Memory Card Unlocker: How to Unlock SD Card Without Losing Data

Tracy King updated on Sep 22, 2020 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles


Most online memory card unlocker software is able to unlock a password/read/write protected SD card, but they ask for a considerable amount of money. If you prefer self-troubleshooting methods for free, you cannot miss this page. In addition, you can use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover unexpectedly removed data after unlocking a memory card.

What's Memory Card Unlocker 
How to Unlock Memory Card [3 Methods] 
How to Recover Erasing Data from Memory Card 

Memory card is universally used to expand the storage capacity of an Android phone, digital camera, or a handheld game console. But sometimes you cannot place files to the card as normal, it's locked. 

When is a memory card locked? In general, there are two situations:

1. The memory card's lock switch is on, and it's write protected.
2. You set a password to lock the memory card but forget the password.

What's Memory Card Unlocker

Memory card unlocker sounds like an app on a phone or a program on a computer, such as SD card car master.exe or memory password unlocker.apk. The unlocker is advertised to encrypt a storage drive and manage the passwords, to ensure a high level of security. It's more like a password manager than a password unlocker, and most ask for a considerable amount of money to use.

Even some online memory card unlocker software is able to unlock a password, remove read/write protection, it's expensive. If your (micro) SD card is locked, due to the write protection or forgetting the password, try to clear the lock like what we taught here. Never attempt to find memory card password remover software license code from unknown sources, it's illegal yet riskful. Particularly, it ruins data on the card.

How to Unlock Memory Card

Next, you're supposed to check your memory card switch. Normally, SD card, SDHC/SDXC card, Eye-Fi card and other types of cards have a small plastic slider on either edge, which is used to "lock" or "write-protected" the card. Once the lock switch is on, manners of deleting, copying, transferring or saving files are forbidden. You should take an easy step at first, to check the lock switch is on or off.

Method 1. Toggle the lock switch

As the example of my 32GB Sony SD card shows, it has a yellow switch on the left edge, and it's movable. Make sure that the lock switch is slid up (unlock position).

toggle the lock switch on a memory card to unlock it

If the lock switch is loose and moves easily between the lock and unlock position, it's likely corrupted. You will need to replace the memory card with a new one.

Method 2. Remove write protection

Reasons for why a memory card gets locked would be easier to figure out if your phone or camera sends a warning, saying the disk is write protected. This problem is almost settled down. You need to perform the attrib cmd on a computer. Insert your infected memory card in a card reader and connect it to the computer. Follow the steps to open the elevated command prompt and clear the protection.

Step 1: Press Windows + X keys, Choose Command Prompt (Admin).

Step 2: Type these commands one by one and press Enter key after each:

  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk # (# is the number of the SD card)
  • attributes disk clear readonly

use diskpart to remove write-protection usb

Step 3: Type exit to close Command Prompt.

If you are not professional in computing management and not familiar with command lines, don't worry. EaseUS R&D team has promoted a fresh kit for helping you resolve the write-protection issue on your hard drive, external hard drive, USB or SD card, etc., devices.

EaseUS Tools M is a practical computer fixing tool that is safe and light-weighted. It's a perfect alternative to the command line. 

Use this one-click tool to solve the write-protection issues on your own:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD and install EaseUS Tools M for free.

Step 2: Run EaseUS Tools M on your PC, choose the "Write Protection" mode.

Step 3: Select the device which is now "Write-Protected" and click "Disable" to remove the protection.

Remove Write Protection from storage devices.

Method 3. Force erase SD card without using a password

The most recommended way online to unlock a memory card is installing ES File Explorer in your Android. But this app has been removed from Play Store because of policy violations.

Forgetting the secret word, number or pin of the memory card takes a lot of work to restore. The last resort to decrypt a password-protected card is to send it to the vendor, perhaps they have a universal key to break open it.

How to Recover Erasing Data from Memory Card

Force unlocking the SD card would be likely to erase data, perhaps you have tons of precious memory photos, video recordings or documents there. Is there any way to regain the loss? Yes, by applying a third-party SD card recovery freeware.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free is developed to recover 250+ types of files from various disk storage devices, in case they're formatted, partition lost or virus infected. Once your memory card is locked, trying to unlock the card itself is a challenging move. Unless you make a regular backup of the whole SD card to somewhere else, there is a likelihood that data is in danger. Anyway, you can install EaseUS file recovery software for free, see how many files will be found after the scan. You don't need to purchase the full version until you find what you want.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

It's super easy to recover 250+ types of files after deletion, disk formatting and virus infection. Click the links and compare the difference of each version.