How to unlock and recover files from a locked SD card

SD cards are one of the most popular and widely used forms of data storage especially for avid photographers who heavily rely on cameras to earn a living, and for them, a locked SD card can be a nightmare.

If you have been in a similar situation, here is a guide on how to unlock your storage card to recover the ‘Almost Lost’ data, so that you can easily retrieve the files from a locked SD card.

There can more than just one way to unlock an SD card. You can unlock the SD card manually simply by sliding the small button on the edge of the card. It is there on a majority of SD cards and lets you lock and unlock the storage media. A very important thing to note is that if the key is on lock, you will not be able to access, edit or delete the stored files.


You can also use a Windows PC to unlock a locked SD card. Here are a few simple steps to do so:

  1. Connect the locked SD card with a Windows PC. If you are a user of a micro-SD card, you may use an adapter to fit in the slot.
  2. Tap on the “Windows” + R keys at the same time to run the command prompt as an administrator.
  3. Enter the commands that follow and press the Enter key after each of these entries; diskpart, list disk, select disk then press enter.
  4. You will now see ‘attributes disk clearly on your screen. Press the Enter key.
  5. If you see ‘Disk Attributes Cleared Successfully’ written on your screen, means that the disk is no longer protected and has been unlocked.

The aforementioned cmd commands take work by writing protection off the SD card and unlocking the storage card.