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How to Format a Write-Protected SD Card

Updated on Nov 30, 2018 by Jean to Partition Master

Once an SD card is write-protected, you can neither write new data in it nor format it. This page gives some viable solutions to erase SD card's write protection and format the write-protected SD card with simple steps. You can also apply the methods to format a USB drive, Pen drive and hard drive that is write-protected.

"My SD card becomes unavailable, as Windows prompts the error message constantly saying the card is write protected. Now I can neither copy files to the card nor format it. Does anyone know how to disable write protection and format the write-protected SD card so that it can get back to normal again?"

Once a hard drive, memory card or USB flash drive is write-protected, it means that you can no longer use the storage devices like before. Any operation on it will be rejected. For example, if you suddenly find that your SD card is set to write protection, you cannot write any new data to the card or delete files on it or format it. Then SD card in this situation becomes useless and has no further use. To troubleshoot such an issue, first, you should learn how to get rid of SD card write protection.

Fixes for SD memory card write protection

It's critical to erase a write-protected SD card and make it functional again. Following are three methods. Hope at least one of them echoes your case so that you can move on to the next part learning how to format the SD card.

Method 1: Check the SD card's exterior.

Is there a small switch on its side? Change the position should turn off the write protection and let you change the content.

Method 2: Insert the memory stick into the computer & check its properties

Go to My Computer and look for your card reader under Devices with Removable Storage, then right-click on it and click "Properties". In the pop-up box, sometimes there's an option to remove write-protection. Change the status of this option and try again.

Method 3: Use the command line

  • Remove your memory stick from the drive. Click "Start" > "Run".
  • In the box, type regedit and press "OK".
  • A new window will appear. Go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies
  • If you can't locate StorageDevicePolicies then you will need to create this folder: right-click on "Control" and click on "New" > "Key", name this StorageDevicePolicies, right-click on the new folder you created called as StorageDevicePolicies and click "New" > "DWORD Value".
  • Name this WriteProtect.
  • Double-click on "Write Protect" and change the Value Data to 0 and then click OK
  • Close the "Registry Editor" and insert the memory stick into your computer
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 Windows 10 is supported

How to Format SD card after breaking write protection

Now things get easy after we erase the write protection on the SD card. To format the memory card, we introduce a very user-friendly utility - EaseUS Partition Master Free, the powerful free partition manager that will help you out with simple steps.


Step 1: Launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the partition on your external hard drive/USB/SD card which you want to format and choose the "Format" option.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 1

Step 2: Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 2

Step 3: In the Warning window, click "OK" to continue.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 3

Step 4: Click the "Execute Operation" button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting your external hard drive/USB/SD card.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 4

After the operation, you can also use the magic partition software to resize partitions.

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 Windows 10 is supported