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Unlock SD Card | Recover SD Card Pictures/Files for Free

Updated on Apr 19, 2019 by Jean to Data Recovery


To unlock the SD card, you should check the LOCK switch position first and then use CMD to remove digital write protection. To recover SD card pictures and files, try EaseUS data recovery software, which recovers data easily and quickly.

Unlock SD Card in Two Proven Ways
Recover Lost Pictures/Files from SD Card

Sandisk User Case: "Why do I get a "The disk is write-protected" message when I transfer files to my SD card?"

Cannon User Case: "A message popped out on my Canon camera saying "memory card error/SD card locked". What's the matter?"

How to Unlock SD Card in Two Proven Ways

If you are faced with the same situation that the SD card or the disk is write protected or locked, two ways can help you solve this. First, manually unlock the SD card. Second, using CMD to remove digital write protection.

1. Manually Unlock the SD Card

There is a Lock switch on the left side of the SD card. Make sure the Lock switch is slid up (unlock position). You will not be able to modify or delete the contents on the memory card if it is locked.

If the lock switch is loose and moves easily It is likely the switch is sliding to the locked position as the card is placed in your host device. In this case, the card will need to be replaced.

unlock SD card manually

2. Using CMD to Remove Digital Write Protection

Step 1: Make sure that you're using an administrator account. And connect the SD card to your computer. 

  • If your computer has an SD card reader, the card should slide label-up and gold connectors-first into the reader.
  • If your PC doesn't have a card reader, you'll need a USB SD card adapter to do this.

Step 2: Click the Windows logo in the bottom-left corner of the screen.

  • Search "Command Prompt" and click "Run as Administrator"

Step 3: Type these commands one by one and press "Enter" after each:

  1. diskpart
  2. list disk
  3. select disk # (# is the number of the SD card with which you're getting the write-protected/ locked error.)
  4. attributes disk clear readonly

remove sd card write protection or unlock sd card

You will see a line of text that reads "Disk attributes cleared successfully", signifying that your SD card is no longer write-protected.

Recover Lost Pictures/Files from SD Card

To recover lost SD card data after removing or disable write protection on the SD in Windows 10/8/7, it's highly recommended for you to restore and extract data from the SD card. Free data recovery software from EaseUS can do this job. This powerful data recovery software is safe and clean, and provides you with lots of benefits:

Your Reliable Choice - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

  • Recover deleted, formatted, and inaccessible data in different data loss situations.
  • Recover photos, audio, music, and emails from any storage effectively, safely and completely.
  • Recover data from the recycle bin, hard drive, memory card, flash drive, digital camera and, camcorder.

How to recover locked SD Card pictures/files:

Stop using your SD card immediately once you lost files on it. Continuing using the card would hugely increase the chance of data overwriting, which makes data unrecoverable.

Step 1: Connect the SD card to PC

Insert the SD card to a card reader, and connect the card reader with your SD card to a healthy computer.

Step 2: Run SD card recovery software and scan the card.

  • Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your PC and select your SD card under the External Devices column.
  • Then click Scan to start finding lost data on your SD card now.
Run SD card recovery software.

Step 3: Check found SD card data.

After the scanning process, you can preview and find your lost SD card files from below listed tabs:

  • Deleted Files: List your deleted files there.
  • Drive X: All lost files can be found here.
  • Lost Partition Files: Check first if it's for formatted recovery.
  • Extra Files: Finds files that lost names or paths.

And you can use Filter and Search to quickly find your files.

Find lost SD card files.

Step 4: Restore SD card data.

  • You can check and preview found files by double-clicking each one of them.
  • Then click Recover to save found SD card files to a secure location on your PC or an external storage.
Restore lost SD card files.