Introduction: How to Install Apps Onto Your SD Card (No Root)

Picture of How to Install Apps Onto Your SD Card (No Root)
        Have you ever ran low on memory space on your android and had to delete some apps? With a computer and a micro SD card you don't have to worry about running out of space on your phone any more! You don't even need to root your phone! After this, your phone will automatically install apps to your external memory.

note - this works on both Windows and Mac OS

Items needed
  1. Android Phone (duh)
  2. a micro usb cable
  3. a computer
Warning for galaxy users!
    This method of moving your apps to sd card is known for not working with the Galaxy series, you if own a galaxy/ are getting a galaxy and is thinking of moving your apps to an external storage, i recommend rooting your device, enabling further access to files and such. Here's a link to guide you to rooting your galaxy, Good Luck!

Step 1: Getting Ready to Change Installation Location

Picture of Getting Ready to Change Installation Location

1. Get the Google Android SDK
     - Unzip the file and place the folder onto your desktop or anywhere that can be easily accessed.
     - find the platform tools folder (default, it should be : adt-bundle/sdk)

2. Find cmd/terminal (for mac)
     - (for mac users) go to [System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > Services]
        and then check the box [New Terminal At Folder]

3. Go onto your Android phone and select USB debugging
     - Go to [System settings > Developer Options] and select USB Debugging (if the option is grayed out, unplug your phone first)


Step 2: Using Adb

Picture of Using Adb

1. Windows
    - Open the folder called " platform-tools"
    - shift+right-click anywhere inside the folder and choose [Open Command Window Here]
   - right-click the folder called "platform-tools" and choose [New Terminal At Folder]

2. Enter in the following

For Windows :
       adb devices
       adb shell pm set-install-location 2
       adb shell pm get-install-location

For Mac : (note - there is a period before the slashes)
       ./adb devices
       ./adb shell pm set-install-location 2
       ./adb shell pm get-install-location

3. Check if you did it right
   - if you did it right, the last output should say: 2 [external]

        If you did it right, CONGRATS! Your phone will now install your apps to your SD Card by default! Have fun now!

Step 3: More Info

Picture of More Info

    Some apps will not continue to function properly if located on your SD Card.

Moving Apps
    [System Settings > Applications > Manage Applications] and select the app your want to move and press move.

   The "Move to Usb Storage" option was only available on older android firmwares, sorry for the confusion.



Digital Adda 29 (author)2017-06-26

How to Install Apps to SD card without Root


damiang12 (author)2015-12-25

Thanks for breaking my phone i cant install small apps now

dociselm (author)damiang122017-02-05

This comes with the territory...every developer or weekend modder knows this by experience. So you can thank yourself.. Every good modder has broken at least one or two phones..You should have known you didn't know how to reverse it and stopped there. Every good forum even states a warning for noobs like you. No hate but come on modding a phone is no joke.P.S anyone reading this post make a ADB backup....

damiang12 (author)dociselm2017-06-24

This was 2 years ago, why did you even comment? At the time I had reversed the process and gotten into to work again so yes I did know how to reverse it, you don't have to jump to con conclusions that quick. Really no need to call me a noob at the time I just wanted to get it working but my phone didn't seem to work with it. I've learned more about Android in the past few years. And with the comment all I wanted to do is warn other people that it might not work and get the same result as I had and no were does it state that . Also this whole process never even worked, I was unable to install smaller apps and apps still didn't install on my sd card directly.

cuyocksol (author)dociselm2017-06-24

this tutorial has no such warning. no need to get so judgemental of a 'noob'. such a comment is unhelpful.

anderss (author)damiang122016-12-11

Thank yourself then, cause you were the one who performed the procedure.

TheBenn0 (author)2015-11-28

I followed all the instructions for mac and on the terminal screen i get an error on the second command

Error: java.lang.SecurityException: Package android does not belong to 2000

Bens-Mac-mini:platform-tools Ben$

erm3nda (author)TheBenn02017-05-27

Or the "no root" title part is wrong, or just not all phones can run that option without sudo (indeed --> "Error: java.lang.SecurityException: Package android does not belong to 2000"). Didn't try more phones than LG-K8. Of course not yet rooted so no "sudo" binary will be found. I had other phones (like G526 that allowed my to just enter Settings->Storage->Set default sd card location) that didn't hurt me about sdcard settings. Seems is because the Android version.

