How to move almost all Android apps to SD card (no root required)

[Update - May 2013] To see whether this procedure may work on your phone, check out the new post [Follow up] List of phones that work with “How to move almost all apps to SD card” procedure and comments to this post. Please note that this procedure does NOT work on the best selling Samsung Galaxy S3. [/Update]

[Update - March 2013] To help fellow Android users know whether this procedure will work on their phone, please submit this anonymous form (link: Google Forms) indicating whether it worked for you. Thanks! [/Update]

One of the most anticipated additions to Android 2.2 (aka Froyo) was ability to install applications to SD card, because it helps to free internal memory. When internal phone memory gets full, Android users have two problems: 1) users can’t install any more apps and 2) phone starts working slowly. The slow down is caused by the lower speed of disk write operations to the internal memory (see this post for more information on this topic), but the bottom line is that having low available space in the internal memory is not desirable.

So what should a user do when Android phone is running out of internal memory? Uninstalling rarely used apps is an obvious and easiest solution. Moving apps that support Froyo’s apps2sd feature to SD card is another option. However, for this feature to work developers need to enable apps2sd in their apps and unfortunately many large apps still do not support it.

It turns out there is a hack that lets you move almost any Android app to SD card, even if the app developer did not enable this option. And the best part: obtaining root is not required for this to work. More about this hack below, but first let’s take look at the limitations of the Android apps2sd feature.

Apps2sd limitations

Apps2sd functionality is a step in the right direction. However, the way it is implemented creates some restrictions which you should know about:

  • When an app is moved to SD card, portion of that app still remains in the internal phone memory. On average, you can expect that application’s footprint in the phone memory will be reduced by a factor of 2. Note that for some apps the move will save less than 50%, e.g. Google Earth size in the internal memory reduces from 20.5 MB to 15MB, Adobe Flash Player 10.1 – from 12.4 MB to 8 MB.
  • If you use an app widget on your home screen, this app should not be moved to SD card, because the widget will stop working.
  • Android OS doesn’t have any batch tools to move all movable apps to SD card at once. You will need to manually move one app at a time by going through the list of installed apps in Settings->Applications->Manage Applications.
  • System apps such as Maps and Youtube cannot be moved to SD card using stock firmware on unrooted phone. On some phones Adobe Flash Player is pre-installed as a system app and also cannot be moved. Providers may also install bloatware as system apps, which also cannot be moved on unrooted phone. However, on a rooted phone system apps can be deleted or moved – see FAQ for details.
  • If you re-flash phone’s firmware, some backup applications may not restore your apps to SD card, but will restore them to the phone memory.

Despite these restrictions, moving apps to SD card is a good way to free up internal phone memory and speed up your Android phone.

Moving (almost) all Android apps to SD card

To run commands which will enable Move to SD card button for most installed apps, you need to have adb executable on your computer. Adb stands for Android Debug Bridge and is used for Android software development, but it is a very useful tool to have for any advanced Android user. You do not need to have a rooted phone to run adb commands.

  1. To download the latest version of Android SDK (which includes adb executable), follow instructions from step 2 in the Installing the SDK article from the official Android development site. Note: you do not need to install any other software such as Eclipse for this procedure.
  2. After downloading the archive of the SDK, unzip it to any folder and remember its location (let’s call this folder <sdk>).
  3. If you are installing Android SDK on Windows machine, you also need to install USB driver as described in USB driver for Windows section.
  4. Connect the phone using USB cable and do not enable USB storage mode. Go to Settings -> Applications -> Development and enable USB debugging.
  5. Start terminal window on your computer (on Windows: click Start, type “cmd” and press Enter).
  6. In the terminal window, navigate to folder containing file named “adb” (<sdk>\platform-tools folder) using this command: cd “full-path-to-sdk-platform-tools” (replace “full-path-to-sdk-platform-tools” with an actual path as shown in the screenshot below).
  7. Type the following lines (case sensitive) in the terminal window and press Enter after each line:
    • adb devices
      • This checks that the phone is connected and is in the correct mode. You should see one entry in the list of the attached devices. If you get “device not found” error, see Troubleshooting section below.
    • adb shell
      • If you get “cannot find file” error and are using Mac or Linux, instead type: ./adb shell
    • pm set-install-location 2 
      • (If this command doesn’t work try using the “old” command: pm setInstallLocation 2. Thanks to polosco for the tip.)
    • exit
    • Command prompt commands on Windows

