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Moving apps to sd card.

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by ScttLee184, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. ScttLee184

    ScttLee184 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    How can I move and/or store downloaded apps to the SD card instead of internal storage?


  2. Best Answer:
    Post #10 by Hadron, Sep 7, 2019 (1 points)
  3. Steven58



    Here's your answer:

    Go to Settings > Apps > Choose the app you want to move to SD > Storage > Storage used (Select Change) > Select SD card instead of internal storage.

    Voila! You are set. Just to let you know, selecting SD card can mess things up on the app, especially if the SD card gets fouled.
    ocnbrze and Dannydet like this.
  4. ScttLee184

    ScttLee184 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the fast response. I selected settings>app, touched storage, but I only have 2 options shown. Clear storage or clear cache. I should have stated that I am using a Moto X4. Thanks for the warning, I just want to move unimportant and seldom used apps to the card.
  5. Dannydet

    Dannydet Extreme Android User

    If there's no option to move to SD, then it can only be run from internal
    ocnbrze and Steven58 like this.
  6. Steven58


    I forgot to mention that Danny is correct, for security and preprietary reasons, some apps don't want you to move them to SD.
    ocnbrze and Dannydet like this.
  7. Steven58


    You're welcome. "Service is our business."
    ocnbrze and Dannydet like this.
  8. PitCarver

    PitCarver Android Expert

    Even if they're movable, you may have an additional issue if you try to use any widgets associated with them.
    mikedt, Hadron, ocnbrze and 2 others like this.
  9. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    No "may" about it :).
    Widgets associated to any app you move will appear to work for a while, but they'll break when you reboot the phone.
    PitCarver and mikedt like this.
  10. michaelbr

    michaelbr Newbie

    I have a little bit different question, why some cell allows you to move apps to SD card, and others won't allow you? My first cell was a Lenovo very low end, it allowed me to move apps to SD, then got an Alcatel Pixi 4, which does not show the move option. Thinking in buying a new cell, but would like the option to move or install new apps to SD instead of internal (internal memory filled up pretty fast). Can someone tell me if Alcatel Pixi does not have the option to move to SD card, most likely the new one I'm thinking to buy (Alcatel 1S 2019) will also not to have that option.
    ps: I was told that if the apps is installed from Play Store, then it can't be moved, but if I download it as APK, then it can be moved (after install), it's so confusing, and I'm lost with so many conflicting information.
  11. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Why some phones don't is a mix of history and whatever motivations manufacturers have for their choices.

    The basic "move to SD" was introduced around android 2.1 or 2.2, enhanced a bit in 2.3, and then deprecated in 4 (how much because phones were starting to include more storage so it was felt less important, and how much because Google were trying to move away from microSD and encourage others to do so, I cannot say). So from then on manufacturers had to make a choice: did they add the feature back or not? Then with Android 6 Google added an alternative, the ability to "adopt" an SD card, i.e. format and use it as internal storage (clearly by this point they'd realised that people weren't going to abandon SD just because Google recommended it). But because this method has drawbacks too some manufacturers chose to remove it from at least some of their phones (particularly flagships).

    So why do they make these choices? Frankly you'd have to ask them (assuming they'd answer, which is a bit unlikely). The one case I know the reason for is Samsung flagships: the S4 was released without this feature. Many people complained about how little space the commonest 16GB version left for the user, and Samsung replied, through support lines and even press adverts, that they should just move apps to SD - the option that didn't exist! When this became a big enough issue that the mainstream media (as opposed to tech websites) picked up on it suddenly Samsung management stopped just repeating incorrect information ever more loudly and added the feature back...

    But in general leaving it out is probably a case of "it's less work for us" on the part of the manufacturer.

    The other method, formatting as internal, is often removed from flagships but included in lower-end devices from the same manufacturer. I expect this is a marketing decision: if someone uses that option and doesn't use a very fast card it can slow the phone, and that customer is more likely to blame the phone than their choices. So to avoid bad publicity that might hurt sales they just remove the option.

    For the specific phone you ask about I cannot say whether you can or not. These are just my thoughts on the general "why" question you asked.
    ocnbrze likes this.
  12. michaelbr

    michaelbr Newbie

    Thanks so much for explaining the background story, there're still 3 points that I don't understand:
    1) is there any difference installing an apps through Play Store or using APK? Is it true that an apps installed through Play Store can't be moved and installed using APK can?
    2) In my Pixi 4, I've put external SD as default memory in setting, but when I installed apps, it took internal memory instead of external (so after installing 4 apps, I ran out of memory), did I miss some settings to make default memory using an external SD?
    3) is the only safe way to use and external SD card is to format it as internal memory? As I explained in 2), using as "extended" memory does not work (unless I did not configure it properly).
  13. PitCarver

    PitCarver Android Expert

    Apps that you've installed by APK will take up the same space as one that comes from the play store.
    I have several legacy apps, that I keep on my MSD card, as well as in cloud storage. Once they've been installed, the APK file can be deleted or you're just using extra space.
  14. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    1) Some apps installed through Play can be moved, some can not - depends on the develope's choices. The same is true of apps installed direct from apk. So no, no difference.

    2) Does your phone allow any apps to be installed to SD? If not messing with default location won't make any difference. And not all apps support this anyway. But running out of space after 4 apps sounds extreme: were these really big apps or does this phone have almost zero storage?

    3) if your phone supports the old way then you can do that. If not you can't. I'm not a fan of formatting as internal myself (slow and will wear the card out faster) - I'd always recommend buying a phone with sufficient internal storage instead.
    PitCarver likes this.
  15. michaelbr

    michaelbr Newbie

    Thanks all for replying,
    2) I've configured my SD as default memory, one of the apps I installed was huge (~1GB, Here we go map, and I use it offline, that's why it's huge), after installing 4 apps, the phone said out of memory when tried to install next one.
    3) Thanks for the tips, it's good to know to not format SD as internal memory.

Motorola Moto X (4th Gen) Forum

The Motorola Moto X (4th Gen) release date was October 2017. Features and Specs include a 5.2" inch screen, 12MP camera, 3-6GB RAM, Snapdragon 630 processor, and 3000mAh battery.

October 2017
Release Date

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