How to Remove Write Protection in Windows 11

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta December 8, 2021
Updated 2021/12/08 at 12:18 AM

When sometimes we need to edit an image, or a document we find an error informing that the file is protected against writing. Similarly, when trying to copy a file, be it music, images or videos, to a USB device we run into this same error.

What does it mean that a file or device is write-protected? How do we fix this extremely annoying issue? If you want to find the answer to this and other questions, I invite you to continue reading.

In this article we explain the steps to follow to remove write protection on files and USB devices, such as pendrives, and youSD storage cards. We already started.

Which means that a file or device is write-protected.

When a file of any type, be it a document, an image or a video, is write-protected, it means that it is not possible to modify it. Any change you want to make to this file will launch an error message. Sometimes this occurs when a system process is reading the file.

Other times it may be due to the fact that during the last modification made to the file this was not saved or closed properly and some error occurred during the process. You can delete the write protection of any file or directory. There are several ways to achieve this goal since there are several mechanisms by which write protection is established on a file.

Generally, no one goes around checking whether files or directories are write-protected. We almost always notice when we try to modify a file or copy something to a specific directory. Once we try to perform either of the two previous actions, we run into an error of “Read-only file”, or something similar.

In case the write protection is on an internal or external storage device, we will find an error message “Disk access denied.”

USB write protection.

Remove protection on files and directories.

The first step in trying to remove write protection on a file is verify if any process is making use of it. If at first glance you do not see any open application, a solution may be to consult the Windows 11 task manager. If it is an image, check if there is any process associated with a “hanging” editor / viewer and terminate it. It can do the same with photos and other types of files.

On the other hand, you can try to remove the write protection from manual way. Just right click on the file in question. In the context menu window select the option “Properties”. This action takes you to the file’s properties window. At the bottom of this window you will see the attributes option. If the attribute “read only” It is marked, uncheck it and press accept.

In case the protection exist on a directory in particular, you must repeat the same action above for the folder. Once you make the attribute change, you will be asked if you make the change for all files and folders within this directory. If you accept the modification, all files and directories within the selected folder will have write protection recursively removed.

The actions described above can remove write protection and let you make changes to the file in question.

Write protection of USB devices.

Eliminating write protection in files and directories is extremely simple, not being the case for USB devices. This task can really become complicated and a favorable outcome is not always guaranteed. This is because sometimes the write protection of USB devices is caused by some error. hardware failure or malfunction. In this case it is advisable to visit a technician or simply replace the device.

But, although it is difficult to remove write protection on devices USB, it does not mean that it is impossible. There are several ways to do this. It is valid to clarify thatSome USB devices have a physical switch to enable or disable write protection. In case yours has this feature, check that the write protection is on. disabled.

On the other hand, Windows 11 generally takes care of manage the writing mode in the physical devices. In this case it is not as simple as unchecking the attribute “read only” in the device properties. In fact, if you look at the properties window for these devices, you can make sure that this option is not even available.

Why is write protection set on USB devices?

The first answer to that question is simple: because the owner wanted it that way. Setting the write protection of a USB device is very easy. You just have to go to the device properties and look for the “Security” option. Here we can see the assignment of permissions on the device. If in the write option we mark the deny box, the write protection for the device is established.

Permissions for USB devices.

Another cause of the occurrence of this situation is due to malfunction device or because it was removed from the computer while you were still working on it.

How to remove write protection on USB devices.

One of the ways to remove write protection is by using the Windows command line with a specific command: the diskpart command. This command is responsible for modifying the “device read-only” attribute.

To use it, open the Windows CMD through the start menu or the run window (Windows key + r) by typing cmd. Then write diskpart on the console. This will show you the interface to interact with the tool.

In this window type the command list disk which will show you the list of physical disks connected to the computer. In the first column of the table shown you can see the number associated with each disk. Identify the number that corresponds to your USB device as it will be the one you are going to use.

Once you have correctly identified the disk number, type select disk + disk number. In my case the USB device corresponds to disk number 1, therefore, write select disk 1. You will then see a message informing that the disk has been selected. To change the read-only attribute type attributes disk clear readonly and hit Enter. After a moment you will see the message “Disk attributes erased successfully”Reporting the positive result of the operation.

Diskpart command to remove write protection.

Remove write protection from USB devices through registry.

Another way to remove write protection is through the system registry. It is extremely important to use this route only if you are familiar with using the registry. Any incorrect modification can have serious consequences for the correct operation of the system. In view of this, it is recommended to perform a registry save before making any changes to it.

With that said, open the system registry via the run window (Windows + r) by typing regedit. Unfold the folder tree on the left following the direction: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControl”. Look for the key StorageDevicePolicies inside the Control folder. Here open the WriteProtect option and set the key value to 0.

Remove write protection through the registry.

Once this option is made, the write protection of all removable devices connected to the computer is eliminated. This option will work if the write protection was set the same way.

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