How to Copy Android Applications to an SD Card

There are times that the stock memory provided to us by our smartphones isn’t enough to store all our save images, clips, or even applications. That’s where an SD card comes to the rescue, and we’ll teach you how to copy it to them – the Recomhub way.

Almost all of the phone manufacturers’ flagship smartphones are getting more storage space these days. However, capacity is still at a bonus on older models and budget phones. For example, the 3 of our favorite and most recommended budget smartphones this year — the Moto G5 Plus, the Honor 7X, and the ZTE Blade V8 Pro — all caters 32 GB of stock memory (However for the G5 Plus, there’s a 64 GB model, which of course, costs higher than the 32gb model). In reality, a large part of that storage is already taken up by the preloaded software and the operating system. Once you start adding your own apps, captured pictures and clips, download some podcasts, know that these things shall fill up the space remaining.  

The great thing is that a lot of Android smartphones caters a microSD card slots that enable users to expand their storage capacity just by inserting a not-so-pricey memory card. Would you imagine, for around $12, you can expand your phone’s memory up to 32 GB? You doubled the stock memory of your phone for that price, which is pretty a great deal. For 64 GB cards, it’ll cost you around $25 or so, which is still go od. If you’re then planning for a bigger storage, like 128GB per se, be ready to pay for around $50 to $60. But we advised you to go only for the 32 GB and the 64 GB ones if your aim is just to have an extra room for your Android applications.

So in a sense, it’s essential for you to know the proper way on transferring Android apps to your SD card. The steps can be quite hazy at first, but with a proper practice, you can get a hold of it. So without further ado, here’s how to copy apps to the microSD card with the use of Android’s very own application management features.

Things to Keep in Mind About Adding Storage

Before proceeding to the steps, you must know that not all Android devices enable you to install portions of an installed app on your microSD card. However, if your phone permits that, it’s just a quick trip to your Android’s app manager and with a few buttons clicked, it should be done without you knowing. Several flagship phones have moved away from supporting this feature, with the Samsung Galaxy S5 and LG G6 among the last one to cater it; it is more commonly found in the low-end to midrange hardware, but these are often smartphones that use the extra storage.

Unluckily, even if your device supports the feature, not all applications do. Large apps such as games leave most of their data on the phone’s stock storage. For an instance, Asphalt 8 puts just 64MB of data on the microSD card while leaving the remaining 1.4GB to fill up your tablet or phone. In a sense, you can store some space this way, especially if you have a number of applications installed and copy as many as possible to a microSD card.

Steps in Copying Apps to SD Card using Application Manager

  1. Head to Settings app on your phone. You can find the settings menu in the app drawer or simply click the gear icon located on the notification bar
  2. Press Apps
  3. Choose an application you want to copy to the microSD card
  4. Press Storage
  5. Press Change if it’s there. If you don’t see the Change option, the app cannot be copied. If you are unable to search any apps with this option, it is possible that your smartphone does not support the feature
  6. Press Move

And you’re done! Once you hit the Move button, it’ll be automatically moved to your SD card. Now, if you want it back again to your phone’s internal storage, simply press the Change button once more then choose Internal Storage.

Steps in Using your SD Card as an Internal Storage

If your smartphone does not support copying applications to a microSD card, then there’s another option. Firstly introduced in Android Marshmallow, which may be the answer for your storage problems.  This feature is called Flex Storage or Adoptable, and it enables you to format a microSD card to serve as your added internal storage. Again, keep in mind that not all devices with a microSD slot will support this feature: Nvidia, Motorola, HTC, and Huawei have all selected to support Adoptable, while LG and Samsung have decided not to include them on their arsenals.

There are some circumstances to consider before enabling this feature. You still need to acquire the fastest microSD card that you can get to ensure smooth performance, at least Class 10 or UHS-I and more likely UHS-3. Any file present on the microSD card will be deleted when you format it as internal storage, and from that point, it will be unusable in other smartphones (except if you reformat it the next time). Lastly, keep in mind that if you erase this microSD card from your smartphone, you will break functionality to any applications or files you’ve copied to it.

Factors to Consider in Changing Default Storage

There are a few factors to consider before enabling this feature. You will want the fastest microSD card that you can find to ensure smooth performance, at least Class 10 or UHS-I and preferably UHS-3. Any data present on the microSD card will be erased when you format it as internal storage, and from that point, it will be unusable in other devices (unless you reformat it again). Finally, remember that if you remove this microSD card from your phone, you will break functionality to any apps or content you’ve moved to it.

  1. Head to Settings app on your phone. You can find the settings menu in the app drawer or simply click the gear icon located on the notification bar
  2. Press Storage
  3. Choose your SD card
  4. Press the overflow menu option located in the top right corner
  5. Choose Storage Settings
  6. Press Format as Internal
  7. Press Erase & Format. If the system decides that your microSD card is too slow it will display you with a notice here that it will deteriorate the performance
  8. Press Move now. After making the choice, you will press next and initiate the copying to your microSD card. The system will show roughly how long the copying will take and how much data will be copied to your SD card
  9. Press Done

Your SD card will now be noted automatically below the internal shared storage and the system will utilize it as an additional internal storage for future usage.

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.