What To Do When You Cannot Delete or Format Files From SD Card?

Summary: Being unable to delete files from an SD card is distressing because you won’t be able to delete or even can't format the SD card. This kind of error needs immediate attention. The article explains the troubleshooting methods with which you could delete or format SD cards with ease.

Out of all the issues on SD cards, this must be the most unfamiliar. This error is not a critical error, but it might be a sign that something critical is heading your way. So, if you ever encounter this specific error where you cannot delete files on SD cards without any further due, take a backup of your entire SD card. Since trying to fix such errors might potentially lead to data loss, this ensures your data is safe once the backup is sorted out. Move on to the next section, which explains why you cannot delete files from your SD card.

Why does it say you cannot delete files on an SD card?

Generally, this error doesn’t mean anything serious, and it is mostly related to write protection on the SD card, such as

  • Write Lock notch on SD card is enabled
  • Write protection attributes are enabled
  • Write permission is disabled

Incompatible SD card drives can also be a reason. However, considering the fact that almost all the recent operating systems are integrated with all the required drivers, it might be the least actual reason for the error.

Finally, in the worst-case scenarios, the error can occur if your SD card is severely damaged, such as virus attacks or bad sectors. It is most unlikely to the scenario. Nevertheless, there is always a possibility. This is why you need to maintain a backup to avoid such issues.

These are the only possible scenarios, even if you cannot delete files from an SD card on Mac. In the coming sections, you will find the easiest methods to fix the SD card errors.

Disable Write Protection on SD card

Generally, to disable the write protection, you have to slide the Lock notch on the SD card. On every SD card, it will be clearly mentioned what direction it has to be slid to unlock the SD card. This is a manual method. Also, there is another way an SD card can be locked up or written protected. This can be done with the help of a command prompt.

Disable the Write Protection Attributes on the SD card

If you are to disable the SD card attributes using diskpart or command prompt, be highly cautious. Because using diskpart is Risky, one wrong command can make or break the data on the SD card, which is one more reason why you need to have a backup or SD card recovery software if the situation got out of hand.

Steps to disable write protection attributes on the SD card

Open the command prompt and enter the command “diskpart,” and type the following commands in the specific sequence.

  • List disk
  • Select disk # (in place of #, type the disk number. Also, remember the SD card size because the command prompt will only display the SD card size.)
  • Attribute disk clear readonly

These commands may seem simple to use. However, the diskpart utility is also used to force format the SD card if the SD card will not format. This is why you should be cautious while using Diskpart. Hence using the wrong command might erase your entire SD card. Nevertheless, if you ever lost a single file from the SD card, you can use Remo Recover to recover data from the SD card.

Apart from the read-only attributes or write permission, cannot delete files on micro SD card error can be because of administrator permission. You can find more details with regard to this in the next section.

How do I fix no permission to delete from an SD card?

One final reason why you cannot delete any files from the SD memory card might be because the write permission is disabled by the user. In such cases, you will notice an error message.

To fix that you have to enable write permission on your SD card. To enable write permission, you have to login into your computer using the administrator account; if you don’t have administrator privilege, you cannot change it.

  • Go to This PC or Windows File Explorer
  • Right-click on the SD card and access the properties
  • Select the Security tab and select edit (if you are not in an administrator account, it will ask you for an admin password, which is mandatory)
  • It opens permissions for the SD card window. Here, you can check the allow box for written permission.

These 3 methods resolve the cannot delete files error only when the SD card is written protected using Windows.

Note: Here, we have discussed how to fix the issue of not being able to delete files from SD cards. In case you have deleted files or photos from the SD card, you can read this write-up about recovering deleted photos from SD card.

How to Fix Cannot Erase Files on the SD card on Mac

Unfortunately, on Mac, there is no specific method to fix the error, and it cannot delete files on SD cards. Additionally, there is no way you can remove write protection on an SD card using a Mac. Even if you access the information from the Apple knowledge base, the information provided is just erased from the SD card using MS-Dos.

Considering the fact that erasing the SD card causes catastrophic data loss, it is not suggested. So, a Mac user to fix the error cannot delete files on an SD card Mac by using a Windows computer. In any circumstances, if you ever went ahead and actually erased the data, the only way you can recover the deleted files is with the help of Remo data recovery software. Developed under intense testing scenarios, Remo is one of the highly suggested software to recover data from damaged or corrupted SD cards.

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John Harris

With a decade of experience in data recovery, John Harris, Senior Editor at Remo Software, is your go-to specialist. His focus includes partition management, Windows solutions, and data troubleshooting, delivering insightful content that serves both users and search engines.

John's expertise shines through in illuminating blog posts, untangling data loss intricacies across diverse storage platforms. His mastery extends from file systems to SD cards, USBs, and external drives on Mac and Windows.

Recognized by cpomagazine, everythingusb, and more, John Harris is your trusted data recovery guide. You can also find his articles featured on correctblogger.com, computertechreviews.

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