TimS248 (author)TheBenn02016-08-06

Hey Ben,

"Error: java.lang.SecurityException: Package android does not belong to 2000" means your don't have root access. May you just need to enter "su" or you need to root your phone. On Cyanogen I have the option under the developer options to enable root access for adb.

swaugh (author)TheBenn02015-12-09

after "adb devices" just type "adb shell" (enter) then type "su" (enter and accept on the phone display), This enables SuperUser. Now you can type "pm set-install-location 2"
Verify the new destination with "pm get-install-location"

ArcherF (author)swaugh2015-12-14

/system/bin/sh: su: not found

127|shell@kltespr:/ $

That's what I get when I try to use "su". What do?

seth.guthrie (author)ArcherF2015-12-20

I have the same problem, su not found.

Digital Adda 29 (author)2017-03-26
Kimtaro (author)2016-08-27

I followed your guide, and as i enter get-install-locaiton, I get 2 [external] - so everything should be fine. Thing though is that when I install, it installs on the internal memory.

My phone is running CM. What am I doing wrong?

AlexandreM98 (author)Kimtaro2017-03-22

Same here, I always get 2 as a return but in practice it doesn't work.

AlexandreM98 (author)2017-03-22

Tried on android 4.2.1, did receive a 2, didn't work to send apps nor to download new ones... I'm not sure why.

DamianS63 (author)2017-03-12

I can't installs any app on my Samsung S7 Edge.

¿May you help me, please?


DamianS63 (author)DamianS632017-03-12

Excuse me, the apps are installed on my Samsung S7 Edge, But the task takes too long, about half an hour

A.R.Selvam (author)2017-02-19

Thank you brother..

dociselm (author)2017-02-05 Plz watch !! Do this prior to doing any ADB shell command.... Preferably when you first get ur phone....Will study steps and report back with either a thumbs up or new tutorial.[/hide] XDA junior member-(Docturl)[/hide]

LukeSeven (author)2017-02-02

no root are you sure?

TricksH24 (author)2017-01-05

How To Install Apps Onto Your SD Card (No Root)

TricksH16 (author)2016-11-02

Try this method, How to install apps onto your SD card without Rooting your Android Phone

TricksH13 (author)2016-10-29

How to install apps onto your SD card without Rooting your Android Phone

duydongutc (author)2016-08-29

How to fix it: Error: java.lang.SecurityException: Package android does not belong to 2000

Android 5.0


ChevroyL (author)duydongutc2016-09-04

Your phone has to be rooted. If it is rooted and you are still seeing that error then you need to type adb shell. Then type su then press enter. After that you can then enter adb shell pm set-install-location 2

JaskaranS4 (author)2016-02-09

it shows error after entering 2nd command...

it says that "Package android does not belong to 2000"

what to do now?

BryantP3 (author)JaskaranS42016-07-09

hey bro faced the same thing. open your cmd as admin > go to your adb folder > type in adb shell you will start shell session > type su > press enter you will be set as root > type in set-install-location 2 it will work..


C:\root\tools>adb shell

shell@hwChe2:/ $ su


root@hwChe2:/ # pm set-install-location 2

pm set-install-location 2

root@hwChe2:/ # pm get-install-location

pm get-install-location


joseaortiz1958 (author)2016-06-11

That link is for something else

KaranM18 (author)2016-02-29

Command prompt always say that my device is offline even when it is connected.

mahendra singhc (author)2016-02-29

I did correct as you mentioned, but it is still showing me error of insufficient storage while installing new app for Play store?Whats the matter?

thetv (author)2016-02-07

hi new here, i completed all the steps and got the last output to say 2 [external] but when i try to download any app from the google play store i get a message saying that there is not enough storage on my device despite the fact that i still have 119GB available on my 128GB sd card. can anyone help me?

