Useful Tips

8 ways to remove protection from a memory card


How to remove the problem now? This is the case when you can talk about a malfunction of the memory module or the built-in microcontroller, or maybe a malfunction in the operating system. You can fix erroneous settings in Windows by analogy with the USB sticks in this article. If this does not help, then there may be a problem in the flash drive itself, try to restore it as follows.

Why removable drives stop working

Removable drives can fail for various reasons. Conventionally, they can be divided into five groups:

  • Mechanical breakdown. It’s possible that water has entered the enclosure or some kind of physical impact has occurred,
  • Logical malfunction. It may include a formatting request, a message about deleting information, or a failure in the file system. Such errors often appear due to unsafe removal of the device,
  • Controller malfunctioning. The malfunction is as follows: the disk is write-protected, cannot be displayed or cannot be read,
  • Electrical or thermal damage. The human factor, instability of the power supply, improper assembly of components, due to which the drive overheats,
  • Wear flash memory. Due to the fact that the memory of the flash drive is limited to write cycles, after passing this threshold it may stop reading.

Remove write protection from microSD

There are many ways to remove protection from a card. To get started, try removing the protection in the Windows registry editor. To do this, simultaneously press the Windows + R keys on the keyboard, type regedit and press Enter. After that, open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Control StorageDevicePolicies, in the WriteProtect data, change the value from one to zero. Remember to save your changes. At the end of the procedure, turn off the drive and restart the PC. If this does not help, try other methods.

Unlock the card

Place the removable drive on a flat surface with the label side up. On the left side you will see a small lever for switching - the Lock button, which serves to protect the card from accidental erasure. There is no "locker" on microSD, so you need to insert the drive into the adapter and move the lever in the opposite direction until it stops.

Change disk properties

If the protection on the drive did not allow you to copy the data to another disk, and you need to save them, then try the following procedure. Connect the card to the computer, find its name in the list of devices and right-click on it. A menu will drop out, in it select "Properties", then "Access". The following window will open, in it select "Advanced Settings" and check the box "Open Sharing." Confirm the changes by clicking OK.

Change the file system

When a file is written to a drive larger than 4 GB, an error notification window may appear due to limitations in the file system. If the drive is formatted with the FAT32 system, then the data size is one of its limitations for writing. Change the file system to NTFS. To do this, right-click on the CD icon and in the menu that opens, click "Format ...". Install the NTFS file system and click "Start".

Unprotect microSD using a mobile device

Almost all the latest generation mobile devices: smartphones, cameras, players, PDAs can format microSD. You can find this option through the settings and format the flash drive directly through the device. The fact is that the device could have been installed memory protection to ensure data confidentiality. Remove protection in the settings. Of course, all electronic devices have their own characteristics, and if you have any difficulties, read the instructions for your gadget or contact a service center for advice.

We use software

You can remove write protection using software tools, while the information on the medium remains intact. Many scripts and utilities have been developed for such an operation, a good example is The main thing is to download programs only from trusted sources so as not to bring viruses to your computer. In extreme cases, you can perform low-level formatting using the Hard Disk Low Level Format Tool, but it will erase all data from the USB flash drive. The main advantage of the utility is that it restores the most hopeless drives that have not been formatted with Windows tools.

Perhaps your card has been physically damaged?

Sometimes it happens that when you try to write new data to the drive, physical damage occurred: the card is slightly bent, one of the contacts on the USB flash drive or on the adapter is dirty, and microSD closes it. If the problem is contamination, clean the contacts with a cotton swab, after moistening it with acetone or an alcohol-containing liquid. If the card is badly bent, then it will not be possible to restore it. A slightly curved card can be straightened using a press, but you need to act carefully.

For a microSD card, you only need to use a native adapter, since it is unlikely that you can upload files with another adapter.


We talked about all possible ways to restore and remove protection from removable drives. Please note that careful use of the flash drive, safe removal from the computer, protection against moisture, etc. significantly prolong the life of the drive and prevent the occurrence of problems. If your card began to work incorrectly, select the correct "treatment" - use the above recommendations!

Preparing to Unprotect

First of all, we note that in the case of memory cards, there are two types of write protection - physical (hardware) and software. The first is set using a special switch directly on the drive or adapter, which is used to connect microSD. Therefore, turning it off is as easy as turning it on - just put the switch shown in the image below in the inactive position, that is, set it up, in the direction of the contacts on the back.

