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How To Move Android Apps To SD Card: A Quick Guide

Learn how to move apps and games on Android from the internal storage to a microSD card to free up space on your tablet or phone.

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Amazon Fire HD 10 with microSD card

Storage always seems to fill up so quickly and suddenly, you can’t take photos or videos.


The quickest way to clear out space involves deleting stuff like music, photos and videos, but I generally don’t recommend this method because these files are pretty precious. 

Moving Android apps to an SD card is a practical solution for managing limited storage space, especially on older or budget smartphones. It represents the fastest way to clear internal storage with little disruption to the way you use your device.

But note that not all Android devices support this feature, and complicating things even more is the fact that not all apps will move everything onto the SD card. For example, large games often store most data on the internal storage, allowing only a fraction to be transferred to the SD card.

This feature’s availability has diminished over the years, with fewer devices supporting SD cards and app developers often not enabling this feature.

But it’s always worth a try and here’s how.

Insert Your microSD Card

While it’s true you can use an SD card of any speed class, investing in the fastest available is highly recommended, especially when you plan to move apps to it. The speed of an SD card significantly impacts the loading times and overall performance of the apps stored on it. 

You’ll need to find the slot where your SD card tray. It’s usually on the sides of your device and it’s easily noticeable because you’ll see an oval-shaped cutout and a hole where you can insert a pin into.

Place your SD card in the tray and insert the tray into your device. It should go in smoothly and not jam. If it jams, you might have placed the SD card the wrong way, try flipping it or rotating it until the card sits flush with the tray.

Once inserted, you will need to format the card. You will have two options: make sure to choose Tablet Storage. If this setting is not available, then your device doesn’t support storing apps on the SD card.

Formatting the card means all data will be lost on the SD card. Make sure to check if there’s anything important on it before it gets erased.

Format Your SD Card As Internal Storage

If you already have a SD card in your phone or tablet, then you can change its mode of operation from “Portable Storage” to “Internal Storage”. This requires a format so you will lose all data the make the change.

Start by navigate to Settings and selecting ‘Storage’. In this menu, you’ll see a dropdown menu that says “Internal Storage”. Change it to your SD card. Then, press on the overflow menu on the top-right corner. Select ‘Format as Internal’ and follow the prompts to complete the process.

Step-by-Step Guide to Moving Apps Using the Application Manager

These steps have been tested on our Alldocube iPlay50 Mini Pro NFE which runs on Android 13.

Moving apps to an SD card can be straightforward if your device supports it. The process generally involves:

Navigating to ‘Settings’ and selecting ‘Apps’.

Choosing the app you want to move.

Tapping on ‘Storage’ and then on ‘Change’ if the option is available.

If the app can be moved, selecting the SD card as the new storage location.

Completing the process by tapping ‘Move’.

If the ‘Change’ option isn’t visible, the app cannot be moved to the SD card. This feature’s availability can vary based on the device model and the specific app.

Moving Apps on Android 8 Oreo and Below

For users with Android 8 earlier versions, moving apps to an SD card is slightly different.

  1. Accessing Settings from the home screen.
  2. Scrolling down to ‘Apps’ and tapping ‘See All Apps’.
  3. Selecting the app to be moved and tapping ‘Storage’ or ‘Storage & Cache’.
  4. If the app is stored on internal storage, tapping ‘Change’ and selecting the SD card option.
  5. Finally, tapping ‘Move’ to start the transfer.

Alternative Methods and Third-Party Solutions

For devices where direct app movement to SD card might be limited, and for devices that don’t support adoptable storage, users can still move apps using a different method. This involves accessing ‘App info’ from the ‘Apps & notifications’ section in Settings, selecting the app, and then choosing to change its storage to an SD card.

In cases where native methods are unsupported or unavailable, you can try third-party apps like AppMgr III (previously App 2 SD). These apps offer an alternative way to move apps to an SD card, although their effectiveness may vary depending on the app and device.

Read: Our Beginners Guide To Using Android Tablets

Other Methods To Reclaim Space

When dealing with limited storage on your device, and finding that transferring apps to the SD card doesn’t free up significant space, utilizing the built-in storage cleanup tool becomes a practical solution. This tool is designed to help manage and optimize your device’s storage efficiently.

For Samsung users, this feature is easily accessible. Navigate to ‘Settings,’ then select ‘Device care.’ From there, choose ‘Storage.’ This leads you to Samsung’s optimization tool, which scans your device to identify unnecessary data, including residual files and unused apps, allowing you to clean them up with ease.

Users of devices running on default Android 13 have a similar option. Go to ‘Settings,’ then ‘Storage,’ and select ‘Free up space.’ This function works similarly, offering a comprehensive scan of your device’s storage. It helps in pinpointing apps and files that haven’t been used for an extended period.

These cleanup tools are quite effective in managing your device’s storage. They not only identify large files and forgotten apps but also suggest ways to efficiently manage your storage space.


Moving apps to an SD card on Android can be a straightforward process, but it requires understanding your device’s capabilities and the limitations of the apps you wish to move. Whether through native settings or third-party applications, this feature remains a valuable tool for managing storage on Android devices, particularly for those with limited internal space.

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