Question about Olympus DM-20 Digital Voice Recorder

5 Answers

Read only Hi, I have an Olympus DM-20 and I have problems with it because is locked. Everytime I try to record I receive the read only message and the hold button in down.

Posted by on

  • 2 more comments 
  • GuestRJ Jan 23, 2008

    I cannot determine how to "format" the recorder. I can access the format option from the Display Menu, but cannot select the format to initiate the process. Please provide more details.

    Thank you.

  • minalth Feb 18, 2008

    There are two different problems here, but I am with the person who first posted this problem, I can't record with the dictaphone because I can't work out how to turn the lock off (stop it from saying read only)

  • ratheriffy May 18, 2008

    My wife had a problem with locked files on her DM 20. She could not unlock them and she could not record any more because the folders were "read only".
    The suggestion to (re)format did work in this case. The DM 20 is working all right now.
    I am interrested in what caused the problems. But that could be a very difficult matter.
    Thanks for the solution.

  • Audiogazm Oct 02, 2008

    read only pops up along with a flashing padlock and i cant record anything on the voice recorder. olympus DM20



5 Answers

  • Level 1:

    An expert who has achieved level 1.


    An expert whose answer got voted for 2 times.

  • Contributor
  • 1 Answer

To format you need to hold the display/menu button down for a minute then a menu appears scroll down using FF till you get format then hit play and you will be gided from there
not difficult but impossible to guess
thanks to other guys

Posted on Aug 09, 2008

  • Level 1:

    An expert who has achieved level 1.

  • Contributor
  • 1 Answer

Thanks so much- I have been trying to unlock my Olympus DM20 for ages and you have finally solved it! Bit of a mystery why it happens.. 

Posted on Dec 09, 2008


Hi all,
my DM-20 was also locked, after using it for 1 year (I could only play FILES). From Google I found this site. My PC let me copy the files, but not erase them...fine. Than I FORMAT the DM-20 by pressing the MENU button for 1 second, etc... See page 92 of the DM20-instruction-manual.pdf
It seems that some people cannot select FORMAT from the MENU. I do not know about this problem. I did not have this problem. It worked for me. Thanks

Posted on Apr 05, 2008

I have this same problem but when i tried to transfer the files it wouldnt let me and said they were protected. i now cant use this dictaphone and need some help to solve the problem! many thanks.

Posted on Feb 07, 2008


I have just sorted out the same problem.

If you have any recordings on the machine, please transfer them to the PC and then FORMAT the recorder. In the MENU you will have the option for FORMAT.

Posted on Jan 11, 2008

1 Suggested Answer

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

Hi there,
Save hours of searching online or wasting money on unnecessary repairs by talking to a 6YA Expert who can help you resolve this issue over the phone in a minute or two.

Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.

Here's a link to this great service

Good luck!

Posted on Jan 02, 2017

Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

How do you turn on a DM-20

perhaps there is a small sliding switch on the side .

Jul 12, 2015 | Olympus DM-20 Digital Voice Recorder

2 Answers

Olympus DM-10,locked in a "Read Only" mode

The recorder should be formatted only by using the internal FORMAT function found in the recorder’s Menu. Formatting using the computer may corrupt system files needed to run the recorder, so computer formatting is not recommended.

Apr 10, 2009 | Olympus DM-10 Digital Voice Recorder

1 Answer

Unlocking the DM-20 digital recorder

Unfortunately if you are unable to unlock using the Lock Unlock feature. You will need to format the device. This will erase all data and unlock the machine to be able to record to it again.

Nov 01, 2008 | Olympus DM-20 Digital Voice Recorder

1 Answer

Olympus DM-20 erase lock is on, how to undo it?

The voice recorder is in read only status - you will need to format the device to remove the lock (read only). Go to menu - to submenu and then run the format option. make sure all files have been downloaded as once device is formatted all files will be permanently deleted

Oct 16, 2008 | Olympus DM-20 Digital Voice Recorder

1 Answer

USB Malfuntion message

try connecting it direct without the cradle... if you still get the same thing then the usb cable needs replacing

Sep 04, 2008 | Olympus DM-20 Digital Voice Recorder

1 Answer


went on the "menu" option and formated the disk. I first downloaded the files I needed to my computer. Took off the "lock" option.

Jun 25, 2008 | Olympus DM-20 Digital Voice Recorder

1 Answer

Olympus DM-20 Voice Recorder not turning on

Check the batteries contact especially at the battery cover. It may happened rusty if you leave the battery for a long time when the recorder not in use.

May 20, 2008 | Olympus DM-20 Digital Voice Recorder

2 Answers

Olympus DM-10: stuck in "read only" mode

I wasn't the one who posted the initial problem, but this helped me tremendously!!! Thank you!! I had to delete some important files, but at least I can get more tomorrow!

Thank you very much fixya!

May 05, 2007 | Olympus DM-10 Handheld Digital Voice...

3 Answers

How do I Change from default language back to English?

I received this response from the european Olypus support group :- Turn recorder on - Press STOP, FOLDER and MENU buttons and hold all of them for about 3 seconds or until display changes - then press PLAY button and that resets the recorder back to English. Olympus Digital Imaging Support Group

Aug 31, 2006 | Olympus DM-20 Digital Voice Recorder

Not finding what you are looking for?
Olympus DM-20 Digital Voice Recorder Logo

594 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Olympus Audio Players & Recorders Experts

Donald DCruz
Donald DCruz

Level 3 Expert

17130 Answers

The Knight
The Knight

Level 3 Expert

75846 Answers

pankaj rautela
pankaj rautela

Level 3 Expert

1252 Answers

Are you an Olympus Audio Player and Recorder Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides