How to Remove Write Protection on SD Card or Pen Drive?

Did you see an error message that reads as ‘The disk is write protected’ while you are trying to format an SD card or Pendrive?

The disk is write protected fix

Normally write protected USB sticks, Pen drives and SD cards are not formattable. As the Pen drive is write protected, you can only add new files or erase once you remove the write protection from that pen drive.

However, you would not get any delete and rename option for the files saved on that USB or SD card. You can not ever move or copy these files to your PC.

To make the SD card and pen drive reusable with added new data, you need to format that write-protected USB flash drive. There are many ways you can do this easily. Mainly, we have discussed the three working methods which will surely help you to remove write protection on the SD card.

The best part.

Removing the write protection has been much easier with the help of write protection removal tool. Many tools are available which you can easily download and run safely on your PC.

If you want to format such a write-protected USB stick, just go for any SD formatting tool. The reason to choose this tool is for its user-friendly interface to remove the USB protection.

While you can remove the write protection problem from your SD card using the command prompt, you can use any of these tools to format write protected memory cards (micro SD), HP pen drives and Sandisk pen drives as well.

Why Does this Write-Protection Error Occur?

If you can’t format an SD card then this indicates due to any of these three factors:

  • The disk may be locked by the administrator.
  • The disk may be damaged due to critical uses.
  • The disk may be affected by the virus.

The methods we are going to share in this article can be applied to any Pendrive or SD card. This article also refers to to the camera micro SD card and you can also remove the write protection by using these methods we will discuss in this article.

If you are looking for a solution to format your write protected PNY micro SD card then this article will also help you in that case.

Many pen drives come with a write protection switch which may enable or disable the write-protection feature.

It’s a myth that write-protection is a problem which created an individual. But, this situation occurs even when the drive is afflicted by viruses or damaged. Just try scanning the drive with anti-virus to check if this gets fixed.
There are many types of viruses which create such problem in pen drive or USB sticks.
To save some important files, these pen drives or USB flash drives are set to write-protected by its security settings.

    Remove write protection from SD card or Pendrive

    If you are facing this problem on your Pendrive SD card or USB then the methods are helpful for you. these methods are tested on HP, SanDisk pen drives & PNY micro SD cards and presented in this article with step by step details.

    If you want to remove the write protection from USB card or Pendrive then there are four main methods that can be applied to format a write protected SD card or Pendrive.

    Never forget that a virus can also affect your SD card and show you the same message that your card is write protected. Now let’s understand these four formulas that can recover your SD card from this problem and help to formate this:

    The very first method is: using a free write protected removal tool.

    The second method is by turning off the write protection switch.

    Third one: By removing the write protection using CMD.

    And the fourth one is by using the registry editor.

    Note that you can use these methods on your Windows 10, 8 or 7.

    Let’s dive into it in details.

    #1. Using Free Write Protection Removal Tool

    If you are looking for a tool that can format your write-protected Pendrive or SD cards then is EaseUS Tools M is the perfect software that you can go with for free.

    You can download this tool from EaseUS website and install on your Windows PC as well as on your Mac OS.

    So, if you are getting an error like the disk is write protected on your Mac and looking for a solution then this tool can help you to format that write protected pen drive or SD card on Mac.

    Just follow the step by step guide below to perform this action:

    Step 1
    First of all, download EaseUS Tools M and install on your PC.

    Step 2
    Now open the dashboard of the tool and look for the option ‘Write Protection’.

    Step 3
    After clicking on a write protection option just select the pen drive or SD card drive from the list and proceed.

    Step 4
    Now you will see the ‘Disable’ option. Just click on the ‘Disable’ button and complete the write protection process.

    Note that this tool is completely free and you can use it on Windows or Mac OS. The tool is very light-weight and takes a very smaller space in your PC drive.

    #2. Turn Write Protection Switch Off

    Some of the pen drives have write-protection switch which makes the data secure in it. Many of us don’t know that the MicroSD card or the SD card comes with write protection switch which can be used to lock or unlock an SD card to prevent unauthorised Access for protecting data files.

    Remember while the data protection is locked by the switch the SD card is read-only that means you cannot add or remove files and any other changes on that micro SD card.

    The process is very simple if you turn the switch off by sliding it to the down then the write protection is removed and you can add or remove files or can modify the SD card.

    Most of the camera micro SD cards come with this switch.

    So, if you face that you cannot format a write protected SD card just check for the switch if it is turned off.

    Here is a bonus part of this method that might be helpful for you in future.

    However, you may face an issue while you are inserting the micro SD card into your camera and it shows that it is write protected when it is slid unlocked on the switch.