      Command prompt commands on Windows

  8. Now on your phone go to Settings->Applications->Manage Applications.
    • If you have Android 2.3 or later, click on USB Storage tab (may be called SD card). This tab shows a list of apps that either can be installed to SD card or are already on SD card. The ones that have checkbox on the right side are already moved to SD card (credit to Michael Scully for the tip).
    • On Android 2.2 and earlier if you don’s see USB Storage or SD Card tab, click on All tab.
    • Android USB storage tab

  9. Press hardware Menu button and select Sort by Size.
  10. Tap on each app that is taking significant amount of space and tap Move to SD card button. Press hardware Back button and repeat.
  11. (optional) To change the default installation location for new apps back to the internal phone memory,  go back to your terminal window and type:
    • pm setInstallLocation 0
  12. (important) Go to Settings -> Applications -> Development and disable USB debugging. Leaving USB debugging enabled makes your phone vulnerable (e.g. lock pattern can be reset).
  13. Enjoy!
Moving Android Adobe Flash player 10.1 to SD card (apps2sd)

Moving Android Adobe Flash player 10.1 to SD card (apps2sd)

Share your experience (optional, but greatly appreciated)

To help fellow Android users know whether this procedure will work on their phone, please submit this form (link: Google Forms) indicating whether it worked for you or not. Once sufficient number of responses is submitted, I will update this post with the results.

Troubleshooting

  • “Device not found” error in step 7. Make sure that the phone is connected and is in the USB debugging mode (step 4). On Windows, this error can also mean the driver is not installed properly. Double check that you followed USB driver for Windows steps. If you still are getting this error, try installing a driver for your manufacturer from this link:  Tether “ADB” Driver Installation for Windows.
  • “Permission denied” error: make sure that you correctly typed commands.

FAQ

  • Q: Does my phone need to be rooted for this hack to work?
    • A: No.
  • Q: Do I need to setup a full development environment (Java, Eclipse) for this to work?
    • A: No.
  • Q: Can I move systems apps such as Maps, Youtube, Adobe Flash Player to SD card?
    • A: On unrooted phone using stock firmware, no.
  • Q: I don’t have time for this hack. How can I check which of my installed apps officially support moving to SD card?
    • Install “App 2 SD” application from Android Market and it will list applications for which developers enabled apps2sd support.
  • Q: Can I move all apps to SD card in one operation?
    • A: Using stock firmware, no. If you know a way to do so, please let me know in the comments.
  • Q: Can I delete bloatware apps installed as “system apps” by the carriers?
    • Yes, but only if you root your device. With a rooted phone you could delete unused system apps, but it gets a bit complicated. Deleting some apps may cause problems with subsequent OS updates, so you should be careful. See this list for Android system apps can be safely removed. Instead of deleting, you can “freeze” unused system apps using Titanium Backup. Freezing an app will remove it from the app drawer and memory and will make sure it is never launched, but it will not free any space in the internal phone storage.
  • Q: Can I move system apps such as Gmail, Google Maps to SD card on a rooted phone?
    • A: Thanks to Dominique Tardif for this tip: “You have first to uninstall any updates to the system apps in question. Second, using a rooted file manager, delete the original apk from /system/app (android keeps the system app apart from the updates, the latter being at /data/apps). Once this is done, reboot and reinstall the app from the market. It will be installed as a user app and as such will be movable to the sd card. As an example, my gmail, facebook, maps etc. are all on my sd card now.”
  • Q: Can I move system apps to SD card if I’m using a custom ROM?
    • A: Yes. The most popular “aftermarket” Android firmware CyanogenMod puts the absolute minimum of the apps in the system folder. CyanogenMod 7 also by default enables the hack described in this post to allow most apps to be movable to SD card. As a result, many Android apps such as Maps, Youtube, Gmail can be moved to SD card on CyanogenMod 7, while they are unmovable to SD in the stock firmware. Note that to install CyanogenMod the phone doesn’t need to be rooted, but bootloader needs to be unlocked.

