How to remove write protection from a memory card?

Memory card in the phone This article describes proven methods to get your removable storage back to work and recover files when errors occur with writing to a microSD card.

There can be many reasons for such problems, as well as ways to deal with them. Sometimes you have to try several options, and as a result, at least one of them will still work.

How to set write protection on a memory card

You can prevent the ability to write to a removable storage device that is not equipped with mechanical protection using standard means Windows or using special utilities. Since it is most effective to perform such procedures on a computer, first of all, you need to connect the memory card to the PC via a card reader.

Card reader

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Method 1: change group policy

First you have to format the USB flash drive by changing the file system to NTFS. This will erase all data, but will allow you to operate with security settings. Next, you need to find the removable drive in the 'My Computer' section, right-click on it and select 'Properties'.

How to remove write protection from a memory card?

How to remove write protection from a memory card?

Once on the Security tab, select Everyone under Groups and Users and click Edit. Now it remains to uncheck all the boxes, except for the items 'Reading' and 'List of folder contents', and click 'Apply'.

How to remove write protection from a memory card?

How to remove write protection from a memory card?

This setting prohibits recording, however, protection will only work when the drive is connected to a PC on an OS Windows. An experienced user will be able to bypass such protection, but it will help prevent viruses from entering the USB flash drive.

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Method 2: using specialized utilities

There are trick programs that simulate the lack of free space on the card by writing files with zero size to the media. Moreover, the actual size of such programs is several kilobytes. The method works as simply as possible: the user downloads a tiny utility USBDummyProtect or Flash Defender, copies the program file to a USB flash drive and launches it with a double click. As a result, the utility will create a file that occupies absolutely all the free space on the flash drive, which will serve as write protection.

Utilities for working with a memory card

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How to remove protection from an encrypted microSD card

Some users Android use the ability to expand the volume of the storage built into the smartphone by attaching an external drive. This will format and securely encrypt the microSD card. As a result, it becomes an integral part of the smartphone, but at the same time it is completely unsuitable for use on other devices.

Expanding the smartphone's memory using a memory card

Sometimes, due to software glitches, a card with encrypted content switches to Read Only mode. As a result, when copying files to a USB flash drive, the process is interrupted with the error 'File cannot be read'. Or the smartphone gives a notification that an error occurred in decrypting the memory card. In some cases, the device does not display files on the encrypted media, or stops reading the memory card altogether.

There are at least 2 ways to solve all of the above problems. However, in order to restore the drive's operability without losing the encrypted information, you will have to perform several consecutive steps.

  1. Remove the MicroSD card from the slot in the smartphone, insert it into the card reader and copy all the encrypted data to the computer.
  2. Insert any other MicroSD card into your smartphone that does not contain important data.
  3. Format the new drive using standard means Android.
  4. Attach a new, formatted card to your PC and copy all encrypted content from the old card to it.
  5. Install a new card with encrypted data into your smartphone. If the prompt for decryption does not appear automatically, restart the device. When a notification appears prompting you to decrypt the drive, enter the previously set PIN code.

Upon completion of the process, encryption will be removed from the flash drive, and all user files will again be available for reading and writing.

Encrypting a memory card in your phone

But what if a factory reset was performed (which leads to the loss of the encryption key), or the smartphone is faulty, but you need to extract encrypted files? In the absence of access to the phone or to a full backup of the firmware, it will not be possible to remove the encrypted data. Alas, in this case, no workshop will help.

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How to remove password from microSD

The information applies only to cases where a password for access to the microSD card has been set using a Nokia phone. If the owner does not remember the password, a device on the Symbian operating system is required to solve the problem, no matter how strange it may sound. With most Nokia smartphones, you can remove the password by formatting the card. But there are a couple of nuances:

  1. The size of the installed drive must be supported by the device;
  2. Symbian OS 9.1 recognizes cards up to 2 GB and Symbian 9.2 up to 8 GB.

To format, open the 'Settings' and go to the 'Memory' section. A pop-up message 'Card blocked' will appear, then press 'Options' and select 'Format card'. In some firmwares, you need to open 'Files', call the context menu of the memory card with a long tap and press 'Format'.

Remove password from microSD

Unfortunately, some models still lack the ability to format the card without entering a password. Plus, not everyone has access to old Nokia smartphones. Alternatively, you can connect the microSD to your computer and format the memory card in the OS Windows. But there is also a nuance here: when a locked drive is connected to a PC or laptop, the card is not recognized by the system, since Symbian writes the password directly to the boot area. The HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool can recognize and format such media.

HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool

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How to remove write protection from a memory card

Sometimes while working with the drive (for example, when trying to copy or delete data), the process is interrupted with the notification 'MicroSD Memory Card is Write Protected'. Similar errors can appear both on a computer and when working with other equipment (smartphones, digital cameras), as well as with any removable storage formats.

Disc is write protected

It also happens that when you try to access content on an external media, the system notifies you that the disk must be formatted to continue using it. And when I try to format it by standard means, I get the error 'Disk is write-protected'.

Disc is write protected

If the contents of the memory card are valuable for the user, there is no need to rush: it is better to progressively try out simple options, and only then proceed to more radical solutions.

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We remove mechanical protection

First of all, the owners of SD cards should exclude the option with physical locking (write protection). There may be a switch on the side of the drive case. If it is set to the locked position (opposite the Lock inscription), it is enough to move the slider, and the mechanical protection will be removed. The same applies to microSD cards that are connected to a PC or laptop via a 'microSD to SD' card reader.

Mechanical protection for SD memory cards

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USB flash drive software repair

Viruses. If the 'Disk is write-protected' error appears exclusively on the device under Windows, there may be a virus on the flash drive. It is necessary to scan the drive with an antivirus program for pests and eliminate the threats found.

Diskpart tool. If no viruses were found, you can try to fix the 'Storage is write-protected' error via the command line. To launch it, click Start, type cmd into the search bar and run as administrator.

Diskpart tool

In the console that opens, you need to sequentially enter the commands, each time pressing Enter:

  1. Diskpart.
  2. list disk (The command displays a list of all disks in the system. Find the number of the required drive, focusing on the amount of memory).
  3. select disk X (where X is the number of the flash drive from the previous step)
  4. attributes disk clear readonly
  5. exit.

command line, working with disk

Now it remains to copy any file to the USB flash drive to check the result of the tool.

Surface formatting. It is recommended to use if the previous methods did not bring a positive result. As practice shows, standard OS tools are not able to format drives that have become unavailable for writing as a result of software failures. It is recommended to use specialized software to format problem microSDs.

Many well-known manufacturers of memory cards release their own utilities for correcting errors in media. For example, Kingston has the free Kingston format utility , Transcend has JetFlash Online Recovery, etc. You should determine the manufacturer of your card and download the appropriate software from the official website.

Kingston Format Utility

If you cannot determine the manufacturer, or there is reason to believe that the memory card is not original, you should use a universal solution. The SD Memory Card Formatter program is compatible with almost all external drives and allows you to format even the Chinese 'noun' microSD.

SD Memory Card Formatter

The formatting process will erase the contents of the memory card. At the same time, if you perform formatting with the Quick format checkbox active and do not change the file system type, there will still be a certain chance of recovering files (more on that later).

Low level formatting. A radical but very effective method. It is performed using the universal utilities HDD Low Level Format Tool or HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool.

HDD Low Level Format Tool

In the process of this procedure, all data is completely deleted, followed by filling the physical sectors with zeros. It should be borne in mind that this is an extreme measure, which must be resorted to only if other options do not help. Information from the drive will be lost forever!

If the preservation of information is a priority, the only correct solution in this case will be to contact a qualified specialist who can read data directly from the chip.

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Recovering data deleted from a memory card

You can try to recover deleted files using special software. There is no guarantee that you will be able to return everything, but if the information is important, it is worth trying. The main rule is that after deletion, do not save any new data to the USB flash drive and do not move directories with files.

Tip: do not restore data to the same drive where the search for deleted files is performed to avoid repeated overwriting and loss of information.

File scavenger . This program is often recommended for recovering lost data. Rescues in case of accidental deletion or even superficial formatting! A free trial version can be downloaded from the official website.

File Scavenger

Puran File Recovery. Another free data recovery software. It does its job well: it recovers files after deletion and quick formatting.

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How to permanently erase data

Due to the peculiarities of the structure of drives, files deleted in the usual way can be restored. Even the standard (superficial formatting) of the medium does not guarantee complete destruction of information, but only clears the table containing the data storage addresses. The data itself does not disappear anywhere – it is subsequently simply overwritten with new ones.


Accordingly, for the irreversible destruction of information, utilities are provided that overwrite the contents of cells with random data. One such program is CCleaner. You can use the free version.

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