How to Move Apps to SD Card on Android Devices

Move Apps to SD Card

Well, if you need to free up space on your phone’s internal memory, moving apps to the SD card is a great way to do so. Moving apps to the SD card is as simple as going to Settings > Apps, selecting the app, and tapping the “Move to SD card” button. However, you may notice that for some apps, this option is grayed out. What is the reason for this?

Reason 1. Developer Choice

Android app developers must explicitly make their apps available to move to the SD card by including the “android:installLocation” attribute in their app’s manifest. If they don’t, the “Move to SD card” option is greyed out. Why are so many developers refusing to enable this button? On the other hand, Android apps cannot run from the SD card while it is mounted. So, if the app handles something like setting the alarm to remind you of your dentist appointment, that’s pretty important, and the app won’t be able to sound the alarm if your device is connected to your PC. As a result, the developer may choose to disable the “Move to SD card” capability to never receive an angry email from someone claiming that the app does not work.

Reason 2. Widget Support

Another major reason apps may be prevented from running on the SD card is widget support. In case an app is installed on the SD card, the widgets from that app become unavailable to choose when the device is mounted in specific versions of Android. As a result, the widgets from the app must be restarted for them to appear as an option again.

Reason 3. Syncing, Service, or Account Interface

If the app performs background syncing, runs as a service, or uses an account, it will not function correctly while mounted on an SD card. As a result, the option to transfer it to the SD Card is disabled. Further, on the Android Developers – App Install Location page, you can learn more about this issue and how apps run from SD cards.


How do I make apps download straight to the SD Card?

You’ll need root access on your device, then use the Android SDK Tools to change your home directory to the SD card. There used to be a way to allow the option without root access on older versions of Android. However, to change the home directory on newer Android versions, you must have root access.

What apps can I move?

Consider moving any gaming apps to an SD card. Typically, games do not need to run in the background or handle any critical tasks on the device throughout the day. They also take up the most space, making them ideal candidates for SD card installation.

You now understand why the “Move to SD card” button in many of your Android apps is greyed out. Do you still have questions? Comments? Leave a comment in the below section.

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How can I enable the “Move to SD Card” option on any app?

Non-rooted users could previously enable the “Move to SD card” option. Unfortunately, it is no longer valid. To move any app to the SD card, you must first gain root access to your device. If you’re unsure how to do this, you might want to check out XDA Developers for some ideas.

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