How To Repair a USB Key or SD Card Blocked (Read-Only)

Repair A USB Key Or SD Card: A USB stick (or SD card) that is locked in read-only mode is not necessarily lost! Learn how to restore it on your PC with our tutorial.

How To Repair A USB Key Or SD Card Blocked Read-Only
How To Repair A USB Key Or SD Card Blocked Read-Only

How To Repair A USB Key Or SD Card Blocked Read-Only

Read-only is an attribute given to a file to protect it from modification: the file is only available for reading. Some USB keys and SD cards have the read-only function. When activated it means that you can not change its contents (delete/add files).

Sometimes a USB flash drive or SD card can become stuck in read-only mode, which greatly limits its usefulness. In this article, we will present three ways to solve this problem.

Note that depending on the configuration of your USB / SD and its status, it is possible that these different techniques do not work for you (unfortunately if your storage media is corrupt or damaged, it will probably replace it). Also, before you begin, remember to copy the contents of your USB flash drive or SD card to your computer.

Unlock your USB using Regedit.exe

All Windows (since XP) have Regedit.exe . Do a search in your Start menu, this will be the first program to display.

  • In the left column, follow this path:
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM → CurrentControlSet → Control → StorageDevicePolicies.
  • In the right column, double-click WriteProtect. A window opens.
  • Delete the 1 of “value data” and replace it with a 0.
  • Click Ok to save the change.
  • Close Regedit and restart your computer.
  • Plug in your USB drive again – it should no longer be read-only.

Unlock your USB or SD card: StorageDevicePolicies

If you can not find a StorageDevicePolicies folder in Regedit, you can create it by right-clicking in the right column of “Control Folder”.

  • Choose “New” → “Key” and name it ” StorageDevicePolicies”
  • Double click on this new folder, then right click and choose “New” then “DWORD”.
  • Name the “WriteProtect” and in “Value” enter 0.
  • Click OK, close Regedit, and restart your computer.
  • Use Diskpart to unlock your USB or SD card
  • Plug in your USB drive and start a command prompt. To do this, look for cmd.exe in the Start menu (or for Windows 8 in the home page).

Make the following entries (except parentheses) and do not forget to press enter between each command:


list disk

(In the list of disks that appear you should recognize your USB key by its size.A number is associated with it, for example Disk 0. In the following command replace the X with the number associated with your USB)

  • select disk X
  • attributes disk clear readonly
  • clean
  • create partition primary
  • format fs = fat32 (you can change fat32 for ntfs if you only use your USB key with Windows)
  • exit

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