How to make an SD Card as Internal Storage on Android?

Do you want to make an SD Card as Internal Storage on Android?  The SD card is very useful. To get more space on our Android smartphone, we can transfer files and applications to the SD card. The process is simple, although it may seem a bit complicated at first. Although before starting it is necessary to know some concepts, as well as some applications, will be necessary. Let’s go to the mess.

Having an SD card slot gives us many possibilities and is a great place to make backup copies of our files, photos, applications, and others. Even Lollipop was like having an extra place of memory, something like a USB stick for a computer.

They are less and less, but there are still many Android devices with 8 or 16GB of internal space. If you have an Android phone or tablet with little storage space you may want to convert the SD card into a part of the internal memory of the terminal.

Advantages and disadvantages of internal storage


  1. When functioning as an internal memory, applications can be installed or moved in the SD card (Application, Data, and Cache) from the actual internal memory. Normally this cannot be done when the SD card is configured as portable storage (in this case sometimes you have to resort to complex methods to install or move applications to the SD).
  2. Another good thing is that the system offers the option of freeing up remarkable space in real internal memory, migrating data to the adopted SD card (files and applications can be included here) in a couple of taps. This option is available in the configuration of the SD card (Settings, Storage, and SD card).
  3. The partition of the SD assigned as “internal” is formatted and encrypted with a unique key, so the data is protected and cannot be viewed on any device other than the Android where it was configured. You cannot manage that partition independently from another device but only through the Android device (for example, when connected to the PC).
  4. Even if the SD card is adopted, there should be no problem in removing it. The system will detect that the SD card is not available and if there are applications that moved or installed there simply will not work.


  1. The main problem is that the portability of the SD card is lost. That is, it will only work on the Android device where it was configured. If the SD card is connected to another device or PC to copy or transfer files, it will not even be recognized. You would have to format it to reuse it as classic portable storage or configure it in mixed mode.
  2. Installed applications must be compatible with Android 6 and be programmed to support adoptable storage, or else they cannot be installed on the adopted SD card or moved there. Applications that do have this support will automatically be installed where there is more space on the phone (be it internal memory or micro SD card).
  3. Since the external SD card is generally slower than the internal memory of the device, lower performance or performance can be expected from applications that are installed or moved to that SD.
  4. Unfortunately, some manufacturers such as Samsung or LG have removed this functionality from their versions of Android 6, allowing only to use the external SD card in normal or “portable” mode.

How to make SD card as internal storage on Android

In this way, the SD will not only serve to store photos, videos and documents. We can also use it to transfer and store applications. In today’s tutorial, we see how to convert an SD card into Android’s internal memory. A simple and really useful process.

Once you have the SD inserted in the android phone:

  • Go to “Settings”.
  • Move to “Portable storage” and click on the name of your SD card.
  • Click on the drop-down menu in the upper left margin and select “Storage settings”.
  • Here select “Format as internal “. Thus, Android will format the SD and use it as an internal storage unit.
  • On the next screen, you will decide whether you want to do it or not. Then tap on “Delete and format”! Remember to make a previous backup if you do not want to lose all the files stored in the SD. Also, once formatted, this SD card will only work on this device.
  • The formatting process can take several minutes, depending on the size and data stored in the SD.

The next step will be to move the photos, files, and some apps to the new storage unit.

  • Click on the “Move to new storage” screen, then select “Move now” and “Next”.
  • Click on “Move” to start the data migration.

How to move apps from internal memory to SD to free up space

Now that you have the card “merged” with the internal memory of the device, you can do things like move apps from the internal memory to the SD card from the system settings themselves.

  • Go to “Settings > Applications”.
  • Select the application you want to move. Attention: there are some apps and system applications that cannot be moved.
  • Click on “Storage “.
  • Now you will see a new option that did not have before, “Storage used.” Select “Change.”
  • Choose the SD card and mark “Move”.

This method was implemented for Android versions 6.0 and higher. If your phone is Android 5.1 or lower you have to make use of other applications such as APPS2SD or LINK2SD.

How to unlink an SD card from internal memory

As we mentioned above, when formatting the SD in this way, you cannot use it on any device other than your Android phone.

To reuse the SD card like a normal and current removable storage drive:

  • Go to “Settings > Storage “.
  • Click on “SD Card “.
  • In the top drop-down menu, choose “Format as portable”.
  • Select “Format.”

Remember that doing this will erase all the images and files that you had stored in the SD. Make a copy if you don’t want to lose the data and stay with two candles!

Each mobile device has its own configuration, so follow the steps patiently respecting your model options. And if possible, first check with the manufacturer the requirements of your mobile device before taking any action.

I hope you found the information useful and if you have any questions, please express yourself in the comments below.

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