According to user reports, they sometimes can’t delete files from SD card. Why can’t I delete files from my SD card? Many users raise such a question. Here, MiniTool will analyze the possible reasons behind the issue and offer some troubleshooting methods.

When you look through technical forums and communities, you may see the “can’t delete files from SD card” issue being heatedly discussed. Here are plenty of cases like the one posted on Reddit.

My sandisk ultra plus 64 gb micro sd card won’t delete any files nor can I put any files on it. My pc and phone can both read it but can’t delete the files. When I format it on my pc it says windows can’t format it and I have used other programs to try to format it but it still didn’t work. Even when I try to format it with my phone it says can’t format. Is there any way to fix this because I can still read this files just can’t delete them. –Reddit

Well, this post will focus on the causes and troubleshooting methods of this issue. If you cannot delete files on SD card, read this post to obtain fixes now!

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Why Can’t I Delete Files from My SD Card

To delete files from SD card successfully, you need to know what factors may prevent you from removing files. After that, take corresponding measures to solve the issue.

  1. SD card is write-protected or blocked.
  2. The connection between slot and card is poor.
  3. The file to delete is opened at present.
  4. The file system of SD Card partition is corrupted.

Before taking any professional fixes, you need to do some checks. For example, there’s no files that you are going to delete are opened. If there are any, close them and then check if they can be deleted. Additionally, make sure that the connection between the slot and card is fine.

If you still can’t delete files from SD card after checking the above facts, try the following methods one by one until the issue is fixed.

Method 1: Unlock SD Card

If a SD card is locked, you can’t delete files from SD card. Hence, you should check if it is locked when encountering this issue. How to know if a SD card is locked? If the Lock tab of SD card is turned on, it means that the SD card is locked and a read-only mode is enabled. On the contrary, it indicates that the SD card is not locked.

Tip: In other words, a locked SD card is write-protected.

To unlock SD card, you have 2 options.

Option 1: Slide the Lock Switch to Unlock Manually

This method is simple and direct. You just need to slide the lock tab downward. If your lock tab is located at the downward position, move it up.

The picture below shows an unlocked SD card.

an unlocked SD card

If the lock tab is loose, it will slide up automatically. It means that the SD card has been corrupted and should be replaced with a new one.

Option 2: Utilize CMD

Windows built-in utility – CMD can also help you remove write protection. How to do? Follow steps below.

Step 1: Connect the SD card to your computer with an SD card reader or SD card adapter.

Step 2: Type cmd in the search box, and then right-click on Command Prompt from the listed search results and click Run as administrator.

run Command Prompt as administrator

Step 3: In the elevated Command Prompt, type the following commands and hit Enter after each command. When you see the text “Disk attributes cleared successfully”, it means that the SD card is unlocked.

Tip: The # in the command stands for the number of your SD card.
  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk #
  • attributes disk clear readonly

type and execute commands

Method 2: Check SD Card for Errors

If you can’t delete files on SD card because of corruption, it’s highly recommended that you run CHKDSK.

  • Open Run window by pressing Windows + R keys.
  • Type cmd in the Run window and click OK.
  • Input chkdsk e: /f and hit Enter.
Note: After executing the chkdsk e: /f command, if you receive the message “The operation could not be completed because the volume is dirty”, try to run chkdsk e: /f/r/x. Replace e with your actual drive letter.

Apart from corruption, file system errors, bit rot, and other errors with SD card can also lead to SD file undeletable issue. Here comes the need of a drive manager. MiniTool Partition Wizard is such a program that can help you check SD card for bad sectors and file system errors.

Here is a guide on how to find and fix file system errors on SD card with MiniTool Partition Wizard.

MiniTool Partition Wizard FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 1: After connecting SD card to your computer, launch MiniTool Partition Wizard to enter its main interface.

Step 2: Choose your SD card from the disk map and click on the Check File System option in the left pane.

Check File System

Step 3: In the pop-up window, choose the Check & fix detected errors option and click Start.

Check and fix detected errors

Step 4: When the process ends, any detected file system errors with SD card will be fixed.

To check if there are bad sectors on the SD card with MiniTool Partition Wizard, follow these steps.

  • Click on SD card from the listed disks and then click Surface Test.
  • Click the Start Now button to begin the process.

check bad sectors

Method 3: Format SD Card

Then format the SD card. By doing so, files on the SD card will be removed easily.