Source: XDA-developers.

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1199 Comments

  1. Johnners
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 3:48 am | Permalink

    Great work, Sergey, thank you.

    Finally twigged how to use the Terminal on a Mac (Googled for some help) and have got rid of the low memory message on an HTC Desire without rooting – great!

    Wouldn’t it be excellent if we could move all the system apps as well without rooting ……

    • Jen
      Posted October 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      I must be daft but for the life of me this won’t work for my Samsung Ace. everything is installed.

      Can someone write the full thing down the way they did it? My path is “C:\Users\JENZ\AppData\Local\Android\android-sdk

      I can only get ‘List of Devices’ nothing under and nothing for the rest of commands!

      Help me my phone is going to explode and me too! Thanks

  2. Bobby Ray
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Hello,

    Will this also work for my Samsung Gakaxy mini running Android 2.3.5??

    Thanks

    • Odd
      Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Yes. everything can be moved, except Google stuff (maps, youtube, store, search…)

      • saab
        Posted July 22, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

        well the biggest problem is i use a mac and i cannot use the same commands as in windows…! So if someone could post a screen shot of commands for the terminal in mac … it will be great.

    • Syed
      Posted December 9, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Yes I tried in my mini it worked

  3. freddyejenkins
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    Nice Guide ! Thank You very much !

  4. Posted February 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH Sergey! I was getting crushed with inadequate space on my phone memory and this did the trick. I was able to recover 16MB of SPACE!

    A few “lessons” to pass onto the group:

    1. I could not get my phone (Verizon LG Vortex) to connect via USB initially and when I finally did, it was shown as “offline”. BE SURE phone is set for USB debugging FIRST, then connect to USB and for my phone I had to select Modem Mode.

    2. Widgets will ABSOLUTELY NOT work if moved to the SD card. When I moved it back to the phone, the widget STILL did not function properly. Turning the phone OFF and ON again allowed the widget to be properly recognized and work…but would have been a LOT simpler had a realized it was a widget before I moved it!

    • Posted February 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Mike, glad it worked :) and thanks for sharing your lessons – these are good points.

  5. Pikey
    Posted February 14, 2012 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    Thanks heaps for the great work you have gone to, my daughter is now happy again! :-)

  6. sridhar
    Posted February 16, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Hi

    I was looking to move most or all of my apps to sd card after my phone started complaining of NO Memory. Came across your thread while googling to find a way to do what i said

    I followed all your instructions in the sequence mentioned. But I Could NOT move an app “MAPS” which is stored on the Phone memory. This was the first app i tried to Move after following your procedure mentioned above. The “Move to SD Card” still remains greyed out.

    I just want to confirm, whether we can Truly move “ALL” apps or is it “MOST OF THEM”.

    I’m using a Basic android Phone with Android Froyo 2.2.1

    and I’m desperate to move these apps to SD Card to make my phone use a good experience.

    By the way the screen shots you are using are from 2.3 and above i guess..do you mind posting some screenshots of 2.2.1 froyo, which will clear my doubts

    Appreciate any help in this Regards

    Thanks In Advance for your time

    Cheers
    Sridhar

  7. Nathaniel
    Posted February 18, 2012 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    When I’m having the following problem:

    C:\sdk\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools>adb devices
    * daemon not running. starting it now on port 5037 *
    ADB server didn’t ACK
    * failed to start daemon *
    error: cannot connect to daemon

    Would you please let me know what’s wrong?

