By Dylan / Last Updated August 10, 2020

Scenario

My SD card is write-protected, but not locked"

I tried to format my SD card but failed. It says the SD card is writed-protected, and it is not locked. Is there any method to solve this problem?"

- Question from Tom's guide.com

What does it mean when your SD card is write-protected?

Write protection is a way of preventing modification and deletion of important data on a storage device. So when your SD card is write-protected, it means the SD card is read-only, and you cannot modify, add or erase any data on your SD card.

Most SD cards have a write protection lock on the left side. You can slide it down to lock an SD card for protecting the data from being modified. But not all write protection is triggered by the lock. Sometimes, you may be told your SD is under write protection, while the lock is switched off.

Move Lock Switch To Remove Write Protection

So how to change your files in this condition? Just refer to this following content, we are going to teach you how to fix SD card write protected, but not locked issue.

How to fix SD card write protected but not locked?

Here are 4 methods of removing write protection from an unlocked SD card. They can also be applied to solving SSD write protection and other conditions. And in case of losing data due to improper operation, you would better to back up your SD card before taking any operation.

Navigate:

Method 1. Modify Registry

Wrong value of the Windows Registry Key can be the culprit of SD card write protection if it is not locked. So you can try to correct the value data of Windows Register Key.

Step 1. Press “Win + R” to open the Run box, and type “regedit” on it to launch Registry Editor.

Step 2. On the left windows, navigate to the catalog:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies.

    ✐Note:

  • If there is no StorageDevicePolicies file, you can create a new Key under Control folder and name it StorageDevicePolicies.

  • Open the new Key you just created, and right-click on the blank space, select “New”> “DWORD (32-bit) value” to create a file and name it WriteProtect.

Step 3. Open the “WriteProtect” file and change the value to “0”.

Step 4. And click “OK” to save the change. Try to reconnect the SD card, and see whether the protected-issue is fixed.

Method 2. Remove write protection using Group Policy

If modifying the Registry can’t solve your problem, you can access the Group Policy Editor to disable “Deny write permission”, which would restrict your SD card to be accessed. Here are the steps.

Step 1. Open Run box like I mentioned in method 1 and type “gpedit.msc” on it and press Enter to open Group Policy Editor.

Step 2. And go to “Computer Configuration” >“Administrative Template” >“System” >“Removable Storage Access”.

Step 3. Right-click on “Removable disks: Deny All Access”, and disable it.

Method 3. Clear SD write protection via DiskPart

If your SD card is set to be read-only, it can be also write-protected even not locked. Then you can solve this problem by removing the read-only attribute.

Step 1. Press and hold “Win + R” to open Run dialogue, and type “cmd” and press enter to open Command Prompt.

Step 2. Type “disk part” in the Command Prompt and press Enter to open DiskPart.

Step 3. Input the following commands in the DiskPart Window, and press Enter after each one of them to execute.

● list disk

● select disk n (the letter of your SD card)

● attributes disk clear readonly

When you see the “Disk attributes cleared successfully”, type “exit” to leave DiskPart, and see if the write protection is removed.

Method 4. Fix SD card write protected by reformatting

After trying all the methods above, if your micro SD card is still write-protected, you should try to solve this issue by reformatting it. Some people would format SD card via DiskPart or Disk Management. However, with write protection, you might be unable to format it again as normal and you may encounter an Error: Access Is Denied when using DiskPart to format.

In this situation, you can switch to a professional partition manager to perform the formatting task. AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a free but powerful formatting tool we would like to recommend for Windows OS users. It can format all sorts of disks, including USB flash drive, SD card, SSD, HDD And other external hard drives to NTFS, FAT32, exFAT and other file systems. Besides, it is able to format a large hard drive to FAT32 which cannot be done via DiskPart and Disk Management.

✐Warning: Back up all important data on your SD card before formatting.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Partition Assistant, install and launch it. Right-click on the SD card, and choose “Format Partition”.

Format Partition 256gb

Step 2. Choose a file system in the pop-up window, and click “OK”.

Select File System 256gb

Step 3. In the main interface, you can preview the format outcome, but the formatting operation does not execute until you click “Apply” > “Proceed”.

Apply Proceed 256gb

Conclusion

So you have learned how to solve micro SD card is write-protected but not locked. I really hope you can get rid of the write protection issue using the methods above. BTW, the formatting software we recommend actually is a versatile disk and partition manager. And it has Professional Edition, which offers more advanced features like SSD securely erase, wipe disk by writing random data, clone MBR disk to GPT, GPT to GPT.