Tip: What does formatting mean? You can check the details by reading this post: What Does Formatting a Hard Drive Do? Here Are Answers

Though you can format a SD card via utilizes like Disk Management, Windows File Explorer, and Diskpart, they have some limits. To be specific, Windows doesn’t allow you to format an SD card larger than 32GB to FAT32. Then you need a professional SD card formatter like MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Compared with utilizes on Windows system, MiniTool Partition Wizard owns some advantages. For instance, it supports more file systems including NTFS, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, Ext2/3/4, and Linux Swap. More importantly, most of these file systems can be chosen without considering partition capacity of SD card.

MiniTool Partition Wizard FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Follow this tutorial to format SD card.

Step 1: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard to access its main interface.

Step 2: Right-click on SD card and click the Format option.

click Format

Step 3: In this window, configure partition label, file system, and cluster size based on your demand. Then click OK and Apply buttons to save and execute the changes.

format the SD card

Method 4: Wipe SD Card with MiniTool Partition Wizard

When you cannot delete files on SD card, try using an expertized file deleter. Here, MiniTool Partition Wizard is strongly recommended. The Wipe Disk/Partition feature of this program enables you to delete files easily.

Here’s how to delete files on SD card through MiniTool Partition Wizard. Likewise, make a backup for wanted data on the SD card in advance.

MiniTool Partition Wizard FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 1: Connect the SD card to PC and Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Step 2: Click the connected SD card and then click the Wipe Partition option in the left menu.

Step 3: After choosing a wiping method based on your demand, click OK to save the change.

Tip: The slower the process executes, the higher security level you will enjoy.

Step 4: Finally, click on the Apply button to carry out the operation.

wipe partition with MiniTool Partition Wizard

Method 5: Update SD Card Driver

You can’t delete files from SD card when SD card driver on Windows is outdated. With an outdated SD card driver, you may even not see the SD card on Windows. If so, update SD card driver with the steps below.

Note: You are able to check if your driver is up to date manually. If it is already the latest version, skip the following steps and try other methods to fix the issue. On the contrary, follow the given steps to update driver.

Step 1: Open Device Manager from Run window.

  • Press Windows + R key to open the Run window.
  • Type devmgmt.msc in the window and click OK.

Open Device Manager from Run window

Step 2: Expand Disk drives by double-clicking on it. Right-click on your SD card driver and click on the Update driver option to continue.

click Update driver

Tip: The first option will update driver automatically for you, while the second option requires you to locate and install driver manually.

update the driver manually or automatically

Method 6: Change Value Data in Registry Editor

You need to check and modify Registry Editor if Diskpart can’t help you out of disabling of deleting files on SD card. How to do? Here are detailed steps.

Step 1: Open Run window, and then type regedit and hit Enter. By doing so, you will open Registry Editor.

Step 2: Locate to the destination by following the path below.


Step 3: Move to the right side of the window, and then right-click on WriteProtect and click Modify. Change the value data to 0 and click OK to save the change.

change the value data to 0 and save the change

Why can’t I delete files from my SD card? Are you still bothered by this question? This post shows you the potential reasons for the issue and offer some troubleshooting methods. Click to Tweet


Why can’t I delete files from my SD card? How to delete files on SD card? These questions are talked about in this post. If you are still seeking for methods for deleting files on SD card, this tutorial is what you need.

To share any thoughts or ideas on SD card file deleting, leave the words in the comment area below. For any problems during the use of MiniTool Partition Wizard, send us an email via [email protected].

Can’t Delete Files from SD Card FAQ

How to get permission to delete files from SD card?

You can obtain permission to delete files from SD card via the methods below.

  1. Adjust the read only permission.
  2. Unmount the SD card.
  3. Make use of third-party programs.
Why can’t delete photos from SD card?
The reasons for failing to delete photos from SD card are similar to that for failing to delete files on SD card. It is probably because the SD card is blocked or corrupted. Then you can also fix the issue with the methods in this post.
Why do deleted files reappear?
Due to virus or malicious software, deleted files or folders can keep coming back. This is annoying. Fortunately, you can fix it by taking some actions. For instance, scan your system for viruses or malware with Microsoft Safety Scanner. Then remove them.
How to delete a file that keeps coming back?
Press Shift + Delete keys to remove a file forever. Alternatively, you can also use the 6 Effective and Reliable Methods to Delete Files Permanently.
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