“Not Enough Space” is perhaps the most irksome warning that comes up in our phones. It means that all the apps and videos and music have finally caught up in the storage. 

How to move apps to SD Card, and why should you do this? Because moving apps to SD Card from internal storage is a great way to make more room in your device, and create a safe place for all important things in the phone. 

With a memory card slot, the solution comes easy since a microSD card is a cheap way to expand your phone’s storage. Apps can be moved to an SD card to free up space and can help avoid removing apps from the Android device. This method works differently for different versions of Android, so here we cover how to move Apps to an SD Card for Android 9 Pie and above. 

Move Apps to SD Card from Internal Storage 1

In case a phone does not support adoptable storage, one is still able to transfer apps to an SD card on Android 9. However, this does not work for all apps, and certainly not for pre-installed apps. Here are the steps to follow: 

  1.  Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > App info
  2.  Find the app to be moved in the list and tap on it 
  3.  Select Storage. If the app can be moved to a card, an option to ‘Change’ will appear. Tap on this.
  4.  Select the SD Card in the Change storage dialog box. Tap on this to confirm the move. 

To move the app back to internal storage, repeat the steps above, except that you would select Internal shared storage in the final step. This step should always be followed before changing or removing a memory card.

Memory cards are usually slower than an internal storage, so resource-intensive apps tend to not function as smoothly on a memory card. The trick around this is to choose the fastest and largest card the phone can support. One can always check the phone specifications to see the compatibility of the memory card. 

How to Use an SD Card as Internal Storage

Since Android Marshmallow came into the picture, there have been changes in the way Android phones handle memory cards. MicroSD cards can now be set-up to work as internal storage, and later versions of Android are able to recognize the card as an extension of in-built memory and space, instead of differentiating between internal and external storage. 

In order to set this up, the memory card has to be wiped clean first, which means any pre-existing data will need to be backed up. To use the SD Card as internal storage, these are the steps to follow : 

  1. Insert the card into the phone. 
  2. When the New SD Card notification appears, tap on Set Up.
  3. Choose how the phone should use the card. To do this, select ‘Phone Storage on Android 9’ (or ‘Use as Internal Storage’ on older versions.)
  4.  Alternatively, one can go to Settings > Storage, select card, tap menu button > select Storage Settings. 
  5. Tap Format as internal.
  6. On the next screen, tap Format SD Card / Erase & Format. This wipes the card.
  7. On Android 9 and newer, one can move the content and apps onto the card.

This feature is called Adoptable Storage, and the card remains in the phone permanently. Since this card is encrypted, one cannot put it in another device to copy data.

One downside to adoptable storage is that all since Android phones are different, some manufacturers may not offer this on the devices. In this case, one needs to move the apps to the SD card manually.