[Guide] Move more (most) apps to SD without root (Simplified)


  1. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    This guide is 5 steps. Please start at the beginning


    There are 2 other threads for this, but over time the steps have been refined so this new guide gives the same result with minimum effort.

    For reference the previous 2 guides are here:
    http://androidforums.com/desire-tips-tricks/160560-force-apps-install-sd-without-root.html
    http://androidforums.com/desire-tip...ed-device-noobs-guide-updated-09-02-11-a.html




    Note*** This is for the HTC desire. This should work on most android 2.2+ devices (no 2.1 devices can do this) but you will need your own devices drivers. For HTC devices, HTC Sync provides these.

    Feel free to ask questions about this process here if you do not have a desire, but other than confirming you have at least Android 2.2, I will not know any more than you do about your device specific issues.


    1) download and install htc sync



    2) download sdk and extract to C:\



    • Double click the zip file once downloaded and drag the "android-sdk-windows" folder (contained within) to your C: drive

    *** Note, the provided download is designed to work with this guide. The SDK has changed the path since so if you already downloaded the SDK, you can either keep with that and amend the instructions to reflect your path, or just download the supplied files.



    3) Connect your phone by USB (you may need to test with USB and Charge only modes)


    4) Open command prompt (in Windows)


    • Go to Start > Run
    • Type "Cmd" and press OK


    5) In the black window:


    • Type "cd\android-sdk-windows\tools" and press enter (or platform-tools if you have adb in there)
    • Then Type "adb shell" and press enter
    • Then Type "pm setInstallLocation 2" and press enter

    Further notes***

    This will not move apps that are already installed. It changes the default install location to the SD card so newly installed apps should install to that location. To move apps you already have installed, download "Apps2sd" from the market. This will go through all apps that can be moved and allow you to press the "Move to SD" button for each, sequentially.

    For some people this will not install apps to the SD card, but still allow those apps to be moved manually. Keep an eye on this.

    If it doesn't work for you the first time. Try toggling usb debugging to the opposite of what it is currently set to. If it still fails, toggle back again.


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    pacman10, TheKong, asot77 and 14 others like this.
  2. Rastaman-FB

    Rastaman-FB Well-Known Member

    you could also download and install android terminal and use the same command
  3. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    We tested that and it didnt work.
  4. Rastaman-FB

    Rastaman-FB Well-Known Member

    really? hmm dunno why i wouldnt. oh well
  5. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    It makes sense it would but alas, no
  6. Duv

    Duv Well-Known Member

    quick question on this, does it matter which mode its in when connected by USB to my laptop?
  7. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    it shouldnt, but if one doesnt work, try another.
  8. Duv

    Duv Well-Known Member

    I've got
    C:\android-sdk-windows\tools>
    when typing "pm setInstallLocation 2
    its then saying 'pm' is not recognised as an internal or external command,operable program or batch file
    Any ideas?
  9. Duv

    Duv Well-Known Member

    Done!!
    Had to run HTC Sync (Doh)
    then had to connect the phone to use HTC Sync, come out of debug mode, then back into it
    While in the command prompt, you'll know its working as it will say
    *daemon started successfully*
    $ pm setInstallLocation 2
    then the cursor will flash on a blank line, which is where you type the last instruction
    then after pressing enter, the next new line will just show $
  10. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    At the prompt C:\android-sdk-windows\tools> you should type "adb shell" then you should have a different prompt. Thats where you type pm blah blah
    cunning plan and Duv like this.
  11. Duv

    Duv Well-Known Member

    I've now gone from having 17.42MB free to 32.75MB
    22 apps on my SD card and 9 on the internal memory
  12. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    Its certainly better. When Gingerbread comes you'll be able to move more of the apps (more parts of the apps)
  13. destinationd

    destinationd Member

    Will it automatically move the apps currently installed from main memory to SD card?
  14. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    It will not,. You will have to move those. You can download "Apps2sd" from teh market and instead of going through each one, it will present you with the move to sd screen for each app in sequence. You still have to press the "move to SD" button for each, but saves a lot of time.
    cunning plan likes this.
  15. skipmachin

    skipmachin Member

    Hey man thanks for that, works great like a charm

    No confusion, easy to do and without trouble, moved all other apps on to my SD card.

    Thanks again
  16. rwleigh

    rwleigh Well-Known Member

    Just let you all know, i updated to 2.3.3 today and this works perfectly. Really quick and easy to do and i went from 19mb to 34mb internal memory in 5 minutes...

    Thanks.:)
  17. cunning plan

    cunning plan Well-Known Member

    Thanks SURoot and Duv.

    Me and a guy a work with just did this and it worked fine for mine, but his one had the same issue as Duv's where it wouldn't install, so we did what Duv suggested and turned debug off and back on which then allowed it to install :cool:

    One thing I should point out to anyone else trying this - don't think it will just move everything itself, because it doesn't. I'll admit I was sitting there for a minute after installing the hack / edit waiting for it to begin, until I worked out that it allows you to manually move apps to the SD card that were previously blocked from moving.

    This is where:

    Comes in useful..

    Just don't try and move everything to SD as some items need to be left on the phone disk to work properly - especially widgets such as Tasks lists, System Info Widget etc. ;)
    SUroot likes this.
  18. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    Android mounts the SD card last when it boots up so any apps that run in the background/at startup aswell as apps with widgets should not be moved to SD.

    I'll edit.
  19. trevytrev

    trevytrev Well-Known Member

    Just done the official 2.3 update and trying to do this again but having trouble.I'm getting two things, first saying "device not found" however I set the connection type also another line saying the adb is out of date then says killing...
    I did it before on Froyo with no probs. Any ideas? Thanks.
  20. trevytrev

    trevytrev Well-Known Member

    scrap my post above, sorted it.:D
  21. trevytrev

    trevytrev Well-Known Member

    Argh! Not sure if it has worked now as go launcher doesn't want to move to SD and I'm sure it did on Froyo, can any one who uses go confirm if they can move to SD. Or is there a way to check if doing this trick has worked?
  22. mite_jan

    mite_jan Well-Known Member

    is it possible to move all of the applications to the sd card
    i am only seeing right now 2 applications in the phone

    tunein and the new market
  23. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    Go Launcher cannot be moved to SD and shouldn't be even if it could. Any application that needs to run on start up will not run from SD card as the SD card is mounted last in the boot process.

    If you moved a launcher that was not explicity designed to be on SD card, you would have no launcher at start which would render thelauncher useless.

    @ Mite_jan. Not all apps no. More than default, yes - as per the title of the thread. You cannot move system apps (apps that were pre-installed that you didnt install yourself).
    TheKong and trevytrev like this.
  24. mite_jan

    mite_jan Well-Known Member

    Suroot how much free internal space do you have and what os are you running

    curently i have 24mb free :confused:

    and i have around 20mb in phone only area (5 applications) watching this through app2sd

    i am running the cm 7.0.3 mod

    what do you think it is eating my internal space ? (i have a lot of themes but they are all in the sd card)
    maybe some downloads through skyfire or else
  25. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    Just so you are aware, I dont use this method as I am rooted.

    I use a cut down version of Redux 1.2 (android 2.3.3).

    I have 114 apps and 160MB free.

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