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Can you transfer applications from 1 micro SD card to another micro sd card?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by DarkKirby, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. DarkKirby

    DarkKirby Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Nov 8, 2010
    Thinking of buying a new micro SD card for my phone.

    As in can I drag and drop copy the entire contents of my old micro SD card into my computer, then drag and drop copy the entire contents into a new micro SD card, and the applications will still work fine?

    I worry because google might have implemented something to prevent this as a piracy protection measure.

    Thanks for your help.


  2. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Android Expert

    Nov 12, 2009
    I think you should be able to. There is no inherent DRM on the microSD cards. Another big reason why I love Android.
  3. colchambers

    colchambers Lurker

    Jun 22, 2009
    I just tried. Got a new 32gb card. Copied everything from old 16gb card to laptop and then new card. None of the apps on the sd card were recognised on the new card.

    I just tried putting the old card back in, moving a few apps back to the phone. then putting in the new card. That works fine. Frustrating but a reminder not to wipe or sell the old card till you've used the new one for a few weeks :)
  4. MyNamesTooLong

    MyNamesTooLong Android Expert

    Jan 17, 2011
    Had the same problem...my apks I copied to the computer then onto the card werent recognized either. everything else I was able to transfer fine
  5. Marc99

    Marc99 Lurker

    Feb 13, 2012
    I have just upgraded from the original 2Gb SD card that came with my Samsung Galaxy Ace to an 8Gb SD Card.

    I put my original 2Gb card into the card reader on my computer. (A Macbook running Snow Leopard.)

    I then put the new SD card into the phone and formatted it. I then attached the phone to the computer via USB.

    I then copied the contents of the old card to the new card.

    Everything seemed fine, both cards seemed to contain the same amount of data. Unfortunately after I untethered the phone and the SD card mounted none of the apps that were on the SD card worked or even appeared in the menu or on the home page.

    I was told that if I was changing to a higher capacity SD card the only way I could get the applications back was to re-install them individually from the App Market.

    Fortunately the Samsung techie sorted out my phone by doing it all for me.

    Can anyone confirm whether what he said is true?

    If so does it happen on all Android phones or just Samsung Galaxy Aces?

    Finally is there anyway I can get out of re-installing all the apps on my SD card one by one next time I upgrade? (Bear in mind I only have a Mac so any PC solutions will not work for me.)

  6. sgosnell

    sgosnell Well-Known Member

    Jan 3, 2012
    When you transfer the files, you have to make sure you keep the exact same directory structure as the original card. Linux also uses file permissions, so you need to retain the permissions during the copy. Using a Windows computer to do the copying may give less than optimal results. With my Linux computer, I can copy a card and it works immediately. Android is just Linux, with additional tweaking.
  7. mohitgoyal

    mohitgoyal Lurker

    Apr 24, 2012
    In android OS... there are two folders in memory card
    1. .android_secure - This is a hidden folder and can only be seen in mass storage mode. this contains all the data of the applications stored on memory card.
    2. Android - this is not the hidden folder and contains few data about the applications installed on phone.

    Whenever u want to transfer data from one memory card to other just connect ur phone in mass storage mode and copy these 2 folders in the computer. Now disconnect the phone, put new memory card in the phone and connect the phone again in mass storage mode and copy these 2 folders in new memory card. It is necessary that the new card is connected through the phone and not from some card reader. All other stuff can be simply copied in new card. After u do this ur all applications whether they were in phone or memory card will work fine and ur phone is now equipped with a new memory card. I have done this on my Sony Ericsson Neo V and its working brilliantly.
    grammicube likes this.
  8. midhunpaul

    midhunpaul Lurker

    May 4, 2012
    Verification Engineer
    If i want to replace my SD card
    4GB (ext4 partition of 768MB)
    16 GB (ext4 partition of 1.5 GB)

    how to transfer the contents in fat32 and ext4 (apps + dalvik cache) from one SD card to another? Jst copy paste will do?

    i saw a post related to this one.
    My HTC Desire a2sd
    Will this method take care of dalvik cache in ext4 too?
  9. grammicube

    grammicube Lurker

    Jun 9, 2012
    Moscow, ID
    This response was right on. I successfully moved what I had on my 8Gb sandisk to a 16Gb substitute. Now I can also dowload 3D games for my grandsons when they want to try them and not worry about using up too much space. ;)l Thank you for an explanation even an "elder" can understand.


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