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How to Remove Write Protection from USB Drives & SD Cards

If you’re having trouble copying a file to a drive in Windows, can’t delete files or are facing an action camera or dash cam that’s refusing to work with a microSD card, it could be that the storage is write protected.

Some USB drives and SD cards (but not microSD) have physical switches which let you ‘lock’ the drive to stop any files being accidentally overwritten or wiped. 

Sometimes these switches get moved to the locked position by accident, so have a look for a switch on your drive /  card and make sure it isn’t in the lock position.

You’ll still be able to view files on a locked storage device like this (because it’s basically in read-only mode) but you won’t be able to delete them or add any new files.

If it turns out that this isn’t the problem, there are three ways – below – that might get your drive up and running properly. 

Also, if you’re having issues with an SD card, try using a different card reader if you have one available, or insert it into a different device.

There is a chance, though, that your card or drive may be corrupt or physically broken. The only option in this case is to buy a new drive. Here are the microSD cards we recommend and the best USB drives.

And if you’re just trying to get back lost data, read our step-by-step guide on how to recover deleted files for free.

Remove Write Protection With Regedit

StorageDevicePolicies Is Missing

Disable Write Protection Using Diskpart

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