See also: What to do if the memory card cannot be read by the device

In addition, a possible cause of the problem may lie in the banal pollution of the drive contacts. Carefully inspect them for dust and small debris and, if necessary, dispose of it with cotton wool (or a cotton swab) soaked in alcohol. Do this carefully so that small fibers do not remain on the contacts, and then wait a few seconds so that the liquid probably evaporates, and check the card.

It is likely that the lack of the ability to record data could be triggered by a virus infection of the drive, therefore, we recommend that you check it and, if malware is detected, delete it. The instruction below is focused on flash drives, but also applies to SD / microSD cards.

Read more: How to scan a memory card for viruses

Disabling memory card protection

Unfortunately, much more often write protection turns out to be just software, and therefore it is not so easy to remove it. In this case, it is necessary to act in a comprehensive manner, alternately resorting to various solutions to the problem, which is usually accompanied by the following notification when trying to interact with the drive (formatting, deleting files, moving them, inserting, etc.):

Note: When you follow all the recommendations below, the memory card must be connected to the computer. In addition, some of the methods described below involve formatting, and therefore, if important data is stored on the drive, copy them to any convenient place on the computer’s disk.

Method 1: “Registry Editor”

It is possible that write protection is installed at the operating system level, and not on the drive itself. In this case, to remove it, you must contact "Registry Editor" Windows

    Hold down the keys "WIN + R" to call the window "Run" type regedit into it and click "OK" or "ENTER".

In the window that opens "Registry Editor" go to the following path:


Find the directory in this location "StorageDevicePolicies", and if there is none, create it. To do this, right-click (RMB) in the Control directory, select items from the menu Create"Section" and name him "StorageDevicePolicies"but without quotes.

Safely remove the drive, close Registry Editor and reboot the PC.

If the write protection was installed exactly at the Windows level, after the system starts, it will be removed, and you can use the memory card normally. But if this simple solution does not help, go on to the next one.

Method 2: Command Prompt

Console or "Command line" - An effective tool for managing the operating system and its components, which does not have a graphical interface, but is endowed with a number of useful tools. Among the latest utility Diskpart, with which you can remove the write protection from an SD or microSD card.

    Run the command line as Administrator. To do this, find it through the search (Windows 10) or menu "Start" (Windows 7), click RMB and select "Run as administrator".

Enter the command below and click "ENTER" for its implementation.

Then enter the following command and press again "ENTER":

In the list of disks that will be displayed in the console window, find your memory card - for this, focus on its size.

Next, enter the following command and confirm its execution by pressing the key "ENTER":

where № is the disk number corresponding to the memory card.

Note: At this stage, you should be extremely careful, because if you select the wrong drive, you risk losing important data.

Now we need to clear the read / write attributes of the memory card, delete and re-create the partition on it, and perform formatting to a different file system than the one originally installed. For these purposes, enter the following commands one by one (after each of them, press "ENTER"):

attributes disk clear readonly
create partition primary

select partition
format fs = ntfs

note on the last command - if the NTFS file system was used on SD / microSD, you need to format it in FAT32, then enter in this case format fs = fat32.

To exit the utility Diskpart enter exit command and then close "Command line".

Check if you can now write data to the memory card. If the problem still persists, do not despair - we have a few more solutions.

Method 3: Disk Management

The standard disk management tool, integrated into all versions of Windows, allows you to do almost the same actions that we performed in the previous method (starting from removal and cleaning), but, unlike "Command line"It is endowed with a graphical interface and more intuitive to use.

    For start Disk Management enter into the window "Run" ("WIN + R") the command below and click "OK".

In the list of disks, find the memory card connected to the computer, focusing on the volume for this, and click RMB in the area of ​​the drive itself.

Select menu item Delete Volume and confirm the operation.

After the uninstallation is completed, right-click again on the drive area in "Disk Management" and use the item Create Simple Volume context menu.

Next, follow the step-by-step prompts of the New Volume Wizard,

without changing the default values ​​and just clicking "Further" at each step.

and Done in the last window.

At the end of the procedure, check if the write protection is removed from the drive.

