Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I need to give out a USB pen drive with my music on it to a load of editors, but I want the drive to be read-only on both Mac and PC so that no one can inadvertently delete the originals.

Is that possible? I was thinking formatting it on a PC as NTFS read-only and then Macs will only be able to read from it, is that the best way?

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Assuming you have not already bought a suite of USB drives for this task, there are USB drives with hardware write-protect switches. It doesn't prevent anyone from flipping the switch back, but it sounds like you're not concerned about malicious intent, just making sure the editor(s) don't do something foolish.

This question has also been asked and answered on Super User. The accepted answer suggests that you should just set the contents of the drive Read Only. You could do this on one master drive, and then use something like Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper to replicate the data with the read only bits intact to multiple other devices.

share|improve this answer
+1 for useful links, thanks Jason – Osu Sep 5 '12 at 10:58

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.