Learn English – Difference between “read-only” and “write-protected”


Essentially, both mean the same, so is there any clear difference in the meaning of those two words?

Best Answer

I'd say the difference is in emphasis.

You would use "write protected" if you were talking about preventing an accidental modification to contents. For example, modifying a floppy disk or a video/audio cassette so that it can't be accidentally over-written.

You would talk about "read-only" when it's a limitation. For example, you'd say "This word document is read-only" to indicate why you aren't able to make a modification you want to make to it.