Solution for 'Flash Drive Write Protected' Error - 5 Ways

"What can I do that my flash drive won’t format because it is write protected? I received a message that the disk cannot be written because it is write protected when I attempted to move some data from hard disk to my flash drive, but there is no write-protection switch on the flash drive. I also realized that my flash drive turns to RAW file system, so I tried to format the flash drive, but system said cannot format disk because it is write protected. Please tell me the way to remove write-protection without touching any data on this flash drive."

The following photo shows a flash drive has write protection that won't let you delete, format nor write files.

disk write protected

Video Guide - How to Fix Write Protected USB PenDrive

Also read: how to fix usb write protected cannot format

Solution 1 - Turning off the protection switch

First of all, you can check if there is write-protection switch on the USB flash drive.

disk write protected switch

If you still failed to format RAW flash drive because system says the disk drive is write protected, you can run Windows built-in Error-checking tool to check and repair bad sectors on the flash drive. Finally, you can also rely on format tool to format flash drive when system cannot complete the format.

 

Solution 2 - Remove write protection using cmd diskpart

Here you may use cmd diskpart to remove the protection attribute property for the pendrive. Follow the cmd line here

remove write protection using cmd

If it still did not work, try the following cmd instead. (See details in the following image)

  • list disk
  • select disk * (You need to replace * with your own usb drive letter)
  • attribute disk clear readonly
  • clean
  • create partition primary
  • format fs=fat32 (Or you may use 'format fs=ntfs' instead)

remove write protection using cmd

Recommend: more free ways to remove write protection

==>> If you need to know how to format a write-protected USB drive because Windows cannot format a USB that is write-protected, please go to this article - Windows not able to complete the format fix>>

Solution 3 - Convert USB MBR

If the above did not work, try the following cmd

remove hp usb format tool write protected with cmdRemove hp usb format tool write protected with cmd

remove hp usb format tool write protected with cmdRemove hp usb format tool write protected with cmd

Solution 4 - Force Format Flash Drive with Rufus

Formatting usb with Rufus would mostly work when your usb can't be formatted due to unknown reasons.

Rufus download url: https://github.com/pbatard/rufus/releases/download/v3.11/rufus-3.11.exe

recommendAlso read: 8 usb stick format tools

Solution 5 - Data Recovery from USB which was in write protected mode

iCare Data Recovery allows you to recover data from flash drive that has write-protection when it won't let you copy files, write files or format a write protected flash drive. Check the following simple steps:

download data recovery software

Step1. Select a proper scan mode after running the data recovery software.

select recovery mode

Step2. Choose the flash drive and wait the software to scan.

wait while scanning

Step3. Preview and save the files you need to another storage media.

preview found photo

The Bottom Line

When you are unable to format your flash drive since system reports the flash drive is write protected, you should stop using the flash drive. Any improper operation might lead data to be erased permanently.

Move all data from the write protected flash stick, or restore data with iCare Data Recovery that enables you to restore files from the flash drive as long as it is not physically damaged and data is not overwritten.

Last updated on Oct 20, 2021

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Data Recovery Software > Howto > Fix Errors > Format Recovery > Flash Drive Wont Format Write Protected