Write protection is a security tool used by SD cards , either physically or virtually to prevent new information from being added or modified on that card.
Commonly, is a microSD card that is used to store the information and is placed in an SD adapter, only in those cases where the devices require this size for the cards.
In this tutorial we will explain step by step how to remove the write protection of your SD and micro SD cards from a Windows or Mac computer quickly and easily.
What is and what is the write protection of the SD cards?
Write protection is a method that prevents formatting any device; that in this case would be removable memories, as well as the deletion and / or modification of information. In this way, all the data of a secure unit is maintained so that outsiders or by mistake are deleted or changed.
Types of write protection
There are two methods of write protection that are currently being used on different devices and memories: hardware protection (physical protection) and digital protection (software protection) .
It should be noted that there are storage devices that can alternate these methods , to more effectively secure the equipment.
Hardware protection is given when the storage device contains a button or a kind of switch, which can be moved to prevent data from being altered.
Its use is more common in SD memory cards (which are an adapter for microSD memories). Although this type of protection also occurs in devices such as pen drives.
How to disable hardware protection?
Disabling this type of protection is very fast and simple, and with just a few steps you will have achieved it. It is only available for memory storage devices such as SD cards and pen drives.
The steps to disable hardware protection are as follows:
- Locate the main face of the card (this is where the card’s brand and storage space are displayed).
- In the On the left side you will see a small space , which may have a small padlock or the word lock (lock).
- If the switch is at the bottom , right where it says “lock”, the memory is write-protected .
- Move the switch to the empty space to remove that protection.
Note that some devices have no identified where the switch should be positioned to lock, but the place will always be the bottom.
This type of protection can be integrated into either microSD cards and some pendrives. This is based on the use of a program to block and protect the device from loss of information and that it is modified.
To remove this type of protection from storage devices it is required to use a computer preferably, and obviously everything will depend on its operating system.
Steps to remove write protection from an SD card in Windows and Mac
As indicated above, to eliminate write protection of SD (microSD) memories using a computer, the steps will be very different depending on the operating system used, either Windows or Mac .
This is because both systems use a different file format, Windows by default NTFS, and MacOS uses ExFAT or Flat. What also brings as a consequence that if you want to use a computer formatted with Windows on Mac you must reformat it on MacOS for use and vice versa, this in case you want to use it on Windows.
It is important to know that these procedures require a lot of attention in case you are not an experienced user in Windows, since you will be working with the Windows black box (Command Prompt), to exercise certain tasks through a series of specific commands. So be very careful to avoid mistakes and have to start over.
Before performing any task, you need to log in with your administrator account in order to make all the changes that are needed. Remember to insert the memory card before starting the procedure.
The steps you should take are the following:
- Enter a command prompt: To do this you just have to click on the «Start» key, and on the search tab place the word «Command Prompt» or «Cmd» . The application to run will automatically appear.
- You will enter the «Diskpart» command and press enter, then confirm that you want to run the application.
- A new window will open, it belongs to the application diskpart. In it you must place the following command “List disk” and press enter.
- All memory devices connected to your computer will appear. You can see them as follows: Disk 0, Disk 1, Disk 2, etc. Each device is identified under a number, you have to recognize which is the memory card according to the amount of gigabytes that you indicate the application.
- Once you recognized your device, you only have to place in the section that says “Diskpart>”, the following command “Select disk” plus the memory device number and press enter.
- Now it only remains to delete the read-only attribute of the selected device, for this you will place the following command «Attributes disk clear readonly» and you will touch enter.
Just wait for the procedure to complete and the system tells you that the attributes have been cleaned successfully, this will mean that your memory is no longer write-protected.
On MacOS devices it is very different and there is not a very elaborate method to achieve it, although in these cases the memory lock may be due to the fact that within it there is a file or several, which are write protected.
- To solve this problem you must enter your memory and observe the properties of all files, and deactivate the option of «Read only» and activate the option of «Reading and writing ».
- Another error or inconvenience may be due to the fact that the memory itself is in ” Read only “mode, to solve it you just have to go to the options of the SD memory and modify the parameter to “Read and write”.
There are other methods that can be used mainly on Windows and perhaps on Mac, when explaining what will work for both operating systems and which works exclusively for Windows.
Format SD memory (MicroSD) or storage device
This method may work for both operating systems. However, it is not 100% sure that it works. Formatting the drive or memory can solve the problem that the memory is locked or write protected.
- To format the device in Windows, you just need to connect the memory and go to “This computer” and right click on the desired drive.
- Once there choose the option «Format» and follow the instructions indicated to complete the process. (Remember that all stored data will be lost.)
Although there are two possibilities, at the time of formatting, the first is that it is done without problems, and the second is that it says that it cannot be formatted, this is because the device is protected against writing. If this happens, only the procedure explained above should be performed to remove such protection:
- In the case of MacOS systems, it is necessary to use the “Disk utility” application, go to the section where the SD memory is located and select it.
- Following the above, you must choose the “First help” or in English “First Aid”, and then select the “Verify Disk” (check disk) and then “Repair Dist” (repair disk).
Once this is done you can do the formatting if you still want it.
Remove write protection from SD card using Regedit
This procedure is exclusive for Windows operating systems, to do it you just have to do the following:
- Enter the “Start” menu, and in the search bar type “REGEDIT” there you must open the “Registry Editor ».
- You should look for the following section ” Computer HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Control StorageDevicePolicies “ you will find ” WriteProtect “ ( protect Write), double click on it and change the value to 0 and close the REGEDIT.
Now restart your computer and reconnect your SD card. Protection should no longer be active.
If the “StorageDevicePolicies” section does not exist, you must create it manually:
- To do this, right click on the “Control” folder and select “New”, then choose “Password”.
- Rename the new key as “StorageDevicePolicies”.
- From the context menu of this same key select “New” and “DWORD value (32 bits)” and name it accounted forWriteProtect correctly.