This article explains how to remove write protection from a USB drive, SD card, or individual files. Instructions apply to Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.
If your computer tells you the media is write-protected, look for a write protection switch (also called a lock switch) on the USB or SD card. If the media has this switch, make sure the switch is set to write, not read-only.
When you have a single file you want to make changes to but can’t, the file may be write-protected. Here’s how to grant writing permissions.
There are many ways to remove write protection from USB drives in Windows. One popular method is to change a Registry key, but this is scary to some people. A less intimidating method is to use diskpart.
If you’d rather use the Windows Registry to remove write protection from a USB drive or SD card, use regedit to make the change.
Before making any changes, back up the Windows Registry. If you make a mistake and have problems with your computer, you’ll be able to restore the Registry and return your system to its original state.
If you use Windows 7, the process to edit the Windows Registry to remove write protection is a little different.
When a USB drive or SD card is write-protected, you can’t change files on the media; you can only view them. On write-protected media, you can read and copy files, but you can’t write to and delete files. Your USB drive and SD cards may become write protected because of a virus, or because the lock switch on the media has been enabled.