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Use SD cards in your Android device

Some Android devices have slots for memory cards (usually, "microSD" cards). On Android devices with SD card slots:

  • You can add more storage by inserting an SD card.
  • Some apps and features can need an SD card to work.

To learn whether and where your device has an SD card slot, see your manufacturer's support site.

Note: Some of these steps work only on Android 6.0 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

Install an SD card

Step 1: Insert
  1. Confirm where your device's SD card slot is.
  2. Turn off your phone.
  3. Depending on your device, remove the SD card tray or back cover. (If needed, lift the latch that keeps the SD card in place.)
  4. Place the SD card into the slot. (If you lifted a latch, press it back down.)
  5. Put back the SD card tray or back cover.
Step 2: Set up
  1. After you insert the SD card, you'll get a notification.
  2. On the notification, tap Set up.
  3. Tap the kind of storage you want.
    • Portable storage:
      You can move the SD card and its files, like photos and music, to another device. You can't move apps to portable storage.
    • Internal storage:
      You can store apps and data for this device only. If you move the SD card to another device, the SD card will be erased ("formatted"). After the SD card is erased, you can use it with the other device.
  4. To set up your SD card, follow the on-screen steps.
  5. When complete, tap Done.

Use an SD card

Move apps

If you set up your SD card as "internal storage," you can move some apps to the card.

Note: Not all apps can move to an SD card.

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap the app you want to move to your SD card.
  4. Tap Storage.
  5. Under "Storage used," tap Change.
  6. Pick your SD card.
  7. Follow the on-screen steps.
Move photos & files

If you set up your SD card as "portable storage," you can copy files like music and photos to the card. Then you can delete them from your internal storage.

Step 1: Copy files to an SD card

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings.
  2. Tap Storage & USB.
  3. Tap Internal storage.
  4. Pick the type of file to move to your SD card.
  5. Touch and hold the files you want to move.
  6. Tap More More and then Copy to…
  7. Under "Save to," pick your SD card.
  8. Pick where you want to save the files.
  9. Tap Copy.

Step 2: Delete files from internal storage

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings.
  2. Tap Storage & USB.
  3. Tap Internal storage.
  4. Pick the type of file to delete.
  5. Touch and hold the files you want to delete.
  6. Tap the Trash Trash.
See space, files & apps

You can see what is on your SD card, and how much space is left.

SD cards formatted as internal storage

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings.
  2. Tap Storage & USB.
  3. On the list, tap your SD card.
  4. You'll see how much space is used and how much is free. To see which files or apps are using space, tap a category.

SD cards formatted as portable storage

  1. Swipe down to see your notifications.
  2. On your SD card's notification, tap Explore.
Erase
  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings.
  2. Tap Storage & USB.
  3. Pick your SD card.
  4. Tap More More and then Settings and then Format.
  5. To erase all data on the SD card, including any music or photos saved on it, tap Erase & format.
Eject & remove

Important: Eject ("unmount") your SD card before removing it. If you don't eject first, you can lose files.

Step 1: Eject

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings.
  2. Tap Storage & USB.
  3. Tap Eject Eject.

If you eject the SD card, some apps won't work until an SD card is inserted and turned on again.

Step 2: Remove

  1. Confirm where your device's SD card slot is.
  2. Turn off your phone.
  3. Depending on your device, remove the SD card tray or back cover. (If needed, lift the latch that keeps the SD card in place.)
  4. Remove the SD card from the slot. (If you lifted a latch, press it back down.)
  5. Put back the SD card tray or back cover.
Amy

Amy is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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