    I have followed the steps where you need to install the USB driver to PC

  8. Ankit
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    Thanks a lot.. Worked for my HTC Desire. Was able to move Facebook and few other apps to SD. :) Freed 10 MB on Internal Memory.

  9. Ricardo
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Very Good Post, worked Ok to My XPERIA Arc S. Thanks!!!!

  10. Artiom
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the info… I freed 18 mb on my internal drive…whaoo!

  11. Posted February 21, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Gooday Mate, This How to move all Android apps to SD card (no root required) info above is cool can someone reply to tell me if you got a RSS Feed

  12. no'p
    Posted February 24, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    can you upload some screenshot again?? i mean step by step from step 6
    @@

  13. no'p
    Posted February 24, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    error more than one device and emulator

  14. Joe
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    I’m using HTC Wildfire S and It worked! Thanks much. I was getting command not recognized after typing adb devices at first but it was because adb tools has moved. I just installed it from SDK Manager and it was piece of cake after that. Thanks again.

    • Paree
      Posted March 23, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Hey, i tried this on my wildfire S, but could not move my system apps, like facebook.
      Can you help?

  15. tikneq
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    work like a charm

  16. Victoria
    Posted February 28, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Worked perfectly on my Wildfire S, thank you! I finally got to move the Facebook app to the SD, which is a pretty good sized app.

    For the people wondering you can move EVERYTHING to the SDcard, no. It will not move preinstalled apps and widgets don’t work from the SD.

    • Paree
      Posted March 23, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Hey, i tried this on my wildfire S, but could not move my system apps, like facebook.
      Can you help?

  17. Kwl_dude
    Posted February 29, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Cool stuff , i tried in Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro it works fine , finally my apps all moved to SD
    Great it isn’t …….!!! If i download apps now automatically move to SD…!

    Cheers ….Android User…!

  18. Michael
    Posted March 1, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    Un-real thanks it really works on adroid 2.3.4. Cheers!

  19. Gokul
    Posted March 3, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I got everything correct…. but after i did it for the 2nd time…. My phone keeps restarting continously and endlessly…… I even tried clearing the cache…… But it doesnt restart if i’ve connected it to the usb….. Pls help

    • Posted March 16, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Gokul, very sorry to hear that you are having troubles with the phone. Search google for “reboot loop your-phone-model” and see if you can find a way to get out of the reboot loop. In the worst case scenario, factory reset will fix the issue, but hopefully there is a way to get out of the reboot loop with reset.

  20. Novi
    Posted March 4, 2012 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Amazing .
    Thanks alot Sergey.
    It really works on my phone, Samsung Galaxy 551 (Android Froyo).
    Facebook, Friendcaster, WhatsApp, etc can be moved to SD Card.

    Thanks.
    :)

    • Bhushan
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:55 am | Permalink

      Can u tell me which sdk compnenets need to install?
      thank you

  21. sohaib
    Posted March 5, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    hi, thanks for the tutorial.
    Its works charmingly :)
    Keep up the good work.

  22. Brian
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Handy tip, took a couple tries but I finally got it to work on my Optimus V, my first mod! Was only able to move 1 app (facebook) but every MB counts!

  23. versus
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Hello, nice tutorial and very understandable. In my HTC Wildfire S (android 2.3.5) didn’t work, the button “Move to SD” is still grey..do you have any advice ?

    Thanks

  24. Elena C
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    I am trying to do the above but must install all on D given that C doesn’t have anymore room. I got all downloaded, went to execute in CMD and got the following error message. What can I do now? Please kindly email me at elenacoen@gmail.com if you have any thoughts.

    Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]
    Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

    C:\Users\Asus>D:\program files\android-sdk
    ‘D:\program’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
    operable program or batch file.

