There are cases where you would find that your Windows 10 sends out messages that you have disk write protection issues. In those circumstances, you may end up getting error messages that may state that you will not be able to modify the contents of a disk or your local hard drive. Most of you may or may not be aware of the feature called Write Protection. The post is right for you if you are looking for the options to enable or disable the Write Protection functionality.
Why is your disk Write Protected?
Well, the reason should be quite apparent. When your disk or drive or even the external hard drive is write-protected, you will end up protecting your precious data from being deleted, overwritten or removed without your notice.
There may be occasions when you find that you have handed over your drive or HDD to someone else and the data is accidentally deleted or even intentionally removed. Choosing the proper write protection will ensure that your data remains secure without being affected negatively.
However, your drive or disk may get the write protection on account of the virus activity. It may also be possible that the write protection on the media may have been enabled.
How to Disable Disk Write Protection on your External drive or disk?
Several options would be helpful enough in removing the write protection on your Windows 10. Let us check out the methods and solutions one by one.
Method 1 – Remove the protection using the Physical Switch
Most of the physical external media does come with a physical switch to enable or disable the write protection on your device. The exact type and position of the physical switch would be dependent upon the drive you are checking out.
Do remember that the hard-drive in question may not have a physical switch either. However, if the physical switch is available and has been used for enabling the write protection, you will not be able to disable it using any software options.
Any other settings will be overridden by the physical switch. So, practically speaking – your first attempt at disabling the write protection should ideally begin with the physical switch. If you are unsure about the physical switch on your system or drive, it may be a good idea to consult the instruction manual. You can contact the device manufacturer for any need in any information on the exact status.
Method 2 – Use Registry editor for disabling the write protection
Before you can move ahead to use the registry editor on your Windows 10, let us make it clear! The registry editor stores vital configuration information that assists you in working with your Windows operating system. A wrong step would make your computer go bricked and stop working or bootup. Exercise caution when using the option.
Having understood the essence of the registry editor, here are the steps to follow –
- Launch Registry Editor. You will be able to do it, utilizing the RUN dialog box. Launch RUN dialog box using the Windows key and R.
- Type in regedit.exe and click on OK
- The registry editor should now open.
- Follow the path here below on the Registry Editor.
- Choose USBSTOR on the left pane of the registry editor
- Double click on the Start DWORD to begin editing it.
- Change the value of the DWORD to 3.
- Close the registry editor
Reboot your computer for the changes to take effect. The write protection should now be disabled.
Method 3 – Use Group Policy Editor to disable the Write protection
The Group Policy Editor is yet another excellent option that can help disable the write protection on your drive. Please, not that the Group Policy Editor is available only on Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Enterprise users. If you are on Windows 10 Home, you may need to use the registry editor method described in the above process.
The tutorials involved in addressing the concern would require the following steps–
- Type in gpedit.msc in the Run dialog box.
- Click OK to launch the Group Policy editor.
- Go through the following path
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Removable Storage Access
- On the right window, click on the entry Removable Storage Access
- On the left pane, choose the .entry Removable Disks: Deny read access
- Change the entry into
- Click on Apply
Click on OK to close the box for Group policy editor. Reboot your device for the changes to take effect.
Method 4 – Use Diskpart for disabling the Write protection
Diskpart is a perfect option to enable or disable a host of features on your Windows 10. The feature works in the command line format and should help you quickly disable the Write protection with ease.
Here are the steps you would be able to follow to disable the write protection feature on your device –
- Launch Command Prompt on your device. You can use a crucial combination of Windows key and X and then choose Command Prompt by typing CMD (Admin).
- Type in the following commands on the Command Prompt. Make sure you hit ENTER after each of the following commands.
diskpart list disk select disk #
After the list disk command, you should get the list of drives and disks available on your computer. Note down the disk that you want to change the Write Protection option. In the select disk # command, replace the hashtag with the disk number you found with the command above.
- Type in the command attributes disk clear read-only
- Once the command line is executed, you can close the Command Prompt and reboot your device.
You should ideally get a message indicating that the write protection from the device has been removed.
How to remove Write protection on USB Drives?
The write protection employed on the USB drive can either be physical or virtual. You will need to check your actual device before opting for any solutions.
Tip 1 – Use the Physical switch
Many of the USB drives come with the physical switch for enabling and disabling the write protection. Check if your USB drive comes with one of them. If it does, opt for the correct option to disable the write protection.
It would be advisable to check the instruction manual for your USB drive. Please note that a few USB drives may not offer a physical switch for disabling the write protection functionality.
Tip 2 – Check if the drive comes with a Read-Only status
The Drive may have a configured Read-Only status. There are situations where a particular file is set to the Read-Only status, while the other content may be available for access. You can check the properties for the specific file or the device and find it the Read-Only attributes have been enabled.
Here are the steps that should be helpful enough –
- Right-click on the file you are trying to access or overwrite.
- Click on Properties
- Check the options under
- Uncheck the box that reads Read-only.
Click on Apply and then click on OK. Reboot your system, though it may or may not be needed.
The other methods outlined in the previous sections would also be useful enough in resolving the issue. Almost every process we have described here should work efficiently in your case as well.
How to Enable the Write protection on Windows 10?
Well, that should be simple and easy to work with. If you have already gone through the options we have outlined in the previous steps for disabling the right protection; you would have already understood how to enable the possibility of write protection. You would need to reverse the options – that should d it.
Let us check revisit and check out a few options and enable the write protection on your drives.
Use Group Policy Editor
Once again, let us reiterate that the Group Policy editor is not available on Windows 10 Home edition. You can only make use of the method only if you are on Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions. If you have Windows 10 Home, skip to the next step.
Follow the steps here below for further details –
- Press Windows key and R to launch the RUN dialog box.
- Type in gpedit.msc in the Run dialog box and click on OK
- In the group policy editor window, locate the following path
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Removable Storage Access
- Double click on the option Removable Disks: Deny read access on the right pane
- In the configuration window, chose the radio button for Disabled or Not Configured. This will enable the write protection o your computer.
- Click on Apply and then on OK.
Reboot your computer for the changes you just made will take effect.
If you do not have a group policy editor, use the registry editor to enable the write protection.
Another useful option that can go handy enough would be to format your drive. Of course, that would be the last resort ever.
The Concluding Thoughts
Those were a few options that should be helpful enough in disabling or enabling the write protection functionality on your drives and disks. We assume that this page was practical and useful sufficient in arriving at the right kind of options for your needs. If the solutions, methods, and tips shared here are helpful for you, do share your comments and suggestions down below.