3 Ways to Remove Write Protection on SD Cards
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SD card write errors are a pain. When you’ve picked out the perfect SD card and it suddenly won’t let you add new files to it or delete anything, you probably wonder how to fix it.

Thankfully, these write protection problems on SD cards are easy to fix. Here are three quick methods to try when you can’t modify any of the files on your card.

1. Toggle the Physical Switch

3 Ways to Remove Write Protection on SD Cards SD Card Lock Switch

Almost all SD cards include a slider on the side that acts as a locking mechanism. When it’s at the bottom position, it locks the card and prevents you from changing anything on it. Eject the SD card from your device and make sure the slider is at the top, away from the Lock position.

2. Check the Card’s Properties and Space

3 Ways to Remove Write Protection on SD Cards Removable Drive Windows Properties

When you add a removable device to Windows, you can toggle a setting that prevents writing to it. You may have inadvertently enabled this setting, preventing you from changing the SD card’s contents.

To check it, open This PC and look for your SD card under Devices and drives. Right-click it and choose Properties. Some devices, but not all, have a Write Protection entry here that you can toggle. While you’re in this menu, make sure your SD card isn’t totally full. A lack of free space can cause write protection errors.

3. Reset the Card’s Attributes

3 Ways to Remove Write Protection on SD Cards Windows Remove Disk Attributes CMD

If neither of the above solutions were the fix, you can try clearing your card’s write protected status using the Command Prompt.

Right-click the Start Button and select Command Prompt (Admin) from the list. Type diskpart to open the tool we need, then type list disk to display all drives connected to your machine.

Figure out which one is your SD card (it will likely be near the bottom of the list, and smaller then your other drives) and note its number. Then type the following command:

select disk [DISK NUMBER]

After this, use this command to clear its write protection:

attributes disk clear readonly

You should be able to use the card normally now.

USB drives can also have this problem — check out how to fix a write-protected flash drive, and try some of those additional solutions if these didn’t work.

Which solution fixed your SD card write errors? Have you ever dealt with this problem before? Tell us in the comments!

Image Credit: Stocksolutions/Depositphotos

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  1. Greg Zeng
    November 10, 2017 at 7:13 am

    There are a few FORMAT programs in Windows.
    Hp Usb Disk Storage Format Tool 2.2.3
    Rufus 2.16 Beta
    Sd Card Formatter 5.0.0

    As well, many partition & file manager programs will allow creating & formatting MOST storage media. Usually I use GPARTED in Linux to quickly examine why the storage flash drive cannot work. This can be done with a Flashstick version of "Live" Linux, such as Xubuntu, or "Mint".

    Usually I discover that the flash storage has no partition of any kind at all. So Gparted will "see" this, and allow removal of any rubbish there, then allow creation of the partition. Some flash devices however seem to have inbuilt electronic problems, and can never be rescued, it seems.

  2. ashcode
    November 9, 2017 at 10:32 am

    wow nice