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How to Unlock SD Card Without Switch [6 Methods]

Are you having trouble writing to a locked SD card? This post offers 6 ways to gain access to an SD card so you can use it without restrictions. Additionally, it describes how to retrieve data from an encrypted SD card. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a one-stop software to recover different data types from a locked SD card.

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Table of Contents

You should have memory cards if you have a tablet or a smartphone. But this inserted SD card in your device might give you an error indication by getting locked. So, what's the lock for an SD card? Every modem SD card showcases a lock switch at its left side, commonly used for writing protection when the switch is turned on by sliding it down.

You cannot delete or modify the stored data on the memory card when the switch is on. It implies you may only view these files, and all other actions will be prohibited. It's undoubtedly a top-notch benefit but could be worrisome if you're not professional enough to unlock the SD card.

However, the SD card gets locked for several reasons; for example, it could be because of the lock switch, but unfamiliar reasons might be there too. The more precise reasons for the SD card to be locked are the following:

  • 💾Physical impairments on the SD card.
  • 🔻The SD card switch might become triggered because of friction.
  • 🔍You have chosen the imprecise option in the camera's menu or an Android app to allow write protection on the SD card.
  • 🗂️The file/folder access permission has changed or set to read-only.

As a locked SD card deters you from editing, moving, and deleting files, you should know how to unlock an SD card without a switch!

How to Unlock SD Card Without Switch on PC

Do you wish to modify the contents on the locked SD card? If so, you need to unlock the card to obtain complete read & write access to it sans any restrictions. Many users grapple with unlocking an SD card without a switch on a PC as they don't know how to do it! But you must not worry, as this article will show you 6 amazing methods to unlock an SD card without a switch on the PC.

  1. Method 1. Unlock an SD Card Physically
  2. Method 2. Unlock SD Card Without Switch Through DiskPart
  3. Method 3. Remove Write Protection in Registry Editor
  4. Method 4. Unlock SD Card in Windows Using CMD

Method 1. Unlock an SD Card Physically

The first method is physically unlocking an SD card; we will provide a video for help. These are the main outlines of the video:

  1. 00:46 Slider is missing on the SD card
  2. 01:09 Cut a little chunk from a plastic container
  3. 01:54 Trim it a bit more
  4. 02:20 Use glue to place the tiny piece of plastic into the SD card

Share this passage with your friends on social media who feel troubled about unlocking their SD cards!

Method 2. Unlock SD Card Without Switch Through DiskPart

If your SD card doesn't contain a switch, or if you don't have instant physical access to it, you may unlock it without a switch through DiskPart instead. Follow the steps below to unlock an SD card without a switch:

Step 1. You need to right-click on Start and hit Windows PowerShell (Admin). Opt for Yes if UAC prompts it.

Windows PowerShell

Step 2. Type diskpart here, and hit the Enter button.

Step 3. Now, hit the Enter button after typing list disk.

Step 4. Type Select disk #, and change the hash with the SD card's disk number.

Step 5. Hit the Enter button after typing attribute disk clear read-only. It will eliminate the read-only tag, which is linked to the card.

attribute disk clear read-only

If any of your friends are struggling with this issue, share this post on your social media to help them!


Method 3. Remove Write Protection in Registry Editor

Windows also has the Registry Editor, which you can use to turn off the write encryption on the SD card. You must be cautious when using this sophisticated technique to prevent issues. Follow the steps below to remove write protection in Registry Editor:

Step 1. Connect your SD or micro card to the Windows PC.

Step 2. Hit the Windows + R to launch the Run window.

Step 3. Type regedit, and hit the Enter button to move to the Registry Editor.

Step 4. Maximize the folder in the left panel as the following path:


In case there's no StorageDevicePolicies folder, you need to right-click the Control folder and opt for New > Key to generate a new key named StorageDevicePolicies.


Step 5. The StorageDevicePolicies folder must be right-clicked on and hit New > DWORD (32-bit) value to generate a fresh value, WriteProtect.

generate a fresh value

Step 6. The WriteProtect key must be double-clicked on, set its value data as 0, and hit OK.

Step 7. Exit Registry Editor, and re-link the SD card.

The steps to remove write protection in the Registry Editor are hassle-free. So, share this passage with your friends on social media!


Method 4. Unlock SD Card in Windows Using CMD

In case your SD card is on write protection without the availability of a physical switch, unlocking the SD card through CMD is one of the most effortless ways to do that. CMD, aka Command Prompt, is a native application of the Windows OS, which you can use to retrieve data from HDDs, both for external and local disks.

Go through the steps below to unlock the SD card in Windows using CMD:

Step 1. Link the SD card to PC, and ensure it's recognizable.

