Media Creation Tool: Access denied on Windows 10 ISO to USB

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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Affiliate Disclosure

  • Using the Media Creation Tool is one of the simplest ways to create a bootable device out there. The process is straightforward and generally runs smoothly.
  • Except that sometimes it doesn't. For instance, you might come accross a discouraging Access denied error message when trying to move your ISO file to a USB flash drive for a quick install of Windows 10.
  • Fortunately, we have the right fixes for you. Go through the solutions listed below to promptly remedy this issue and continue to use the Media Creation Tool to update your OS. Speaking of updates, you might want to also check out our complete guide dedicated to windows update errors.
  • If your query is not so much related to updates, but to other types of Windows 10 errors, rest assured you have plenty of materials to choose from. Just visit our dedicated hub and choose your battle (or the error your are facing).
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Windows 10 is becoming the most popular Windows operating system on the market due to the free upgrade process, but switching to Windows 10 isn’t always easy.

Users have reported an error with Media Creation Tool while moving Windows 10 ISO to USB flash drive, and today we’ll try to fix this error.

How can I fix access denied error when moving Windows 10 ISO to USB?

One of the easiest ways to create an installation media is to use Media Installation Tool. Even though Media Creation Tool is simple to use, users reported the following problems:

  • Windows Installation Media Creation Tool access denied – If this error message appears, you might be able to solve it simply by running Media Creation Tool as an administrator.
  • Windows Media Creation Tool USB access denied – This is another common problem with this tool. To solve this issue, be sure to check your antivirus. If that doesn’t help, try disabling your antivirus.
  • Media Creation Tool not working, won’t run – Various issues can occur with Media Creation Tool, but you should be able to fix most of them by using one of our solutions.
  • Media Creation Tool error USB – Errors with USB are relatively common, and if you’re having these issues, be sure to check if your USB drive is working in read-only mode.
  • Media Creation Tool does not recognize USB – If Media Creation Tool won’t even recognize your drive, you might be able to fix this problem simply by formatting the USB drive.

Media Creation Tool allows you to download and move your Windows 10 ISO file to a USB flash drive or DVD so you can easily install it, but sometimes when moving your ISO file to USB flash drive you can get Access denied error.

This is an unusual error, but there are few workarounds that you can try out.

1) Try disabling all other applications that you don’t use

Users report that Access denied is sometimes caused by other applications that are installed on your PC. The best way to fix this problem is to perform Clean boot and disable all startup applications and services.

This is rather simple and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter msconfig. Press Enter or click OK.
    Media Creation Tool does not recognize USB
  2. System Configuration window will now appear. Go to the Services tab and check Hide all Microsoft services. Now click the Disable all button.
    Windows installation Media Creation Tool access denied
  3. Now go to Startup tab and click on Open Task Manager.
    Windows Media Creation Tool USB access denied
  4. A list of startup applications will now appear. Right-click the first item on the list and choose Disable from the menu. Now repeat this step for all startup applications.
    Media Creation Tool won't run
  5. After you disable all startup applications, close Task Manager, and go back to System Configuration window. Click on Apply and OK to save changes.
    Media Creation Tool error USB
  6. Now restart your PC.

When your PC restarts, try to create bootable media once again. If the problem doesn’t appear, it means that one of your startup applications was interfering with the Media Creation Tool.

If you want to know how to add or remove startup apps on Windows 10, check out this simple guide.

Can’t open Task Manager? Don’t worry, we’ve got the right solution for you.

2) Check your antivirus software

If you’re getting Access Denied error message while using Media Creation Tool, it might be because your antivirus is blocking the access to your USB flash drive.

The antivirus is blocking your USB? Check out this guide and get rid of the problem in no time.

Many antivirus tools will prevent you from accessing your flash drive in order to minimize the chance of malware infection.

To fix this problem, it’s advised to check your antivirus settings and disable all policies related to removable storage. If that doesn’t help, you might want to try disabling or even uninstalling your antivirus.

Many users reported issues with Avira Antivirus and Media Creation Tool, and if you’re using Avira, be sure to uninstall it from your PC.

For the Norton users, we’ve got a dedicated guide on how to completely remove it from your PC. There’s a similar guide for McAffe users, as well.

If you’re using any antivirus solution and you want to completely remove it from your PC, be sure to check out this amazing list with the best uninstaller software you can use right now.

If you’re having problems with your antivirus and Media Creation Tool, you might want to consider switching to a different antivirus solution. Currently, the best antivirus tools on the market are Bitdefender and BullGuard so be sure to try one of those tools.

Looking to change your antivirus with a better one? Here’s a list with our top picks.

3) Try a different USB flash drive

If you’re getting Access denied error while moving your Windows 10 ISO file to a USB flash drive you might consider trying a different flash drive to see if it works, because your flash drive might not be configured properly.

If another flash drive is giving you trouble you might want to consider burning the ISO file to a DVD and installing Windows 10 from a DVD.

Several users reported that in order to use a flash drive as bootable media, the flash drive has to be exactly 8GB in size and formatted as NTFS drive. If your flash drive isn’t formatted as NTFS, you can format it by doing the following:

  1. Open This PC and locate your USB flash drive. Right-click it and choose Properties from the menu.
    Media Creation Tool not working
  2. Select NTFS as the File system and click on Start.
    Media Creation Tool error USB
  3. The format process will now start.

