3 Simple Ways to Fix the Error Disk is Write Protected


If your USB or SD card cannot be accessed and displaying the error Disk is write protected, here are the simple and best troubleshooting methods to remove write protection on USB/SD card without any hassle.

Table of Contents

What is the reason that the disk is write-protected?
How to Remove Write Protection from USB drive?
How to Recover files from USB drive displaying Write-protected?
Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Disk Write Protected?

You may have encountered USB drives or SD card displaying Disk is write protected error when you are trying to access the files stored on it or while trying to transfer files from storage drive to computer. Although the drive is not manually set to disk protection, there are other probabilities where your disk can show write-protected and stop you from accessing the drive (access is denied).

    1.   A physical switch on SD card might be set to Read Only
    2.   If the disk is full, it automatically displays write protection error
    3.   If you try over-writing on a read only file, you are likely to receive disk is write protected message on the storage drive
    4.  There are some administrator security settings that probably stops you accessing the drive used by the public and displays the error if the drive is write protected.
    5.  Lastly broken or corrupt USB drive can lead to the error if the disk is write protected.

How to Remove Write Protection from USB Drives on Windows?

Below mentioned are the 7 easy methods to fix Disk is write protected error in USB drives. With the help of these methods you will be able to remove write protection from USB/ SD card drives without any hassle.

    1.   Unlock Physical switch on USB Flash Drive
    2.   Run Antivirus to scan for viruses
    3.   Verify USB Flash Drive/SD Card is not full
    4.   Change Read-only Status on drive
    5.   Run Diskpart to Clear Write Protection
    6.   Edit the Registry
    7.   Format the Drive (USB/SD card)

Method 1: Unlock Physical switch on USB Flash Drive

Most external drives including USBs, SD cards have a physical switch on the storage devices to lock or unlock the device that prevents you from writing anything on the drive.

However, you can easily unlock the device by moving the switch to the opposite direction. Once the device is unlocked, you can try transferring or copying files again on to the USB drive.

Method 2: Run Antivirus to Scan for Viruses

USB drives or any other storage devices are prone to viruses in various ways. The files in this storage device could also be infected with viruses that can cause damage to the file system and lead to the Shortcut files error and disk is write-protected error.

You can connect your USB or SD card to your computer and run anti-virus software on your computer to scan for viruses and remove them from drives.

Method 3: Verify USB Flash Drive/SD Card is not full

It is very likely to receive the write protection error when files are being accessed on a USB drive or SD card that says full . To check if your drive is full, all you must do is, right click on the Properties, you can view the size of the used space and free space of the USB or any storage device.

If you have enough space on the drive to copy the file and still you encounter the error, this might be due to the problem in the file you are trying to transfer or copy to the drive. Delete unnecessary files or folders from USB drives. Verify if the disk is write-protected error appears or not.

Method 4: Change the Read-only Status on the Drive

On multiple scenarios to avoid any damage to the file, the file will be set to read only status. Therefore, whenever you try to edit or access the file other than read only, the error Disk is write-protected appears and prevents you from editing it.

To change the Read Only status and to fix write-protection on files in USB drives, SD cards, pen drives follow the steps given below:

    1.   Click on the drive, Right click on the file you want change the access, Select Properties
    2.   Three options on the bottom of the screen are visible. Now, please ensure that the Read-only option is unchecked.
    3.   Finally, click on Apply and see if the change is effective or not by editing or writing on the file.

Method 5: Use Diskpart to Clear Write Protection

Command prompt is one of the inbuilt utilities in Windows that can help you fix any file system logical errors using command line interpreters. Here, a command Diskpart that is a built-in disk partition tool in windows computer is used to fix the disk that is write protected.

To run Diskpart and fix write-protected disk, follow the steps given below:

    1.       Press Win + R keys together and to open Run and type CMD to open command prompt. Or type command prompt in the search box. Run as Administrator
    2.   Type diskpart command >> Enter to run diskpart.
    3.   Type the below commands

list disk (the command lists all available disks on your computer)

select disk n (n is the number of disk representing your USB flash drive or SD card)

attributes disk clear readonly (this command helps you disable write protection)                       

After performing these commands, try transferring or copying files again to the USB drives.

