Memory card locked error is one of the common errors that users are facing. It is always suggested to have a backup of your important data. Because many of us usually forget to have a backup as we rely too much on the memory card, which we shouldn’t as sometimes memory card give up as well resulting in loss of our precious photo, videos, audio, etc.
If your camera SD memory card is showing “Card is Locked”, “Memory card/SD card is locked” error, then don’t worry! In this article, you are going to learn some effective methods that will help you to fix Memory card is locked error.
Alright so let’s get started…
How Do You Unlock A Locked Camera Memory Card?
Well, there are many methods that will help you to unlock a locked memory card some are mentioned below, have a look at the methods and perform them one by one.
Method 1: Fix Memory Card Locked Error By Sliding The Lock Switch To Unlock Position
Normally, SD card, SDHC/SDXC, Eye-Fi cards or other various card have a small plastic slider switch on the left edge that is used to “lock” or write protected SD card. It prevents erasing, deleting or writing of files stored on the card.
If the small plastic slider lock switch is in “Up” position, it means your card is unlocked and anyone can add/delete or access your card. And if the small slider switch lock is in the “Down” position, it means that your card is locked and nobody can add/delete or access your card.
So, the rest solutions to fix micro SD card locked no switch issue are mentioned below!
If you use a digital camera and if it displays “Memory card is locked” error message then the problem might be with your memory card that has a tiny lock switch that has moved into the locked position. This may happen if you have accidentally switched the slide switch that is present on the side of your SD card in the “Locked” position in the downward position. Then correct its position by sliding up towards the direction of connectors.
If you discover that the locking switch is missing or it is broken then you should try methods those are mentioned below.
Alternatively, you can remove the card and re-install it again, but you must switch off the camera before removing the memory card. And then re-install the card on your camera.
Method 2: Memory Card Won’t Read
The old camera and the card readers cannot read the memory card with 4 GB capacity or higher – If such a problem is happening after buying a new card then you need to use the command line. To perform that follow the steps given below:
- Click on the Start button, type Run in the search box and press Enter.
- In Run box, type regedit and click OK to confirm and then click Yes.
- This will open a new window.
Go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies
- If there are no StorageDevicePolicies, then you need to create one folder. To create the folder, right-click on the Control and click on New>Key, name this StorageDevicePolicies, right-click on the new folder that you have created now named as StorageDevicePolicies and click New> DWORD Value.
- Name it WriteProtect.
- Double click on the Write Protect and set the Value Data to 0 and click OK.
This will resolve the issue of memory card won’t read.
Method 3: Try Formatting Memory Card
If you are using your card for a long time but recently it started to show “memory card error” or “card requires formatting” then your card has not been formatted for a long period. An unformatted card may work fine initially with the camera but it may get corrupt over time. The card may also get corrupted if the camera power gets interrupted during the shooting of pictures.
Formatting the card in the camera corrects this problem. But this can erase all your photos that are taken on the card. You need to save all these photos on your computer and then proceed with the formatting option but if you don’t do it you can easily recover your photos back using Photo Recovery software.
Method 4: Unrecognized Files in Memory Card
If still, file corruption occurs occasionally then the files or movies taken on the card may consist of unrecognized files or something similar to it. Then you need to see the “Class” or the writing speed of the card. The face of the card contains a Class with a number or number circled with a capital “C”. If neither C nor Class is written on the card then the card is of Class 2 or lower.
Today’s newer camera consists of very high-resolution pictures and high video definition that we write on the SD cards. So the older cards cannot keep up with the writing speed of the newer camera to save these files. As a result, some of your files may get corrupted or lost. So it is recommended to use newer cards.
Method 5: Toothpick Method
If still the file corruption occurs then use the famous “Toothpick” fix method. Even after performing above all these techniques your card is still showing locked then it is likely that the locking switch inside the camera card slot may have stuck.
If you see inside the slot on the side of the slot where the SD card slide switch is present you will notice a glint of gold color on the side. This is the camera’s lock and unlocks switch. Then push this switch to unlock and clear out if any junk is present that has caused this jamming.
Method 6: Tape Fix Method
Use the Tape Fix method to repair SanDisk memory card locked error. If above all these methods do not work then you may have a broken locking tab on your card. Then you need to take a tiny piece of clear tape and place it tightly over the slot where the locking of the switch is present. It may correct your problem.
Automatic Solution To Recover Media Files After Fixing “Memory Card Is Locked” Error
If your camera or phone still displays “memory card locked” or “card is write protected” error or even after unlocking “card needs formatting”, then it means that your card or file system is corrupted. In such cases, formatting the card is the only option to fix this problem.
But formatting the card will erase all data saved on your card. So, do you fix card is locked issue without losing data?
Well, in such case if your media files are inaccessible then it is recommended that you must first try Memory Card Data Recovery software that is available for both Windows and Mac computer.
* Free version of the program only scans and previews recoverable objects.
