Quick Tip: How to Remove the Write Protection From a USB Flash Drive

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Removing the write protection from a USB Flash is easy and can only take few minutes.


The prices of USB flash drives have dropped dramatically over the last few years. The prices have dropped so much, many marketing campaigns are using small and large USB flash drives as a way to market their product and services. This way potential customers think they are getting a “free” jump drive that may have few files or programs they might have to remove or look at. Image Source: Flickr

But what most people do not realize, that many of these free flash drives have the write protection set. So all you have is a  useless flash drive you can’t use.

How to Remove the Write Protection from a USB Flash Drive

Even if your drive wasn’t a free drive from a marketing campaign, a flash might go into write protection mode without you wanting it. To remove the write protection from your drive, there are several things you can do.

1. The first thing you need to do is check your drive for a switch or a reset button you can press to turn off the write protection.

2. If your drive doesn’t have a switch, you can format the drive. You will loose all of your documents, but the write protection is gone. If you want to keep the files on the drive, move the files to another folder on your hard drive (if the drive will let you). Then format the drive and drag the files back to the drive. Just the other night, I needed a small USB flash drive to setup a network for one of those Blue Ray Smart players over a WiFi network. All I could come up with fast was a 2 gig drive from some sort of ad company. It was full of useless files and links that wouldn’t let me add more files to it. Luckily, I found a new flash drive in my IT tool bag waiting to be used. If I had not found that drive, I would have to format that junk drive. At some point, I will format and add it back to Blue Ray player since it seems to boot faster with USB drive with network settings plugged in.

To format a drive. Go to Explore >>> flash drive – drive letter >>> right click and select format. Then follow the prompts. This normally works for most format jobs.

3. If you want to temporarily remove the write protection from the drive, you might able to disable the write protection by clicking the Start button >>> select Computer >>> then right-click the icon for the USB drive (Removable Disk) >>> select Properties. If there isn’t an option to remove the write protection, then you will have to do it through the registry.

4. To temporarily remove the write protection by using the registry, you need to click start >>> type regedit into search programs and files >>> Registry Editor opens >>> go to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies” >>> Right-click on WriteProtect and select Modify >>> Change the Value Data to “0” >>> Ok.

NOTE: Sometimes viruses can cause a USB drive to act as if its write protected. You might want to run a virus scan and malware scans to the drive.

NOTE: If you have important documents on your drive, make sure to back it up. Formatting the drive will remove the data from the drive.

NOTE: If you make any changes to the registry, make sure to back up your registry.

About James

James spends most of his free time using social media and loves to teach others about design, web development, CSS, SEO, and social media. He is addicted to Wordpress, social media, and technology. You can reach him on his personal website, Evolutionary Designs Blog, Do not forget to follow him on Twitter @element321

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