How to Make the USB Read only When You Plug It Into Windows PC

Many of us deal with large numbers of files daily, and it is only usual to come across many USB drives in this process. Sometimes, you may only want to view or read files from the USB drive but accidentally write a few files. Or if you think that there is some virus or malware on your PC that can infect these drives, then it will be highly recommended to set read only USB when plugged into your Windows PC. In this article, we will learn how to make a USB read only when you plug it into your Windows PC.

What Are Read-Only USB Drives, and How Do They Work?

A read-only USB drive is a kind of USB drive that allows you to read or view the files stored on it but prevents you from making any changes to the existing files, deleting, modifying, or adding new files to it. They are helpful when plugged in on untrusted devices or sharing sensitive data for viewing.

A USB drive can be read only by the software method (using a few lines of code or Windows inbuilt utilities) or the hardware method (with a dedicated physical button). Also, the best part is that you can remove the read only USB anytime, as no operation occurs.

How to Make the USB Read only When You Plug It Into Windows PC

In this article section, we will learn how to make a USB Drive red only when you plug it into your Windows PC. For this, we will be covering three utility software, these are:

  1. USB Disk Manager
  2. Ratool

Let’s now learn about these tools and how to use them.

1] USB Disk Manager

USB Disk Manager is free software that provides you complete control over your USB drives; this software allows you to turn on and off read and write on USB drives, protect your system from USB drive viruses, and also allows you to turn off auto execute or autorun. You can set USB Disk Manager to auto-start with your PC and preferred application settings for your USB drives to behave as the application sets. Here’s how to use USB Disk Manager:

  • Firstly, Download and Unzip the USB Disk Manager file.
  • You don’t need to install the application as it is portable. Double-click to open the application from the unzipped folder.
  • After you open the application, you will see four tabs in the left pane: Write Protect, Execute Deny, Disable USB, and Settings.
  • You can make USBs read-only or read-and-write enabled using the Write Protect tab. Using the Execute Deny, you can prevent any software installed in a USB drive from executing, and Disable USB will prevent your device from detecting any USB drives.
  • Now, head to the Write Protect tab, select the Turn on Write Protection option, and click OK.
  • For these settings to automatically run as soon as you log in to your device, head over to the settings tab, select the Automatically Start This When I Log In To Windows options, and then click OK.

Download USB Drive Maker

Read: How to Fix USB Device Not Recognized Error in Windows

2] Ratool

Ratool is another free USB drive and other peripheral management utility software. This portable software means you don’t have to install any application, download the file, unzip it, and play. The application also works for other peripherals like CDs and DVDs. Here’s how to use Ratool to make your USB Device read only when you plug it into your Windows PC:

  • Download and extract the Ratool files.
  • Now, open Ratool, or Ratoolx64 file, based on the architecture of your PC.
  • Once the software is opened, you will see three main options on the screen: Allow Read and Write (which will be selected by default), Allow Read Only, and Block USB Devices.
  • Select Allow Read Only and click on Apply Changes.

Download Ratool

How to Remove Read only From Flash Drive?

Removing the read-only attribute from a flash drive can be done in a few different ways, depending on your operating system. Here’s how to do it:


  1. Using Command Prompt:
    • Press Win + X and select “Command Prompt (Admin)” or “Windows PowerShell (Admin).”
    • Type diskpart and press Enter.
    • Type list disk and press Enter. Identify your flash drive (usually listed as Disk 1, Disk 2, etc.).
    • Type select disk X (replace X with your flash drive number) and press Enter.
    • Type attributes disk clear readonly and press Enter.
  2. Using File Properties:
    • Right-click on the flash drive in File Explorer.
    • Select “Properties.”
    • Uncheck the “Read-only” box if it’s checked.
    • Click “Apply” and then “OK.”

Read: Find which program is blocking the USB device when ejecting


This article taught us how to make a USB read-only when you plug it into your Windows PC. Dealing with multiple USB drives can be a risk for your PC. We hope you found this article to be knowledgeable. Also, even though you know how to remove read only from USB, you may still get an error if a file is open from the drive.


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