How to Move Apps to an SD Card for Your Android Devices

Give yourself a little breathing room on your devices

What to Know

  • If you haven't already, insert a microSD card into your phone's card slot.
  • Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > App info > select app.
  • Tap Storage > Change. Select your SD card. Your selected app will move to the SD card.

This article explains how to move Android apps to an SD card. The information below should apply no matter who made your Android phone (Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.).

How to Move Apps to an SD Card on Android

The majority of modern Android phones and tablets support microSD cards. If you have an older Android tablet or mobile, it may require a miniSD card.

  1. Open the microSD card slot on your phone or tablet. The microSD card slot is typically located along the side of an Android device. It could be hidden under a plastic flap, or there could be a small hole that you must insert a pin or needle into.

    Opening SIM card tray on iPhone

    Mikhail Artamonov / Getty Images

  2. If a small tray pops out, place your microSD card into it and reinsert the tray into your Android device. If your device only has a small slot, insert the disk directly into it.

    Inserting SD card into phone

    Sean Gallup / Staff / Getty Images

    With the screen facing you, make sure the side of the microSD card with the label or sticker on it faces upwards when you insert it.

  3. Before you begin, make sure the microSD card has been properly formatted. If your Android device gives you a notification after inserting the SD card, tap Set up and choose Use as internal storage as the format style.

    If you didn't get a notification, or you dismissed it by accident, manually format the SD card.

  4. Swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the Settings gear.

  5. Tap Apps & notifications > App info.

    On Android 7 and earlier, tap Apps.

  6. Tap the Android app you want to move to the SD card.

  7. Tap Storage.

    Settings, Apps, and Storage on Android
  8. Tap Change.

    If you don't see Change on this screen, the app cannot be transferred to an SD card.

  9. Tap your SD card from the list of storage locations. Your selected app will be moved to the SD card.

    Change and Storage Location options on Android

What Is an SD Card?

SD cards are small plastic cards for storing data. There are three sizes of SD cards.

  • SD card: The original SD card format, which measures 24x32 mm in size. This is commonly used in desktop computers and laptops.
  • MiniSD card: The miniSD card is smaller than the regular SD card, measuring 21x30 mm. This format is common in older smartphone and tablet models, but it was eventually replaced by the smaller microSD card.
  • MicroSD card: The type of SD card usually used in modern smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, and video game consoles such as the Nintendo Switch. MicroSD cards measure 15x11 mm in size.

All SD cards are available in a variety of storage sizes, and their prices vary depending on the size, the brand, and the store selling them.

Most miniSD and microSD cards are sold with an adapter that allows them to be used on devices that require standard SD card sizes.

Why Move Android Apps to an SD Card?

Moving Android apps can free up space on your device for other apps, files, and photos. However, since most app data is saved to the cloud, an easier way to do this is to delete the app and re-download it later if you need it.

If you have enough space on your Android tablet or smartphone and aren't encountering any memory problems, there really is no reason to use an SD card.

Can I Move All Android Apps to an SD Card?

While most Android apps can be transferred to an SD card, some cannot. This restriction is usually placed on the apps by their developers due to them needing to access your Android device's hardware directly.

Such apps could also be necessary for your smartphone or tablet to function properly, and putting them on an SD card would break your device when the card was removed. If an Android app is unable to be transferred to an SD card, the option to move it won't show up, so you don't have to worry about transferring the wrong apps.

What Else Are SD Cards Used For?

In addition to being used to store Android app installations, you can also move photos, videos, and other files to an SD card. Placing files on an SD card frees up space and allows you to transfer files to another device.

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