Troubleshooting Access Denied Errors on USB Devices: Simple Fixes and Solutions

USB Devices

USB devices have become an essential part of our daily lives, providing us with a convenient way to transfer data, store files, and connect various peripherals to our computers.

However, encountering an “Access Denied” error when trying to access a USB device can be frustrating. This issue may prevent you from accessing important files, photos, or videos stored on the USB drive.

In this blog post, we will explore the common causes of “Access Denied” errors on USB devices and provide step-by-step solutions to fix them.

How do I fix access denied on USB Devices?

1. Check Physical Connections

Before diving into complex troubleshooting, ensure that the USB device is correctly connected to your computer. Try connecting the USB drive to a different USB port or using a different USB cable.

Sometimes, faulty connections can trigger access issues, and a simple reconnection can resolve the problem.

2. Grant Appropriate Permissions

In some cases, access issues might arise due to inadequate permissions. If you are using a USB drive on a shared computer or with multiple user accounts, ensure that the appropriate permissions are granted to access the files.

To check and modify permissions:

Step 1: Right-click on the USB drive in File Explorer and select “Properties.”

Step 2: Navigate to the “Security” tab and click on “Edit” to modify permissions.

Step 3: Select the user account you want to grant access to and check the “Full control” box.

Step 4: Click “Apply” and then “OK” to save the changes.

3. Disable Write Protection

Certain USB drives come with a write-protection feature to prevent accidental data deletion. When this feature is enabled, you might encounter “Access Denied” errors while trying to modify files on the USB drive. To disable write protection:

Step 1: Locate the small switch or slider on the side of the USB drive.

Step 2: Slide the switch to the “Unlocked” position.

Step 3: If your USB drive doesn’t have a physical switch, open “Disk Management” in Windows or use appropriate tools in other operating systems to remove write protection.

4. Scan for Malware

Malware infections can cause various issues with USB devices, including access problems. Run a thorough malware scan using a reliable antivirus program to ensure that your USB drive is not infected.

If any malicious software is detected, follow the antivirus software’s instructions to remove it.

5. Check for File System Errors

Corrupted file system errors can also lead to access-denied issues. Fortunately, Windows has built-in tools to fix these errors:

Step 1: Connect the USB drive to your computer and note the assigned drive letter (e.g., E:, F:, etc.).

Step 2: Open Command Prompt as an administrator by right-clicking the Start button and selecting “Command Prompt (Admin).”

Step 3: In the Command Prompt window, type “chkdsk /f X:” (replace “X” with the actual drive letter of your USB drive) and press Enter.

Step 4: Allow the tool to scan and fix any file system errors.

6. Update USB Drivers

Outdated or faulty USB drivers can cause access problems. To ensure you have the latest drivers:

Step 1: Right-click the Start button and select “Device Manager.”

Step 2: Expand the “Universal Serial Bus Controllers” section.

Step 3: Right-click on each USB driver and select “Update driver.”

Step 4: Follow the on-screen instructions to update the drivers.

7. Disable Antivirus/Firewall Temporarily

In some cases, overzealous antivirus or firewall software may mistakenly block access to USB devices. Temporarily disable these security programs and check if the access denied issue persists. If the problem disappears, consider adding the USB device as an exception in your security software.

8. Use Data Recovery Software

If none of the above solutions work and you have crucial data on the USB drive, consider using data recovery software to retrieve your files.

There are many reliable data recovery tools available, both free and paid, which can help recover data from inaccessible drives.


Encountering an “Access Denied” error on a USB device can be frustrating, but with the right troubleshooting steps, you can often resolve the issue and regain access to your files.

Start with simple fixes like checking physical connections and granting appropriate permissions. If those don’t work, proceed to more advanced solutions like scanning for malware, fixing file system errors, updating USB drivers, and disabling antivirus temporarily.

In most cases, one of these solutions should do the trick, allowing you to use your USB device hassle-free once again. Remember always to back up your important data regularly to prevent data loss and ensure a smoother user experience with USB devices.

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