How to Unlock a SD Card

by Sophie Johnson ; Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Tape, or paper and tape or glue

  • Computer

  • SD USB converter stick if necessary

  • SD adaptor if using a micro or mini SD card

A Secure Digital (SD) card is a storage device that allows you to transfer information between devices like cameras, phones, Wii consoles and computers. They are usually only 1 inch wide by about 1 1/2 inches tall. They can be locked by sliding a switch on the side of the disks so that stored data cannot be removed or added. The reading device responds to the card as either locked or unlocked. Here is how to unlock an SD card.

Slide the switch on the left-hand side of the SD card. If the switch is broken, proceed to Step 2.

Affix a small piece of tape or paper to the top half of the gap where the slider should be. Do not permanently affix the paper as of yet.

Try the card in your computer, using the USB converter stick. If the items on the SD card are available, copy them to your computer as a precaution. If that did not solve the problem, proceed to Step 4.

Remove the tape or paper and reattach it to the other side of the gap if you mistakenly attached it to the wrong side. If you are actually trying to unlock a micro or mini SD card, proceed to Step 5.

Toggle the switch on the left side of your SD Adapter if you are trying to unlock a micro or mini SD card. Micro and mini cards do not have switches. Instead, insert a micro or mini card into an unlocked SD Adapter to work with stored data. SD Adapters look very much like SD cards and the switch works the same way.

Tip

  • If you continue to use the card after fixing it with tape, be aware that the tape or paper can come off in your device.

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About the Author

Sophie Johnson is a freelance writer and editor of both print and film media. A freelancer for more than 20 years, Johnson has had the opportunity to cover topics ranging from construction to music to celebrity interviews.

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