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!

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Step 1: 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)

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TiagoP4 days ago

I did everything and it at all seemed to work. Even got the 2 External. But now if i goto play store to get an app it downloads but then says. i uploaded the screenshot.

I need to reverse this process please.

I have an LG-P870

Thank you so much

saeedS TiagoP10 hours ago

I had the same problem

dont worry

just at the second line put 1 instead of 2

adb shell pm set-install-location 1

AndrewS410 hours ago

Use 0 in the 1st line to install apps and then use 2 to force the phone to move from phone to SD card. If you do this back and forth you should be able to install and then move to create more space to install more apps and so the cycles goes. Any questions just shout out.

AndrewS410 hours ago

I hacked away at this for a bit and I have a Metro PCS phone that does almost nothing. Could not load apps that I wanted without having to remove others.....not anymore. I can help....just reply to this comment.

willg215 hours ago

i can't get the open command window here to appear it say to hit shift plus right. what the hell is right supposed to be

willg215 hours ago

i can't get the open command window here to appear it say to hit shift plus right. what the hell is right supposed to be

willg215 hours ago

i can't get the open command window here to appear it say to hit shift plus right. what the hell is right supposed to be

If your systems is Android 2.2 or above, it can remove the app to SD card.

Bty, I just tried install a industrial grade sd card to my phone (RENICE), with 70/64mb/s speed rate. The performance is very amazing. Super speed. Here FYI:
GinoN12 days ago

how do i reset my phone to defaults?? after doing this i cannot install anything

ashishk33 days ago

Still taking space of device memory and keep showing device memory is full.

Doesn't work with LG L70. Even after setting install location to 2 [external], apps still kept installing on internal memory, at least those apps that would install at all.

Having the same problem too.. do all LG L70's come with only 2GB of internal memory?! >:(

Thanks dude initially it didn't show any adb devices, from yours comments suggestions i got the point to install my device drivers which is QMobile Noir A30. After installing drivers the problem solved. Now I can move the apps i have installed but not able to move built in apps but still its pretty good i can save the desired memory space.

Mrtheking1 made it!11 days ago

Didn't work as specified. I read the help lines and they asked to write the following:

./adb shell pm set-install-location 2

./adb shell pm get-install-location

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 1.50.21 PM.png
Mrtheking111 days ago
ArijitS12 days ago

I am getting following error message, please suggest.

WARNING: linker: has text relocations. This is wasting memory and is a security risk. Please fix.

WARNING: linker: has text relocations. This is wasting memory and is a security risk. Please fix.

kevinle6 made it!13 days ago

Thank you so much.

NenekoK1 month ago

I'm using xperia m, I get the error

[FXN.ASD]Error: App2Sd is not supported in this device. Drop change request.

Please help

hey same problem here....... plz let me know if u got any solution...

jkamarley15 days ago

Hi I am using Sony Xperia C and have done everything but still cannot get it right as shown in the below image. Kindly help, Thank you.

MattC3818 days ago

Hi there i own a sony z2 with 4.4.2 kitkat i installed it all as what been written but keeps saying insufficient storage on device how can i fix this problem ? i also have 64gb sd installed but cant see any options to move the apps. anyone able to help thanks.

Hi there MattC38 I had the same problem! Luckily I got a fix.
This is what you do go to settings-->apps and then downloaded apps.
Click on the menu button on top right and then sort by size.
Next click on the first app you see in the list and press clear data.
Do this for the next few apps

NevilP18 days ago

Just loved reading every sentence of the article. beautifully written. <a href="">how to move all apps to sd card</a>

EduardoP19 days ago

Hey, I've got a correction for the instructions for Mac users.

In fact, the second and third lines has typing mismatch. The correct sentences are:

./adb shell pm setInstallLocation 2

./adb shell pm getInstallLocation

(Upper and Lower cases makes difference...)

Hope this info is useful.


fred.waggy19 days ago

LG L70- tried several times and it says 2[external] but nothing changes on phone, anyone know of another way to do this or how to make it work???

samad.azad319 days ago

plz tell me wht u did to make ur oc detect ur device cz i tried download all the adb and usb drivers but still it is unable to detect my device, i am using micromax elanza 2 running on android 4.3 jellybean

It's my second time i did it. First time, after doing pc wouldn't recognize the phone if it was on usb debugging ....but now i did it again to find out what causes the problem....Any ways thanks a looooot :)

ashishk322 days ago

after doing this.. Still showing.. "insufficient storage on device". but if i install the apk its install on SD card.. but directly not download and install from Play Store. Maybe its still Download on Device memory.. plz do share if any option to download directly to SD card.


cierra16941 month ago

How do I instal the SDK (very fist step). I clicked on the link and on that page clicked install SDK tools but it never starts the installation just keeps looping back to homepage

its RAR file u have to extract it.

hey the same thing happened to me i just downloaded with my phone and then transferred it to my computer

maximus.noriega made it!23 days ago

I don't know about that SDK manager. It takes way too long to DL and didn't work after it was finished. Just go to the youtube video DL the drivers file and and come back and do the instruction here. save yourself a lot of time. Now let's see what happens when I get apps...


I think the original post needs to have better detailed instructions step by step starting from DL the SDK manager and all the files it will download, what setting to choose when you plug your phone into the comp.etc.

I have an LG Optimus F6 LGMS500 and I'm going to try it now. Let's see if it works.

MikeH324 days ago

The problem some are plagued with, especially those trying to get the most out of budget devices, is that the tablet has two internal partitions. So that internal(system) and sdcard0(storage) are on the same internal drive. So even when set to load on location 2 apps still install on the internal drive. Then even when you can see it says move to usb or sdcard the tablet simply installs it back onto sdcard0 as that is classed, in it's weird little mind, as external. So nothing can even be moved to an sdcard when it says it can. Or usb for that matter. It simply swaps those two terms around as you change location to 0 or 2.
There is a way around this that some folks have used. I have not yet. As the instructions are not that clear. But if someone who is up to it can work it all out they would be a great saviour for us all. Here is the only method i have seen after days of looking.

"my Vandroid T4A cant move app installed to sdcard, but i got another way using Link2Sd, but 1st device should be rooted, use Mini partition magic tools [u can find at], make a partition to your sdcard, 1st part as Fat32 primary and 2nd part as ext2/linux primary cluster 4kb, fat32 for media/fotos,etc ext2 for app link, example u got 2gb sdcard so u can make 800mb-1gb Fat32 and the rest as ext2 for app installed data, this trick works for new android device that have internal mem split by 2 parts, 1st as internal/phone mem 2nd as external virtual mem..after those step, open Link2sd sort ur installed app by internal mem sort, and start to link it to sdcard...Good Luck :)"

Please PM me if you figure it all out, or know of a god tutorial. I will link something back myself if I figure out a way to do so.

HELP!!! i did get the 2 [external] but i can't move apps to sdcard! what did i do wrong! please help!


Same here :/

Stavk25 days ago


\platform-tools>adb shell pm set-install-location 2

WARNING: linker: app_process has text relocations. This is wasting memory and is

a security risk. Please fix.

WARNING: linker: app_process has text relocations. This is wasting memory and is

a security risk. Please fix.

please how to fix it

karlokumisa26 days ago

thank you soooooo muchhhhhh!!!!!!!

AnthonyV11 month ago

I have done all the steps shown and it keeps on telling me that I have no space available. Please help me. I have the LG Optimus L70. Thank you.

Did it say you had no space before you did this? You may need to uninstall and then reinstall your apps. Just find the largest app you have. You can use something like 'diskusage' app to determine the one that uses the most space.

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