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    Senior Program Developer

We may received notification like SD card/Micro SD card is write protected when trying to save new data to SD card or format it. How to remove the protection? Solutions here help you save new data or format the write protected SD card.

My SD card (or micro SD card) is write protected. I can not write or delete data. Format tool does not work at all! Is it possible to solve it?
What is Write protection on SD card or micro SD card?

Once your SD card or micro SD card get write protection, you can not save any new data to the SD card, modify files inside like delete or change. You can only read the existed files inside the SD card. Besides, you can not format the write protected SD card either. SD card in this situation is useless for most users.

In fact, there are lots of issue can write protect the SD card. Solutions will be different accordingly. Here we provide solutions to remove the write protection on SD card and Micro SD card. Help users to write data to or format the SD card for further use.

These solutions could be divided into 2 kinds:

  • Solve physical reasons like poor connect and write protection button on SD card exterior.
  • Solve logical reasons like configuration or data error on SD card.
disk has been protected
disk has been protected2
Parts of users may mistake the TF and Micro SD card.

Micro SD card was named to be Trans-flash Card (TF card) and renamed to be Micro SD card at 2004. This card was released by SanDisk to save data in portable digital devices. And Micro SD card and TF card could be transfer to be SD card with Micro SD to SD adapter.

Solutions for Physical Problem

1. The write-protect switch of the SD card is on lock status

For most SD card, we can find the write protection switch. When this switch turns on, users can only read data inside the SD card. Writing data to SD card will be disable. If we find our SD card is write protected, please check this switch. If the switch is on lock status, please change the position of the switch to another side which is opposite to the lock sign. Then the write protection of the SD card will be removed.
Only SD card has this switch. Also, Micro SD to SD adapter could find this switch as well. But Micro SD card (TF card) does not have such switch.
sd card write protect switch
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2. Poor connection of the Pin-out on SD card Lead to the failure of data written in

After a long time of no-use of the SD card, the pin-out will get oxidized. And this oxide layer may lead to the failure of data written in. We can remove the oxic horizon with the following 3 methods:
1. [Recommended] Eraser
2. Pencil.
3. Alcohol cotton ball (Please wait it to be dried before using the device.)
sd card connecting component

3. The write-protect switch of the SD card reader is on lock status

Parts of the SD card reader has the write-protect switch as well. If you find such switch on the SD card reader, please change the position of the switch to another side which is opposite to the lock sign.

Solutions for Logical Problem

Sometimes, Windows settings or computer with data transfer ports manage software will be disable. As a result, users can not write data to the SD card.
The following solutions works on Windows 2K/XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10.

1. File system of the SD card is set to be read only

To prevent data modification, file system on some SD card will be set to be read only by the manufacturers. And we can solve this setting with Windows’ built-in tools – diskpart.

Step 1: Press Win + S button and type “cmd” in the pop-up window. Right click “Command Prompt” and select “Run as administrator”.

run command prompt as administrator in start menu

Step 2: Enter “diskpart” in the pop-up window.


Step 3: After that, please type list disk and find out the target SD card according to its size.

If 32GB is the capacity of your SD card, please remember “1” represent your SD card.
DISKPART> list disk

Disk ### Status         Size     Free     Dyn Gpt

——– ————- ——- ——- — —

Disk 0   Online         149 GB 1024 KB

Disk 1   Online           32 GB   30 GB

Step 4: Select the target disk.

DISKPART> select disk 1
After that, we can find out that Disk 1 has been sign with *, which means that SD card has been selected.
DISKPART> list disk


Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt

——–  ————-  ——-  ——-  —  —

Disk 0    Online          149 GB  1024 KB

* Disk 1    Online            32 GB   32 GB

Step 5: Type “attributes disk clear readonly” to remove the write protection on SD card.

After that, the read only settings on SD card /Micro SD card will be removed. You can modify data inside the SD card at will.
DISKPART> attributes disk clear readonly

Step 6: (Optional) If you want to set the SD card to be read only, please enter “attributes disk set readonly” after step 5.

DISKPART> attributes disk set readonly

Step 7: Enter “exit” after all step finishes.

2. Manager of computer disable USB port with other tools like Renee USB Block

This is very common in company and research institution which need to prevent data leak and virus from external memory devices. Managers of such company and institution will be required to install USB block software in all computers. Such as one of the most popular software – Renee USB Block., it can lock different data transportation ports like USB ports, SD card connector, 1394, COM and LPT, etc.
Renee USB Block disable USB ports function
other data security function in Renee USB block
If you make sure that your company disable USB ports with such software, you need to apply for the permission and get the password to free the limitation.
enter the password to get access Renee USB Block

3. Windows disable writing to all SD card or removable devices

Step 1: Press “Win” + “R”. Type gpedit.msc in the pop up window and click “OK”.

If you are using Windows 10 Home version, please click to download script for Windows 10 Home in install Local Group Policy Editor. Right click “gpedit-enabler.bat” and select “Run as administrator” after decompression.
enter gepdit in run

Step 2: Find “Removable Disk: Deny write access” through the following path: “Computer configuration” -> “Administrative Templates” -> “System” -> “Removable Storage Access”.

removable device writing authority

Step 3: Double click “Removable Disk: Deny Writing”. Select “Disable” in the settings and save the settings.

change the authority settings

4. Registry is set to add write protection to all removable devices

Some computer manager do not want others copy private data in PC with removable memory devices. So, they make the settings in registry to add write protection to all removable devices.

Step 1: Press “Win” + “R”. Type gpedit.msc in the pop up window and click “OK”.

enter gepdit in run

Step 2: Find the value of WriteProtect through the following path:

remove write protect authority in registry editor

Step 3: Double click WriteProtect and change its value from 1 to 0.

set value data as 0

Step 4: Restart your computer.

5. SD card gets virus infection

The SD card gets a virus. Users may browser some virus websites and download files with virus. And finally infect the SD card. Some virus like CARDK and WannaCry may even lock the SD card and encrypt data inside. Users are not allow to save any new data into the SD card.
If your SD card sticks in such situation, the only recommendation is to format it. Also, the device which has used the SD card also need to be reset to factory.
If you can not remove the write protection from SD card/Micro SD card, the lifespan of the SD card or Micro SD card is nearly over. Generally, the lifespan of SD will be about 1 year if we use it 1-2 time each day. If the SD card save data to SD card 4-5 times per day, it can not work normally in a few months.
If your SD card does not work or you can not save data inside, please recover data from the SD card with professional data recovery software – Renee Undeleter. And connect the SD card manufacturers for further support or exchange service. Click to find theconnection information of mainstream SD card manufacturers.