Tips & Tricks

Installing Apps by Default on your SD card instead of Phone Storage

Limited Phone Storage:

Having an android phone or tablet with limited storage is quite a pain. You are missing out on so many really awesome apps, or you keep on uninstalling one app to make room for the other, due to not having enough space on your phone. However, if you have an SD card slot, you can always expand your device’s storage.

The Android apps, by default, are set to be installed on the internal storage of the phone, which could be really small. But if you have an SD card, you could move your apps there or even set it to the default install location for apps. This would free up space, enabling you to install more apps.

Installing Apps by Default on your SD card

For Android 6.0:

There are quite a few ways of doing this, depending on your android version. We shall be looking at the method that Android 6.0 Marshmallow allows. It allows you to adapt your SD card as internal storage and therefore installs the apps to the SD card.

However, keep in mind that running the app on the SD card will be slower so it’s preferable to do this for apps that do not need a lot of speed for running well. Also note that once you adopt your SD card as internal storage, it no longer is a portable device that you can take out of your phone any moment to transfer pictures to your laptop. And that SD card, once adopted as internal storage, won’t be operational on any other device, not even your computer. Removing it will affect your phone’s functionality. Backup all data on the SD card since adopting it as internal storage will erase all data on it.

Installing Apps by Default on your SD card

Speedy SD card:

It is preferable to use a good speed SD card. its speed will be checked during the process of adoption and if it is too slow, Android will warn you since this will affect the performance of your phone.

Let’s get started:

  • Insert the SD card into your phone.
  • Go to ‘Settings’, select ‘Storage and USB’. Now choose ‘Format as internal’.
  • Now from the available options, select ‘Use as internal storage’. Tap next.
  • You will see a warning message that after this the SD card shall work only on this device. You will also be advised to backup important data.
  • Choose ‘Erase and Format’.
  • You will again see a warning message informing you that any apps on the SD card will be erased. Choose ‘Erase Anyway’.
  • Your SD card has been formatted and encrypted.
  • You will now be asked if you want to move the data from your phone’s internal storage to the SD card.
  • You can do this now or later by selecting the ‘Move Now’ or ’Move Later’ buttons. If you want to do this later, then you can do so by going to ‘Settings’ then ‘Storage and USB’, then selecting the SD card drive and finally selecting ‘Migrate Data’ from the available options in the menu.
  • You will finally see a message telling you that your SD card is ready and is working. Tap on ‘Done’.
  • And you are all done!

All Done:

Once you’re done with this, you will see your phone’s internal storage as well as your SD card in the internal storage of your device. You can go there by selecting ‘Settings’ and then ‘Storage’. From now onwards, when you install an app, Android will intelligently determine whether to store it on the internal storage or the adopted SD card. You can also manually transfer the apps from the internal storage to the SD card. For this go to ‘Settings’ then ‘Storage and USB’. Now select the storage that contains the app which you want to move. Now choose ‘Apps’ and then select the app you want to move and select the ‘Change’ button.

Aamir Jamal

An Android Geek and audiophile who love to read and write reviews/tutorials about gadgets and new tech stuff. He has written 1007 guides and other posts.

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