How to Move Files and Apps to an SD Card in Android

Last Edited: October 15, 2017 | Published: October 15, 2017 by

How to Move Files and Apps to an SD Card in Android

Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of Android over iOS, is the ability to install an SD card to expand their storage. While not every Android tablet supports SD card storage, a majority of them do. This allows you to expand the amount of storage your Android device has and it can help you organize your apps and files so your Android tablet runs quickly and efficiently.

Installing an SD card is pretty easy. All you have to do is purchase a card and then slide it into its slot on your device. Your Android tablet will instantly recognize it and make it available for you to use to store your apps and data. But once you get it installed, how exactly do you move files over to it?

Android will allow you to store both your data files such as your music and movies and your main apps on your SD card. But you have to know how to do it if you want to make use of your SD card. Today, we will look at how to move files and apps to an SD card in Android so you can begin organizing your storage and offloading some of your data onto your SD card, freeing up your main storage in the process. Shall we get started?

Why Use an SD Card?

There are many reasons to use an SD card on your tablet. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider adding one to your tablet.

  1. Added Storage – An SD card will give you more room to store your files and data along with more room for your apps.
  2. Speed – Because you are able to free up space on your main storage drive on your tablet, there will be more room for the temp files and swap files needed to keep things running smoothly.
  3. Better Organization – With the added space comes the ability for you to customize where you keep your files and how you keep them, allowing you to be better organized on your tablet.

Choosing an SD Card

There are a few things you must consider when buying an SD card for your tablet.

  1. Read/Write Speeds – High quality SD cards will come with fast read and write speeds. The faster they can read and write data, the faster your tablet will be. Don’t try to save five extra dollars by sacrificing this speed. You will regret it.
  2. Maximum Size – Your tablet will only support SD cards up to a certain size. While you can find cards ranging from 4GB to 512GB, your model of tablet may only support up to 64GB, 128GB or more. Check with your manufacturer before you purchase to make sure you get the right size.
  3. Price – Most SD cards are very affordable these days, so don’t worry about breaking the bank. Just remember to get the largest size and the fastest read/write times your budget, and your tablet, can support.

Installing Your SD Card

Most SD card installations are pretty straight forward. Your tablet will have a small slot where you insert the card. This is often found on the sides of the tablet but some models may have it inside the back cover. Turn off your tablet before you insert the card and then locate the SD card slot. Slide it in and you are ready to go. If you are unsure where card slot is on your Android tablet, refer to your hardware manufacturer to locate it.

Moving Files to Your SD Card

It’s quick and easy to move files to your SD Card. All you need to do is open a File Manager app and get to work. Most Android tablets come with a File Manager, but if you don’t like that one or don’t have one you can always pick one up from the Google Play Store. I recommend File Manager. It may have a boring name but it is packed with features, but choose any file manager app you prefer. Once you have a good File Manager app, it’s time to get to work.

  1. Open Your file manager app. If it is on your Home screen, just tap on it. If not, open your App Drawer and locate the app then tap it.
  2. Locate the file you want to move.
  3. Long tap on it so it is selected and then tap the Menu icon in the top corner. What this looks like varies from File Manager to File Manager, but it should be easy enough to find.
  4. Choose the Move option.
  5. Using the menu that pops up, navigate to where you want the file to go.
  6. Tap the Move Here action.

That’s all there is to it. Now, this is the basic method for moving files around your Android tablet. You can take it a step further by navigating to your SD card and creating folders to organize your files. Then you can even select multiple files at once to move more than one file at a time. How much or how little you organize your SD card is up to you, but I encourage you to take a few minute to organize your files so you can find them later without having to search through tons of random files.

Moving Apps to Your SD Card

It’s even easier to move your installed apps over to your SD Card, but you will have to do them one at a time. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings. It’s usually a cog icon and can be found on your Home Screen or in your App Drawer.
  2. In Settings, navigate to your Application Manager. It may be called Apps or something similar depending on your device.
  3. Tap on the App in the list and then go to Storage.
  4. Tap on Change and a window will pop up asking where you want the app to be stored.
  5. Select your SD Card and it will move the app. If it is already on your SD Card, that choice will be greyed out. Similarly, if you can’t move that app, you won’t be able to select your SD Card and move it.

Some apps aren’t able to be moved to your SD Card. These are often apps that perform essential functions for your Android tablet, or some that the manufacturer has installed themselves. Don’t worry, you should be able to move most of your apps to your SD Card without much trouble.

Parting Thoughts

Adding an SD card to your Android tablet can truly help you expand the possibilities of what you can do with your tablet. In my opinion, one of the key elements of transforming a tablet powered by Android into a true laptop replacement is the storage. Most tablets simply don’t have enough to give you the room you need to store files and apps without making use of the cloud. By adding an SD card, you can give yourself the space you need to work and store files much like you do on a laptop or desktop computer.

Now that you know how to move your files and even your apps onto your SD card, the realm of possibilities has been opened. You are now free to store your essential files and data on your device so you can take them with you anywhere you go. Just make sure you back them up to ensure they are safe if something bad happens to your tablet.

Do you use an SD card on your tablet? If so, do you use it to store data, apps or both? Tell me how you use your SD card in the comments below.

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