How to Change External Drive from Read-Only or Write-Protect to Read Write Mode?

Read-only, also known as write-protected, is a file system permission that only allows users to read or copy stored data but not write new information or edit the existing data. You can set the read-only to the entire disk to prevent accidentally formatting.

We will show the different ways to fix the read-only to a disk. This happens to HDD a lot, and it’s also commonly seen on removable disks like SD memory cards and USB flash drives. These troubleshooting methods effectively change a hard drive, USB flash drive, pen drive, or SD card from ready only to read-write.

You can use one of the following methods to change to read-write if you have an external HDD or USB drive which is write-protected:-

  1. Change read-only permission in Properties
  2. Remove read-only with the Diskpart tool
  3. Fix disk read-only using Registry Editor
  4. Remove read-only with a software

How to Change Read-only Permission on Windows 11/10/8/7 using Properties dialog?

The chances are that your device permission has changed to read-only after doing a Windows upgrade or update. You need to access the disk properties to get both the read & write permission to resolve this kind of obstacle.

Step 1. You need to open Windows/File Explorer and right-click on the disk or drive that is currently read-only. Select Properties.

Step 2. After that, go to the Security tab, and click on the Edit button.

Drive-PropertiesStep 3. Then, select a User Account, and make sure the Read and Write options are checked. If not, check both of them, click Apply, and press OK.

PermissionsYou should edit data or format the selected drive or disk when you complete the above steps.

How to Remove read-only with Diskpart tool?

Refer to the following articles to remove read-only or write protection from the disk or volume:-

How to Fix read-only using Registry Editor?

This method is beneficial to fix disk read-only or write protection in a USB flash drive or SD Card. We will take the help of the Registry Editor in this procedure; we recommend taking a full backup of the Registry and creating a system restore point.

Step 1. You need to connect a USB flash drive or SD Card to the computer.

Step 2. Now, press Windows Logo + R keys together to open the Run box.


Step 3. Next, if User Account Control (UAC) dialog appears, click Yes to continue.

Command-Prompt-UACStep 4. After that, navigate to the following key, in the Registory Editor window:-


StorageDevicePoliciesStep 5. Then, look for the DWORD (32-bit) value WriteProtect from the right side of the StorageDevicePolicies key. If it is not there, right click on the right side pane, select New, and then DWORD (32-bit) value. Rename it to WriteProtect.

WriteProtectStep 6. Now, double click on WriteProtect and set its value data to 0.

WriteProtect-Value-dataStep 7. After that, click OK to save the changes.

Step 8. Finally, reboot your computer or laptop.

The read-only or write protection should be removed from the external device when you complete the above steps. Go to the following if you want to enable read-only or write protection:-


And on the right side of this double-click on WriteProtect and changes its Value data to 1.

How to remove read-only or write protect with a software?

EaseUS Tools M is a freeware and tiny (less than 9MB in size) application that removes the read-only or writes protection from external devices.

Step 1. Now, download EaseUS Tools M from here.

Step 2. Further, install it on your computer or notebook and then launch it.

EaseUS-Tools-MStep 3. Then, click on the Write Protection button.

Step 4. Now, select the USB drive or SD card which is connected to your computer.

Write-ProtectionStep 5. Next, click on the Disable button.

When you complete the above steps, write-protection or read-only will be immediately disabled on the selected USB drive or SD card.

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