Method 4: “Local Group Policy Editor”

There is another case where write protection is installed at the operating system level - this may be dictated by the rules of the local group policy. Therefore, in this situation, our task is to change them.

Note: This method can only be performed on Windows Pro, Enterprise, and Education. In the version of Home "Local Group Policy Editor" absent.

    Open "Local Group Policy Editor"using the window for this "Run" and the following command:

Follow the path below:

Computer Configuration Administrative Templates System Access to Removable Storage Devices

In the list "Condition" find option "Removable drives: Deny recording" and open it by double-clicking LMB.

Set the marker opposite the parameter Disabledthen press the buttons "Apply" and "OK".

If you have exactly followed all the recommendations above, the write protection will probably be removed from the memory card. However, if it still does not work correctly, we can safely say that the cause of the problem we are considering is much more serious, which means that we must act accordingly.

Method 5: Formatting with Changing the File System

Unfortunately, sometimes even after fulfilling all the recommendations suggested above, the memory card remains write-protected. In this case, there is only one solution - its formatting, which implies the deletion of all data contained in the drive. In addition to cleaning, you must also change the file system. So, if FAT32 is used initially on SD / microSD, you need to assign NTFS, if the second one is used by default, you need to switch to the first. Upon completion of the procedure, you can reinstall the preferred system by formatting again.

Our site has a separate article on formatting a memory card, and we recommend that you familiarize yourself with it. Pay special attention to the HDD Low Level Format Tool, which has proven itself in solving problems like ours. In addition, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with the material that talks about eliminating possible formatting problems.

More details:
Formatting a memory card in Windows
What to do if the memory card is not formatted
How to use HDD Low Level Format Tool

As an alternative to standard solutions, consider another method that is often very effective - cleaning the drive using a mobile device on Android. True, it is only suitable for microSD cards.

    Insert the memory card into the device slot intended for it or use the OTG adapter, if this technology is supported. Wait for it to be detected by the system.

Open "Settings" and go to the section "Storage" (may also be called "Memory". Tap on the name of the connected drive to open it.

Now open the menu of the storage device (most often these are three vertical points located in the upper right corner), and select the item in it “Storage Settings”.

Click on the caption "Format" (it can be done as a separate button) and confirm your intention to delete data in a pop-up window.

Upon completion of the formatting procedure, the memory card will be fully restored and its write protection will be removed.

This approach is especially good in cases where it was originally planned to use microSD in a smartphone or tablet with Andro> Method 6: Repair a damaged drive

In the event that even if the formatting did not help to remove the write protection or simply could not be performed, the only reason left is the damage to the memory card. The nature of the problem — hardware or software — and whether it can be fixed will help you to find out the step-by-step guide provided by the link below. But be prepared for the fact that the data storage device will be malfunctioning and simply have to be replaced.

Hardware issues

If you do not know how to remove protection from a memory card or flash drive, then first pay attention to the device case. Most likely the root of the problem is mechanical protection. Each microSD card and some flash drives have a special switch on the case. He is responsible for activating write protection. Surely in the pocket, the switch changed its position, which led to problems. It is fixed very simply. It is only necessary to change the position of the switch.
In addition, it is worth checking the performance of the flash drive. To do this, try connecting it to another port. And it’s better to test the drive on another PC, if possible. If everything is in order, then the problem lies in the software.

NTFS formatting

By default, the flash drive is formatted in FAT32. Nevertheless, this file system has one limitation, which few people know about: the maximum amount of recorded data should not exceed the 4 GB bar. This leads to a rather controversial situation. On the one hand, recording is allowed, but on the other hand, because of FAT32, a large file cannot be uploaded to a flash drive.

To remove write protection from a USB flash drive, you must format the drive and change the file system from FAT32 to NTFS. There are no restrictions regarding the amount of data recorded. Therefore, the question of how to unlock a USB flash drive will disappear by itself. To change the file system, you need to connect the drive to the PC and go to "Computer". Before formatting a USB flash drive, save its contents to your PC.

Find your device there and click on it with RMB. В выпадающем списке выберите пункт «Форматировать». Откроется новый диалог, в котором около надписи «Файловая система» нужно задать вариант NTFS. Сделав это, нажмите на «Начать». Запустится процесс форматирования, в ходе которого все данные с накопителя будут удалены и файловая система изменится на NTFS.