It will help you to recover data from locked memory card, write-protected/corrupted/damaged/cannot read memory cards. The recovery tool for a locked card will allow recovering photos, videos and audio files from the card.
Below follow the step by step guide on how to recover inaccessible data from locked memory card by using Photo Recovery software.
People Also Ask
What Does It Mean If A Memory Card Is Locked?
If a SD card is locked or memory card locked error showing on your digital camera then you won’t be able to add new files to your device. Also, you’ll not be able to edit or delete the files stored on your SD card.
Why Do SD Cards Have A Lock?
SD cards have a lock because it prevents anything to be written on it. When an SD card is unlocked position, you can read and write the SD card. But, when it is in locked position, it will not allow you to make any changes to its file system, making it a read-only device.
How Do I Unlock My Micro SD Card On Android?
To unlock your Micro SD card on Android, the only way to access data on the SD memory card is to decrypt it. To do so, first insert the SD card to the source phone then restart your phone. After that, scroll to the bottom and tap on the “Decrypt SD Card” option.
Why Does My Canon Camera Says Memory Card Locked?
Sometimes, the SD memory card removed unexpectedly or removing the memory card from a card reader while files are still being transferred to a computer. Due to these actions your Canon camera says that your memory card is locked. So, in this case, formatting this SD card will resolve this issue.
What Is The Use Of Lock In SD Card?
The lock is a tiny slider along one side of the SD card. In an unlocked position, you can read and write the SD card. But, in the locked position, the SD card will not allow any changes to its file system, making it a read-only device.
After reading the article, I am sure that from the above-stated methods you were easily able to fix and get rid of SD memory card locked error message.
In case after fixing the canon memory card locked error, if your all important data gets deleted then you can make use of the Memory Card Data Recovery software that allows you to recover inaccessible media files from locked memory card without losing data and will also help to repair corrupted memory card.
Alex is an expert technical writer with 7+ years of experience. His in-depth knowledge about data recovery and fascination to explore new DIY tools & technologies have helped many. Alex has a great interest in photography and loves to share photography tips and tricks with others.
You have just placed your SD card into your Canon camera when you are faced with “memory card locked” (or “card write protected”) in glaring red.
You can now no longer shoot any more photos, nor can you delete them from your Canon.
Feeling confused and panicked, you may be wondering to yourself: what do I do? Is there any way to unlock the memory card on your Canon camera? And if so, how?
Luckily, it’s a rather simple process. In this article, I will be discussing the fairly straightforward steps you can take to unlock your Canon memory card.
It also includes possible causes of your locked memory card, as well as ways to prevent cards from becoming corrupted or locked over time.
The lock/unlock switch
When you encounter this issue, you should first check the switch on the side of the memory card. In the image above, this is the grey switch located closest to the viewer.
On many SD cards, you can lock or unlock the card just by sliding the switch from the “Locked” to “Unlocked” position. (Note: The former is in the downside position; just slide the switch up. If you observe the image above, you can tell that the memory card is unlocked because the grey switch is flipped up.)
You can also watch the following video on how to slide and unlock the card here:
Now, insert the SD card back into your Canon camera. You should no longer see the red error message “Memory card locked”. Your camera can now read and record data, and you should be able to take and delete photos as you please.
This is a fairly common cause of finding a locked SD memory card. Hopefully, this method worked for you!
Possible cause: loose lock switch
It is possible that your memory card flipped to locked-mode because the lock switch is loose. As a result, it keeps sliding from the unlocked to the locked position.
If this is the case for you, you might find it helpful to replace the memory card. There are also some relatively cruder methods of unlocking the memory card. You can check out DIY Digital Camera Repair’s “toothpick method” in this video:
Incompatible memory cards
Keep in mind that some newer memory cards, such as SDHC and SDXC, are incompatible with older cameras.
For instance, if you try to pair an older Canon camera with a new SD memory card, you may run into issues with the memory card.
Although it can be panic-inducing to realize that your memory card is locked, never fear! Resolving this problem can be as easy as simply sliding a switch upwards.
Note that sometimes the cause is due to a faulty switch, or perhaps incompatibility between your memory card and camera. If you find that your memory card is encountering errors, you might want to consider formatting it — remember to format the card via your Canon camera instead of a computer. Or, if you are seeking to retrieve images from a problematic, check out another post of mine on how to recover Canon photos.
I hope that you found this article to be useful! If so, please share it with others. Feel free to leave any thoughts or comments in the section below.
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when I turn on the camera it say memory card locked
SD cards have a tiny little tab on the left side edge (as seen from the front of the card). When this tab is in the LOCK position, a sensor switch in the camera tells the camera that the card should not be written to, i.e. the card is locked.
- Remove the SD card from the camera. Check the position of the locking tab and make sure it is not in the LOCK position. Reinsert the card, and try again.
- If you are positively sure that the locking tab is not in the LOCK position, and the camera continues to tell you the card is locked, the camera's sensor switch might be stuck.
