The smartphone’s internal storage space is never large enough to hold all your apps and files, even if it’s expandable via a microSD card. Fortunately, you can move some of these apps from the internal memory to the microSD card. We tell you how to do it.
Choose the right microSD card
The first step will be to choose a memory card that has good capacity and is as fast as possible. It depends on whether you are more or less fluent while running the apps you have moved to the microSD card.
To choose it, you need to take into account the external memory capacity supported by the smartphone since some models are limited to 32 GB or 64 GB.
Also, look carefully at which class the card belongs to, which is the main indicator of transfer speed. The microSD card must be Class 10 or UHS so that its performance does not ruin the experience of using the app. Note also that there is now a new sign to look for when purchasing a microSD- the A1 symbol, which identifies the cards that are one hundred percent compatible with mobile phones.
Moving apps to microSD is very easy with Android 6.0 or later
If the smartphone uses a version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Android 7.0 Nougat, Android 8.0 Oreo or Android 9.0 Pie the entire process of moving apps to the microSD card is much simpler than previous versions since the allocation of writing has been improved permissions on this external memory.
In fact, on Android 6.0 the process is almost automatic, you just have to prepare the microSD card so that the phone uses it as if it were part of the internal memory and indicate which apps you want to move to the SD. Let’s see how.
Start by inserting the card into your smartphone. Keep in mind that during this process all the information on the card is deleted, so you need to make a backup of all the content you want to keep. If you need it!
Then, go to your Android Settings and go to the Storage and USBsection.
Tap on the SD card to access it and then on the Options icon in the upper right corner to view the Settings option. Touch it and access the configuration options of the card.
In this section, touch Format as internal memory and confirm with Delete and format.
Now choose Transfer data at a later date to choose more calmly what data and apps you intend to transfer to the card. Tap Next and finish the process by which your card is ready to move applications from the device’s internal memory.
It is advisable to restart the device at this point so that both archives end the merge and appear as one.
Now, go back to the Settings menu and tap the Applications option to access all the apps you’ve installed. Here, choose one of the apps you want to move to the SD card and tap it to access the relevant details page.
In this screen, you will find the Memory in use section that tells you in which space the app is currently installed. Tap on Change and check the SD Card option. Next, confirm that you want to move the app and its data to the SD card by tapping the Move option.
With this, the app will be moved to the SD card freeing up space in the phone’s internal memory. The disadvantage is that it is not possible to move all the apps on the MicroSD card, so in some cases, it will be possible that this option does not appear enabled.
Moving apps to microSD is very simple with Android 5.0 and lower versions
Android 5.0 has brought with it a new way to manage the write permissions on the microSD card of your Android that has slightly improved the chaos, caused by the limitation of access and write permissions on the microSD card.
These permissions prevent you from moving the apps installed in the phone’s internal memory to the microSD card, so if you want to, you will have no alternative but to root your Android to do so.
Because every smartphone needs its own rooting method, we recommend doing a Google search to learn about the best rooting options for your Android and follow it to the letter to unlock these administrator permissions.
In addition to having root permissions on your Android, you will also need to partition the SD card in a specific way and use a specific app to move apps to the SD card without problems.
Create partitions on the SD card
Once the smartphone has been rooted, it’s time to head south to split the SD card so that Android 5.0 recognizes it as part of its internal memory and allows apps to move to it.
To partition the micro SD card you need a computer and the MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition partition tool. Download it and install it on your computer.
Then connect the card to your computer and start the Partition Wizard. The program will recognize it and you can start working on it.
Right-click on the bar chart that represents the card’s storage space and choose Delete, then select again to choose the Create option.
In the box displayed, in the Create as section, select the option Primary and in File System, FAT32. If you wish, you can add a name to the partition in the Partition Label section. For example, use the name Date, as it will be the destination of the partition you are about to create.
Then, position the pointer over the Size and Position slider controls and resize the space occupied by the partition. In our case, we have chosen to occupy a quarter of the total space, but that is your choice. When done, click OK and the partition will be created.
Now, create a partition to move your applications to the SD. To do this, repeat the operation by right-clicking the unallocated space on the SD card and you will see a warning indicating that the card cannot be used in Windows. Close the warning window and continue with the creation of the new partition as you will use that card on an Android device.
On this occasion, select Primary again in the Create as section, but for File System choose the Ext2 format if you are using a custom ROM and Ext3 or Ext4 if it is a stock / official ROM. Enter a name for the partition that could be Applications and use all the remaining space of the SD to host as many apps as possible. Click on Ok to create it.
Click the Apply icon in the upper left corner of the Partition Wizard and the partitions will be created permanently.
When finished, close the tool and insert the card into your Android smartphone.
Use Link2SD to move apps to the card
The last step will be to install the Link2SD app that you’ll find on Google Play. There are two versions, but the free version will be more than enough for the moment.
Once installed, open the application and assign permissions as superuser when asked. Next, it asks you to indicate which file system is using the app partition, the second one you created. Here you have to choose between Ext2, Ext3 or Ext4, depending on the format you gave to the SD partition in the previous step.
If the application and the system are able to use this format, it will ask you to restart the device. Otherwise, an error will be displayed indicating that the format chosen in the previous step was not right, so you will have to reformat the second partition with a different format Ext.
Once the system has restarted, run Link2SD again, and this time it will show you the list of installed apps.
Tap on one of them and you will see a screen with information about the application appear, it will be very similar to the one shown in the Applicationssection of the device, but instead of having the Move button on the SD disabled, Link2SD allows you to move the app on the tab micro SD. Tap this button and the app will switch to the second partition created on the micro SD card.