How to Fix SD Card is Read Only Error

The dreaded “read only” error message can drive you crazy! The last thing you want to experience when you insert your SD card is this error message. However, the good news is that it is not the end of the world nor is it the end of your SD card. There are some steps you can take to correct this error message.

Hello folks! My name is Lavelle and since 2009 I have been a professional photographer and videographer and I have used SD cards extensively during this time. I have probably experienced every error message you could possibly receive from a SD card and because of that I have gained some insight on how to fix the “read only” message.

In this article, I will explain why your card gives you a “read only” message and offer you 5 ways to fix the problem. Additionally, I will leave you with some key takeaways to consider. 

Key Takeaways

  • Ensure that your SD card is not in the locked position.
  • Using the NTFS format is optimal.
  • Format your SD card as a last resort, if all other attempts fail.

Why Does Your SD Card Say Read Only?

A few reasons why you might be receiving the read only error message may include:

  • Your card is locked
  • Your registry value could have been accidentally changed
  • Your card could be corrupted

In most cases, these issues can be resolved.

4 Methods to Fix SD Card is Read Only Issue

Here are five ways to fix the read-only message on your SD card. 

1. Unlock the Write Protection Lock

The first thing you should do is unlock your SD card. There is a slider switch on the side of the card. Ensure that the switch is not locked in the write protection mode. In many instances, this may immediately fix your read only error.

2. Convert FAT to NTFS

Another solution may be to convert FAT to NTFS. To do this, firstly, go to the Administrator command prompt. For this example, let’s say the drive letter is C. To get to the Administrator prompt, simply type “cmd” in the search bar on your computer.

Next type “convert /?” to view the syntax for the conversion.

Now, type “convert c:/fs:ntfs

After completing this step, the conversion process may take anywhere from seconds to several minutes depending on the size of your drive. You will see your command screen performing tasks similar to this:

3. Use the Disk Part Tool

Another option to fix the issue is to use the Disk Part tool. You can do this by following these steps:

  • Step 1: type diskpart in your search box.
  • Step 2: Next, type “list disk” and press the Enter button. 
  • Step 3: Then select “x” where “x” is the letter corresponding to the drive for your SD card. 
  • Step 4: After selecting the appropriate drive letter, type “attributes disk clear readonly” and press Enter. 

At this point, you can go back and check your SD card to see if the problem has been solved.

4. Format Your SD Card

The last option to try, if all else fails, is to format your SD card using a third-party free application. To do this, follow these steps.

  • Step 1: I suggest using iBoysoft Data Recovery. Download the application to your computer.
  • Step 2: Choose the data recovery module.
  • Step 3: Select your SD card and press “next”. The application will begin scanning your SD card while showing a progress bar.
  • Step 4: Preview the scanned files and click “recover”. Doing this will save your recovered files to a safe, secure location of your choosing.
  • Step 5: Now that your files have been saved, you can complete the formatting process. Go to the Disk Management function on your computer.
  • Step 6: Select the SD card and choose “format”.
  • Step 7: Choose EXFAT or FAT32 and then click the box next to “Quick Format”.
  • Step 8: Wait for the process to complete. Upon completion, your SD card is ready to use and should be free of any error message. Please note that doing this wipes all data from your card so it’s important to go through the previous steps to recover and save your data.

Final Thoughts

Fixing the Read Only error message takes a little effort but it is certainly doable. Remember that you should try all the previous steps PRIOR to formatting the card as this option is a last resort. Also note that SD cards that are very old may not function properly. 

Have you experienced the read-only message and successfully fixed it? If so, how? Share your experiences here with us and feel free to ask any questions that you have. I will be sure to respond as soon as I can.

Until next time, enjoy your technology!

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