Maybe you just installed a Windows 10 update. Maybe you just had to run a disk check that asked you to reboot. Maybe you didn’t really do anything out of the ordinary at all.
Whatever the case, things go kaflooey. All of a sudden, you can’t save or create new files on a certain drive – be it a hard drive, partition on a drive, external disk, USB stick, etc.
Instead of working, you get an error message that your, “drive is read-only“.
At this point, you begin to panic. But fear not: It’s super-easy to unlock your drive and remove its “Read-Only” mode!
What the heck is a “read-only” drive?
When something goes wonky, a drive can be marked as read-only.
As the name implies, it just means that Windows can only read files from the drive, but not write anything.
Therefore, you can’t edit or create any files on that drive.
Also, keep in mind that if the drive has multiple partitions (i.e. D:, E:, and F:) then all of those partitions will be read-only if the drive itself is marked as read-only.
How to fix it
The first thing you need to do is find the Disk # of the drive that is read only.
First, right-click the This PC icon on your desktop, and choose Manage:
You can close the Computer Management window now.
Next, click the Start button (windows logo on the task bar).
Click the arrow next to Command Prompt (if necessary) and then click Run as administrator on the right side:
To unlock the drive, type: attributes disk clear readonly
That should be it. Your drive is now unlocked. Treat yourself to a refreshing beverage.
PS – You may want to reboot just in case!