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How to Move Android Applications to the SD Card

Friday, January 13th, 2012 by | Filed Under: Android

It’s frustrating how little internal phone memory is available on most Android phones. Fortunately, the memory can be expanded by inserting a microSD card. But, then when you install and download Android applications, they typically get installed in the internal phone memory, and not the micoSD card. This results in slower performance. You can free internal memory by moving the application to the microSD card. In this tip, I show you how to do this. I’ve used the most commonly found version of Android, 2.2,  to illustrate the steps.

Step 1: Access Settings.

There are two ways of accessing Settings. The simplest is to press the menu key on the phone. Typically, it is the left corner key on Android phones. After you press this key, some options appear. Tap Settings.

Access the Settings menu.

Alternatively, access the Applications menu and then tap Settings.

Tap for the Applications Menu in Android


Tap Settings to access the Settings Menu

Step 2: Tap Applications.

Access the Applications Menu

Step 3: Tap Manage applications to see a list of applications installed on your Android phone.

Access the Manage Applications menu.

Step 4: Tap the application you want to move. In this case, I’ll move a game called 3D Pool Master 2.

Tap the Android application you want to uninstall

Step 5: Tap the Move to SD card button.

Move application to SD Card feature in Android phones

Step 6: Notice the text on the button has changed to Moving.

Screen when moving applications to SD Card on Android phones

Step 7: After the Android application has been moved, the text label on the button changes to Move to Phone. This means that the Android application was moved successfully. If you want to move the application back from the SD Card to the phone, you would come back to this screen and tap Move to Phone.

Move to Phone feature in Android phones

That’s it! Remember, not all applications can be moved to the SD Card because of how they were developed. Here’s another tip: try to download applications that can be moved to the SD Card because the internal memory of the Android phone gets freed up. Therefore, the Android phone performs faster.  However, before you do this you should know of some drawbacks of moving an Android application from the phone memory to the SD card:

  • When the phone is functioning as a USB storage device, the SD card is mounted to a computer, and therefore the applications stored on the SD card are not available.
  • For applications that are required when the phone is started or booted, do not move them to the SD Card. This is because the SD card is not available at the time of booting.

~Rupen Sharma

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2 Responses to “How to Move Android Applications to the SD Card”

  1. Keith Monson says:

    Great hint! I doubt my Eclair will do that but it’s a good one. I notice your battery is low. It’s because of the picture on your phone, too much cute drains the battery! Also AVG is a better virus choice the what you have. Just a thought. Have you discovered the app store? It’s awesome and way better and safer then the Android app store. Again just a thought. Thank you for what you do!

  2. Jadesqr says:

    The next question is Rupen, “What app do you use to produce those great ‘screen prints’? Great ‘On the Move’ article by the way.

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