How to Fix the Issue Access Is Denied for USB or Pen Drive in Windows?

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Is your Windows displaying Access Denied when you insert USB on your computer? This could be the result of an improper connection or USB corruption. With the help of simple and effective methods explained in the article, you will be able to fix the error access is denied for USB in jiffy.

USB access denied errorAccess Denied is an error that occurs when Windows is unable to access the contents of a USB and this can be due to various reasons.

Why is USB Access Denied?

It is not uncommon to encounter a pen drive or USB flash drive is not an access denied issue in Windows 11/10/8/7. There are many reasons that leads to the USB error, most common factors are listed below:

    • When USB or pen drive is removed inappropriately, it may corrupt the system files running in the background and cause trouble when you insert again.
    • When access to the USB drive is restricted using write protection or read only mode, you will not be able to access the USB drive until you remove the write protection
    • If USB’s file system is damaged or corrupt, USB doesn’t allow access to the content in the drive.
    • The USB is conflicting with any third-party applications, this can stop you from accessing the drive until the issue is sorted. 

All the above-mentioned reasons make your USB inaccessible. Now, let’s see the solutions to fix the error Access is denied for USB.

Note: There are few methods explained in the next session that may cause data loss from the USB, if your data is important and cannot risk to lose, it is recommended to recover data from the inaccessible USB and follow the method to fix Access is denied error.

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Quick Navigation:

  1. Recover data from the USB displaying Access is denied error
  2. Fix USB Access is Denied Error using various approaches

7 Solutions to Fix USB Access is Denied in Windows PC

Try all the methods one after the other to fix the error USB access is denied in Windows 11/10/8 or any other versions.

Method 1: Try Accessing the USB Drive

If your USB device is protected and everyone’s access is disabled for use, here is how to access the device:

    1.   Press Windows + E Keys to open file explorer. Click on the inaccessible USB device.
    2.   Right-click the USB device and select Properties >> Security >> Advanced >> Edit
    3.   Search for your name under the Group or user names section and click on it.
    4.   Enable all the boxes in the Allow column >> press Apply
    5.   complete the process by clicking OK to gain permission to access the USB device.

Method 2: Manage Advanced Security Settings for USB

If the error access is denied is due to an issue in Windows register, you can try the following steps to fix it.

run regedit to fix access is denied for USB

    1.    Open Run by pressing Windows + R keys and type regedit.exe and navigate to the below mentioned path


    1.   Now, right click the USB folder and select Permissions. Make sure the Read column is checked.
    2.   Go to the Advanced tab >> select Include inheritable permissions from this object’s parentInherit the permission to allow access to USB
    3.   Now, go to the Owner tab and check the box Replace owner on sub containers and objects >> Apply and OK

Once the process is complete, try to connect your USB to check if the error message USB access denied exists or not.

Method 3: Change Drive Letter with Disk Management

It is important to know that changing the path of a device changes the device letter assigned to USB dynamically. Therefore, changing drive letters with disk management helps in reconfiguring the change and helps in fixing the error USB access denied if it is due to change in the USB device path.

Run Disk management to fix USB access denied

    1.   Open Disk Management using the Run dialogue by pressing the Windows + R keys together and type diskmgmt.msc >> Enter or OK.
      OR Right-click on the start button and select disk management.
    2.   Navigate to the USB device displaying the error access is denied, right-click on the USB drive partition at the bottom of the Disk Management window.Change drive letter in disk management










3. Choose Change Drive Letter and Path… from the listed options.

 4. In the next window that your OS will prompt, chose Change…. >> Select the new drive letter >> OK

After the completion of the process verify if you still encounter the error Access is denied for USB on Windows.

Method 4: Edit Local Group Policy for USB

Sometimes access to USB connectivity may be denied by the Local Group Policy Editor restriction on the device. Follow the steps to fix the USB error using simple steps:

    1. Type gpedit.msc in a search bar >> click on the Edit group policy option displayed on your screen.
    2.  When your Control panel Local Group Policy Editor will be loaded, select Administrative Templates >> now expand the System folder.
    3. Inside the expanded System folder >> open the Removable Storage Access folder.Local group policy editor to fix USB error access is denied 
    4.  This final step includes three processes:  open all the options mentioned one after the other and tick the option Disable to remove restrictions from the device.
      1.       Removable Disks: Deny execute access,
      2.       Removable Disks: Deny read access
      3.       Removable Disks: Deny write access.

Method 5. Use Error Checking Tool

If error USB access is denied is caused due to file system error in Windows 11/10/8, error checking tool will help you fix the error.

    1. Open File Explorer or This PC, go to the access denied USB. Right-click on the USB drive and select Properties
    2. Go to the Tools option. under the Error checking section, click Check.
    3. Click on Repair Drive.

This will help you fix the issues with the device that is causing trouble to access the USB drive.

Method 6. Run CHKDSK To Fix USB Error Access Is Denied

If the error is caused due to file system errors, you can always rely on CHKDSK, an inbuilt utility in Windows that helps to fix logical errors.

Run chkdsk to fix the error

  1.       Open command prompt, by typing cmd in search bar >> Run as administrator
  2.       Type the command: chkdsk H: /f press Enter (Replace H with your USB drive letter)

Method 7: Format the USB Drive to Fix the Access is Denied Error

If the system file of a USB device is corrupted or damaged, the easiest way to fix any USB error is to format the drive.  Formatting the drive not only fixes errors but also helps you fix any damage in the file system.

  1.       Connect your USB to the Windows computer, open File Explorer. Right-click on the USB drive, select Format option
  2.       In the Format device window, you will be displayed Quick format or complete format

(Make sure you understand the difference between Quick and Complete Format before formatting the USB drive)

  1.       When the Warning… message pops up, click OK. Warning message displays that formatting will erase all the data from the device. Once the format process is done, you will receive a Format Complete message >> press OK

After the format process is completed, close the USB window and eject the USB drive to remove the USB.

How to Recover Data from the USB displaying Access is Denied Error?

Follow the steps to recover data from the inaccessible USB. Download and install SFWare USB data recovery software, connect the USB to the computer where software is installed. Launch the application.

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Steps to recover data from inaccessible USB

    1.  From the main screen select Recover Drive/Partition, from next screen choose, Drive/Partition Recovery, by selecting this option, software starts to display all the drives and partitions available on the computer 

      SFWare Data Recovery software main page

    2.  From the next window, select the USB drive from the listed drives, from which you need to recover your important data and click on Next 

      Select the USB access denied drive

    3.  The software initiates to scan the drive. The software scans each and every sector in the USB drive for all the recoverable files. Once the scanning process completes, all the recoverable files are displayed in the list.recoverable files to recover from USB
    4.  Choose the files you need to recover from the inaccessible USB drive and click on Next


    5.  From the next window, 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 from the drive.

Not only USB drives, with SFWare Data Recovery software, you can easily recover data from any external devices such as SD card, external hard drive, pen drive, etc.


With all the 7 methods mentioned above, you will be able to fix the error Access is Denied on Windows 11/10 other versions. To keep your USB safe from viruses and other kinds of malware that makes your USB susceptible for errors like access is denied, USB drive not recognized etc, run antivirus on a regular basis. Keep backup of your data to avoid any data loss situations. If you ever encounter data loss scenarios, you can always rely on SFWare data recovery software.

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