How to Move Apps to an SD Card on Your Android Device

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How to Move Apps to an SD Card on Your Android Device

Don’t you despise it when you attempt to install a new app on your Android smartphone and the “Not Enough Space” message appears? It implies that all of those games, photographs, and 4K films ultimately took their toll.

The remedy is simple if your phone has a memory card slot. A microSD card is a low-cost solution to increase the storage capacity of your phone. Rather than uninstalling applications from your Android smartphone, you may transfer them to an SD card to free up space.

This depends on the Android version you’re running. In this post, we’ll look at all of the methods for moving Android applications to an SD card.

Using an SD Card on Android: Basics

Before you get started, consider a few points.

Because memory cards are slower than internal storage, resource-intensive software may function somewhat worse. When selecting a card, choose the quickest memory card with the most capacity that your phone can support—check the specs of your phone to see what cards it is compatible with.

To prevent being duped, make sure you understand how to identify a phony microSD card.

Preinstalled applications cannot be moved without rooting, and certain third-party apps may not support it. Also, you may be unable to utilize widgets linked with programs relocated to your memory card on previous versions of Android.

With that in mind, let’s look at how to migrate applications to an SD card.

Use an SD Card as Internal Storage

Android Marshmallow changed the way Android phones handled memory cards, and these changes have been carried over to following versions of Android.

MicroSD cards may now be used as internal storage. Instead of internal and external storage being different locations, Android considers the card to be an extension of your built-in storage.

Data and programs may write to either as required, and everything occurs in real time. As a consequence, you no longer need to be concerned about where your applications are kept.

You must first set this up. Because your card will be deleted throughout the procedure, make sure you’ve backed up any important data:

  1. Put the card in your phone. Tap Set Up when the New SD Card warning shows.
  2. Following that, you must specify how your phone should utilize the card. On Android 9, choose Phone Storage, or Use as Internal Storage on previous versions. Alternatively, go to Settings > Storage, pick the card, push the menu button, and then choose Storage Settings. Select Format as internal.
  3. Tap Format SD Card or Erase & Format on the following screen. This will destroy your card.
  4. On Android 9 and later, you have the option to migrate your material, including applications, to the card. It also displays how much space you will save. To finish, click Move content.

Adoptable Storage is a feature that demands you to maintain your card in your phone at all times. The card is also secured, so you cannot duplicate the data by inserting it into another device.

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The main disadvantage of adoptable storage is that each Android phone is unique, hence some manufacturers choose not to provide it on their smartphones. If you don’t have it, you’ll have to manually transfer your programs to your SD card.

How to Move Apps to an SD Card on Android 9 Pie and Above

Even if your phone does not support adoptable storage, you may manually move applications to an SD card on Android 9 and later. Just keep in mind that you can’t do it for every program, and you can’t change it at all for pre-installed apps:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Apps & notifications > App information.
  2. Locate the app you wish to relocate in the list and touch it.
  3. Choose Storage. If the program allows shifting to a card, you’ll see a Change button here. Select this.
  4. In the Change storage dialog box, choose the SD Card. This displays a confirmation screen. To begin, tap Move.

To return the program to internal storage, follow the instructions above again, but this time choose Internal shared storage in the last step. This is something you should always do when changing or removing a memory card.

How to Move Apps to an SD Card on Android 8 Oreo

Moving an app to the SD card on Android 8 is much the same as it is on Android 9:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Apps & notifications > App information.
  2. Scroll down and touch on the app you wish to transfer to the card.
  3. Choose Storage. If the program can be transferred to a card, you’ll notice a Storage utilized section. Click the Change button.
  4. Choose the card to which you wish to transfer the app, then click Move.

How to Move Apps to an SD Card on Android 7 Nougat

On Android 7 Nougat, you may transfer applications to a memory card through Settings. However, you cannot relocate all applications. If they do not support it, the Change button will not appear in Step 3:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps.
  2. Locate and touch on the app you wish to transfer to your microSD card.
  3. Navigate to Storage > Change and choose your card from the prompt box that appears.
  4. To finish the procedure, tap Move.

