To prevent others from modifying data on the USB devices or avoid accidental data loss or data overwriting on the USB, you can enable write protection on USB drive. Check the 4 ways below for how to do it. To recover deleted or lost files from USB flash drives, memory cards, computes, external hard drives, MiniTool Power Data Recovery is free.

To enable write protection on USB flash drives, pen drives, etc. you can use the 4 methods below.

Way 1. Make USB Read-only with Diskpart

Step 1. Press Windows + R, type cmd, press Ctrl+ Shift + Enter and click Yes in User Account Control window to open elevated Command Prompt.

Step 2. Type diskpart in Command Prompt and press Enter to open Diskpart window.

Step 3. Next, type list disk in Diskpart and press Enter. Check the list of detected disks and find which one is your USB drive.

Step 4. Type select disk * command, and press Enter. Replace “*” with the disk number of the USB drive.

Step 5. Type attributes disk command and press Enter to check the attributes of the USB drive. Check if the USB is read-only, if not, type the command attributes disk set read-only and press Enter to enable write protection on USB.

If the current state of the USB device is read-only, you can type the command attributes disk clear read-only, and press Enter to remove write protection on the micro SD card or USB.

Way 2. Change the USB Drive Security Permissions

Step 1. Right-click the USB drive in File Explorer window and select Properties.

Step 2. For NTFS drive, click Security tab and click Edit button. In the Permissions window, you can click Everyone under Group or user names. To set the USB drive read-only for everyone, you can uncheck all the boxes under Allow except for the Read option.

enable write protection on USB devices

For FAT drive, click Sharing tab and click Advanced Sharing button. Click Share this folder and click Permissions button. Click Everyone and uncheck all boxes under Allow column except for the Read option.

Way 3. Enable Write Protection on USB with Registry

Note: It’s risky to edit Windows Registry. It’s highly advised you back up Windows OS and important data before you edit the registry by using MiniTool ShadowMaker.

Step 1. Press Windows + R, type regedit in Run dialog, and press Enter to open Registry Editor in Windows 10.

Step 2. In Registry Editor window, you can click as the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control.

Step 3. Right-click Control key and click New -> Key to create a new key and name it StorageDevicePolicies.

enable write protection for USB on Windows 10 with Registry

Step 4. Right-click the created StorageDevicePolicies key and click New -> DWORD (32-BIT) Value. Name the created value as WriteProtect.

Step 5. Double-click WriteProtect value and set its value as 1. This will enable write protection on the USB flash drive, and others will get a “This disk is write-protected” message when they try to modify the content on the USB.

To disable the write-protection on USB, you can follow the same instructions above and set the value from 1 to 0.

Way 4. Enable Write Protection on USB via Group Policy

Note: It’s also risky to edit Windows Group Policy. You can back up your Windows OS and important data before you edit the Group Policy.

Step 1. Press Windows + R, type gpedit.msc in Run box, and press Enter to open Group Policy Editor in Windows 10.

Step 2. Click as follows: Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Removable Storage Access.

Step 3. Double-click Removable Disks: Deny write access policy in the right window, and click Enabled option. Click Apply and click OK to save the changes. You may be asked to restart your computer. This will make the USB device read-only.

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