Why Can’t I Delete Files From My SD Card? Fixed It In Minutes!

Ever tried deleting files from your SD card and found it impossible? It can be a frustrating experience, especially when you need to free up space for new data. Well, why can’t you delete files from SD card? No worries! We’ve got your back. In this easy-to-follow guide, we’ll explore four effective methods to address this common issue. If you’re unable to delete files from SD card, read on to obtain fixes now!

Part 1: Why Can’t I Delete Files From My SD Card?

You may be unable to delete files on SD card for various reasons, but the most common one is that write protection is enabled. Other possible reasons include:

  • The file system on the SD card is damaged or corrupted.
  • Your SD card is physically damaged.
  • The SD card is infected with malicious software or viruses.
  • File settings on the SD card set to read-only mode.
  • The file you want to delete is currently being used by other applications.
  • You do not have the necessary permissions to delete files from the SD card.

Part 2: The Ultimate Way to Fix “Can’t Delete Files From SD Card”

2.1 Recover data from formatted SD card

Reformatting can be helpful if you can’t delete files from SD card. This is because reformatting not only creates a new and clean file system on the card but also eliminates any existing errors, including bad sectors, compatibility issues, and more. However, every coin has two sides. All files on the SD card will be erased, which means you may be at risk of data loss.

Fortunately, reliable data recovery tools like Tenorshare 4DDiG can be a lifesaver. With just a few clicks, 4DDiG can help you retrieve deleted or formatted data from over 2000+ storage devices. In addition, this tool is suitable for all common data loss scenarios, such as formatting errors, accidental deletion, virus attacks, and more. Thanks to its clean and simple interface, even those with limited computer experience can get started easily.

Now, have a look at the step-by-step guide on how to recover lost files from SD card with the help of 4DDiG:

Step 1: Download and install the free version of 4DDiG on your PC or Mac. Launch the tool, connect your SD Card to the computer, select the SD card from the interface, and click on the “Scan” button.


Step 2: The program will perform a comprehensive scan of the SD card to retrieve lost data. Once the lost or deleted files are identified, select and preview them to obtain detailed information.


Step 3: Click on the “Recover” button to restore the chosen files. A dialog box will appear, allowing you to specify the location for saving the files. Finally, select a save location and click “OK.”


2.2 Format SD card using built-in tool

Now, you can reformat the problematic SD card with confidence. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Connect the affected SD card to your computer. Then, create a copy of all files on the SD card and save them to a safe location.

Step 2: Launch File Explorer by pressing Windows + E. Navigate to “Computer” to find the problematic SD card.

Step 3: Right-click on the SD card and select the option to “Format.”

format drive in windows

Step 4: You’ll be prompted to choose a file system (FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, etc.) and an allocation unit size. Typically, the default options are fine.

format drive in windows 2

Step 5: Click the “Start” button to begin the formatting process.

Part 3: 4 Proven Ways to Fix “Can’t Delete Files From SD Card”

3.1 Remove Write Protection From SD Card

To successfully delete files from SD card, the first thing you should do is check if the SD card is locked. Nowadays, most SD cards have a physical write-protect switch on the side to prevent data loss. If it is in the open position, simply switch it to the closed position to disable write protection.

On the other hand, you can also use the Command Prompt tool to remove write protection from SD card when there’s no switch. Here is how:

Step 1: Press Windows key + X and opt for”Command Prompt (Admin)” from the menu.

open command prompt from start context menu

Step 2: Type the following commands and press Enter after each input to execute:

  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk 1(replace 1 with the disk number assgined to your SD card)
  • attributes disk clear readonly
  • exit
command prompt diskpart

Still no luck? Read this guide to learn more about how to remove write protection from SD card.

3.2 Repair Disk Errors on Windows

You can’t delete files from the SD card due to file system errors. However, don’t worry; there is a free and built-in Windows tool designed to repair disk errors. Here is how to use it:

Step 1: Connect your sd card to the computer properly. Then, open File Explorer by pressing Win + E and locate your SD card.

Step 2: Right-click on it and opt for “Properties” from the context menu.

Step 3: Navigate to the “Tools” tab. Under the “Error checking” section, hit the “Check” button to scan and repair errors on the SD card .

windows check disk gui

Step 4: If prompted, select “Scan and repair drive” to proceed.

3.3 Unlock Locked Files

Being unable to delete files from SD card indicates that your files have been configured with read-only properties. In such cases, just change the file’s properties or perform the operation with administrative privileges. Given below is a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Right-click on the file(s) you want to delete. Then, choose “Properties” from the menu.

Step 2: In the General tab, uncheck the box next to “Read-only”.

set read only file properties

Step 3: Click “Apply” and then “OK.” Now, try deleting the file(s) again.

3.4 Tack Back Your Ownership

If you’ve tried all the above solutions and still can’t delete files from SD card, then it’s worth to check your ownership. Sometimes, you might accidentally change the editing permissions of a file without realizing it. To gain necessary permissions, follow these steps:

Step 1: Navigate to the SD card in file explorer, right-click on it and opt for “Properties” from the menu.

Step 2: Switch to the Security tab. Then, click on the “Edit” button.

file properties security tab

Step 3: Choose your account in the “Group or user names” section. Now, check the box for “Full Control” under the “Allow” column.

file properties security tab set full control

Step 4: Click “Apply” and then “OK” to close the windows.

Part 4: Unable to Delete Files from SD card FAQs

Q1: Why Deleted Files Keep Coming Back in SD card?
In most cases, if deleted files keep coming back, it’s likely due to the file system is damaged or the SD card being set to write-protect mode. To resolve this issue, try removing write protection on your SD card and repairing the corrupted file system using CMD.

Q2: How Do I Fix No Permission To Delete From SD Card?
First of all, check if the SD card is set to read-only. Right-click on the SD card drive, go to “Properties,” and make sure that the “Read-only” box is unchecked. Secondly, use disk checking tools on your computer to scan the SD card for errors. Sometimes file system errors can prevent files from being deleted.

Q3: What Happens to Deleted Files on SD card?
When files are deleted from an SD card, they do not disappear immediately. Instead, the area they once occupied is designated as open for new data. Until overwritten, the old data persists. Theoretically, as long as the old data is not overwritten, it can be recovered using professional data recovery software, regardless of how much time has passed.

Final Thoughts

Now, you should no longer be puzzled by the question ‘why I can’t delete files from my SD card?’ Understanding the reasons behind this issue is beneficial for quickly finding appropriate methods. In the solutions we shared, although reformatting the problematic SD card can help, it might lead to permanent data loss. That’s where Tenorshare 4DDiG comes in. This tool offers simplicity and a high success rate in formatted SD card recovery.


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