Method 6: Edit the Registry on USB

If the problem still exists after trying all the above-mentioned methods, you try fixing it by enabling the USB write.reg file.

    1.   Click Win+R >> type regedit to open Registry Editor.
    2.   Then navigate to the following location to find a key named WriteProtect


    1.   When the key is found, right click and select Modify to change the value from 1 to 0.

If you still encounter the disk with a write-protected message, it is suggested to format the USB drive that is write protected.

Method 7: Format the Drive Displaying Disk is Write protected

Formatting the drive can fix any corruption or damage in the file system. Therefore, Formatting the drive helps fixing any error caused by corruption write protection on disk. Sometimes, Windows fails to format the USB drive using regular methods, therefore, it is the best choice to format the USB drive using Diskpart.

Note: However, formatting helps you fix the error but also erases all the data from the drive. If you the drive has any important file and documents it is recommended to recover your data from USB drives before heading to format the drive.

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Format the Drive using Diskpart command

    1.   Type cmd to the search box >> right-click it to choose Run as administrator to open Command Prompt.
    2.   In the new window,

type diskpart >> press Enter

Type list volume >> press Enter (the command helps to display all volumes available on drive)

Type select volume n (n represents the volume number of your SD card, USB flash drive or other devices)

Type format fs=ntfs label=”new volume” quick (this command helps to format your file system format to NTFS file system)


As mentioned above this method erases all the data from the drive. However, you can still recover data from the formatted USB drive using the best trusted USB recovery tool.

How to Recover Files from USB Drive Displaying Write Protected?

SFWare USB recovery tool is the most recommended tool to recover data from corrupt or formatted USB drives/ SD cards. However, you can make use of the tool after you remove write-protection from the USB drive. After removing write protection, the software with its fast and quick scanning algorithm retries lost data without from the USB drive any hassle. Download the software now for free and try it yourself..

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Steps to recover data from formatted drive

    1.   Connect your USB drives/ SD cards to the computer and launch the SFWare USB recovery application. From the main screen select Recover Drive/Partition, from next screen choose Drive/Partition Recovery. Now the software starts to display all the drives and partitions available on the computerSFWare Data Recovery software main page
    1.   In the next window, select the USB drive that was write protected and formatted.
      Select USB drive
    1.   The software initiates to scan the drive. The software scans each and every sector in the USB drive to search for the files that can be recovered. Once the scanning process completes, all the recoverable files are displayed in the list.
      List of recoverable files
    1.   Form the list select the files you need to recover from the formatted USB drive and click on Next

Lastly, select the location to save all the recovered files from the USB. Make sure you save the files in a different location to avoid the overwriting of the files on the same drive.


The USB error Disk is write-protected is the most common error that can be encountered when you have important files saved on the drive. However, it becomes chaotic when you need to access the data from the drive. With all the above-mentioned methods explained in the article, you will be able to fix the error easily and access files, edit/modify it without any problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my USB say write-protected when I format it?

Your USB displays USB is write protected in various scenarios. However, write-protection will not enable you to format the drive or allow any modification of the drive until write-protection is removed.

How do you fix the disk is write-protected USB error?

You can fix the write-protection error using several methods explained here.

    1.   Unlock Physical switch on USB Flash Drive
    2.   Run Antivirus to scan for viruses
    3.   Verify USB Flash Drive/SD Card is not full
    4.   Change Read-only Status on drive
    5.   Run Diskpart to Clear Write Protection
    6.   Edit the Registry
    7.   Format the Drive (USB/SD card)

How do I unlock a USB drive?

If you are wondering how to unlock the USB drive switch, all you must do is find the physical switch on the USB drive and need to toggle it to the opposite direction to unlock your USB Drive. If you do not have any physical switch on the storage devices, you might be encountering a write protection error due to other possible reasons like virus, corruption, etc.

How to Open, Extract RAR files on Windows & Mac?


Extracting RAR files can be the easiest task if you are regular user of .rar or .zip formats. If you are newly exploring the file formats such as RAR or facing any difficulties in extracting RAR files, this article explains the simplest ways to open RAR files on both Windows and Mac computers. With the help of the methods described, you will be able to learn how to extract large files and multiple RAR files as well.

