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How to move apps to an SD card on your Android device

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To free up storage space, you can easily move apps to your SD Card on any Android version. This is how it works.

It’s a horrible feeling when an app you want to install on your Android phone is blocked by the “Not Enough Space” warning. This is the result of all the games, photos, 4K videos, and other activities.

The solution to your problem is simple if you have a slot for a memory card. MicroSD cards are a cost-effective way to expand your phone’s storage. To free up space on your Android phone, you can transfer apps to an SD Card.

This will depend on the Android version that you are using. This guide will show you how to transfer Android apps to your SD card.

Android Basics: How to Use an SD Card

These are some points to consider before you start.

You may experience slower performance with resource-intensive apps because memory cards are slower than internal storage. Choose the fastest card that your phone supports. Check your specifications to find out what cards your phone is compatible with.

To avoid being scammed, make sure you are familiar with how to spot fake microSD cards.

Rooting is required to move preinstalled applications. Some third-party apps may not allow you to do this. You might also not be able use widgets that are associated with apps that you have moved to your memory cards on older Android versions.

As Internal Storage, you can use an SD card

Android Marshmallow introduced new features to how Android phones handle memory cards. These changes were carried over into later Android versions.

Now you can use microSD cards as internal storage. Android now views internal and external storage as one space. Instead of treating them as distinct spaces, it treats the card as an extension to your existing space.

Apps and data can write to each other as required, and all of this happens seamlessly. You don’t have to worry about where your apps are stored.

This must be done first. This will wipe your card. Make sure to back up all data.

  1. The card should be inserted into your phone. Tap Set up when the NewSD Card notification appears.
  2. Next, choose how you want your phone to use the card. On Android 9, select Phone storage, or Internal Storage for older versions. Alternativly, you can go to Settings> Storage and select the card. Next, tap the menu button and choose Storage Settings. Select Format to open internal.
  3. Next, tap SD Card or Erase and Format. This will erase your card.
  4. Android 9 and higher allows you to transfer your content, including apps, onto the card. It will also show you how much space it will save. To complete, hit Move content.

Adoptable Storage is the name of this feature. It requires that you keep your card in your smartphone permanently. You cannot copy data from the card by putting it in another device.

Adoptable storage has a downside. every Android phone is different so some manufacturers don’t offer it. You will need to manually move your apps to the SD card if you don’t have it.

How to Move Apps to an Android SD Card in Android 9 Pie and Higher

Even if your phone does not support adoptable storage, you can still transfer apps to SD cards on Android 9 or later manually. You can’t transfer every app to an SD card on Android 9 and later manually, but you can do it for all pre-installed applications.

  1. Go to Settings > Applications & Notifications > App Info.
  2. Tap the icon to select the app that you wish to move from the list.
  3. Select Storage. You’ll see the button Change if the app supports moving to cards. This is what you need to do.
  4. In the Storage dialog box, select the SD card. The confirmation screen will appear. To begin, tap Move.

You can move the app to internal storage by following the same steps but selecting Internal shared storage as the last step. This is the only way to remove or change your memory card.

How to Move Apps to an Android 8 Oreo SD Card

Android 8’s process for moving apps to the SD card is the same as Android 9’s:

  1. Go to Settings > Applications & Notifications > App Info.
  2. Scroll down until you find the app that you wish to transfer to your card. Tap on it.
  3. Select Storage. If the app allows you to move to a card via an app, you will see a section called Storage used. Click the button marked to change.
  4. Next, select the card to which you wish to move the app.

Android 7 Nougat: How to Move Apps To An SD Card

You can transfer apps to a memory stick on Android 7 Nougat via Settings. You can’t move all applications. You won’t be able to see the Switch button in Step 3.

  1. Go to Settings > Applications.
  2. Tap on the app that you wish to transfer to your MicroSD Card.
  3. Go to Storage > Modify, and select your card from the prompt box.
  4. To complete the process, tap Move.