    This happens whenever the switches do not work properly, means the internal hardware setup in that micro SD card has been damaged or the camera sensor is not working properly.

    You can move the switch down to disable the write-protection, then you can easily go for formatting such flash drives.

    #3. Format Write Protected USB using Command Prompt

    Command Prompt or CMD is very reliable and easy option to format write-protected flash drives. This process can be applied to Windows 7 and Windows 10 both.

    Follow the step-by-step procedure below-

    At first, connect your USB drive or SD card to PC, then click on WIndows-Start button and search for CMD.

    Once found, right-click on it and click on ‘Run as Administrator’.

    Now, there will come a DOS window. Just type “disk part” and press Enter.

    After that type “list disk” and press Enter to see all the connected your PC.

    Write-protected dos 1

    Note: After pressing Enter, you will see like Disk 0, Disk 1, Disk 2 and so on. Here, Disk 0 is the hard drive and Disk 1 is the removable drive. If you had any problem to recognize just look for the size of each disk.

    Then type “select disk 1” (when the drive is disk 1) and press Enter to select that USB drive.

    Write-protected dos 2 select disk

    Note: Be careful whenever you select the disk name because choosing the wrong input might delete all the data from that selected drive.

    Now type “attribute disk clear readonly” and press Enter to remove the write protection.

    Write-protected dos clear Write-protection

    Now type “exit” and press Enter to exit the process. Now close the CMD window.

    After doing this process, your USB drive will be absolutely free from the write-protected problem and you will be able to easily copy or paste anything into your USB drive or SD card.

    FAQ: How to know if the write-protection is removed without formatting the drive?…

    Ans: Just try to rename the drive, if it is successful then it is clear that write protection is removed. Also, you can try to copy or paste any file into the drive. If happens successfully, this also indicates that the device is no longer write protected.

    #4. Format Write Protected Pen Drive [Registry Editor]

    Another method to remove the write protection from any USB flash drive is by using the Windows Registry Editor settings. You can change the storage policies there easily by changing the value from 1 to 0. This process helps to format the write protected USB drive without any further problem. Just check out the procedure below:

    Step 1
    At first, click on the Windows Start button and search for RUN just by typing there. Now type ‘Regedit‘ to open Windows Registry Editor.

    Step 2
    Now from the listed folders, click on ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE‘.

    Step 3
    Now a list of folders will appear. Just click on SYSTEM folder.

    Step 4
    Then click on ‘CurrentControlSet’ folder and then click on the ‘Control’ folder under this.

    Step 5
    Here you will find folders like ‘Storage’ and ‘StoragePolicies’.

    Step 6
    You have to find the WriteProtect DWORD file from such folders.

    Note: Sometimes folder name may be different but it would start with Storage…!

    Step 7
    Now right-click on the DWORD file and click on ‘Modify’.

    Format Write-Protected Pen Drive_Registry Editor

    Step 8
    Now add Value data there. Just change it from 1 to 0 and then click on ‘OK’.

    Format Write-Protected Pen Drive [Registry Editor]

    That’s all. Once you change the DWORD value to 0, you are all set to format the write protected drive now without any interruption.


    Formatting a write protected USB flash drive is not an easy task. However, you can try any of these methods to remove the write-protection problem quickly. You can recover the lost data in case you have deleted those while formatting. Still, if you need any formatting tool you can try any popular formatting tool from the internet. Here, just check with the CMD at first to simply get the problem fixed.

    Precautions and Tips:

    While you are formatting your pen drive or SD card just take some precautions before doing this:

    1. While you are formatting just be sure whether it is a problem from a virus or the device is damaged.

    2. Sometimes inserting the SD card through the SD card reader on your PC is harmful as this may infect your computer files. That is why it is always recommended to keep an antivirus present on your desktop or PC while performing any type of such actions because this virus may infect your internal drive and make your internal files inaccessible.

    3. If your micro SD card is showing write protected while it is unlocked just put that micro SD card to another camera and check for the error message. If it is showing the same message then be sure that the micro SD card is damaged. In contrary, if the micro SD card is working properly on another camera then the previous camera has some issues with its sensor.

    4. If you are trying to format through the CMD remember typing the drive name carefully as this may lead to permanent deletion of your target drive. However, if you already have mistakenly deleted any files you can recover the files initially.

    5. Always take the C drive backup of your important files as this will protect your important files in critical cases.

    6. Sometimes this error message shows when your internal SD card reader on your phone is damaged. That also shows the same error message as ‘The disk is write protected’. So before taking any action just check the SD card through multiple card readers and verify either if you are getting the same error message or not, before performing any further actions.

    Always take these precautions in care before you perform the write protection removal process.

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