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Moto G5 Plus - How to move apps to SD card

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by GamerCore, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. GamerCore

    GamerCore Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    In previous versions of Android and other devices moving apps to your SD card was performed on an app-by-app basis (but only apps that support this feature). The Moto G5 Plus itself doesn't support this old method, but there is another way and it involves the phone using the entire SD card as internal storage. See below.

    Moto G5 Plus how to use SD card as internal storage

    You can use your entire SD card as your phone's internal storage. Since the phone treats the SD card the same as its own storage, you don't have to worry about some apps not being compatible with "move to SD" or manually transferring newly installed apps over. Everything you install or download to your phone will be stored to the SD card. It's because of this we recommend using a fast SD card like this one.

    At the top of the Moto G5 Plus you'll find the SIM/SD card slot. Open it using the included SIM card removal tool that came in the box or use a small paper clip. Press it firmly inside the hole until the tray pops out slightly then pull it out completely with your fingers. On the front of the tray you'll find a spot to place your SD card (it's clearly labeled as "SD"). Place your SD card inside until it firmly snaps into place, then insert the tray back inside the slot until it's completely flush with the device.

    From there, you'll see a notification letting you know the SD card is being recognized (or possibly telling you that your SD card is corrupt). If you're SD wasn't corrupted, you can simply tap on the notification and Set up the SD card by choosing "Use as internal storage" and then confirm you'd like to ERASE & FORMAT. Once finished, your phone will detect the speed of your SD card and if it's too slow, you'll receive the following warning:

    "This SD card appears to be slow. You can continue, but apps moved to this location may stutter and data transfers may take a long time. Consider using a faster SD card for better performance."

    Move data to new storage

    Now that your SD is formatted, you can begin the process of moving your photos, files, and some apps to the SD card. In this menu, your phone will give you an ETA along with an estimate of how much storage space will be freed from the internal storage once the transfer has been completed. There's two options: Move now, or Move later. Select Move now then NEXT.

    From here you'll have to confirm once more than you want to Move data now by selecting the MOVE button. You'll want to keep your phone charged and make sure you don't remove the SD card during this time.

    Once finished, your phone will tell you that SD card is ready, and if you want to move photos, files, and data to this device, go to Settings > Storage. Let's explore that next.

    Move data back to internal phone storage

    If you decide you no longer want to your SD card as your phone's internal storage (so you can use it in other devices), you can always go back by doing the following:
    • Open the Settings app
    • Scroll down and select Storage
    • Tap on the SD card
    • Tap on the menu button (3 dots)
    • Select Format as portable
    This will erase everything off the SD card (photos, videos, etc.) and let you use it as a normal SD card once again, whether it's your computer, camera, or other device. Keep in mind that any apps you moved/installed onto the SD initially will also be erased (including all their data) and will need to be re-downloaded from the Google Play Store.

    Corrupt SD card?

    If your SD is corrupt when inserted into the device, tap on the notification and follow the steps to format the SD card (this will erase everything on your card). Once it's been formatted and your device successfully recognizes the SD card, we can move onto the following steps:
    • Open the Settings app
    • Scroll down and select Storage
    • Tap on Portable storage (name of your SD card)
    • Tap the menu button (3 dots)
    • Select Storage settings
    • Select Format as internal
    • Confirm that you want to format (this will erase all data currently on the SD card) by tapping ERASE & FORMAT

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  2. wenso martin

    wenso martin Member

    Thanks for the useful information provided here..keep sharing..
    GamerCore likes this.
  3. ckbeme

    ckbeme Newbie

    Hey All,
    I have AppMgrIII pro and my new tablet is one of the devices where the Manufacturer decided they didn't want apps to be moved to an external SD card. I had a time with getting this figured out because when the SD card is formatted as internal storage - it's invisible. You can't use Solid Explorer or ES Explorer to see the contents of the SD Card, or move things to the SD card.

    But when it was formatted as portable, it showed up under 'Storage' and I could define what I wanted to go to the SD card. But then I couldn't move apps to card.
    I finally gave in and formatted as internal and AP Mgr Pro apparently can 'SEE' the SD card. How else would it decide which apps can be moved and which apps can't.
    I'm really disappointed that I have this big bucket where my data is stored. On my previous devices, I always put Pics, Videos, Documents, Downloads, Backups, and Music on the SD Card. Now I can't do that. When I had all these items on the SD Card, it was very easy to backup those items to my PC or the cloud.
    Ap Mgr Pro has a disclaimer in Google Play that explains this caviat. I'm sure glad it did because I had already wasted hours and gotten very frustrated with this tablet. Here's the message from Ap Mgr Pro:
    "Support app 2 sd for Android 6+ and more Samsung/HTC devices, but won't be supported on HUAWEI, LG, XIAOMI, ASUS with Android 6+ due to manufacturers remove the app2sd function."
    Since the SD Card no longer shows up anywhere I've looked, it's anybody's guess where those files are living. I once could easily find certain files/file types because I knew they were on the SD card. Sure there are tons of search apps out there that can find a file for you. And Solid Explorer and ES file Explorer do a decent job of categorizing files, I'm still not happy that my data is just dumped in this big bucket and I don't know where it is.

    Gamercore - does your device show you the SD Card when it's formatted as internal?
    #3 ckbeme, Apr 27, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  4. GamerCore

    GamerCore Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Yup, in Settings > Storage both the internal storage and SD card are displayed separately, and I can still browse either using the built-in file explorer.
  5. ckbeme

    ckbeme Newbie

    well, I thought this was pretty funky design.. This is an AT&T Trek tablet aka a ZTE K88. They were doing lots of promos on it and it's obvious why. I did a search for the K88 and got ONE hit, a person looking for some info on it. No replies.
    I have 4 file explorers, all of them decent. I have many other utilities, but none of them will show me the card in the internal format.

    Just for grins I hooked the tablet to my PC and it just shows the tablet, with 220 MB of free space. Which is about right. That's where I was before I started moving things to the card. So if they're doing that good a job of hiding the SD, I wonder if it will get backed up. I certainly can't back it up to my PC like I used to. I'll have to try using a standard backup app and see if I can find the apps that were moved to the invisible SD.

    If you have any ideas that might let me sneak a peek at my SD card and actually use it at my free will, please holler back on this thread.

    Hopefully I'll talk AT&T into giving me an early upgrade if I don't find a solution.
    Thanks for your input.
  6. kblanco

    kblanco Well-Known Member

    You should be careful if you're going to get into adoptable storage. It's seldom if at all transferable between devices. I had a Moto G4 and was thinking about formatting the SD card and going to adoptable storage. Well a few months after getting the phone it got banged up and the power button got smashed in so it was causing the phone to constantly reboot. I took it back to Best Buy where I had purchased the phone and an in-store extended warranty so they gave me a new device. Problem was that the G4 was being phased out for the G5, which is what they gave me as they had no G4's in stock. I would imagine an SD card set up as adoptable storage with a G4 wouldn't work with a G5, or some other phone for that matter if you had not been able to unadopt it or move files off of it using a computer. So adoptable storage may not be all that it's cracked up to be...

Motorola Moto G5 Plus Forum

The Motorola Moto G5 Plus release date was April 2017. Features and Specs include a 5.2" inch screen, 12MP camera, 2-4GB RAM, Snapdragon 625 processor, and 3000mAh battery.

April 2017
Release Date

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