If your pen drive is write-protected, you may not have the ability to modify files or format your drive due to restrictions associated with permissions and sharing. You can format a write-protected pen drive in Windows using either the Registry Editor or Command Prompt, or by using Disk Utility in Mac OS X.

1

Using the Registry Editor (Windows)

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    Click on “Start” and search for a program called “Regedit.exe. This program is installed on all Windows computers with Windows XP and later.
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    Double-click on the program to launch Registry Editor in Windows.
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    Navigate to the following location in Registry Editor: Computer \ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \
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    Navigate to the following location in the SYSTEM folder: CurrentControlSet \ Control \ StorageDevicePolicies

    • If there is no folder called “StorageDevicePolicies,” right-click anywhere in the right pane of Registry Editor, point to “New,” and click on “Key.”
    • Type a name for the key, double-click on the folder, then right-click anywhere in the right pane of Registry Editor.
    • Point to “New” and select “DWORD Value,” then proceed with step #5.
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    Double-click on the value to the right of “WriteProtect” under the “Data” column.
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    Change “1” to “0” in the “Value data” field, then click on “OK.
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    Close the Registry Editor window, and restart your computer.
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    Insert the write-protected pen drive into an open USB slot on your computer.
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    Open a new session of Windows Explorer, and right-click on your pen drive in the left sidebar.
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    Click on “Format,” and select your formatting preferences, such as allocation size and format type.
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    Click on “Start. Windows will format your pen drive and remove the write-protection.[1]

2

Using Diskpart in Command Prompt (Windows)

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    Insert your write-protected pen drive into an open USB slot on your Windows computer.
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    Click on “Start” and type “cmd.exe” into the search field.
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    Double-click on Command Prompt to launch the program.
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    Type “diskpart,” then press Enter on your keyboard.
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    Type “list disk,” then press Enter.
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    Type “select disk x” — with x being the number of your pen drive as listed in Command Prompt — then press Enter. If unsure which number is associated with your pen drive, refer to the disk size listed. For example, if your pen drive is 2 GB, select the disk number next to the drive with 2 GB specified as the disk size.
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    Type “attributes disk clear readonly,” then press Enter.
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    Type “clean,” then press Enter.
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    Type “create partition primary,” then press Enter.
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    Type “format fs=fat32,” then press Enter. Alternately, you can replace “fat32” with “ntfs” if you plan on only using your pen drive with Windows devices.
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    Type “exit,” then press Enter. Your pen drive will now be formatted, and will no longer be write-protected.

3

Using Disk Utility (Mac OS X)

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    Insert the write-protected pen drive into an open USB slot on your Mac computer.
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    Open the Applications folder and click on “Utilities.
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    Double-click on “Disk Utility. The application will open and display on-screen.
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    Click on your pen drive in the left pane of Disk Utility.
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    Click on the “Erase” tab, then specify the format type. If you want your pen drive made compatible with both Windows and Mac computers, select either “MS-DOS File System“ or “exFAT” as the format type.
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    Click on “Erase” at the bottom of the Disk Utility window. Your computer will reformat the write-protected pen drive and change the sharing and permissions status to “read and write.”