For the sake of convenience, users sometimes like to copy their working files into a USB drive. Instead of bringing their own laptop, they tend to bring their USB to a client’s office to print or show the workings to clients and others using available PCs. This could pose potential risk of exposure to virus infection especially if the PC you are using does not have an up-to-date antivirus application installed. As today’s viruses are crafted to perfection and have evolved to become more sophisticated, the damage to files stored in your pen drive and even the infection to your laptop later could be substantially catastrophic. To avoid this unnecessary headache, of course you can choose to install antivirus application to your USB drive for security protection. Alternately, you could write protect your USB drive as the ideal solution.

Most USB drives have a small write-protect switch or slider like what you used to find in floppy disks which can be used to lock the drive as read only. If your USB drive doesn’t have one, to write protect or disable write access to the removable USB drive, you can try the registry hack of WriteProtect in StorageDevicePolicies registry key as highlighted in our earlier post. If editing registry files is something you will only do last, perhaps some of the applications below could help you.

PenProtect is a useful application to protect your removable disks from the addition of new files. With this application, it can prevent viruses, trojan, malware, etc from spreading and writing to your pendrive. Compatible with Windows 95,98,Me,XP,Vista, this application doesn’t require installation in the pen drive. What users need to do is just copy an executable file to the drive. To write protect the drive, users just need to execute the file by double clicking it. Another double clicking to the executable file will remove the protection instantly. It is quick, simple and easy to use. The shortcoming of this application is it is not free.

Thumbscrew is a free application which allows users to write protect their USB drive. It can be downloaded via the link here. Once it is installed, users just need to right click the System Tray icon and choose “Make USB Read Only” to activate the write protect.

USB Write Protector
Similar to ThumbScrew, USB Write protector is another free utility to write protect your USB drive. This utility is tiny in size and you can carry it along with you in your removable USB drive. USB Write protector can be downloaded via the link here.

With these applications above, you can easily write protect your USB pen drive from being accessed through the system. If you happen to come across better applications to write protect USB flash drive, feel free to share with us.