If memory card read only case occurs, how to change read only memory card to normal will be your first concern. Then how to solve this problem? Then post will provide 5 solutions to fix a read only memory card. Hope one of them can be useful for your case.

I have a MicroSD card for my camera. When I insert a MicroSD memory card into a card reader and connect it to computer, folders on my micro SD card appear as read-only when I check their properties. Can someone help me? Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!

You might have the same annoyance like the case above: memory card read only. Then we will show you the symptoms to let you make sure if your problem is what we are focusing on in this article. The part following the symptoms will be solutions.

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Symptoms of Read Only Mode

If data is truly read only, then you can read it, but you cannot do any other operations to it including you cannot modify it, save it, delete it, or move it. The main purpose of read only is to control how you use the data.

Memory/SD card read only Windows 10/8/7 is a complicated task and it can be caused by many factors and here list some common reasons:

  • Physical write protection tab on the memory card or the memory card adapter and the tab is locked to enable write protection.
  • The memory card becomes read only due to the use of some programs or software.
  • The file system of memory card is corrupted.

How to Change Read Only Memory Card to Normal?

Like we said, various reasons can cause memory card read only, and it is difficult to know which one causes the read only mode of your memory card exactly.

Therefore, some solutions may not work for your specific problem. That is why we provide several solutions in this post and we hope at least one of them can help you get out of this dilemma.

Now let’s learn how to change SD card from read only in the following part. All the Windows tools needed will be illustrated by using Windows 10.

Solution 1: Check the physical write protection tab

The first one is an easy one. If your memory card or memory card adapter has a physical write-protect tab, check if it is in the unlocked position. If not, slide it to the unlocked position. If it is in such position already, keep trying other ways in the following contents.

Solution 2: Convert FAT to NTFS

In general, the file system of memory card is FAT32. One solution which is worth trying is to convert it to NTFS. This way can help people to fix memory card read only issue too.

Step 1: Connect the memory card to the computer.

Step 2: Press Win (its icon is next to Ctrl) and R keys on the keyboard at the same time and type cmd.exe in the Run window.

Step 3: Use the convert command: type convert # (# should be the drive letter of your read only memory card): /fs:ntfs /nosecurity /x and hit Enter.

Step 4: Type exit and hit Enter.

After you exit from the cmd box, you can go back to the Windows Explorer to check if you have removed read only memory card. This solution will not cause data loss, but now your SD card becomes NTFS.

If you have the need to change it back to FAT32, it is not easy. You can only format it to FAT32 which will result in data loss.

But there is no need to worryere we provide you with a partition management program – MiniTool Partition Wizard if you need. With this software, you can convert NTFS to FAT easily and safely. While it is not free, you need to pay to get the registration code.

If you are a personal user, the professional edition can totally meet your need. Click the button below to get this tool.

Now the step-by-step guide to convert NTFS to FAT without bringing any data loss will be listed below:

Step 1: Please install the program on your computer. Then open it by double clicking on its icon. After that, launch to its main interface by choosing Launch Application.

select the target partition

Step 2: In the main interface, you can see the SD card has a NTFS partition. To convert NTFS to FAT, there are three approaches:

  • Select the memory card and choose Convert NTFS to FAT from the left action panel under Change Partition.
  • Choose Convert NTFS to FAT from the drop-down list after clicking on Partition from the menu bar.
  • Choose Convert NTFS to FAT from the pop-up menu after right-clicking on the target partition

click Convert NTFS to FAT to start converting

Step 3: Now you can preview the memory card becomes FAT immediately. If it is satisfying, please click Apply from the upper left corner to complete the change. It will jump a Apply Changes box, click OK.

save the change

Now converting NTFS to FAT of your memory card is successful, and this operation causes no data loss.

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Solution 3: Remove read only from memory card using diskpart utility

Diskpart is a console utility which enables you to manage disk partitions and volumes. To remove read only from memory card, using diskpart commands to remove read only mode is a good way.  Now you can follow the step-by-step guide to have a try.

Step 1: Open Command Prompt box by typing command in the Search tab which is next to the Win icon, and then click Command Prompt.

Step 2: When you get the Command Prompt box, please type the following commands to it:

  • Type diskpart and hit Enter
  • Type list disk and hit Enter
  • Type select disk # and hit Enter (# should be the drive letter of your read-only memory card.)
  • Type attributes disk clear readonly and hit Enter
  • Type exit and hit Enter

Now re-connect the read only memory card to see if remove read only form memory card successful.

