Get started with an SD card

When you set up an SD card on your Android device, you can choose between portable storage or internal storage.

When you format an SD card for portable storage:

  • You can save files, like photos and videos, on the SD card.
  • You can’t install apps on the SD card.
  • You can transfer the SD card between devices.

When you format an SD card for internal storage:

  • You can load files, like photos and videos, on the SD card.
  • You can install apps on the SD card.
  • You can’t transfer the SD card between devices.
  • The SD card can be used in addition to your device's storage.

Set up a new SD card

Important: If you format your SD card, data will be permanently deleted. Before you format the SD card, back up your files.

  1. On your device, swipe down from the top of the screen.
  2. Tap the notification SD card detected.
  3. To set up your SD card for:
    • Portable storage, select Format.
    • Adoptable storage, select Format another way.
  4. Once your SD card is formatted, you can choose to Move content or Move content later.

Reformat your SD card from Portable to Adoptable

Important: If you format your SD card, data will be permanently deleted. Before you format the SD card, back up your files.

  1. Open your phone’s Settings app.
  2. Tap Storage and then SD Card.
  3. At the top right, select Menu and then Storage Settings and then Format and then Format another way and then Format.

Reformat your SD card from Adoptable to Portable

Important: If you format your SD card, data will be permanently deleted. Before you format the SD card, back up your files.

  1. Open your phone’s Settings app.
  2. Tap Storage and then SD card.
  3. At the top right, select Menu and then Format and then Format card.
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