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

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)

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ChristoV22 days ago

How can I set the default download location for my apps, because I think my apps try to download to my internal storage, but it stores on my sd card. The problem is I only have 180mb free space on my internal space, which isn't enough to say download hearthstone for example, which is 500 mb

PiercingB1 month ago

Guyz If any one knows what to do please help me out here. Here's the thing:

Like every one I tried every thing as it was meant to be. Every thing works fine but in the end of the day I still get the error "insufficient space". Though I tried to re- my location process as some one mentioned earlier and also I rebooted my phone after getting the 2[External] result. My phone is not some very known phone but I know that it can work well and I have a 8Gb ext. card which still kinda is empty. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

I having the same problem but i found out that, installing torrent or any downloaded apps from torrent sites won't work easily. It only works on direct download from google play. Im still trying to solve it on my own. :)
AlexisC53 months ago

i couldnt even find the platform tools folder.. this is probably the most vague set of directions ever.

If you installed your sdk properly then it should appear on your path user/appdata/local/android/androidsdkplatform... dont forget to change your folder option to see hidden files. :)
JonoM1 AlexisC518 days ago

in the newest version of andoid studio platform tools can be found in


hope this helps some people

hbsaul AlexisC528 days ago

This is so true. As to where to find the find the platform tools folder, you have to make sure you have the right sdk. To launch the platform:

In Android Studio, click SDK Manager
in the toolbar.

DhruvMC18 days ago

There is quite less chance for this to work if your phone has a Sunxi(C) chip..

ThomasO326 days ago

the plataform tools folder doesnt exist... just plataform folder and tools folder... the comand window didnt found the adb devices... this tutorial sucks

Art PhilippeB10 months ago

I'm using xperia m dual, i get the error

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

help please :) thanks!

I think it doesnt work for xperia m dual... because it doesnt have the basice option of move to sd you have to go for other options.....but not this one

SrikrishnaA1 month ago

how to get google android sdk?

In Android Studio, click SDK Manager
in the toolbar.

hbsaul28 days ago

I have not been able to finish the tutorial but I think the person that wrote it is very lazy or care less for newbies. That being said, I thank him/her for the tuts and appreciate the effort. I will drop few words when I find the time to try things out..

Forgot to say thanks for the help!!

O.K here is what I did , I followed the directions , then did what Daviidazo suggested, restarted my phone, then uninstalled all my apps, There weren't many, I buy cheap because I destroy phones, HTC desire 510 . Then started installing apps. I already have twice as many apps downloaded. I wish I took a before and after screen shot.

Davidr561 month ago

what file u want me to unzip and how did u unzip Google Android SDK

Davidr561 month ago
rajbabur2 months ago

I'm unable to proceed with step 2, stuck with the command adb devices and adb shell pm set-install-location 2 with no output

maxb1 rajbabur2 months ago

it is not supposed to do anything just proceed with step 2

Had success but gave INSUFFICIENT ERROR installing or UPGRADING certain apps.

Hi, I got this message after setting the new install location in my XPeria M

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

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

same problem here

PriyaA25 months ago

this method doesn't work in sony xperia m dual c2005

showing app2sd is not supported to your device

KateH1 PriyaA22 months ago

i have the exact same problem. does anyone know what it means?

Type adb help. Some of the command items may have changed with the 5.xx update. If the install- commands are not listed, the command is not recognized. This previously worked with my LG G3 mini but now since the update, all commands for the terminal have changed. This command is no longer valid.

FilipK42 months ago

When i type in "adb shell pm set-install-location 2" to the .cmd it says error: device not found

any help?

If every steps were followed and still unsuccessful, remove connection between phone and pc then restart both. Attach again both pc and phone then repeat the command prompt. It work with my lg g3, hope it will work with you also. Goodluck.

MarcT19662 months ago

So, I used the adb thingy on my own phone and worked just fine. Same on my son's phone. Well, except: apps are moved to SD with a storage of 2GB, which I am pretty sure is internal memory, even though it is called SD. The external SD of 16GB remains empty.
Actually I reset the default install-location back to 0 and then to 2 again. It confirmed it was 2, with adb shell pm get-install-location. But not really, it seems.

gluckes3 months ago

for all who failed trying this with adb, try it through a shell emulator on the device:

su (for superuser access), then pm set-install-location 2

PaulI1 gluckes2 months ago

what exactly I must write and where? to the phone or in cmd on my pc?

gluckes PaulI12 months ago

if you're doing this through adb, you type "adb shell pm set-install-location 2" on a terminal on your computer.

if you're doing this on a local terminal, you don't need adb, so on your phone, you type su & pm set-install-location 2

raxas922 months ago

adb shell pm set-install-location 2

Error:java.lang.SecurityException: Package android does not belong to 2000. plzzzzzz help ,karbonn sparkle V (android One,5.1)

PaulI1 raxas922 months ago

I have the same problem

PaulI12 months ago

I have the same problem

hoplite.rus2 months ago

did the instructions on sony xperia arc s. success!

aman.raizada2 months ago

i didn't get it. what did you do after choosing developers option? Please help. I'm really looking for this method.

DeepS23 months ago
DeepS23 months ago
Daviidazo3 months ago

(fix)FOR EVERYONE WHO STILL GET "insuficient space". Follow the instructions to the letter (after your phones driver is installed (automatically after a few minutes)) and after you get your result External : 2 you RESTART your phone, to make the changes start running, otherwise the phone stays as it is. hope this helps

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