Solution 4: Adjust registry key by using Registry Editor

Step 1: Open Run box by choosing Run after right-clicking on Start.

Step 2: Type regedit and hit Enter key to open Registry Editor.

Step 3: View these two catalogues below to see if there is a StorageDevicePolicies item in them:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet001\Control\
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\

If one of the catalogues has this item, directly turn to step 5. If it doesn’t have a folder named StorageDevicePolicies – create it by these two steps:

  • Right-click on the current catalogue
  • In the pop-up menu select NewKey and name it StorageDevicePolicies.

Step 4: Select the new folder StorageDevicePolicies and right click on the right column. Then choose New a create a new DWORD value (select a new value of the parameter DWORD (32-bit) for a 32-bit OS or QWORD (64-bit) for a 64-bit one respectively), named WriteProtect.

Step 5: Right click on the name of WriteProtect, and then choose Modify…. After that, change the value data from 0 to 1. Then close Registry Editor.

Adjust registry key

Step 6: Insert the memory card after restarting the computer, and then check if it is changed to normal status.

Solution 5: Fix a read only memory card by formatting it

If these above solutions cannot solve your specific problem, then you can consider formatting the memory card. While for your information, formatting will cause data loss. If your data is very important, think carefully before using this kind of method.

If formatting is your one last chance, we highly recommend saving your data first because this method will cause data loss.

To recover data from a USB drive, SD card, etc., all you need is just a top data recovery software. Due to its ease of operation and high security, MiniTool Power Data Recovery is what we highly recommend to you.

The trial edition of this program cannot save the found data, but it can scan the target partition to check if you can find the wanted data. If you want to have a try, click the below button to download it.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Well now we will show you the detailed steps to guide you how to recover data from a read only memory card.

It has four modules: This PC, Removable Disk Drive, Hard Disk Drive, and CD/DVD Drive. To recover data from the memory card, the Removable Disk Drive is what you need.

First of all, you need to install this software on your computer, and then open it to enter This PC interface by default.

Step 1: Select the Removable Disk Drive first. Double click on the memory card partition or click Scan after selecting the memory card partition. Then the software will start scanning it immediately.

Tip: Settings in this interface helps you to find the target files quickly by specifying file systems and file types.

find memory card and start scanning

Step 2: After scanning, the results will be displayed in the scan result interface and it is the time you need to find the wanted files. 

Tip: When the found partitions exceed 10, only 10 partitions at most will be listed each time. You can click Show More Partitions to load more partitions if currently displayed partitions do not contain what you want.

select wanted files after checking

By the way, if your target is a .txt or image file, you can preview it by clicking Preview button. Only the file which is smaller than 20 MB is allowed to be previewed. You can use it to make sure if these chosen files are the needed ones.

Step 3: After checking all the files you want, click Save to recover data from the read only memory card. While in the trial edition, you will receive a message as the following interface:

massage shows cannot save successfully

As mentioned before, the trial edition does not support data saving. It can only scan to check the desired data exists or not. To recover it, you need to update it to the full edition to meet your demands.

At the time that you are about to save found data, don’t forget to store the data to another drive, since the original device is still in read only mode.

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After recovering data from the read only memory card, now you can format it without worrying about data. We will show you how to change SD card from read only with diskpart utility.

Diskpart is a console utility which helps you to manage disk partitions and volumes by typing specific commands. When a problem memory/SD card read only Windows 10 appears, you can try to format it with Windows 10 diskpart. Now fix a read only memory card by this way:

Press Win and R to open Run box, and then type diskpart in the box.

  • Type list disk and hit Enter to show the list of available disks.
  • Type select disk # (where # stands for your read only memory card) and hit Enter to select the target partition.
  • Type clean and hit Enter.
  • Type create partition primary to create a new partition on the read only memory card.
  • Type select partition 1 to select the partition on the disk.
  • Type active to activate the disk.
  • Type format fs=ntfs to format it to NTFS.

Close the diskpart utility, then you can pull out and re-connect the SD card to the computer to check if it is not in read only mode.


How to change read only memory card to normal? Five solutions are mentioned in this article to solve memory card read only issue. According to your own specific case, you can try one or more of them.

If you have any better ideas or any questions, you can leave your comment on the comment zone. At the same time, if you have any problems during using MiniTool software, you can send an email to [email protected]. We will try our best to be helpful.

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