By Emily / Last Updated March 4, 2022

"Unable to format write protected SD memory card"

I have a SD card with 120GB, however it does not seem to be working anymore because I cannot delete or add files into it. I have recently tried to format it and thought it will solve the problem, but I am unable to format it successfully. While formatting, it shows the SD card is write-protected. So can I force format SD card and how? Thanks in advance.

How to force format write-protected SD card in Windows PC?

Many different factors can cause SD card write protection issue, including physical lock switch, virus attack, incorrect registry key, wrong SD card attribute setting, file system corruption, etc. Thereby, you have to disable write-protection before formatting it.

For write protection removal task, you can:
Check whether there is a lock slider on your SD card, if there is, make sure it is on the top side, away from the "Lock" position.
Run reliable anti-virus software to eradicate possible virus.
Enter Registry Editor, navigate to "Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies", double click "WriteProtect" and change the value from "1" to "0".

If neither of the above tips doesn't make your SD card back to normal and you cannot format SD card forcefully yet, turn to the following two methods.

Method 1. Force format SD card using CMD

If you have set the SD card into readonly mode in Command Prompt by accident before, this method is effective. It allows you to remove such attributes in Command Prompt as well and then format the SD card with ease.

1. Click "Start" button, input "cmd" in the search bar, right click the program and select "Run as administrator".

2. In the elevated Command Prompt Window, type "Diskpart" and press Enter to open Diskpart.exe window.

3. In the subsequent window, execute the following commands.

•list disk

•select disk #: choose your write-protected SD card

•attributes disk clear readonly: remove the readonly attribute from the select SD card.

After this, you should be able to run below commands to format it normally.


•create partition primary

•format fs=ntfs: or format fs=fat32/exfat instead based on your requirement.

Format Write Protected Disk

Method 2. Force format SD card via software(Free)

If it is the file system corruption that leads to the SD card write-protected issue, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It is a free but powerful disk formatting for Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows XP/Vista. With it, you can force format write-protected SD card without difficulties. Below is how to format an SD card that cannot be formatted in Windows step by step.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

1. Free download, install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard on your computer. Right click the SD card can choose "Format Partition".

Format Partition

2. In this window, choose a proper file system like FAT32 and click "OK".


Note: AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard allows you to format hard drive to Ext4/3/2 Lunix-based file system in Windows environment.

3. Back to the main interface, click "Apply" to format SD card forcefully.


Moreover, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard offers "Check Partition", "Surface Test" or "Rebuild MBR" functions to help you repair corrupted SD card. If you want to unlock more advanced features such as migrating only OS drive to SSD, allocating free space from one partition to another, cloning MBR disk to GPT, GPT to GPT or GPT to MBR disk, you can upgrade to Professional edition.

More info: force format SD card to FAT32

Besides the above situation where you cannot format SD card smoothly on Windows due to write protection issue, you may also be stuck in the case in which you cannot format an SD card over 32GB to FAT32. That is because of the file system limitation. Thus, the only approachable to format a 64GB, 128GB, 256, 512GB or even 2TB  SD card to FAT32 is using third-party disk partition software, of course, like the AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It can format larger (32GB+) SD card, USB flash drive, and other storage space to FAT32 easily.


Now, no matter you want to force format SD card via Command Prompt or disk formatting software, you must know how to perform it step by step in Windows 11/10/8/7 PC. For an easy process and better result, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is worth your trying. To force format an SD card in Windows Server, try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server instead.