Every computer user has, at some point, encountered a frustrating situation where an external drive refuses to allow data modifications. The culprit behind this restriction is the ‘Read-only’ or ‘Write-protected’ status of the drive. Essentially, when a drive is set to read-only, users can view and access the data stored, but they cannot make any changes to it. Such a setting can be quite beneficial when one wants to secure the contents of a drive from accidental deletions or unwanted edits. Often, users might find their external HDD, SD memory cards, or USB flash drives inadvertently stuck in this mode. If you’ve faced such a challenge and are scratching your head, wondering how to revert the disk back to a state where you can both read from and write to it, you’re in luck. In this guide, we will detail various methods, ranging from simple property modifications to using specialized software, to change your external drive from read-only to read-write mode. So, let’s dive in and explore how you can regain complete control over your data.
How to Change Read-only Permission on Windows 11/10/8/7 using the 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. Afterward, go to the Security tab, and click on the Edit button.
Step 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.
You should edit data or format the selected drive or disk when you complete the above steps.
How do you Remove read-only with the Diskpart tool?
Refer to the following articles to remove read-only or write protection from the disk or volume:-
- How to Set or Remove Volume Read-Only or Write-Protect in Windows 11/10/8/7?
- How to Set or Remove Disk Read-Only or Write-Protect in Windows 11/10/8/7?
How to Fix read-only using Registry Editor?
This method is beneficial for fixing 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 must 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.
Step 4. After that, navigate to the following key in the Registry Editor window:-
Step 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.
Step 6. Now, double-click on WriteProtect and set its value data to 0.
Step 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 this right side, double-click on WriteProtect and change its Value data to 1.
How to remove read-only or write protection with software?
EaseUS Tools M is a freeware and tiny (less than 9MB in size) application that removes read-only or writing 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.
Step 3. Then, click on the Write Protection button.
Step 4. Now, select the USB drive or SD card connected to your computer.
Step 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.
Changing the read-only or write-protected status of an external drive can sometimes be a confusing and challenging task. However, with the right tools and methods, it becomes quite simple. Whether you’re utilizing the properties dialog in Windows/File Explorer, the Diskpart tool, the Registry Editor, or third-party software like EaseUS Tools M, there’s a solution available for every scenario. Following the steps outlined above can help you regain full control over your external drive and ensure you can both view and modify its contents as needed.