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Confusion About Apps To SD Card

Discussion in 'Android Help' started by PGB1213, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. PGB1213

    PGB1213 Member
    Thread Starter

    Hello Everyone!

    I apologize for yet another Apps To SD Card question, but after reading all I could find here, I'm confused about the proper formatting for the SD card to allow some apps to go to the SD card.

    I have a Moto G Stylus using Android 10. When I check Settings > Storage, it shows the SD card as "Portable Storage". I've installed many of the same apps that were on my old phone using Android 5.1. None of the ones that were able to be moved to SD on the Android 5.1 phone can go to the SD on this Android 10 phone. Actually, I checked all apps & no apps can go to SD. The option does not exist. The SD works, as I have some documents, music & photos on it already, but no apps.

    I check this way:
    Settings > Apps > Show All Apps > Tap an app to bring up it's information.
    There's no where to choose "Move to SD".

    What do you suppose I'm doing incorrectly? Is the card formatted incorrectly to store apps?

    Thank You All very much for helping me figure this out. I appreciate your sharing of knowledge.

    Please Enjoy Today!

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  2. steiny180

    steiny180 Android Enthusiast

    Portable storage is for storing your media and can be shared on any device.

    Expanded storage is for storing apps and cannot be shared on other devices, since the SD card is encrypted.
    puppykickr, PGB1213 and ocnbrze like this.
  3. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!

    portable storage means you can remove the sd card and move files to and from the card.

    expandable or internal storage format means that you will make the phone use the card as internal storage. this will encrypt the card as @steiny180 suggested....which means you can't remove the card. evrything including data will be stored on it. this also means that the phone will read and write from the card creating more wear and tear and thus will increase the likelihood that your card will fail at some point....so be careful if you go that route.
    #3 ocnbrze, Jan 1, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
  4. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Sounds like Moto didn't include the option on this phone.

    Actually this feeature was deprecated many years ago, in Android 4.4 if I remember correctly. So this hasn't been a part of the "core" android for a long time. However, most manufacturers have chosen to add it back to at least some of their phones. But that's the key point: it doesn't come by default so the manufacturer has to choose to add it, and it sounds like Moto didn't choose to do so on this phone.

    I'm afraid that you only have 3 options here:

    1) Keep your apps in internal storage.
    2) Format the SD card as internal (if you have that option). As others have said, that lets you store apps on it but you can no longer use the card in another device.
    3) Root the phone and use an app which lets you store apps on a second partition of the SD card (you have to repartition the card to add this). Not everyone is comfortable with rooting, not all phones can be rooted, and some apps won't work on rooted phones.

    If it's any consolation, the old "move to SD" was never as good as it sounded: it only actually moved part of the app and none of the app's private data, so it often saved less space than people expected. On the other hand, because it only moved "static" parts of the app and not the data it didn't increase card wear the way that formatting as internal does, and once the app was loaded it didn't slow the app down (as can happen with a slowish card formatted as internal). So it was a compromise. I'm still a little surprised that Moto didn't include it, but if that's the 2020 G Stylus it should have 128 GB of internal storage, which can hold a lot of apps (I'm using a 128GB Pixel 2, which has no SD card so has to store media as well as apps there, and after 3 years I'm not yet worrying about space).
    puppykickr, ocnbrze and PGB1213 like this.
  5. PGB1213

    PGB1213 Member
    Thread Starter

    Many Thanks to each of you for sharing your knowledge. It's always a good day when I get to learn something new.

    From reading each of your replies, it seems the safest & ultimately the most convenient plan is to keep the SD as Portable Storage, using it for documents, photos, music and such. Some of the apps let larger, static components go to SD, such as maps, while the application stays on the phone. That's helpful for saving storage.

    As Hadron mentioned, internal storage is 128 GB on Moto G Stylus. On the old phone, any apps that allowed it went to SD to keep them isolated from the phone in case they went haywire. But, after reading what Hadron said about only part of the app moving to SD it appears my genius idea was not so genius at all.

    Thanks Again All for helping & for the great explanations.

    Please Enjoy Today!
    puppykickr and ocnbrze like this.

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