Depending on the size of the app (particularly major games), it may take a few seconds to complete, so don’t touch your phone until it’s finished. To return the app, repeat the instructions and choose Internal shared storage in Step 3.

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

Moving applications to a microSD card in Marshmallow is the same as it is in Nougat:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps, then touch on the app you want to use.
  2. When asked, choose the card from Storage > Change.
  3. To finish, use the Move button.
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How to Move Apps to an SD Card on Android 5 Lollipop

Lollipop offers less extensive memory card support than subsequent versions of Android, but you can still change applications via the Settings menu.

The programs you can install on your external storage are restricted; it is dependent on the developer’s support for the option. Also, the complete software does not migrate to the card—only a portion of it does.

Swipe to the right tab in the App interface, titled On SD Card, to view which applications are on your card. This makes it simple to identify any that you may want to relocate in the future.

To move apps:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps and choose the app to migrate to your SD card.
  2. Then, under the Storage section, choose Move to SD Card. While the program is moving, the button will be grayed out, so don’t touch it until it’s finished.
  3. The app cannot be transferred if there is no Move to SD Card option.

When finished, the Storage section will be updated to display how much of the software is currently saved on the card (and how much is still in internal storage).Move to Phone or Move to Device Storage will now be shown on the Move button.

Tapping on this allows you to remove the app from the card.

How to Move Apps to an SD Card on Android 4.x and Earlier

MicroSD card support was severely restricted in all Android 4.x versions (including KitKat, Jelly Bean, and Ice Cream Sandwich).Because Google seemed to be phasing out cards altogether, stock Android didn’t allow the option to transfer applications to an external card at all.

Some manufacturers, however, choose to integrate the capability in their own versions of the operating system. If your older equipment supports it, the procedure is simple:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps.
  2. Then, find and touch the app you want to add to the card.
  3. Choose Move to SD card. If this button is not there, you cannot move the app (or your phone does not support it).

In the odd event that you are still utilizing an Android 2.x smartphone, these are the stages you will confront. Home screen widgets are not supported in these older versions; if you wish to utilize a widget, you must maintain an app on internal storage.

If your phone doesn’t have the option, you’ll need to check into a third-party app.

How to Move Apps to an SD Card Using Link2SD

If your phone does not allow transferring applications to the SD card, or if you wish to move an app that does not support it separately, a few ancient third-party programs may assist. Apps2SD and FolderMount are also common options. Both need a rooted Android device.

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We’ll look at another option, Link2SD, which has both root and non-root capabilities. You may use it to bulk-move applications to your card, “force-move” programs that ordinarily do not allow it, and unload data folders for bigger apps and games to external storage.

First, start the app and, if your phone is rooted, allow root access. Then, pick the app you wish to relocate and choose an option:

  • Link to SD Card: This needs root permissions and transfers the whole program and its data to your SD card.
  • Move to SD Card: This option does not need root and is only available if your phone allows transferring applications to external storage. If you have root, you can also force-move applications that don’t support it otherwise.
  • SD Card Connection (Data and Cache): Moves data files and needs root privileges.

Tap the menu button in the upper right corner and choose Multi-select to transfer more than one app at a time. Now, choose all of the applications you wish to relocate, press the menu button once again, and select either Link to SD card or Move to SD card. These are the same choices as previously stated.

Link2SD is available for free with a purchased upgrade. It hasn’t been updated in a while, but it still works on Android 2.3 and above.

Download: Link2SD (Free) | Link2SD Plus ($2)

How to Move Apps to an SD Card on Android

The optimal method for transferring applications to your SD card is determined by the version of Android you’re running, if your phone’s maker has incorporated all of the functionality, and the program you wish to migrate.

In summary:

  • That is the greatest option for phones that allow adoptable storage. It eliminates the need to manually manage your card.
  • That way is the best and cleanest for phones that only enable manually transferring applications to the card.
  • If your phone does not support any of these features, or if you have particular needs, you should consider rooting and utilizing Link2SD.
  • Don’t ignore the occasional drawbacks of utilizing an SD card on Android.

If your programs are taking up too much space, using Lite versions of popular apps is another effective alternative. They are not only smaller and take up less space, but they are also quicker on older or less powerful phones.

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