What is the method to make files in a USB Flash Drive undeletable? Does these method work with USB 3.0 interface?

(I have surveyed some Flash Drive manufacturers, and I only see undeletable files for USB 2.0 drives, and not 3.0 drives. One manufacturer claimed that USB 3.0 cannot do undeletable file, so I am curious whether the claim is correct...)

  • 2
    USB flash drives aren't concerned with files at all. They are block storage.
    – Daniel B
    Jul 1, 2015 at 5:07
  • Does this mean the claim that USB 3.0 cannot do undeletable files is not true? Jul 1, 2015 at 5:31
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    It means there’s no concept of files at all. The drive is either writable in its entirety or it isn’t.
    – Daniel B
    Jul 1, 2015 at 6:47
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    As Daniel says, the USB drive doesn't know about files, its just storage. Are you looking to write protect the whole storage (i,e. all the files), or just want to prevent some files from being deleted? If you want to set the disk read only DiskPart offers attributes disk set readonly technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg252649.aspx
    – nwaltham
    Jul 1, 2015 at 8:14
  • You could pull the drive out of the USB port whilst writing a file to it - that would likely kick in the firmware write-protection ;-) …at your own risk & you might need 3 or 4 sticks & 8 or 10 attempts before you got exactly the result you wanted.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 1, 2015 at 8:31

5 Answers 5


There is no way to make a regular flash drive read-only. At least not in such a way that it cannot be undone.

Some manufacturers works around this by creating a 3 in 1 device in which the seemingly single hardware contains an USB hub, the original device (could be flash storage, 3G etc) and an emulated CDROM drive. But that uses dedicated hardware, not off the shell consumer stuff.

For home users you could probably emulate this with a rPi or similar mini computer, though as far as I know those do not implement USB3 but USB2. The resulting device is likely either bulky or expensive.


Yes you can but it highly depends on the controller. You need to find the right tool for the specified flash drive/controller(USB Mass Production TOOL, aka MPTool). With MPTool you can make a protected partition or simulating a CDROM, either way the file on it will be undeletable, at least from a normal OS or without MPTool.

Here is an example to get you some idea. Again you need proper MPTool for the controller and not all controller have the tool available.


No, basically you cant. Thats because you cant do this with software, its all about hardware (i mean the manufacturer can make the whole flash drive undeletable and thats for commercial.)

You can do something but it is environment dependent. You can use Folder Lock for windows which sets the attributes of its archive (it archive and encrypt your files into a file called locker ) to write protect / copy protect / and delete protect . but as I said it all just work in windown environment and people with unix can easily delete it (i dont know if they can decrypt your files) .
Or maybe there are similar methods for linux but they are linux-dependent too, meaning that the undelete concept only gets meaning in linux for that file.


Yes you can make a flash drive readonly by using diskpart no mather if it is usb 2.0 or 3.0 or FAT or NTFS formated.

  1. Open an elevated command prompt, type diskpart and press ENTER

  2. Type: list disk

enter image description here

  1. Let's say your flash drive is listed as "disk 2". You'll type:

select disk 2

attributes disk set readonly

  1. If you don't want your flash drive to be readonly anymore you use the same commands as above but instead of "attributes disk set readonly" you use the following command in diskpart:

attributes disk clear readonly


I am not 100% sure about this one, but You should give it a shot:

Right click your flash drive in explorer and select 'properties', go to the 'security' tab.
At the 'Group or Username' there should be a user named "Everyone".
Press 'Edit' and at the checkboxes, look for 'write' > set if for 'deny'

This method will not make the flash drive secure.
Anyone can re enable the write permission on it if they want to, but users usually don't know about this and will not even try.

  • 2
    This is not very effective as you can simply take ownership of a file or use some other operating system to delete it, or format the drive and so on... Jul 1, 2015 at 8:12
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    Yes, it is not secure at all. But there is no way to make anything 100% secure. Especially a flash drive.
    – Divin3
    Jul 1, 2015 at 8:14
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    Most flash drives are formatted with FAT32 though, not with NTFS.
    – Hennes
    Jul 1, 2015 at 8:20
  • 1
    "I hope they don't know about it" is nor really an answer to the question "how to make USB drive undeletable" Jul 1, 2015 at 8:27
  • Sorry to disappoint You, Mr./Mrs. Aginić P. Enis, I was only trying to write a possible solution. It is up to the author to accept the best solution, and to the readers to use it, if it fits their needs.
    – Divin3
    Jul 1, 2015 at 10:53

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