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8 Ways to Remove Write Protection From SD Card (2024 Update)

Updated on Monday, May 27, 2024

iBoysoft author Amanda Wong

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Amanda Wong
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Jessica Shee

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How to Remove Write Protection from SD Card?

Summary: This post introduces 8 useful ways to remove write protection from SD cards or micro SD cards. With these fixes, you can access data or format write protected SanDisk, Samsung, or Transcend SD cards.

solve SD card write protected

Write protection on your SD card in the first place is a way to protect your files from accident deletion or disk erasure. When you need to write to or format an SD card or micro SD card that is write-protected, you would get an error message saying "The disk is write protected" on Windows PC, "Memory card locked" on cameras, and "read-only" on Mac.

Unlock SD card by sliding up the physical SD card lock

Basically, all SD standard cards have a physical write protection switch that can be toggled up to disable write protection on micro SD card. Hence, when a micro SD card/Sd card is write protected, the first thing to check is the physical lock position.

How to remove write protection on micro sd card:

  • 1. Locate the Lock switch on your standard SD card, or find the lock on the write protected SD card adapter containing a micro SD card.
  • 2. Slide the SD card Lock switch up to the unlock position (like the picture below) to remove physical write protection on micro SD card.

unlock SD card

  • 3. Reinsert the SD card (or SD card adapter loaded with the micro SD card) into your device or attach it to a computer through an SD card reader. Then the SD card write protection should be removed.

If you find the SD card unlocked but the card is write protected, it could be a bad connection that prevents you from writing to the SD card.

Clean SD card's metal connectors

For an micro SD card or SD card write protected but not locked, take a close look at the metal chips on an SD card or micro SD card. They are supposed to connect to a digital device that should be flat, clean, and dry. If the SD card's metal contacts are dusty, oily, or covered with an oxidized layer, it might be "protected" from writing.

Use a piece of soft and dry cloth and wipe the connectors gently or clean it with a piece of cotton moistened with alcohol if they are oily. Also, you can use an eraser to get rid of that oxidized layer or stains.

If the metal connectors are scratched or flaked off, there is no need to remove write protection on micro SD card but to replace the entire storage media.

After checking the lock and connectors, you can't write to SD card? Try the following solutions for removing write protection from sd card.

Disable write protection on SD card by third-party software

Standard SD cards or micro SD cards could be protected by password using mobile devices or third-party software from unwanted data modification. In this case, you need to recall if you have locked your SD card/micro SD card with an encryption tool (such as SanDisk micro SD card Secure Access) or any write protection software.

If so, remove write protection on micro SD cards with the correct password using that specific software.

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Clear read-only attributes on SD card

In some cases, the write protected SD card has only the read permission. Such digital write protection on micro SD card could be removed using Diskpart on Windows 10/8/7. In macOS, an admin account may set up a read-only privilege to this SD card/micro SD card, making it a write protected SD card, you need to take over the admin right to edit the privilege.

So, if you are using a PC, make sure you are the administrator and carefully follow these steps to get write protection on micro SD card removed:

  1. Click the Windows logo or Start in the bottom-left corner of your desktop.
  2. Type in: command prompt for search and run Command Prompt as an administrator from the results.
  3. Type in: diskpart into Command Prompt followed by pressing the Enter key.
  4. After allowing it to make changes, type in: list disk and press Enter.
  5. Locate your SD card according to the disk information and remember its disk number.
  6. Type in: select disk number and replace "number" with your SD card's, then press Enter key.
  7. Type in: attributes disk clear readonly and press Enter.

remove read only protection

Your SD memory card won't have the write protected error after you see the "Disk attributes cleared successfully" message in the command prompt window. 

If you are using a Mac, you need to follow these steps to fix a micro SD write protected:

  1. Right-click the SD card/micro SD card icon on the desktop or in Disk Utility and select Get info.
  2. Scroll down to find Sharing & Permissions.
  3. Click the yellow lock to make changes and enter your admin password.
  4. Select your user name and change from Read Only to Read & Write.
  5. Click the yellow lock again to save the change.

If the write protection still can't be removed after read-only permission is disabled, you may need to go deep to modify the Windows registry to remove write protection on micro SD card.

Edit Windows Registry to fix SD card write protected

Be careful when you are editing Windows Registry. Back up your memory card first.

  1. Keep your SD card/micro SD card connected to the Windows computer.
  2. Use Windows + R together to open the Run window.
  3. Type in regedit and press Enter to open Registry Editor.
  4. Expand the folder in the left panel as the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies. If you don't see the StorageDevicePolicies folder, right-click Control folder and select New > Key to create a new key called StorageDevicePolicies.
  5. Right-click the StorageDevicePolicies folder and click New > DWORD (32-bit) Value to create a new value named WiteProtect.
  6. Double-click the WriteProtect key in the right window and set its value data as 0 and click OK
  7. Close Registry Editor, disconnect the SD card, and restart your PC.

If all attempts above don't help remove write protection on micro SD card or SD card, you need to check if the device's file system is corrupted.

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Repair corrupted file system that prevents write permission

It's possible that you can't write to SD card because parts of your SD card (that are related to writing permission) are corrupted. Then, you'll need to repair such corruption to regain write access to this SD card.

On your Windows PC:

  1. On your Windows PC, find your SD card in File Explorer and right-click on it.
  2. Choose Properties in the context menu.
  3. Choose Tools and then click on the Check button.

Such an SD card repairing process could also be completed with Mac's First Aid. Once the error scanning and repairing process completes, you can reinsert your SD card or micro SD card  to your device and access it again.

• How to repair SD card with First Aid on your Mac?

If the write-protected SD card error can't be repaired, you need to recover data from the corrupted SD card and then format the SD card to make it work again.

Recover data and reformat write protected SD card

Formatting an SD card or micro SD card will force remove write protection on micro SD card caused by a corrupted file system. Before you reformat write protected SD card or micro SD card, do remember to back up your important files by recovering them from the corrupted SD card using reliable data recovery software.

• How to recover data from corrupted SD card on Windows?

• How to recover data from SD card on Mac?

After files are recovered, go ahead to format SD card with free tools.

• How to format an SD card on your Mac?

• How to format an SD card on your Windows?

• Cannot format SD card, what to do?

Replace with a new SD card

If the SD card still can't work right, you may have to get a new SD card or micro SD card for your device.


After reading this post, you know how to remove write protection from SD card or micro SD card, then you'll be able to take new pictures using the SD card in cameras, transfer files from computers to the SD card, and do any operations to this SD card including formatting.


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