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There are multiple things that you do in a drive of your computer. You copy-paste data, edit files, create folders, and do a lot of stuff. But, consider a scenario where you tried to access a drive and all you got was a read-only status. In more technical terms, this state is also referred to as a disk or drive became write-protected. Here, we will look at all the possible ways to fix the issue.
What Happens When Drive Is Read Only and How Does That Happen?
Read-only is a file system permission. When a drive is in the read-only state, a user cannot edit or write new information but can copy or read data. The read-only can be applied to an entire disk or the containing files and folders. In technical terminology, a drive that is in a read-only state is known as write-protected.
How To Fix Drive is Read Only:
1. Look For Errors
Out of many reasons why read-only status occurs on a disk drive, if one of your drives is locked and showing a read-only status, chances are that it is harboring errors that need to be looked into before any further damage is caused. CHKDSK is a frequently used command which instantly brings out errors to notice. For using CHKDSk
1. Type CMD in the search bar
2. From the right-hand pane click on Run as administrator
3. When the Command Prompt opens type chkdsk g: /f /r / x
4. Wait for the process to complete
If there are any errors in any of your drives, they’ll be listed and then you can use one of the following methods listed in the post to get rid of such errors. Once resolved, again check the status of the drive.
2. DiskPart is The Way To Go
Oftentimes when drives are locked and all you see is the read-only state flashing, DiskPart can be your ultimate life savior. Here are the steps for using DiskPart –
1. Right-click on the Start button and click on Disk Management
2. Locate the Drive which is read-only. Here’s how you can find if a drive is read-only. Under the Disk # (0,1,2…) you will either find the Online or Read-Only status. If it’s the latter, you can head over to the next step.
3. In the Windows search bar, type CMD
4. From the right-hand pane, click on Run as administrator
5. When the Command Prompt opens, type diskpart
6. Next type list disk and press Enter
7. Select disk which has the read-only parameter on it. E.g. if it is disk 1 then the command should be select disk 1 (press enter)
8. Next, type attributes disk clear read-only (press enter)
The read-only parameter should have been removed by now.
3. Check If The Issue Is Caused Because Of Your Antivirus
Is your drive or folder showing you read-only error as soon as you restart your computer? It could be because your third-party antivirus is detecting the folder as a threat and stopping you from accessing it. In that case, you can do one of the following things –
1. White list the folder in your antivirus if it hasn’t been yet
2. Reinstall your antivirus
3. If problem still persists and you are sure that the file is genuine look for an alternate solution
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4. Change Permissions In Properties
After going through the above steps, you know which of your hard drives is read-only, right? Here are a set of simple steps with the help of which you will be able to change your hard drive’s read-only status –
1. Go to This PC
2. Right-click on the drive that is locked and is showing as read-only
3. Click on Properties
4. Click on the Security tab
5. Locate the option that says To change permissions, click Edit, and click Edit next to it
6. Scroll down and check the Write checkbox
7. Click on Apply and then on OK
5. Remove Read-only Using The Registry Editor
We’d highly advise you to take a backup of all your registries before you perform the steps mentioned here. A backup will be useful if anything goes wrong. Let’s say you inserted a flash drive on your computer and found that the USB Drive was read-only. You checked the read-only switch, but there was none. And, you have to have access to the data fast. You can either take the help of one of the methods mentioned above or take the route of Registry Editor to remove write protection from the Windows USB Drive -.
1. Press Windows + R key to open the Run dialogue box
2. Type Regedit to open the Registry Editor
3. Navigate to the following path
4. Double-click on WriteProtect and change the value from 1 to 0
5. Close Regedit and restart your PC
You can recheck if your Windows 10 USB drive is read-only or not.
Frequently Asked Questions – Common User Queries
What happens when a drive is in a read-only state?
When a drive is in a read-only state you can copy and read files but you can’t perform any edits on those files. In most cases, you will have to get rid of the write-protection if you want to edit or write files.
Why is my drive read-only?
There could be several reasons why your drive is blocked and is write-protected. It could be that there are issues in the drive or maybe you have mistakenly activated the read-only permission on the drive. There are cases where users have reported this issue after upgrading their Windows 20.
How can I get rid of the read-only state?
How can I remove read-only from a USB drive?
You can bookmark this page and come back to it if ever you have to deal with an issue when your drive is in a read-only state. You can also mention it in the comments section below if the above methods helped you fix the issue. That said, for more such content keep reading Tweak Library. If you like tech videos more, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel.