How To Enable USB Write Protection on Windows 10

Still remember the little switch on the floppy disk that once flipped on it prevents you from writing anything onto the disk? Now you can have the same on any of the USB storages, like having a soft write protection switch on them, when you plug them in your Windows 10 computer.

All you need is a simple registry tweak, thanks to Winaero for sharing this trick. Here is how you can do it.

1. Open Registry Editor (Press Win + R, type “Regedit,” and press Enter).

2. Navigate to the following registry location:

HKEY_Local_Machine\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control

3. Create a new Key and name it as StorageDevicePolicies.

registry-create-a-new-key

4. Create a new DWORD-32 value “WriteProtect” and set its value to¬†1.

registry-new-dword32-value

That’s it. Next time when you plug in a USB flash drive and are trying to copy a file or folder onto it, you will be getting an error message saying that the disk is write-protected.

disk-write-protected

And you won’t even see the New, Delete, or Rename options from the context menu when you right-click anywhere on the flash drive.

no-new-option-in-the-context-menu

To disable the Write Protection, set the WriteProtect value to 0 or simply remove it. And then unplug the USB drive and plug it back in.

Unfortunately, enabling the write protection on USB via registry tweak is the only option at the moment. I do hope this can be done through Group Policy with the restriction on execution as well.

Meanwhile, to have a better control of your USB ports and their behavior, please check out this free tool which enables not only the write protection but the restriction on execution as well.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 10/07/2016

Posted in: Tips & Tricks , Windows 10
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