RAR and Zip file formats are the most popular compressed file formats used while transferring files from one drive to another or via email as it reduces the storage space. Although RAR and Zip files uses compression algorithm to minimize the file size, RAR comes with an added advantage. With RAR you can divide a single file in to multiple pieces and send the file. You can extract back the multiple files as well without any hassle.

The Simplest Way to Open, Extract RAR Files


There are several applications used on Windows to open RAR files. The default application used to extract RAR file is WinRAR, precisely made for RAR file format. However, it is not the free app but a trialware. You can make use of the WinRAR app to easily create RAR file. To extract RAR file, you can try the free and open source 7Zip.

How to Open RAR files on Windows?

Methods mentioned below can be used to open RAR Files in the Following Windows Versions: Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and older versions.

You can extract multiple RAR files using WinRAR or 7-zip application following the same procedure as extracting/opening RAR files.

Open RAR file with WinRAR

Follow the steps to open RAR file in WinRAR:

  1. Double-click on the .rar file >> Select the files or folders you want to extract/open.
  2. Now, click on the Extract To icon at the top of the WinRAR window and choose a destination folder where you want to save the contents of the extracted RAR file >> OK


  1. Right-click on the RAR file >> Choose Open with WinRAR
  2. Double-click on the file you want to open >> WinRAR will launch automatically.
  3. Open WinRAR >> Select the file/folder from the WinRAR

Note:  If you are encountering the checksum error while opening the RAR file, it is recommended to fix the error immediately.  Click on the link to know how to fix WinRAR checksum error using 3 efficient ways.

Extract or Open RAR file using 7-Zip

If you are looking for any Free open source application to unRAR files, 7-zip is the application you are looking for. At first, you need to download the 7-zip application from the official website. When the download completes, launch the application and click on finish button.

Now to extract RAR files, follow the steps given below

  1. Select the file you want to extract from the RAR archive
  2. Right click on the file>> it displays multiple options like Open archive, Extract files, Extract here, Test archive, Add to archive and Compress and email.
  3. Select Extract here. You will be now taken to another window that displays the time needed to extract all the files from the archive.

Now you can view the extracted files in the same directory it was opened.


  1. Right-click the RAR file you want to open >> Select 7zip from the options listed
  2. Now, select Open archive >> 7zip file manager opens
  3. Click on Extract >> Choose the location you want>> OK

Once you click on OK, you will be directed to next window that displays the remaining time to extract all the files RAR archives.

How to Open RAR files on Mac?

To extract RAR files on macOS, you can make use of the free open source applications known as Unarchiver. Unlike Windows Mac doesn’t have multiple options to extract RAR files. However, Unarchiver supports extraction of multiple files from RAR archives.

  1. Download and install the application on your Mac computer.
  2. right-click the RAR file in Finder >> Choose The Unarchiver from the Open with
  3. Enter the password if the RAR has encryption.
  4. Now the app extracts the files to a new folder in the same directory

Note: If you want to know more about extracting an encrypted or password protected RAR file check this information.

How Do I Extract Large RAR Files?

The maximum limit of RAR file could be 2^63 bytes in size and 7-zip archive limit is 2^64 bytes. Therefore, you can use 7-zip archive to extract large RAR files without any trouble. What if your RAR archive is corrupt? How would you extract RAR files? Well, do not worry, with SFWare Repair RAR file tool, you can fix corruption and extract RAR files with ease.

When you try extracting large RAR files, there would be chances of RAR file corruption as it exceeds the file size limit. In such situations, you can make use of SFWare RAR file Repair software that not only helps you repair the RAR file but help in extracting large size RAR files without causing any damage to files. SFWare is the most recommended tool to repair the corrupt RAR files. the tool not only repairs but also extract corruption free RAR files.

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Steps to Repair and Extract Corrupt RAR File

To Repair corrupt RAR file, download and install SFWare Repair RAR file on your computer and launch the application.

  • Select RAR file that you want to repair and click on Repair
  • Now, Quick repairing and recovering/extracting process will take place
  • Fixed Files can be stored on any external storage devices


With all the above-mentioned methods, you can easily open/extract RAR files without any hassle. It is always recommended to keep multiple backups of important files to avoid any data loss scenarios. Avoid interruptions while downloading large RAR files to evade RAR file corruption. If you encounter any trouble extracting file due to corruption or damage on the file, you can make use of SFWare RAR file Repair tool.