It is recommended that you remove the USB flash drive from the USB port through “safe removal”. Nevertheless, when it comes to NTFS, this is not a recommendation, but a strict rule that must be followed. Otherwise, you risk harming your device.

Windows registry

It's no secret that the registry is a real lifesaver for any Windows OS user. Using this section you can solve almost any problem. Locking a data drive is no exception. How to fix this problem? To remove protection from a flash drive or MicroSD, the following manipulations must be performed:

  1. Open the registry. To do this, activate the standard “Run” utility through the hot Win + R combo. Then in the new dialog enter regedit. After that, click on Enter.
  2. Now log in to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and open SYSTEM. Then go to the CurrentControlSet folder. It contains the Control directory. Log in to it and find the StorageDevicePolicies file there. Click on it and in the menu, which is located on the right, find the item referred to as WriteProtect.

Sometimes the StorageDevicePolicies section may simply not appear on your PC. How can I remove the protection from a flash drive in this case? Just create StorageDevicePolicies manually. Right-click on the previous directory (in our case, it is Control), then in the menu that appears, click on "Create", and then select "Section". The system will prompt you to enter a name. Drive StorageDevicePolicies there, and then create a section.

Next, go to the directory that appears and click RMB on the menu that is located on the right. In the list that appears, click on "Create", and then select the option "DWORD Parameter". We select the bit rate characteristic depending on your system (64 or 32 bits). We call the new parameter WriteProtect and set it to 0. Again, restart the PC and check whether the information is written to the USB flash drive.

Group Policy

If the disk is protected and it was not possible to fix it through the registry, you need to check the group policy. Perhaps it is she who forbids writing data to the media. To check the policy, you must do the following:

  1. Through the system utility “Run” activate gpedit.msc. This will launch the policy editor.
  2. Go to "Computer Configuration". There we click on the item "Administrative Templates". Then go to the "System" branch and click on "Access to removable storage devices."

Another way to remove protection if the flash drive is write-protected is to interact with the command panel. To restore the correct operation of the flash drive, we are guided by this instruction:

  1. Launch the command bar in administrator mode. Activate the "Start" and in the search drive in the "command line". To start the system panel with administrator rights, click on the PCM icon and select the corresponding item in the list that appears.
  2. We drive into the system panel diskpart, and then press Enter. We do the same, but with the list disk command.
  3. The console displays a list of storage devices that are currently connected to the PC. You need to find the flash drive that you have problems with during recording. To recognize a flash drive, focus on its volume.
  4. Then activate the select disk 1 command, which allows you to select a specific disk. Instead of the number 1, you must specify the serial number of your drive.
  5. Next, you need to clear the attributes that prevent writing to the media. We drive in and activate the attributes disk clear readonly command.
  6. After that, delete all volumes on the flash drive. Use the clean command. Then you need to recreate the main partition. This can be done by activating create partition primary in the system panel.
  7. You also need to format the storage device. Type the command formatfs = fat32 (you can also write ntfs to select a different file system) and press Enter.

After carrying out all the above steps, a notification that the flash drive is write-protected should no longer bother you.


Flash drive manufacturers take care of their customers by creating special utilities that can repair problematic devices. If you are faced with the fact that the flash drive is not formatted, is not recorded, etc., then simply use the proprietary program. It is worth noting that when choosing software to restore the functionality of a flash drive, you need to pay attention to the manufacturer. If you use devices from Transcend, then a program called JetFlash Recovery is suitable for you, owners of flash drives from Silicon Power need to use USB Flash Drive Recovery, etc. You can download the utility on the official website of the manufacturer.

In addition, there are a lot of third-party programs that also allow you to solve recording problems. Among such utilities, it is worth highlighting D-Soft, Flash Doctor, etc. As a rule, the process of recovering a flash drive using these programs is simple and straightforward. It is necessary to configure formatting options and click on “Start”. Upon completion of the cleaning, the protection of the flash drive is deactivated, and you can record various information on the device.

If none of the above methods helped, then surely the root of the problem is the malicious software that "settled" on your drive. There are many viruses on the World Wide Web. And some of them are able to block recording on a flash drive.

What to do if there is a virus on the drive? Get rid of it with the help of one of the modern antiviruses. Perform a disk check, and then delete the potentially dangerous files. After that, the problem with the recording should be resolved.