Once your drive is formatted as NTFS, try to use Media Creation Tool to create a bootable drive. If you need to format your flash drive, you can also use third-party tools such as Mini Tool Partition Wizard or Paragon Partition Manager.

Both of these tools allow you to format your USB flash drive, but they also offer other advanced features that you might need.

Need more alternatives? Check out this list with the best partition formatting software available right now.

4) Use RUFUS instead of Media Creation Tool

To do this, you will first have to download RUFUS from here, as well as official Windows 10 ISO.

  1. Run RUFUS.
  2. Set Partition scheme to the GPT partition scheme for UEFI.Windows installation Media Creation Tool access denied
  3. Set File system to FAT32.
  4. Select your device from the Device menu on the top.
  5. Make sure that Create a bootable disk using is checked and that ISO image is selected.
  6. Click on the little DVD icon next to it and find your Windows 10 ISO.
  7. After that just click Start and wait until RUFUS creates a bootable Windows 10 USB flash drive.

If you encounter the Windows needs a GPT partition error, solve it with the help of this useful guide.

5) Check if your drive is set to read-only mode

Certain drives might be ready-only and that can be a big problem if you’re trying to create a Windows 10 installation media. If your drive works in read-only mode, you’ll encounter Access Denied message when using Media Creation Tool.

To fix this problem, you need to ensure that your drive isn’t working in read-only mode.

The first thing that you should do is check for Lock switch. Some flash drives have a lock switch that will activate the read-only mode and prevent you from writing files to your flash drive.

If you have this switch, be sure that your drive is unlocked. If your drive doesn’t have any physical lock switches, you can check if your drive is set to work in read-only mode by doing the following:

  1. Connect your flash drive to the PC.
  2. Open Command Prompt as administrator. To do that quickly, simply press Windows Key + X and choose Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu. If Command Prompt isn’t available, use PowerShell (Admin) instead.
    Media Creation Tool does not recognize USB
  3. When Command Prompt opens, enter diskpart and press Enter.
    Windows installation Media Creation Tool access denied
  4. Now enter list disk command to see all available drives on your PC.
    Windows Media Creation Tool USB access denied
  5. Now you should see all available drives on your PC. It’s crucial that you select the correct drive. You can easily recognize your drive by its size. To select the drive, you need to use select disk X command. Be sure to replace X with the number that represents your flash drive. In our case, that would be Disk 1, so our command will look like this: select disk 1. Keep in mind that the number on your PC will be different depending on the number of drives that you have on your computer.
    Windows installation Media Creation Tool access denied
  6. Now enter attributes disk command. You’ll see a list of attributes for your drive. Check if read-only features are enabled.
    Windows Media Creation Tool USB access denied
  7. To disable read-only features, just run attributes disk clear readonly command.
    Media Creation Tool not working

After doing that, your USB flash drive won’t be in read-only mode and you should be able to create a bootable media without any problems.

Most users don’t know what to do when the Windows key stops working. Check out this guide and be a step ahead.

If you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin, then you better take a closer look at this guide.

6) Check your ISO file for corruption

Sometimes you might get Access Denied error message while using Media Creation tool if your ISO file is corrupted. Your ISO file can become corrupted during the download especially if you have any problems with your Internet connection, antivirus, or firewall.

To check if your ISO file is working properly, users are recommending to open it with the 7Zip application and try to extract the contents of the file to your hard drive.

If you don’t encounter any problems during file extraction, it means that your ISO isn’t corrupted.

Several users also reported that they fixed the problem by using 7Zip to move the contents of the ISO file directly to the USB flash drive. It’s not confirmed that this method works, but you can try it out if you want.

On the other hand, if your ISO file is damaged, you’ll have to download it again from Microsoft’s website.

7) Use Diskpart to format your drive

According to users, you can fix the Access Denied error message with Media Creation Tool simply by formatting your flash drive with diskpart.

Diskpart is a powerful tool, and you need to be extra cautious while formatting your flash drive. To format your drive, do the following:

  1. Connect your flash drive to the PC.
  2. Start Command Prompt as administrator.
  3. When Command Prompt starts, enter the following commands:
    • diskpart
    • list disk
  4. Now you’ll see a list of all hard drives. It’s crucial that you select the correct drive or else you might accidentally format your entire hard drive. Be extra cautious with this step, and double-check to be sure that you selected the correct drive. Now enter select disk X. Replace X with the number of the drive that represents your flash drive. If you select the wrong drive, you’ll format your hard drive and lose all your files, so be extra cautious.
  5. Now run the following commands:
    • clean
    • create partition primary
    • select partition 1
    • active
    • format quick fs=fat32
    • assign

After doing that, your drive should be formatted and ready to use, so try to create bootable media again.

If your hard drive needs a deep clean, you can easily do it by with these amazing software tools.

That’s about it, we hope this article helped you to deal with Media Creation Tool in Windows 10. If you have any suggestions or questions, just leave them in the comments section below.

FAQ: Learn more about Media Creation Tool

  • Is media creation tool safe?

The tool is recommended by Microsoft itself as a bootable software and it can be obtained directly from Microsoft’s official website for free. If you’re having trouble running the app, check out this step-by-step guide.

  • Does media creation tool need Internet?

You will need internet in order to download the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft’s website and run it accordingly on your PC. In addition, using it will also require you to have admin rights on the PC.

  • Does Windows 10 media creation tool download latest version?

Media Creation Tool can download any edition of Windows 10 allowing you to select the Architecture for the installation media: 32-bit, 64-bit, or both.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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