How Do I Unprotect a Write-Protected CD?

CDs and DVDs can accidentally be write-protected when they are created. This is fine if you do not plan to add anything to the disk, however it will become bothersome if you need to add information. When a disk is write-protected, all the information is secured and can not be changed or modified unless the disk is unprotected first. This process takes less than 30 minutes.

Removing write protection also works on Flash and other external memory.

Disable “Auto Run”

Disabling this feature allows you to access the files without the CD running. To do this, open the “Start” menu on your computer and point the mouse to "Settings." Select “Control Panel” from the list. Double-click on the “System” icon. In the “Device Manager” window, select the CD or DVD ROM drive. When the CD or DVD ROM window opens, click on the “Settings” tab. Uncheck the “Auto Run” option and click “OK.” Close the window and restart your computer.

Protect the Contents

To be sure no files are harmed when the disk is being unprotected, copy and paste the files. Click on the files you wish to copy and select “Ctrl” and “C” at the same time. Go to the desktop, click on the desktop and hit “Ctrl” and “V” at the same time. You can copy more than one file at a time by holding down the “Ctrl” key as you select the files.

Disabling Write-Protect

This is the vital part of the process that unprotects the data. Open the “Computer” window again and right-click on the disk drive with the write protection. Choose “Properties” from the dropdown list and select “Recording.” Check the box titled "Enable CD recording on this drive" and select “Apply.” Press the “OK” button.

Individual FIles

Open the disk and open a file. Some disks have write protection on the entire disk and some have write protection on each file. If the file opens and allows edits, you are done. If the file does not allow editing, Go to the properties of the file and make it editable.