Last week while hanging out with friends, I tried taking pictures with my Canon camera but kept seeing the alert “Card’s Write Protect switch is set to lock” on the camera’s screen.
After several unsuccessful attempts, I finally managed to fix the problem. Here’s how I went about it……
1: Check the Write Protect switch of the memory card
Often whenever you see the “Card’s Write Protect switch is set to lock” on the camera’s screen, it means the memory card being used is in the locked (downside) position. That makes it impossible to capture new images or even delete existing ones.
To fix this problem, all you need to do is flip the “Write Protect Switch” on the memory card upward to unlock it.
Just that simple and you should be able to use your camera to capture new images again.
2: Swipe the metal contacts of the memory card
Another reason why you could be seeing the “Card’s Write Protect switch is set to lock” error alert on the camera screen is because of poor contact between the camera and the memory card. Simply put, the camera isn’t able to read the memory card.
The other possible reason for the alert is that the memory card’s metal contacts may have been oxidized over time leading to poor contact with the camera.
To solve this problem, simply wipe the metal contacts of the memory card using white vinegar or alcohol. Remember to wipe the metal contacts of the camera’s memory card slot using an eraser.
- Tip! Do not wipe the camera’s memory card slot with any liquid because that may damage the camera. You can also remove any oxides on the surface of the metal contacts in the camera’s memory slot by simply scratching their surfaces with a thin wire.
3: Check the camera’s memory card slot sensor
Sometimes the camera’s lock/ unlock switch gets stuck in the locked position. The reason for this might be that the switch is clogged, dirty, or damaged. Be that as it may, you will be greeted with the “Card’s Write Protect switch is set to lock” alert on your camera’s screen. You can fix this by gently pushing against the switch to reset it back to the unlocked position.
You can do this with the help of a toothpick or any other non-metallic item that can fit inside the memory card slot. Try reinserting the memory card to check if the issue has been fixed. However if the error alert is because of a broken camera sensor (lock/ unlock switch), you might want to visit the nearest Canon shop or send it over to them to have it repaired.
4: Use Scotch Tape
Are you still seeing the “Card’s Write Protect switch is set to lock” alert on the camera’s LCD screen even after trying all the above methods? Then it’s possible that the card’s “Write Protect switch” is broken or loose making it slide easily to the lock position when installed inside the camera.
That being the case, maybe a quick fix with Scotch tape or transparent tape would do the trick. Here’s how to go about it:
- Cut and trim a small piece of Scotch tape and then attach it onto the slot where the locking switch is or was. Ensure the tape is small enough to hold only the switch in place, else you might end up jamming the card inside the camera.
- With the Scotch tape in place, next, it’s time to try sliding the card back into the camera to see if the problem is fixed.
5: Replace the faulty memory card with a new one
If none of the above methods fixed the error, then it’s likely the memory card is damaged. In such a case, the only logical fix would be to replace the faulty memory card with a new one.
6: Reset camera settings
If you’ve tried fixing the problem using all the above methods without success, then it’s possible that the problem is with the camera’s firmware and not with the memory card reader itself. If that’s the case, then you might have to update the camera’s firmware to fix the problem.
Here’s how to reset settings for different types of cameras:
- Cameras with RESET button
Step 1: Locate the camera’s Reset button
Step 2: Upon finding the Reset Button, Press and Hold onto it for 3-5 seconds for the operation to complete.
Step 3: Try using the camera again to see if the problem was fixed.
- Cameras with the Reset or Initialize options in the menu
This reset option varies greatly with the type of camera. The three common options among different camera brands are as follows:
Step 1: Select Menu, then choose Settings
Step 2: Next, choose Initialize then select OK.
Step 1: Select Menu, then choose Setup
Step 2: Next, select Initialize
Step 3: Choose Reset Default or Factory Reset.
Step 1: Select Menu and then choose Setup
Step 2: Navigate to Setting Reset
Step 3: Next, head over to Camera Reset or Initialize
For more information on how to update your camera’s firmware, check out this YouTube Video.
While the “Card’s Write Protect Switch is set to lock” error alert is often associated with Canon cameras, it's also possible to experience the same problem with other camera brands. If it so happens, you can count on the above-mentioned methods to help out.
Alternatively, you can get help by contacting the camera manufacturer directly by checking their official site.