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How to Enable or Disable USB write protection in Windows 10

Do you know that it is very easy to Enable or Disable USB write protection in Windows 10? And here in this article, you will read all the possible ways with step by step guide on how to do that.

Write protection is kind of security feature that prevents the content of the USB drive being changed. Once this feature is enabled, it will restrict write access (read only) to all the external USB drives.

This is another useful security features that restrict new data from being written or old data being changed from your USB drive. Normally, what this mean is that you can read the data on the USB drive, but not write.

So here is what you need to do to enable this feature.

Enable USB Write Protection in Windows 10 using Registry Editor

The following method works in all the editions of the Windows 10 including Home edition.

1. First, of all you need to launch the Registry Editor. For that, you need to press WIN + R hotkeys, when RUN dialog appears simply type “regedit” and click ok to launch the Registry Editor.

regedit-run-command

Alternatively, for quick access, you can also type regedit in the Start menu search bar, when you see regedit run command in the search results. Simply click to launch it.

regedit-search-bar

2. After that navigate to following Registry key in the Registry Editor:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control

3. Under Control Key, you need to create a new Subkey. For that, select Control key and make right click using the mouse and from the options click on New -> Key and name this subkey “Storage Device Policies.”

new-subkey-under-control

storage-device-policies

4. Under Storage Device Policies key, you need to create new 32-bit DWORD value. You need to name this entry “write protect.”

dword-value-write-protect

Note: In case, you’re using 64-bit Windows OS version, you still need to create 32-bit DWORD value.

5. After that, double click on the newly create “write protect” DWORD value and set its value data to 1.

write-protect-value-data

6. In case, you have connected any USB device to your computer, then reconnect them.

Once you set the value data of Write Protect value to 1 and reconnect all the USB drives, the USB devices restriction effect will take place quickly. All the USB devices connected to your computer will become read-only. This security feature is so strong that once this feature is enabled, it will also remove the “New” and “Delete” options in the context menu command.

For disabling the USB Write Protection, you need to set its value data to 0 or delete the “write protect” DWORD value from the Storage Device Policies key.

Enable USB Write Protection in Windows 10 using Group Policy Editor

Group Policy Editor is only available in the Windows 10 Pro, Education, and Enterprise edition.

1. Launch the Group Policy Editor. For that, simply type the gpedit.msc in the start menu search bar and click on the top result to run the Group Policy Editor.

group-policy-editor

When UAC dialog box appears, click YES to continue.

2. In the Group Policy Editor navigate to following location: User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System ->Removable Storage Access.

3. On the right panel, look for “Removeable Disks: Deny read access” and “Removable Disks: Deny write access.”

group-policy-editor

4. Now double click on the both the entries one by one and change the settings for both entries from Not Configured to Enabled, then click on Apply and OK.

group-policy-editor

That’s it. Now whenever you try to do write action on the USB drive, you will see “Destination Folder Access Denied.” To disable the write protection, simply select the Not Configured option in Step 4 and apply changes.

Enable USB Write Protection in Windows 10 using Command Prompt (Diskpart)

1. Launch the Command Prompt with admin rights. For that, simply type cmd in the Start menu search bar and when Command Prompt appears in the result. Make right click on it and from the context menu, click Run as administrator.

command-prompt

Alternatively, For quick access, make right click on the Start button and from the options click on Command Prompt (Admin)

command-prompt

When UAC pop-up appears, click YES to continue

Before following the above step, make sure to insert the USB drive into your computer or laptop on which you want to enable write protection

2.  In the command prompt, you need type DISKPART

Wait for few second and it will show the diskpart version accompanied with the name of the computer.

3. After that, type LIST DISK and hit enter.

This command will show you the list of all the drives including the external USB drive.

From the list note the disk name on which you want to enable write protection. In my case, its DISK 2 (USB Drive)

4. After that, type Select Disk 2 (Replace 2 with your disk number) and hit enter.

Now you will see the message; Disk 2 is now selected disk.

Below Step will enable the write protection

5. After that type attributes disk set readonly and hit enter

You will see the message Disk attributes set successfully.

command-prompt

Below Step will disable the write protection

After step 4, you need to type attributes disk clear readonly and hit enter.

You will see the message Disk attributes cleared successfully.

command-prompt

6. Once done, close the Command Prompt.

Enable Write Protection for USB Drive/Memory Card with Physical Switch

All the modern USB drive and Memory Cards comes with switch button just like shown in the following image. You can move this button to enable and disable write protection on the USB drive simply.

Image: tenforum.com
Image: tenforum.com

Once you enable write protection for the following item, you won’t be able to write and erase anything.

So these are different possible ways to enable or disable USB write protection in the Windows 10. Why don’t you give a try to these methods and let us know if you find them useful or not?

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