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How To Move Files to SD Card on the Google Pixel 2/2 XL

Posted by Arch on July 28, 2018

Before we go any further, we need to immediately answer the question from the title. The short, and disappointing, answer is you can’t move files from the Google Pixel 2/2 XL to an SD card, at least not directly. However, there is more to this matter, including a workaround, so read on.

Your Pixel 2/2 XL is an impressive phone with many features. However, the one thing you will not find anywhere on it is a slot to insert an SD card. This is not a new development for Google’s devices and is also not entirely without merits. SD cards can create confusion as to where a file will be saved. Additionally, there is the issue of performance if you try to install an app onto one.

Google’s solution to this problem is to make sure the Pixel 2/2 XL comes with a sizeable internal storage out of the box – 64 or 128 gigabytes. Because the phone does not support SD cards, this choice carries extra weight. 64 GB may seem like a lot, but it tends to fill up rather quickly if you record a lot of high definition videos, for example. Therefore, going for the extra memory might be a wise choice.

That being said, we now return to the eponymous question. There are ways to manage your phone’s storage capacity, but what if you really need to put a file from there onto an SD card? The good news is you can. However, you need an intermediary.

The Workaround

Simply put, you need to move your files from the Pixel 2/2 XL to a PC first. Afterward, you can transfer them to an SD card.

To start with, connect your phone and your computer with a USB cable. Expand the notification which appears at the top of the phone’s screen and tap “Android system”.

Select “Transfer files”.

Next, open Windows Explorer on your computer. You should be able to see the icon on your taskbar.

Alternatively, right-click the Start button and launch it from there.

Now, use Windows Explorer to find the files you want on your phone and copy them to the PC.

We’re halfway there. Next up, you need to connect your computer and the SD card. Laptops tend to come with integrated card readers, desktops do not. Therefore, if you’re using a desktop PC, you have two options.

For one, you can get a dedicated card reader. Or, you can find a device you already have which uses SD cards. The Pixel 2/2 XL may not support this type of memory, but many phones do. If you have one like that, simply insert the SD card into it.

Either way, once your computer is connected to the SD card, you just need to move the files we previously copied from the Pixel 2/2 XL. The exact process will vary depending on how you connect the SD card and the PC, but it’s pretty similar to the method we used to transfer the files from the Pixel 2/2 XL in the first place. Simply find the appropriate directory and copy.

The Conclusion

As mentioned, the Google Pixel 2/2 XL does not inherently support SD cards. That’s why we needed to get creative with our approach. Still, if you need to transfer a file from your phone to an SD card, this is how you can do it.

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