Jun 19, 2012

I'm trying to prolong the life of my Samsung S5, Android 6.0.1, non-rooted, but I'm running out of space to add new apps and data. Even after removing unused apps and unused data, just updating the remaining apps filled the storage to the point where Google Play refused to load, or even update, any more apps. A current check of Storage shows that I'm using 15.53GB out of 16GB internal storage and 4.31GB out of 29.48GB on a 32GB SD card. I've gone through all my remaining apps and made sure that any apps which can be transferred to external storage have been sent to the card, so I'm considering reformatting the SD card from removable external storage to internal storage in order to give me the additional internal storage I need.

My question is this: What is the best way to preserve the existing apps and data on the external SD card and restore them to the phone after the card is reformatted to internal storage? I have some thoughts on this, but thought I'd first pick the brains of folks who are smarter than I am.

Any and all help with this will be appreciated.

Disclaimer: This is my experience, do this at your own risk. I did this moving from Android 7 to 10, but it should work fir you on 6.
First make sure Google backup and restore is on for all apps and data. Wit while it syncs the phone with your google account. when that's finished power the phone off and remove the SD card. now insert a new card of the largest capacity that the phone supports. turn the phone on and format the card as internal storage. Now factory reset the phone and log back in to your Google account. make sure that automatic backup and restore is turned on. Google should ask if you want to restore from the phone. say YES and all apps and associated data should be restored.

I used this process to back up everything from my old Android 7 phone and restore to my new Android 10 one. Everything was correctly restored, Apps and data, including a 3rd party launcher and wallpaper.