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

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.

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Table of Contents

Memory card is universally used to expand the storage capacity of an Android phone, digital camera, or 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 don't consider yourself a pro-computer user and you're not familiar with command-lines, don't worry. There are graphical-based solutions to help you remove write-protection from your hard drives, USB drives, and even SD cards.

EaseUS CleanGenius is one of these tools that helps you fix aforementioned issues on your drives without knowing a thing about command-line.

Here's an easy-to-follow guide on how to use this tool to get your issues sorted:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD and install EaseUS CleanGenius (free) on your computer.

Step 2: Run EaseUS CleanGenius on your PC, select Optimization and choose the Write Protection mode.

disable write protection

Step 3: Select the device that is write-protected and click Disable to remove the protection.

Disable 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 by installing ES File Explorer on 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.

 Recover for Free Recovery Rate 99.7%
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Updated by Gemma

Gemma is member of EaseUS team and has been committed to creating valuable content in fields about file recovery, partition management, and data backup etc for many years. She loves to help users solve various types of computer related issues.

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Written by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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