It may take several minutes depending on how large the app is. Larger games can take longer. Don’t touch your phone until the process is complete. You can move the app back by following the steps. In Step 3, choose Internal shared Storage.

How to Move Android Apps to an SD Card in Android 6 Marshmallow

It is as easy to move apps to a microSD Card on Marshmallow than it is on Nougat.

  1. Click on Settings > Apps and then tap on the app you want.
  2. Tap Storage > Modify and then select the card when asked.
  3. To complete the process, hit Move.

How to Move Apps to an Android 5 Lollipop SD Card

Lollipop doesn’t support memory cards like later Android versions. However, you can still move apps from Settings.

There are restrictions on what apps you can store on your external storage. It all depends on whether the developer supports the option. The entire app won’t be able to move to the card; only a portion of it will.

Swiping to the right tab of the App screen will show you which apps are on your SD card . It’s easy to see which apps you have on your card and to make a decision about whether or not to move them.

To move apps

  1. Navigate to Settings > Applications, and click on the app that you wish to move to your SD Card.
  2. Next, scroll down to the Storage section and tap Move To SD Card. You won’t be able to touch the button until it is done.
  3. The app can’t be moved if there isn’t an Move To SD Card option.

After it’s completed, the Section will update to show how much app data is stored on the card and how much in internal storage. The Moving button now displays Move To Phone and Move To Device Storage.

You can remove the app by tapping on it.

How to Move Apps to an Android SD Card in Android 4.x or Earlier

All Android 4.x versions, including KitKat, Jelly Bean and Ice Cream Sandwich, had very limited support for microSD cards. Stock Android did not support the ability of apps being moved to external cards, and Google seems intent on eliminating them altogether.

Some manufacturers have however included the feature in their operating systems. It is possible to use the feature on older devices.

  1. Go to Settings > Applications.
  2. Next, find and tap the app that you wish to transfer to your card.
  3. Select Move the app to SD card. This button may not be available. Your phone might not support moving the app.

These steps will be applicable even if you are still using Android 2.x. These older versions do not support home screen widgets. You will need to save an app to your internal storage in order to use a widget.

You can also download a third-party app if you don’t have this option.

Link2SD: How to Move Apps To An SD Card

There are some third-party apps that will help you move apps to your SD card if your phone does not support it. Apps2SD and FolderMount are popular options. Both require a rooted Android phone.

Link2SD is another option that we’ll be looking at. It has both root- and non-root capabilities. It can be used to transfer large apps to your card, force-move apps that aren’t allowed, or offload data folders from larger apps and games to external storage.

Launch the app, and then grant root permissions to your phone if it is rooted. Next, tap on the app that you wish to move and choose an option.

  • Link from SD Card to This takes root and transfers the entire app with its data to your SD card.
  • Move to SD Card This does not require root, and is only possible if your phone supports transferring apps to external storage. You can force-move any apps that you don’t support if you have root.
  • Link To SD Card (Data And Cache): Moves files and requires root

Tap the menu button at the top right and select Multiselect to move multiple apps at once. Tap all apps that you wish to move. Next, click the menu button and select Link SD card, or Move SD card. These options are identical to the ones described above.

Link2SD is available for free with a paid upgrade. Although it has not been updated in a while, Link2SD still works with Android 2.3 or higher.

How to move Android apps to an SD Card

The best method to move apps to your SD card depends on the version of Android that you are using, whether your phone has all features enabled, and which app you wish to move.

Summary:

  • This is the best option for phones with adaptable storage. This eliminates the need to manually manage your card.
  • This method works best for phones that can only move apps to the card manually.
  • Rooting your phone and using Link2SD is an option if it doesn’t support these features or if you have special requirements.
  • You should not overlook the occasional disadvantages of using an SD Card on Android.

Alternative solutions to apps taking up too much space are Lite versions. They are smaller and take up less space. Additionally, they run faster on older phones or devices with less power.

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