sergejs danielsa (author)2016-02-07

i have windows xp i can't open comand window D: don't blame me and my tablet randomly shuts down

npm1234 (author)2016-01-12

I am using windows 7. Trying it for Micromax Unite2. downloaded the file 'android-sdk_r24.4.1-windows.Zip' and extracted. In the extracted file there is no folder called " Platform-tools" there are two different folders calld " Platform" and "tools". Now where to open new command windows? I tried in both the folders but it does not execute "adb devices" command. says "does not recognised as internal command" Please help. (Phone is connected to PC in USB debugging mode)

ShaelE (author)npm12342016-01-25

Of you already downloaded the program and installed it correctly you can found the folder in Users/(name)/AppData/Local/Android/SDK

bigdave (author)2016-01-25

I cant do it for my sony xperia D2303

TarunY1 (author)2016-01-03

Guys I need help

I have Sony Xperia M (C2004)

I followed all the above processes after setting the location to 2 an error message came saying that Apps2D is not supported!

Thanks in advance, Please help

D. DoyleR (author)2015-10-26

Well, don't know what version of windows this applies to. Found the Platform Tools folder and it needed extracting (no way to click in and open a Command window, wth). Extracted, and there IS no such extracted folder if that matters, to click in and open a Command window. Opened a Command window anyway and Windows 7 will not recognize ADB ANYTHING at all ! Useless.

D DoyleR Open a cmd.exe prompt as an administrator. run the chocolatey install command..

# Its all one line
@powershell -NoProfile -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Command "iex ((new-object net.webclient).DownloadString(''))" && SET PATH=%PATH%;%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\chocolatey\bin

#when that finishes run
choco install adb -y

When it finishes close and open another cmd prompt. hoping u have the proper driver for adb devices.

# In command Prompt run
adb devices

if that didn't show any devices and adb is on and ur phone is plugged in download and run this

it should show ur device when it opens up and u click "install" to install driver. This doesn't work on newer Windows, it depends on security settings. But keep in mind new windows have the adb driver, u would just have to open up ur device manager and change the driver for that device. Google is your bestfriend if u know how to use it right! Good Luck

damiang12 (author)2015-12-22

It doesnt work for me it is probably (i dont know for sure) because i have a Dutch computer and in my command window there is no command as ''abd'' and i cant find it in the help list so somebody help plzzz thanks already.

damiang12 (author)damiang122015-12-23

I know what i did wrong it was adb not abd but my computer says that there are no devices contected but my phone is connected and i see it at the computer tab thing

damiang12 (author)damiang122015-12-23

Well it found my phone and i did the things but still doesnt install on sd card just says that i have no space

LucasJ5 (author)2015-12-13

As far as I can tell, all this does is allow me to move a few extra apps over to the SD card—NOT download directly. Why is this happening?

JinoT (author)2015-12-09

hello, I followed the instructions , explained here and i did successfully changed my storage/ location to sd card.. But after 2 months i had to remove sd card from mobile. and Now AGAIN I CAN NOT INSTALL APP IN TO SD CARD.. i did these steps again and in command prompt, every thing OK(not showing any error- I tried location 2, 1 & 0 also) but in my mobile showing message "insufficient space." (sorry for my bad English).

JacekJ (author)2015-12-04

Where i can find this folder?

D. DoyleR (author)2015-10-26

Oh, also, my version of HTC and Android 4... has not USB debugging option available either...will now go out and search for the Next useless trick. I have been through about four so far. About to take a hammer to this phone.

medlong (author)D. DoyleR2015-11-26

Go into "Settings" click on "About Phone" Tap several times on "Build Number" until a box pops up that says "you are now a developer" Go back to "Settings" and scroll down the menu to the last box where you have "date and time", "accessibility" etc. and now you should have a new menu item that says, "Developer Options" click on it and it will have "debugging". When you are finished in the "developer options" turn it off and it will disappear from the settings menu. That way if you are a phone fumbler like me, you won't accidently change any of the other settings in developer options and mess up your phone.

Emboleon1 made it! (author)2015-11-01

Here's the command for it. For Android 4 and up ONLY! (I used a Kyocera Torque)

clegg16 (author)Emboleon12015-11-19

I had done the same (also on a Kyocera Torque I might add) and the response was "killed". Not sure what this means or what to do next.

karems (author)Emboleon12015-11-04

i made it and done as your picture .. but when i go to google play and download any app say insufficient storage . and i made all thing right and i had the result is external memory . what shall i do ?

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