    • Posted March 16, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Elena, you need to put quotes around any path that contains spaces (in you case “Program Files” contains a space), so you should type:
      cd “D:\program files\android-sdk”

      • Elias
        Posted December 8, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        another way to use the cd command to open folders like program files without puting quotes , is this: cd progra~1

        then press enter key

        P.S I had problems with CMP (windows command promt) in the past cause it could NOT recognise commands followed by “quotes” .

  25. Caleb
    Posted March 11, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Worked great for my MyTouch Slide 3G (running 2.2.1)!! It was annoying as hell trying to install new apps on my phone and always having to choose which app to delete in order to make space. I also had issues with Google Voice texts not coming through when my phone was low on space. Now….shouldn’t be an issue.

    Bummer that you can’t move Google Voice to the SD card unless you don’t care about the widgets. This is quite an old article but THANK YOU SERGEY.

  26. Pavan
    Posted March 11, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Wow. It worked for me!

    • Pavan
      Posted March 11, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

      A big Thanks!

  27. Najmuddin
    Posted March 13, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    done as u told….but still i am not able 2 move to sd card from my HTC wildfire S,….plz help

  28. leigh
    Posted March 14, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Great stuff. Took a while to download, setup & execute but well worth it.

  29. Nakul
    Posted March 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    A big thanks! Works well.
    But some apps like facebook, flash player, yahoo messenger, gmail, etc are huge in size and are not shown to be movable to SD. :(
    Is this a general issue or is it being faced just by me?

    • Nakul
      Posted March 14, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      I am having Sony ericsson Xperia Neo Android 2.33 installed

      • Posted March 16, 2012 at 7:59 am | Permalink

        Check out FAQ section – if all of those are system apps, then they are not movable with this method. I’ve seen Facebook and Flash Player being pre-installed as system apps, but I’m surprised that app like yahoo messenger would installed by the carrier or manufacturer as a system app.

  30. Marxoni
    Posted March 15, 2012 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    Excelent tutorial,
    worked easy enough on my Samsung Galaxy Gio
    With all that free telephone memory I can now plan to rule the world :-)

    Thanks Sergey, this was good work.

    • kvaksyte
      Posted January 27, 2013 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Hi, I have Samsung Gio and it does not work for me, when I run cmd it says ” is not recognized as internal or external command, operable program or batch file”… Have no idea what to do:( I did everything as written. Any advice?

      • efrat
        Posted February 16, 2013 at 1:20 am | Permalink

        did you install android SDK ?
        sounds like your computer doesn’t know what’s adb, yet.

        • norm
          Posted February 16, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

          RE freeing internal space….

          I’m on Windows and I got as far as “adb devices” in the command prompts it could could not find anything with “adb shell”….
          what can I check for?
          thanks

  31. mohammad
    Posted March 15, 2012 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    hi some games are very large when you install that and run it begins to download most of its volume in internal card when I move that downloaded files to external sd the game don’t work and wants download again. how could I solve this problem?

  32. Prince
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    Hi, i have a problem. once i write ‘adb devices’ – the message is get is ‘list of devices attached’. thats it. but there is no list like shown in the screen shot. then when i write ‘adb shell’ i get an error message. i am using a windows machine. dunno how to proceed forward. help!!
    i have an xperia pro

    • Posted March 16, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Prince, you need to find and install the driver for xperia pro. See if the Tether ADB link in the Troubleshooting sections has it.

    • Jefang
      Posted March 25, 2012 at 1:13 am | Permalink

      I face the same problem too. The USB just failed to read from the tablet. I have a Meiying M10 running on ICS 4.0.3. I had downloaded the USB driver with the SDK Manager but I can never successfully install the driver into my Lenovo netbook…

      • virtigo
        Posted June 22, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        May you PLEASE PLEASE send me the link of where you downloaded the M10’s driver?
        virtigo31@hotmail.com

        have you made any progress with rooting the device?

