times its often good to use HP Format Tool, its a great tool to format USB Drives.

    • Guy McDowell
      May 14, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      Good point. There is another one out there from one of the leading computer manufacturers as well. Can't recall it at this moment.

  225. Curt Schroeder
    May 14, 2013 at 9:43 am

    You missed a step. You should run "chkdsk /F" on the USB drive before resorting to a reformat, especially if you write to a FAT32 USB drive with both Linux and Windows.

    • Guy McDowell
      May 14, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      I was thinking I was going to do that, but that isn't so much to check for Write Protection as it is for working on a USB drive that may have corrupt files. Good call nonetheless.

      I covered how to do that in How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again.

  226. Nevzat A
    May 14, 2013 at 6:39 am

    Well I've been in such a situtation recently, I've tried nearly everything but unable to solve the problem. My final decision is : the drive is corrupt and no way to rescue it. Sometimes it occurs.

  227. Raymond Led Carasco
    May 14, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Very nice and very informative. Thanks :))

  228. barney
    May 14, 2013 at 5:31 am

    Well-l-l-l,
    File manager does not recognize the drive.
    Disk Management recognizes the drive is in place, but does not assign a letter, nor can I click on the drive - Disk 6 in this instance - in the uper screen, although the drive shows in the lower window with only the size, 59.77 GB, which is identical to a similar drive. It sees the space, but will not allow any further action. Appears I'll have to use gparted or similar in order to fix. Shouldn't have to reboot, nor to use a foreign tool, to fix a Windows drive.

    • Guy McDowell
      May 14, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      Did you unplug any other USB drives? Might the USB drive you want to work on have the same drive letter as something else? That does happen.

      I covered how to check and change that in How To Make Corrupt USB Jump Drives Work Again

  229. Brandon Ragoo
    May 14, 2013 at 5:30 am

    Please help !! I have been having this issue with my flash drive for months now. I tried everything I knew even did research and ask for help online in the past months but no one seems to have the solution. After reading this article I decided to give it a try again but unfortunately none of the methods seemed to work. I did manage to discover that the folder which contains an ISO fie stored on the flash drive is wright protected, however when I follow the instructions given in step 4 and 5 that doesn't remove the wright protection because when I attempt to remove the wright protection from the folder it give the error message "An error occurred applying attributes to the file: The media is wright protected. " Please help

    • David Moreira
      May 14, 2013 at 8:29 am

      Use HP USB Disk Format Utility and format the pen.

    • Guy McDowell
      May 14, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      I'm behind David on this. Sounds like you need to format it. The HP utility he mentions should do the job.

    • Brandon Ragoo
      May 30, 2013 at 5:30 am

      I tried it before reading this article but unfortunately it failed any other suggestions

    • buzzbomb
      July 14, 2013 at 9:19 am

      have you tried taking ownership of said file
      http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/add-take-ownership-to-explorer-right-click-menu-in-vista/
      go to c/windows/inf search for usbstor.pnf in search panel right click it
      select properties>security>users(your name pc) edit permissions give your name
      write permissions

    • Fin Butler
      October 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      I totally agree with Brandon Ragoo, my USB has just started playing up and I have not used anything that is protected or copyrighted in my USB. I really need help. My USB is essential

    • eric
      November 9, 2013 at 11:40 am

      I look up on the methods from 1 to last, no solutions for my usb problem, it has created a write protection rules, I have observed that all files can't be delete, some has unknown and special character file named to the folders, but still can be view or can be copy but can't be moved, I tried HB USB Format but still it is write protected... I am asking for help how can I solve it? is it a bad sector behavior, or a damage USB?

    • AKGuy
      February 3, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      Could be that he is being hindered by some Bitlocker GPO settings. In this case he will be unable to write to the disk without proper permissions from an Administrator.

  230. Sam Nicko
    May 14, 2013 at 4:24 am

    Very Good Article! Thank you!

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