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Make More Room by Moving Apps to an SD Card

Eric Elliot

Home » Technology » Make More Room by Moving Apps to an SD Card

Running out of storage space on your Android phone? An SD card can give you more room for apps and media. Here’s how to move apps to a memory card.

When your phone’s internal storage fills up, it can really slow you down. You can’t update apps or take more photos and videos. Cheaper phones and older models have less built-in memory, so they hit this limit quickly.

But if your device has a microSD card slot, you can use a memory card to expand the storage. This lets you move some apps over to make more room. Not every phone supports it though, and even then, not all apps can be moved.

How to Use Your Phone’s App Manager

If your Android phone lets you move apps to the SD card, it just takes a few taps:

  1. Open your Settings app and tap Apps.
  2. Choose an app you want to move.
  3. Tap Storage.
  4. Select Change if you see it.

If it’s not there, that app can’t be moved. If none of your apps show the Change option, your device doesn’t support app movement.

  1. Tap Move to transfer the app to your SD card.

To move an app back to internal storage later, tap Change again and choose Internal Storage.

Turn Your SD Card Into Adoptable Storage

Some Android devices have a different option called Adoptable Storage or Flex Storage. This lets you format your SD card to act as part of the internal storage.

The pros:

  • More apps and data can be stored on the card.
  • You don’t have to move apps manually.

But there are some downsides:

  • The SD card needs to be fast to avoid lag. Class 10 or UHS-I minimum.
  • Formatting erases everything on the card.
  • Removing the card later will break apps stored on it.

If your phone offers this feature, here’s how to enable it:

  1. Go to Settings > Storage.
  2. Tap your SD card.
  3. Select Storage Settings.
  4. Choose Format as Internal.
  5. Tap Erase & Format.
  6. Select Move Now to transfer apps and data over.

After formatting, the card acts like internal storage.

Troubleshoot App Movement Problems

Sometimes moving an app to the SD card can cause glitches. If apps freeze or force close after transferring, try these steps:

  • Move the app back to internal storage and test if the issues go away.
  • Check if you have the latest app updates installed. Updates may fix SD card problems.
  • Your SD card could be too slow. Try a different high-speed card rated UHS-3 or above.
  • As a last resort, clear the app’s cache and data before moving it again.

Get the Most From Your SD Card

To ensure optimal performance after moving apps over:

  • Use a high-speed SD card with a fast rated speed like UHS-3.
  • Format the card to FAT32 for maximum compatibility.
  • Close background apps to leave more processing power for the SD card.
  • Restart your phone occasionally to clear memory.

Store Media Files on the Card Too

Aside from apps, your SD card can hold plenty of media. You can set the camera to save photos and videos there automatically. Move over any music, ebook or document files as well.

But for important files you access often, internal storage is faster. So keep that in mind when deciding where to place your media.

When Cloud Storage Is Better Than SD Cards

For some users, cloud storage makes more sense than physical SD cards:

  • Cloud storage has no size limits. Just pay for more space.
  • Your data is accessible from any device when stored in the cloud.
  • Cloud backup protects your files if you lose your phone.
  • Multiple cloud sharing options allow easy collaboration.

But internet access is required to use the cloud. SD cards keep your data available offline.

Enjoy More Apps and Media After the Move

With apps and media moved to the SD card, you’ll free up space for more of both! Install new gaming apps you couldn’t before. Never run out of room for photos and videos again.

Making the most of external storage gives budget and older Android phones a new lease of life. Your SD card can save you from constantly uninstalling apps and deleting files to make space.