How to Remove Write Protection from a USB on a Mac

Posted to Troubleshooting Tips by William on Sep 19, 2023 | Approved by Jennifer Allen

Write protection on a USB drive is a great way to protect content from being modified. However, sometimes, due to some errors, the unencrypted USB drive is encrypted. You can try to remove write protection from USB drive by turning off the physic switch, try First Aid in Disk Utility to remove it, or even format it with Disk Utility. During the process, if you lost files, use iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac to recover lost files.

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Write protection means that you have limited access to your USB/Pen drive. You cannot format the USB also you cannot make any changes to it. The USB stays write protected when you turn its switch on. It also happens when the drive is damaged or it is by default write-protected. If you want to remove write protection from USB on Mac, you don’t need to panic anymore. In this article, we have provided you with several ways to solve this issue easily by using a step-by-step guideline. You can use these given methods in this article to remove write protection.

Part 1: How to Remove Write Protection from USB by Turning off Physical Switch

For the purpose of security, manufacturers have added a switch on the device. Once this switch is on the device becomes write-protected on all devices. To remove write protection just switch it off. Follow these steps to switch off the protection button:

  1. Search for the physical switch on your pen drive.
  2. Turn the switch off to unlock the USB.
  3. Insert the pen drive on your computer and now you will have complete access to it.
  4. If unfortunately this method does not work proceed to the next one.

Part 2: Remove Write Protect on USB by Repair Permissions

If your device is write protected you can solve the issue from Disk Utility. The first aid option in Disk Utility can repair your read-only device. To remove write protection from a read-only USB on Mac follow the given instructions.

  1. Open the Utilities folder and go to the Disk Utility.
  2. Now select the device which is read-only.
  3. Select First Aid and the OS will automatically scan the drive.

Part 3: How to Format Write Protected USB on Mac with Disk Utility

It is also a good option to format the drive. The formatting will remove the write protection on the drive. On Mac, we can format the drive using disk utility. Follow the given procedure to format the drive.

  1. Connect USB drive to Mac with data cable
  2. Navigate to Applications > Utility > Disk Utility
  3. From the left panel of the window finds and select your flash drive.
  4. Click on the erase tab.
  5. Select the type of format. You can either select the MS-Dos file system or exFat.
  6. Finally click on the erase option the formatting will start.

Part 4: How to Recover Files from USB Flash Drive While Removing Write Protection

If you format the device you will lose the data. You may need that data. So, it is good to get back the data to prevent the loss. There are many data recovery software tools. Some of them are free and some are paid. Most of them can detect only a particular type of files and some can detect numerous files. But, an easy and effective tool is iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac. It works perfectly on both the major operating systems that are Windows and Mac. This tool can detect all kinds of files. You can use it to find data from any device.

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  • It can restore data in many unwanted scenarios, including accidental deletion, accidental format drive, drive file system is shown as RAW, data lost due to the wrong operation, virus/malware issue, etc.
  • It can recover deleted files from SD Card and get data from PC & Server, Digital Camera, Camcorder, external hard drive, USB Flash Drive, Other Drives, etc.
  • The best USB flash drive recovery software can retrieve photos, documents, audio, video, email, and many other file types and supports FAT, exFAT, NTFS, NTFS5, ext2, ext3, HFS+, etc. file systems.
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How to Get Files Back after Format Write Protected USB

The best Mac USB drive recovery tool is convenient, reliable, and effective. It detects all files lost or deleted on Mac. So, you can recover anything you wish for unless it is not overwritten. Follow the given steps to recover your data.

  1. You can also filter file types to get better results. In this step, you can select particular file types or just let iBeesoft do its job. Click the start button to proceed to the next step.
  2. Connect the USB with your device. Choose it and hit the scan button. The scan should start immediately.
  3. Once the scan is done you will see a preview of data from the flash drive. Click the recover button to find deleted files on Mac.
  4. iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac has two scan modes. If the normal is unable to find your particular file you can go for "Deep Scan" to start the deep scan. The deep scan mode will go deeper to find your files. But nothing can happen if the files are overwritten. So, if you wish to restore the files don’t put new data on the flash drive.

To conclude this informative guideline, you now know different ways to remove write protection from USB on Mac. It’s really easy if you can follow the guideline provided here and there is no need to panic. These methods will surely help you to solve this issue in no time. Moreover, if you want a permanent solution for data loss, then start using the iBeesoft Data Recovery tool from now on.