  33. ahmed
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    thank you very much,
    it works ver well on samsung galaxy fit 5670.

  34. Harindu
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Wow!!That works perfectly in my Huawei S7!!Thank you very much!!That was awsome!!
    Great work Sergey Povzner!Thank you again!!

  35. Gergana
    Posted March 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Hello,
    I followed the advice above about that to move my sistem apps like facebook, gmail, google search, you tube. I uninstalled their actualizations, and deleted their original apk from system folder. After that I downloaded them from google play, and install them on sd card, but now they don’t work. Why, what i must to do? My phone is HT Wildfire S. Tell me please, what I must to do!

    • Posted March 19, 2012 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Gergana, is your phone rooted? I assume it is since you say you deleted files from the system folder, but want to double check.

      • Gergana Nedialkova
        Posted March 29, 2012 at 12:27 am | Permalink

        Hello,
        yes my phone is rooted and I deleted the original files from system folder. After that i was installed the downloaded new files, on the sd card, but the programs doesn’t work and force closed

  36. Abhishek Gautam
    Posted March 20, 2012 at 3:21 am | Permalink

    This is grt…..it worked for my HTC Explorer. Apps like facebook, Whatsapp, Kingston Office moved to SD card. I got around 15 mb more space :)

  37. Dio
    Posted March 22, 2012 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    This is absolutely an easy and very effective way to free a lot of space on your phone’s internal memory!!! Thanks a lot guys!!! Greetz from Germany
    View Sonic V350 with Android 2.3.7

  38. Andy
    Posted March 22, 2012 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    Hi thanks for the great post
    When i get to
    pm setInstallLocation 2
    i get permission denied
    any ideas?
    Thanks

  39. saish
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    hi i tried doing the terminal thing but when i insert the path of the platform tools it says the systemcannot find the path specified. i have extrated the sdk folder on desktop can you help me with this i am new at terminal stuff
    please

  40. Marios
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Thank you VERY very much! It work. I have Alcatel OT-990 not rooted so internal free storage is an issue. I gained 39MB by moving NDrive and Where’s my water on SD.

  41. mohammad
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Please any one help to solve my problem
    some games are very large when you install that and run it begins to download most of its volume in internal card when I move that downloaded files to external sd the game don’t work and wants download again. how could I solve this problem?

  42. Dharma
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 4:08 am | Permalink

    great,thx alot,it’s work on my HTC wlidfire S

  43. Rick
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Amazing! Thank you SO much for sharing this. Super simple process, and gained me almost 90Mb internal storage space!!

  44. Ross
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Thanks very much ! I’ve just tried this out on my HTC Wildfire S and it worked perfectly. I had never used Android SDK before or terminal so the simple instructions really helped. I had a problem with the drivers and I downloaded HTC sync as suggested and that solved it.

  45. Posted March 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Yahoo!! thanks guys, it worked!!! haha =D

  46. akshit
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    hey when i type “adb devices” the command prompt says “adb is not recognised as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file”
    please help me………..!!!

    thanks in advance

  47. Keith
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    I tried this on my LG Shine Plus with Google and it still isn’t installing to SD card. I don’t see any option to move apps to the SD card in the applications area either.

  48. selvaguru
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    When i enter C:\Program Files\Android\android-sdk\tools>”adb devices” it shows “adb devices” is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file. please help me .what should i do now?

  49. Posted March 29, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, it worked on my Samsung Admire 3.2.6

  50. sd
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    Thanks! Life-saver!
    (HTC Wildfire S, Andriod 2.3.3, HTC Sense 2.1)

  51. Amit
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    Hey mate ,
    Thanks for the hack .

    Worked well for most of teh apps but couldn’t move my Twitter and Whatsapp app to SD card .

    And all teh apps on my SD card are already there and in “All apps” i was not able to move the apps which are in internal memory . Can u please help me out with this bbecause my HTC Explorer has too many pre installed apps and upon that two of my major apps Twitter and Whatsapp take up a lot of space .