Step 2. Hit Windows + X on the keyboard, and opt for "Windows PowerShell (Admin)" from the menu.

Step 3. Type the below-mentioned command line in turn. All you need to remember is to press "Enter" after typing every command line to perform the command.

  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk #
  • features disk clear read-only
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Can't type in the Command Prompt? If you don't know what this error is about or what to do, this article will help you. It will explain the reasons behind this error

Can't type in the Command Prompt

You may exit the command prompt when it shows "Disk attributes removed successfully." Now, verify that the instructions for unlocking a write-protected SD card above were successful.

How to Unlock SD Card Without Switch on Mac

Do you own a Mac? Executing SD card unlocking on your MacBook using a disk utility tool is straightforward. Follow the simple steps below:

Step 1. Link your SD card to your MacBook, and ensure no file has "Read-only permission." If one file has a write protection, it can affect the entire disk. In this case, you must modify the permission to "Read & Write."

Step 2. Navigate to the Spotlight symbol to launch the Search bar. Enter the disk utility on the given space, and double-click on it from the listed results.

Step 3. Opt for your SD card name once the disk utility window launches. Hit the First Aid tab situated at the upper side of the window. It will try to resolve the errors but don't forget to follow the instructions diligently.

Opt for your SD card name once the disk utility window launches

How to Unlock Micro SD Card on a Phone

Wondering how to unlock a micro SD card without switching on a phone? You may unlock the SD card with a password. Follow the steps below to check how to do that:

Step 1. Navigate to Settings, and opt for Lock screen and security. Once done, select Decrypt SD card.

Step 2. Type your password, pattern, or PIN, and wait for a few minutes for the decryption process to finish.

Decrypt SD card

Unlock an SD Card and Recover Lost Data

The final solution is to format the SD card if there is no way to unlock it. Although it gets unlocked this way, all the saved data will be lost. What else can you do right now? Relax; we'll inform you about top-notch data recovery software, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

This powerful format PC recovery platform can retrieve lost data from deleting, formatting, unbootable or crashed systems, partitions lost, and more. The highlighted features of EaseUS are the following:

  • Retrieve data from RAW drive and Bitlocker encoded drive.
  • Retrieve deleted files, audio files, videos, photos, emails, etc.
  • Support exFAT, NTFS, FAT32, and several other formatted drives.
  • Retrieve deleted documents from SSD, HDD, SD cards, and flash drives.
  • Fully compatible with Windows Server, Windows 11/10/8.1/7, and more.
  • Support 1000+ file types and 2000+ storage devices.

Download this professional data recovery tool now!

Step 1. Select the SD card to scan

  • Download and install EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your Windows PC.
  • Use the proper way to connect your SanDisk/Lexar/Transcend SD card to the computer. 
  • Open EaseUS SD card recovery software and choose SD Card Recovery on the left panel. All connected drives will display here. Select your SD card and click "Scan".
select the sd card and click scan

Step 2. Check for scan results

  • Wait for the scanning process to complete.
  • Specify one or several file types to show up, like Pictures or Videos.
  • Click "Preview" to check if they are the wanted files.
filter the lost photos

Step 3. Recover SD card data

  • Preview the recovered files and click "Recover".
  • Choose a different location to save the recovered files instead of the original SD card.
Recover lost photos


Although encrypting an SD card might prevent data from being accessed maliciously or accidentally deleted, you might wish to activate an SD card occasionally to change the documents on it. Then you may unlock an SD card using one of 6 techniques. Try using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to restore data from the inaccessible SD card.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

How to Unlock SD Card Without Switch FAQs

Go through the below-mentioned FAQs to unlock the SD card without the switch:

1. How do I manually unlock my SD card?

A Lock button is on the left corner of the SD card. Verify that the Lock switch is in the Up configuration (the unlock position). If the memory card has been encrypted, you won't be permitted to change or remove its information.

2. How do I unlock my microSD card password?

Go through the steps below:

  • Link the locked memory card to your Windows PC through a card reader.
  • Hit the Windows + R buttons to launch the Run dialogue box.
  • Type CMD, and hit the OK button to launch the CMD window.
  • Type Diskpart, and hit the Enter button.

3. How do you fix a locked SD card?

The process of unlocking an SD card is simple; all you have to do is locate the little toggle on its side and push the button up so that it is near to the SD card's edge.

4. Why does my SD card say it's locked when it's not?

If you've tested the SD card's locking and unlocking positions and discovered that it's unsecured, the camera sensor switch is the source of the issue. Even if the SD card isn't secured, your camera will continue to display, informing you it is.

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Updated by Jaden

Jaden is one of the editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on topics concerning PCs and Mac data recovery. Jaden is committed to enhancing professional IT knowledge and writing abilities. She is always keen on new and intelligent products.

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