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How to Remove Write Protection on a Phone Memory Card

Updated February 21, 2017

A common complaint of cell phone owners who use an additional memory card with their phones is that the card refuses to allow them to copy or delete data from the card because it is write protected. Depending on the type of phone memory card you have--SD, MicroSD or MiniSD--the solution may be easy, slightly more complicated or a simple matter of reformatting the disk. No matter what kind you have, you will be able to remove the write protection from the phone memory card.

Remove the card from your cell phone by pushing the card into the phone and then releasing it. The card will "pop" up from its slot. Pinch the card between two fingers and pull it out of the phone.

Hold the card so the card label is facing you.

Push the sliding lever on the upper left side of the card up, toward the top of the card. This will unlock the write protection on the card.

Remove the card from your cell phone by pushing the card into the phone and then releasing it. The card will "pop" up from its slot. Pinch the card between two fingers and pull it out of the phone.

Insert the card into a card reader (this will allow it to be read as a normal-sized SD card). Make sure that if the card reader has a slide lever on the upper right-hand side, it is in the "unlocked" position. That position will be marked directly on the reader.

Insert the reader into your computer.

Open the command prompt on your computer. For Windows users, this is an "Open" that will appear when you click on the "Start" button. For MAC users, open the "Finder" window and click on the drive and then select "Get Info."

View the permissions for the drive. Windows users will need to type "regedit" after the "Run" prompt. MAC users need only click on the "Ownership and Permissions" choice in the Info window.

Reset the permissions for the phone memory card. Windows users need to make sure that the value in the permissions window is set to "0." MAC users will need to click on the appropriate box to select "Read & Write." Save your changes and exit the Info or Regedit programs. Follow your normal steps for your operating system to eject the card reader and then eject the memory card from the reader and reinstall it in your phone.

Tip

If none of these steps help, insert the card back into your phone. Go to your "Settings" choice in your menu. Select "Memory" and then "Card Memory." Select "Options" and then "Reformat" the card. This will reset the permissions, but it will also erase all the data on the disk. Depending on your model phone the choices may be slightly different.

Warning

Always copy your data onto a backup drive first before attempting any of these fixes. There is always a chance that the card is bad and you can lose your data easily.

Things You'll Need

  • Phone memory card
  • SD adaptor (if necessary)
  • Cell phone (if necessary)
  • Computer
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About the Author

Cassandra Tribe has worked in the construction field for over 17 years and has experience in a variety of mechanical, scientific, automotive and mathematical forms. She has been writing and editing for over 10 years. Her areas of interest include culture and society, automotive, computers, business, the Internet, science and structural engineering and implementation.