format write protected SD card

format write protected SD card

Summary: Learn the general causes for SD card won’t format issue and apply the quick solutions to fix SD card won’t format write protected. Just follow the step-by-step instruction mentioned below.

But before formatting the write protected SD card, it is important that you must backup and restore files from it. Because, formatting the card will erase entire data from the SD memory card.

So, simply copy and paste the SD card data on your PC.

However, if you are not able to copy paste and have not kept the backup of your SD card then, you can use Photo Recovery Software to restore files from SD card throwing SD Card Won’t Format Write Protected error and from formatted SD card.

With the help of Photo Recovery tool, you can:

  • Restore digital media files such as photos, videos and audio files from write protected and formatted SD card.
  • Also recover media files from virus infected, encrypted, locked, unreadable, corrupted SD card.
  • Retrieve media files from formatted USB drive, pen drive, memory stick, hard drive & external hard drive.
  • 100% risk free. Safe, secure and easy to use.

Effectively Get Back Files From Formatted SD Card

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* Free version of the program only scans and previews recoverable objects.

Once a SD memory card is write protected, it means that you will not be able to use it with full control – you will not be able write data or rename files and folders. Any operation performed on it will get rejected such as you will not be able to delete files on it or format it.

At such situation, your SD card becomes useless. Hence, you have to first remove the write protection from the card only then you can format it.

So, below find out the few troubleshoot and learn how to get rid of SD card write protection.

But before that let us know the causes for SD card won’t format issue.

Additional Reading: Learn To Fix/Remove/Format “Write Protected” USB Drive

Causes For SD Card Won’t Format Error

We get several SD card errors, but the solution for all problems is format the card. It says formatting SD card will fix all issues like these. But in such issues, the formatting of SD card fails.

So, what are those reasons that create the problem of SD card won’t format?

Below find out the causes by yourself:

  • The already mentioned cause is SD card is write protected and hence Windows PC does not allow to format it.
  • May be your SD card contain bad sector and got corrupted.
  • Using the same card on several multiple devices and hence it might got infected with virus.

Additional Reading: Learn To Fix/Remove “Read Only” Error of USB, SD Card & Hard Drive

How To Remove Write Protection From SD Card

It is actually little difficult task to erase a write-protected SD card and make it usable again.

Below, I have mentioned few solutions and I hope this will help to remove write-protection from the card and thereafter you can easily format it and use it again.

Solution 1: Check If There Is Any Kind of Lock Switch

Is there any kind of small lock switch on one side? Check your SD card exterior and if you see any type of switch that has locked the card, then change the position (unlock position) of the lock switch. This will allow you to unlock the write protection from the SD memory card and thereby you can use it with full control.

Additional Reading: Solved: SD Card is Damaged. Try Reformatting it.

Solution 2:  Connect The Card With PC & Check Its Properties

After connecting the card to PC with the help of card reader, go to “My Computer” and right click on your removable SD card and select Properties. A new window will get open – in which you can sometime see the option to remove write-protection. Simply change the status of this option and then try again.

Solution 3: Use Command Line

  • Click Start, type Run in the search bar and hit Enter.
  • Now in the Run box, type regedit and press OK, on confirmation click on Yes.
  • This will open new window.
  • Go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies
  • If there is no StorageDevicePolicies, then you have to create this folder. To create this folder, right click on the Control and click on New>Key, name this StorageDevicePolicies, right click on the new folder that you have created now named as StorageDevicePolicies and click New> DWORD Value.
  • Name this WriteProtect.
  • Double click on Write Protect and set the Value Data to 0 and click OK.

Now close the Registry Editor and connect the SD memory card into your PC.

Additional Reading: How To Recover Media Files From Memory Card Using CMD?

How To Format SD Card After Removing The Write Protection

Once, you remove the write protection from the card you will be able to use it properly as you were using it earlier. You can now write data, delete files and rename files and folders stored within it.

However, if you want to format the SD card then you can follow the steps mentioned here: How to Format a Memory Card on Windows?

If above method of formatting SD card does not work, then follow below method.

Run DISKPART To Format SD Card That Won’t Format or Write Protected

  • Click Start Click Start, type Run in the search bar and hit Enter.
  • Now in Run box, type cmd and hit OK.
  • This will open Command Prompt Window, type diskpart to run Diskpart Utility.
  • Next type list disk, in order to locate the list of drives on the PC.
  • Next type select disk 1 (where 1 should be the number of your SD card).
  • Now type clean to run the clean utility. This will erase all data from the card.
  • Next you have to create a new partition – simply type create partition primary.
  • Now type select partition 1 (where 1 stand for the newly created partition)
  • After this type active to make the partition active.
  • Finally, type format fs=ntfs (or format fs=fat32)to format the partition to a desired file system.

That’s All!

Additional Reading: How to Fix Unreadable Micro SD Card In Simple Steps!

Below, find out how to recover files from formatted SD card.

How to Recover Digital Media Files From Formatted SD Card

After removing the write protection and SD card format, if you want to restore digital media files such as images, videos and audio files (in case if you do not have backup) then you can use Photo Recovery tool.

This tool is capable enough to retrieve digital media files from write protected or formatted SD card as well as from corrupted, virus infected & locked memory card.

Steps To Recover Digital Media Files From Formatted SD Card

Step 1 – Install “Photo Recovery’ tool and launch it. Click on “Recover Photo, Audio & Video” tab to recover images, songs and videos files from any SD card, external USB drive or computer hard drive. Connect the media to your computer and then perform the process.

Step 2 – Select the drive from which you want to recover files. The external media will be shown in the list, if not then click on “Refresh Drive” button. Now select the desired drive to scan and then click on “Scan Now”. If you want to customize the recovery on the basis of file types then click on “Advance Scan”.

Step 3 – In the Advanced Scan you will have the option to scan as per to the file list, such as Photo, Video and audio or you can also select the data range from the storage device. This option reduces the scanning process time.

Step 4 – Once you click on “Scan Now” button the software will show that scanning is in process. The recovered files listed in a tree structure on the left side of the window panel.

Step 5 – After scanning, you can select the files to preview them and then you can click on “Recover” button to finally save them on your computer.

Step 6 – Select the desired location on your computer to save the recovered files. The screenshot shows that the recovered files are being saved.


From the above solutions and steps, I hope you were able to remove the write protection from the SD card and easily able to format the SD memory card and get rid of SD card won’t format problem. And if you do not kept any backup of your SD card then you can use Digital Media Recovery software.

Free Download Digital Media Recovery

[Solved]: SD Card Won't Format Write Protected
Article Name
[Solved]: SD Card Won't Format Write Protected
[Solved]: SD Card Won't Format Write Protected. 1. Check for Lock Switch. 2. Remove write-protection by checking SD card properties. 3. Use Command Line. 4. Run DISKPART To Format SD Card.
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Rescue Digital Media
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