Fixed – Can’t Save Files to USB Flash Drive

At times, your USB flash drives may not let you save files on it. Let’s see the main reasons for this problem and potential solutions to resolve the same in this article.

Solution 1: Check if your USB is write-protected

Some USB’s come with a physical switch and if this switch is turned ON, write protection will be enabled. If this happens, you will not be able to write files to it.

Check your USB drive and UNLOCK the switch if it’s locked. If this step doesn’t help, you can also enable sharing of your USB flash drive and check if it works (explained in the next step).

Solution 2: Enable sharing of your USB flash drive

  1. Connect your USB to the system and open File Explorer
  2. Identify your USB drive and right click on it
  3. Then select Properties > Sharing > Advanced Sharing
  4. Check to Share this folder checkbox and click on Permissions
  5. Click on Allow under ‘Full Control’ and click Ok

Once the changes are saved, check if you’re able to save files on your USB. If not, proceed to the next step.

Solution 3: Obtain permissions

You may not be able to save files to your USB due to permission issues and you may also receive errors such as ‘You don’t have permission to save in this location’.

In order to obtain permission to save files on USB,

  1. Click on Windows + R to open Run dialogue
  2. Type ‘netplwiz’ and click on Enter
  3. Select your user account
  4. Click on Properties > Group Membership > Administrator

Now you have obtained permissions to save files on your USB drive. Try saving your files and check if you are able to without any issues.

Solution 4: Check if your file is too large

Your USB drives are normally formatted using the FAT32 file system. The drawback of this file system is that it supports individual files of up to 4GB. So, if your file is larger than 4GB, you may not be able to save it on your USB and you may receive error messages.

In order to resolve this problem, we suggest you format the drive using NTFS or ExFAT. ExFAT can be used if you are going to use the USB drive with both Windows and Mac. However, use NTFS if you’re going to use the device with Windows only.

To format the device, you can follow the steps below.

  1. Connect your USB to the system and click on Windows + X keys
  2. Click on File Explorer from the menu and right-click on your USB device
  3. Click on Format
  4. In the Format screen, choose a file system (either NTFS or exFAT) and assign a name to the device
  5. Click on Quick Format and hit Start

Your USB flash drive will be formatted using the file system selected and you should be able to save your files going forward.

Solution 5: Corruption in the USB drive

Your USB drive can get corrupted due to various reasons such as removing the device without using safely remove hardware or due to virus attacks. If this happens, the drive may not let you write files on it.

If the drive is corrupted, formatting it will help in most cases. But before you format the drive, make sure you recover all data from it as formatting will delete all contents on it. If you’re having trouble retrieving contents from a corrupted USB, you can make use of Yodot Software to recover files from corrupted USB.

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