- Sometimes, the locking tab pops out of its notch and goes missing. If you see the notch where the locking tab should be, but the locking tab itself is absent, you can tape over the notch with a tiny piece of thin adhesive tape. Be careful, if this is not done cleanly or the tape is too thick, the SD card might get stuck in the slot and you'll have difficulty getting it to eject.
- Inserting and releasing the card a few times, thereby jogging the sensor switch, may clear the problem.
- As a last resort, you can give the SD card slot a blast of compressed air from a can. Be careful because the "air" from the can might cool down the card slot to the point of causing condensation, so wait a while before turning the camera on again.
- If the problem refuses to clear, have the camera looked at by someone knowledgeable.
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How to Unlock a Memory Card on a Canon Camera? | Error Solved
Canon cameras usually come with an SD memory card. You can lock or unlock these memory cards as needed.
Why Do We Lock The Memory Card?
You cannot use a locked memory card. This means that you cannot take any more pictures with a locked memory card. Users usually choose this option when they want to protect their images from accidental deletion.
How to Unlock a Memory Card On a Canon Camera?
If your card is locked and you don’t know how to unlock it, we are here to help you!
Please follow the steps below:
- Turn off your camera.
- You will see a compartment on the side where the memory card SD is located. Open this compartment.
- You will see a black button that, when pressed, will eject the memory card.
- If you press this button and have the memory card in your hand, you will see a plastic switch on the card. When this switch is in the up position, the card is unlocked. Slide it over.
- Reinsert the memory card and turn on your camera.
What if the Memory Card is still Locked in your Canon Camera?
Even after you flip the switch, the card may still be locked, and you may still get the error message “Memory card locked”. In this case, the most common problem is that the lock switch is too loose to stay in one place. Therefore, while you are using the camera, it keeps wobbling and causing problems.
Check the memory card to see if this is the case. If the answer is yes, you need to buy a new memory card.
Some people use toothpicks to fix their memory cards themselves, but we would advise against trying something like this unless you are sure and willing to risk it. Some others also use duct tape to hold the switch in place or see the card is cracked or broken. Of course, you can try that, but it’s not a permanent solution, and we can’t vouch for it.
Still No Consolation?
Another reason why the memory card might be locked is because it’s not compatible with your Canon camera. Many cameras have specific compatibility even within brands. This means that a card that works for an older model may not work for another, newer model.
Make sure your card and your camera are a good match. Otherwise, there’s a chance you’ll run into more severe problems than the memory card being locked.
A Canon Powershot memory card error is more common than you think, and the solution is simple. One of the above solutions will work for you most of the time, but if they don’t, we recommend that you buy a new, compatible memory card.
Want to know which memory card do we recommend for Canon cameras? Here are our top 3 picks.
Best Canon Camera Memory Card
1. SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I
Our number one pick for investing in a good quality external memory card for your camera will be this one by SanDisk. The brand is known for its wide range of products and excellent quality. In addition, it has a durable design making it easy to use in all weather conditions.
- The memory card is suitable for shooting 4K videos.
- It is twice as fast as ordinary memory cards that can help you to take and transfer your files quickly.
- The memory card offers an exceptional video recording performance as it has a rating of Class 10 for full HD video.
- The memory card is waterproof, temperature proof, shockproof, and also comes with a ten-year warranty.
- This SanDisk memory card comes in various capacities ranging from 32GB to 1TB.
2. Lexar Professional 1066x 256GB SDXC UHS-I Card
Another brand that nails it every time with its innovative products is Lexar. One can also opt for this Lexar Professional memory card, having a rating of UHS Speed Class 3(U3). It comes with high-capacity options that go up to 512GB.
- The memory card can capture high-quality images along with the extended lengths of Full-HD and 4K UHD.
- It has a durable design making it easy to work in all harsh conditions.
- The memory card offers a high-speed data transfer.
- It also comes with a Lexar recovery tool that can help you recover all photos and select video files.
3. SanDisk Ultra 128GB SDXC UHS-I
This is an alternate variant for the SanDisk memory card you can opt for if you are looking for a budget-friendly option. Like all the SanDisk series, this memory card also offers better performance, fast downloads and high capacity.
- The memory card is suitable for compact-to-midrange point and shoot cameras as well as camcorders.
- It helps with quickly transferring the files to your laptop and offers an excellent video recording performance.
- This memory card also features a built-in write-protect switch that protects from accidental data loss.
- It is compatible with SDHC/SDXC and other SDHC-I/SDXC-I devices.
We hope this blogpost helps you to unlock the memory card with ease and if not you can opt for a new memory card from the picks we have shared. Have you tried any other ways to solve this memory card error on a Canon camera? If they worked, we’d love to hear about them!
About JACOB CRONE
Jacob Crone has spent too much time on researching and finding the best stuff for my Canon DSLR, and this led him to make bestcanonflash.com. As he found that millions of cameras are sold every year, and photographers like me are looking for cool and useful stuff for them all the time. So he wanted to make a site dedicated mostly to camera owners to help them get better results. View all posts by JACOB CRONE →
Locked memory canon camera card
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