External storage has become a very common phenomenon. A lot of people are now opting for external storage devices like portable hard drives or USBs to store data instead of internal drives. It is because of its mobility as people can just take their external storage device with them anywhere they want to.
However, there is a very common error associated with removable storage devices like USB drives or memory cards when you don’t have the permission to copy files onto the media. The error says The disk is write-protected and it won’t allow you to write anything on the disk.
For those unfamiliar, this is not basically an error, rather it’s a feature that many people use on their storage devices to keep the stored data safe. Another reason might be only giving readable access to others whom you would be sharing your USB drive with. Furthermore, if this feature is not used properly, becomes a headache, specially when your drive is corrupted. In that case, the only option to make it work again is to format it completely, which won’t be possible that easily if write protection was enabled.
Apart from that, if you have some important data in that drive, then formatting won’t be an option you would be looking forward to. So, in that case, you’ll need to disable the write-protection from your drive. In this guide, we are going to show you the best fix for for disabling write-protection from a disk on Windows 8/8.1/10.
How to Format “The disk is write-protected” USB Device
This fix does not involve editing any registry entries or download 3rd party software. All you need is to follow the instructions carefully to remove write-protection on any drive giving The disk is write-protected error.
- Right-click on Start menu icon and select Command Prompt (Admin). You need Administrative writes to remove disk write-protection.
- It will open Command Prompt window.
- In the CMD, type in diskpart and press Enter.
- This will open the DISKPART Utility in a new CMD window.
- In the new CMD window, type in list<space>disk and press Enter. You will see a list of disks in your system – both internet and external.
- Now, in the table, you will see different Columns. We are only concerned with one listed below.
- Disk ### – shows the volume number given to the disk by the Windows. We are going to use this one.
- Now see the disk number for the drive for which you want to disable write-protection.
- Type in select<space>disk<space><disk ###>. Replace <disk ###> with the disk number found in the above table. So the final command will looking something like this – select disk 1. Press Enter.
- After you see the message that the disk is now selected, type in attributes<space>disk<space>clear<space>readonly and press Enter.
- You should now see a message Disk attributes cleared successfully.
- Type in Exit and press Enter.
- Now you should be able to write on the disk for which you were getting The disk is write-protected error message.
Now you should have fixed the write protected USB error. If it still persists, then this might be because of hardware issue.
Muhammad Qasim is a long time contributor at Geekspie.com. Muhammad has years of experience writing about tech, including tutorials to resolve common problems users experience with Windows and Mac computers, iOS and and android devices, and software of all kinds. He can be reached through the contact us form.