    Thanks for the effort however .

    If u could please help me with this it would be great .

    Thanks in advance .

  52. Bhushan
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    I am using Dell xcd35 with android 2.2.1,
    pls suggest me which sdk components to install.

    adb device found but when I enter “adb shell” it gives me an error ‘$” like this

    plzz help
    my email id is nalawadebhushan@yahoo.com

  53. Posted March 31, 2012 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Sergey,
    I came across this article and decided to try it as I am having the same problem as everyone else. I own an HTC EVO 4G. It’s a great phone and has been for the 2 years that I have been using it. However it only has 512MB of internal memory and I didn’t want to have to upgrade just yet. My challenge is that only some of the items are moving. The biggest space hogs – Google Maps, Google Play Store (formerly Android Market), Adobe Flash Player, and Facebook -all- still cannot be moved. Is there any guidance that you can provide to me – albeit a year and a half from publish date? It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, DRD.

  54. Peter
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Hey Sergey,

    I have followed instructions but after moving several apps “to SD card” the USB storage has the same amount of free space which means that it doesnt moved to the physical SD card :(
    I have Samsung Galaxy W (GT-I8150), android 2.3.6 where moving “to SD card” is built and what it actually does is moving apps from phone memory to USB storage that is also limited by default and this “moving” is not moving to my 16GB SD card slot.
    Any suggestion please? :S

    Thanks in advance for any info.

    • pmshah
      Posted November 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      Your so called “large” applications on android are miniscule and insignificant , space wise, for 16 gb sd card that you have on your phone. Even if the applications were actually moved to the SD card looking at free space on the card may not reflect the actual space and you may still see the same amount of free space on the sd card. True measure is to see the available free space on your phone memory.

      BTW even successful move may not move the application entirely but may reside partially in both, the phone memory and the sd card.

      I moved 3 of my large applications to sd card, namely skype, viber and whatsapp. My free space on the phone changed from around 29 mb to 65 mb. Just about 15 minutes ago I managed to update
      skype to the latest version. This involved approximately 15 mb download. In the past I had to uninstall the application entirely and then install it again from Android Market. This time around it simply upgraded the application without any intervention by me.

      Get Memory Cleaner by Gannicus. This will help you to clean up the system. Also go into manage your application and see how much space each application is using and where. Finally use “app 2 sd” to give you the exact statistics.

  55. rahul nunu
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    is this facility is available on my htc explorer which has os 2.3.2 gingerbread?????????????????????

  56. evelin
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I get as far as step 6 and when i enter the command the terminal states “the system can not find the path specified” Help.

  57. angel
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    I couldnt move any of the big apps like facebook, maps, any advice on how i can change that?

    i did all there is in this page except for the error that said adb out of date but still let me do the rest

  58. mohammad
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Please any one help to solve my problem
    some games are very large when you install that and run it begins to download most of its volume in internal card when I move that downloaded files to external sd the game don’t work and wants download again. how could I solve this problem?

    • Hammooda
      Posted April 4, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      If your phone is rooted, there are ways.

  59. S Soilder
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Until step 9 it worked fine for me, when I tap on the app I wish to move like fring or whatsapp – I do not see move to SD card button enabled. Any pointers in right direction please……
    Phone type – HTC Desire S
    Android version – 2.3.5
    HTC sense version – 3.0
    software number – 2.10.161.3
    Display – 3.7 WVGA

  60. S Soilder
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I was able to proceed after step 9 on my own – just restart the phone :)

  61. Nilesh
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    ´My Device is showing offline … how to come it online

  62. Dan M
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Thanks very much. Works like a charm!

  63. Faheem Ahmed
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I deleted MediaHub from my Samsung Galaxy 4G and even delete its system apk also with a rooted file manager and then I download it again from the market but it then again installed in phone’s internal memory. As per Dominique Tardif technique found in the 2nd last FAQ, it should install at SD Card but it hadn’t ? So, please help how I could move this and some other apps to SD Card. Phone has a Gingerbread firmware.

