Instructions: How can I remove the write protection from an SD card?

SD card write protection

Question: I was sent an SD card with a used digital camera. Now I wanted to format the card on my computer and thus delete all existing photos of my previous owner. Unfortunately, I always get the message that the SD card is write-protected. How can I remove this protection?

Answer: The write protection for SD cards is actually already deactivated at the factory. I assume the previous owner activated the protection for some reason and now he's causing you problems. The removal of write protection works mechanically on memory cards, that is, you push a small slider to the side and change whether the protection is active or inactive.

SD card write protection

The write protection of this SD card has been removed, as you can see from the position of the gray button.

I once took a photo of one of my memory cards (normal SD card) so that you can see where to look for this slider. On my card, this is a small gray "button" that you slide to the left to activate the protection. On the sticker you can also see the arrow with the word "Lock" for the marking of the write protection.

By the way: If you want to buy an SD card for a camera that also takes 4K or full HD video recordings at 60 or 120 fps, you should use a memory card that is as fast as possible so that the data can be written to the card without interruptions . I can recommend the Sandisk Extreme Pro here. If you are unsure what all the abbreviations on the memory cards mean, then you can in this post Find out about the various UHS classes, SDHC, SDXC, V30, V60, V90 and other speed ratings.

Write protection for microSD cards

Here is another photo with my current micro SD card that is in an adapter. If you use the SD card with the adapter, you can change the write protection. If you insert the microSD card directly into the device in question, there is no way to switch on write protection, as there is no slide switch.

Even with microSD cards that are plugged into an adapter, the write protection can be switched on or off with the slide switch.

Even with microSD cards that are plugged into an adapter, the write protection can be switched on or off with the slide switch. When used without an adapter, the write protection cannot be activated because the small memory cards do not have a slider.

 

On the right in the photo you can see the small microSD card. There is no way to set write protection on it.

On the right in the photo you can see the small microSD card. There is no way to set write protection on it.

In short: slide down = write protection active

Since there are still questions about when write protection is activated and when not, I would like to briefly explain again exactly when it is the case. If you hold the SD card in front of you so that you can read the writing as in the photo above, then the following applies:

  • Slide up = write protection off
  • Slide down = write protection on

I hope that now all readers can handle it and know how to turn off write protection. If you have any other improvements to the article, please let me know.

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2 comments

  1. Hans says:

    Thanks for the contribution. I have an adapter like in the last picture, where the "Lock" lettering has already been saved.
    Would it be practical to touch the text a third time and describe it so that the slide in the direction of contacts = write protection even without labeling.

    FF, Hans

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