How to Remove Write Protection From a USB Flash Drive

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Removing the write protection of a USB is necessary when we need to perform a format or modify, copy, cut or delete files. Sometimes it is as simple as unlocking the write protect button or the tab that is already enabled on the device.

Remove Write Protection From a USB Flash Drive
Remove Write Protection From a USB Flash Drive

How to Remove Write Protection From a USB Flash Drive

However, either because it has been damaged or because the USB simply does not have this tab, you have to resort to other solutions to remove the write protection, both on Windows and on Mac, such as those indicated below.

Learn how to remove write protection below and continue to enjoy your device.

What is write protection for and methods to disable it?

A USB or pendrive has, in general, a system that protects against writing, in order to protect the device against viruses or inappropriate use by third parties.

This system must be able to be deactivated when the user decides, but in many cases it is not, and at the moment in which we have to make use of our small device the dreaded error message appears: ” The disk is write protected “. What are the solutions?

Remove write protection on Windows and Mac

Before trying the methods to disable the write protection of a USB disk, it is necessary to confirm that it is indeed disabled. In that case, it is a good idea to test the disk to see if it is still issuing the security message. If you have already cleared all the doubts, try the methods presented below:

Use the regedit command (Windows)

One of the most effective methods to remove write protection from a USB is to use the registry editor on your computer. To do this, follow the below steps:

  1. Go to Start> Run
  2. Type the command ” Regedit ” and hit Enter
  3. A window will open. You must go to the path: EquipoHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlStoragedevicepolicies
  4. When you are inside this option, you must double click on the WriteProtect option. This is the registry that is in charge of managing the writing of the USB
  5. Now a screen will appear with an option in which Value Information appears. You must change the value that appears in this box and enter a 0
  6. From now on, the USB write protection will have been disabled. Just press OK to accept the changes and you will be able to exit the Windows registry

What if the StorageDevicePolicies folder does not appear?

It may happen that, during the process, you discover that the StorageDevicePolicies folder does not appear. In that case, it must be created and configured manually. Follow the steps below

  1. Click on the folder Control> New> Password
  2. Give the new name to the folder, which in this case will be  StorageDevicesPolicies
  3. Go into this new folder and right click on the right panel. Choose New> DWORD Value (32-bit)
  4. In the value, you must write WriteProtect. Write a 0 in the Value Information box
  5. Click OK to accept and save the changes

Using the “diskpart” command (Windows)

If the above method did not produce any results, learn how to remove write protection from a USB stick using the “diskpart” command.

However, we must bear in mind that through this option, what we will do is erase all the existing content on the USB, so you must make sure before carrying it out.

To proceed with this method you must bear in mind the following steps:

  1. Connect the terminal and access the registry editor. A shortened way in most working versions is to press Windows + R
  2. A box will be displayed where you must type the command ” cmd “
  3. Once there, a black window will open where you will have to type ” diskpart “. Then press ENTER
  4. Again another window will be displayed where you must write the instruction ” List Disk ” and press ENTER.
  5. This action will show certain modifications where you will have to choose the USB memory that emits the error. Each unit is assigned a number. Now, type in the window: Select disk X (X corresponds to the number assigned to your device) and press ENTER
  6. Next, put: ” attributes disk clear read only ” and hit Enter. The message “ Disk attributes erased successfully ” should appear.
  7. Finally, type ” Exit ” and hit ENTER. Close programs

Later, disconnect the pendrive safely and reinsert it to the computer. Check if you can copy to it or format it.

With the use of these described commands, the saved information will be completely deleted. The purpose is to recover the device for normal use.

Another option to remove USB write protection, only for Windows 10 users, is using the Group Policy Editor. To do this, follow the procedure that is detailed:

  1. Go to Start> Run and type gpedit.msc
  2. A new window will appear. You must go to Computer Configuration> Administrative Templates> System> Removable Storage Access
  3. The policies will appear below. Specifically, there are three: removable disks (deny execution access), removable disks (deny read access), removable disks (deny write access). Each of these policies must be configured so that they are set to Disabled. You just have to double click on each one of them, apply and accept

Perform a format from advanced boot mode (Windows)

There is a way to be able to format the USB directly in order to remove the write protection. To do this, you must start the computer from advanced boot mode:

  1. Turn off the computer and then insert the USB drive
  2. Then turn on the computer and press the F8 key repeatedly to activate the advanced boot of the operating system
  3. You should not press Safe Mode directly but you will have to go directly to the USB drive by entering the address C: Windowssystem32> which will allow you to locate it
  4. Next you must write the command «format» as follows: (device name): format (device name)
  5. Press the Y key and let the computer activate the operations necessary for formatting. Write protection will be completely erased

Low-level formatting (Windows)

There is another way to remove write protection from the USB itself using low-level formatting. However, keep in mind that this method will delete all the information from the USB so you must make sure to store all the data beforehand.

In order to perform low-level formatting, you must use specific software. In this case it is HDD LLF Low Level Format Tool. Once installed, you must follow the steps indicated below:

  1. Open the program. Then connect your USB memory to the computer
  2. The device will be recognized by the computer, so you must select it and click Continue
  3. Select the LOW LEVEL FORMAT option
  4. Uncheck the Perform Quick Wipe option
  5. Click on the Format This Device option to start the low-level formatting process.

Remove write protection from a Trascend USB (Windows)

There is a specific method to apply to Trascend USBs, which are more vulnerable to being affected by the write protection virus. The step by step to carry out the process is as follows:

  1. Download the JetFlash tool indicating the model of your USB Trascend
  2. When you have downloaded this little software, you must select the USB capacity
  3. Click on the option “Repair and keep existing data” or “Repair and erase all data”
  4. After selecting the option, a few seconds will pass after which the message Format Complete will appear.

This way you can start using the USB normally.

Remove write protection from USB on Mac

Now that you know what are the most effective methods to solve the problem of a write-protected USB in Windows, the question arises about solving this problem in Mac. The method is as follows:

  1. Go to the Mac browser and type “Disk Utility”
  2. A screen will appear with all the Mac storage devices
  3. Select the device, which in this case will be the Pendrive, and click on “Delete”
  4. Then you must go to the “Format” tab and click on it
  5. Various formatting options will appear. Select the Mac OS Plus (Journaled) option. You must give the device a name and click on “Delete”
  6. Now the device will acquire a new format with the chosen name. Your pendrive will be ready to be able to save, delete and modify files

In conclusion, if you want to know how to remove the write protection from a pendrive or USB disk, put the exposed methods into practice.

Although they seem complex, by following them carefully you can free the unit. Once finished, you can use the memory without problems.

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