  64. Posted April 4, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Thanks a lot ! It works !

  65. Himanshu Verma
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Hi Sergey,
    when i enter ‘pm setInstallLocation 2′ it shows the following message.

    C:\Documents and Settings\love is life\My Documents\Downloads\android-sdk_r17-wi
    ndows\sdk\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools>adb shell
    $ pm setInstallLocation 2
    pm setInstallLocation 2
    Error: unknown command ‘setInstallLocation’
    usage: pm [list|path|install|uninstall]
    pm list packages [-f]
    pm list permission-groups
    pm list permissions [-g] [-f] [-d] [-u] [GROUP]
    pm list instrumentation [-f] [TARGET-PACKAGE]
    pm list features
    pm path PACKAGE
    pm install [-l] [-r] [-t] [-i INSTALLER_PACKAGE_NAME] PATH
    pm uninstall [-k] PACKAGE
    pm enable PACKAGE_OR_COMPONENT
    pm disable PACKAGE_OR_COMPONENT

    The list packages command prints all packages. Options:
    -f: see their associated file.

    The list permission-groups command prints all known
    permission groups.

    The list permissions command prints all known
    permissions, optionally only those in GROUP. Options:
    -g: organize by group.
    -f: print all information.
    -s: short summary.
    -d: only list dangerous permissions.
    -u: list only the permissions users will see.

    The list instrumentation command prints all instrumentations,
    or only those that target a specified package. Options:
    -f: see their associated file.

    The list features command prints all features of the system.

    The path command prints the path to the .apk of a package.

    The install command installs a package to the system. Options:
    -l: install the package with FORWARD_LOCK.
    -r: reinstall an exisiting app, keeping its data.
    -t: allow test .apks to be installed.
    -i: specify the installer package name.

    The uninstall command removes a package from the system. Options:
    -k: keep the data and cache directories around.
    after the package removal.

    The enable and disable commands change the enabled state of
    a given package or component (written as “package/class”).

    Plz help.
    Waiting eagerly for your reply.
    Thank YOu.

  66. Devon
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    Thanks SOO much! Freed up at least 30mb!! So chuffed! Well done ;-)

  67. Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Excellent article.
    It also works on Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro with Androis 2.3.4

    addendum:
    you have to remove the USB-cable before step 10 or else you will not be able to move an app.

  68. mahmoud
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    i dont work here after i write (adb Shell) give me options auto, internal, external
    i tried every thing please help

  69. Susheel J
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    I’m using a MacBook with OSX Lion and a Samsung Galaxy Ace. When I followed the steps here, I was unable, at first, to detect my phone even though the USB connection was working. “./adb devices” returned an empty list of devices.

    Upon further investigation, I came across this page:
    http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6026948/cant-find-android-device-using-adb-devices-command

    Basically, I have EasyTether installed on my MacBook and my phone. Even though it was deactivated on my phone, I had not deactivated it on my MacBook. In my terminal window, I typed in:
    sudo kextunload -v /System/Library/Extensions/EasyTetherUSBEthernet.kext

    You should get a warning message followed by a prompt to enter your password. Do so and the EasyTether program on your MacBook will stop. When you run ./adb devices again, you should see your device.

    After completing the steps outlined in Sergey’s absolutely helpful post, you can reload EasyTether by typing in:
    sudo kextload -v /System/Library/Extensions/EasyTetherUSBEthernet.kext

    Hope this adds to the helpfulness. :)

  70. Ashley T.
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I tried to follow the steps listed and everything goes great until step 6. My SDK came with a tools file and instead of an abd file with in that folder, it’s just a .txt document saying this.

    I have no clue what that means so any help would be greatly appreciated. I’m a new android user so i’m kind of lost at this point. My phone is a HTC Wildfire S and my laptop is a macbook pro running OS X.

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