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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AndrewS41 month 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.

AlfredoC AndrewS454 minutes ago

i have a Metro PCS phone too, cant seem to get this to work, can you help? pleas

i got the 2 [external] but i still get the "error downloading There is insufficient space on the device"

any ideas??

it can't install the driver CDC Ethement Control Model (ECM), and when using dbt it can't find devices.

What can I do to fix that problem.

i done the same thing but it was moving to phone memory


9326s7 days ago

i am getting error that

device no found

whhat to do.... plz tell

tbalan34 months ago

HELP, i followed all the steps and did get the

2 [external] at the end ,and when i install any apps ,it show insufficient memory

How to undo this thing ,Please help.

Im using a Xperia T2 ultra

re-run the comand using 0 instead of 2


HanZoro tbalan33 months ago

I suspect some apps needed to be in the internal storage only to work properly.

The way I undo the process is like this;

1. adb shell pm set-install-location 1
2. adb shell pm get-install-location
(I use this to check if the setting is back to default or not.)

Hope it works for you guy.

DileshD8 days ago

i tried it and it was successfull. but the thing is now when i try to download something from google play store it says "insufficient storage available". I tried clearing cache bla bla bla but stil no luck. how cn i fix it?? can anyone tell me how to reverse it? how to remove the typed commands in the command prompt?? my phone is LG D325 thnk you

MichaelD99 days ago

I also just get

error: device not found.

Ahmedelmawrdy01 made it!9 days ago

Thank you IT works On my Xperia V

dkhương1 made it!5 months ago

Successfully implemented on Lenovo P770 phone, Thanks !


I got the same Message on my Lenovo s660 as well.... but it still does not give any option to move to SD Card when u go into any Particular Application....

emmanuell13 days ago

Hi ,

tried it , Does not work on location 0 , 1 or 2.... In my phone 0 is internal and 1 is external.... Doesnt work on either .... Please help

emmanuell13 days ago

yes I did what was Mentioned and got the location as 2 External but Moving apps to SD Card option is still not available in my Lenovo S660

failaip114 days ago

error:device not found

error:device not found

ali.eksan.916 days ago

I didn't get it right the first couple of times but did it in the end. Maybe I'm wrong but after accidentally keying in "location2" instead of the space in between, the default location changed. I tried all the commands listed here as well so I'm not sure what did the trick. I'm using Sony Experia Neo V. Thanks for the help!

Unsupported with KitKat 4.4

Change nothing, even when variable is set correctly.

NDed3 months ago

So, I'm already at the command window, and when I type "adb shell pm set-install-location 2", it says "device not found"

Device is an Arc Mobile 401D Nitro. Uses Android 4.2.2

coco.lyions NDed3 months ago

do you have your phone drivers alredy installed?, remember put your device on "usb debug mode"

Not only do you need to enable "usb debugging", you need to ensure the computer connection is set to MTP. See this link

jpcm198821 days ago


adb -d shell

su root

pm setInstallLocation 2

pm getInstallLocation

PiotrH23 days ago

Unfortunately it does not work on unrooted Sony Xperia SP C5303 4.3 12.1.A.1.207. Even after all commands are successful the Apps which had SD access privileges keep installing on Phone's internal Memory (and using SD for cache just like in default settings) while apps without SD access privileges do not install at all returning "not enough space" error.

DennisS524 days ago

It can't work on Sony Xperia Z3, performed ./adb shell pm set-install-location 0 to reset it back to default else error message: "Insufficient Space Available" will pop up. Called up Sony Support and they said after Kitkat ver 4.0, this option is no longer supported.

Adban AkibP24 days ago

thanks a lot :)

ok, i'm sure you need to do more than here above described!

anyone know how to download directly to sd card instead on hd of my mobile phone. there should be an easy way to do that?

I am using Samasun Galaxy S duos it showed me 2[external] but when i am installing any new app from google play store it shows insufficient memory...kindly advice what needs to he done on this
I had that message too. I had to revert the install location back to 1, install that, then manually move to SD card.

My problem is, even after I set-install-location to 2, it STILL installs on the phone instead of the SD card. Does anyone know what else I have to force it to install on the SD card, or do apps always override the install-location and prefer location 1 (phone) instead?

Hi, i am also having the same problem with samsung galaxy s duos.

after getting 2[external] when i tried to install apps it says--insufficient memory . please delete some me with this .important

drlanator27 days ago

i didn't get any errors, i got the 2 [external], but it had no effect on the phone.

i'm using a ZTE Midnight with android 2.2.3

I have an Allview phone, which doesn't have USB debuging :( it will work without?

Na, mivan? Magyarok mindenhol? :D Mindegy.
Van egyáltalán Fejlesztői Beállítások (Developer Options) menüpontod a beállításoknál? Ha nem, menj ide: Beállítások>A telefonról Legalul lesz egy "Buildszám" nevű menüpont. Azt kezdd el nyomogatni. Kis idő múlva ki fogja írni, hogy még hányszor kell megnyomnod, hogy fejlesztő légy. Folytasd a nyomogatást, és jelezni fogja, ha már "fejlesztő vagy". Most menj vissza a beállításokhoz, és alul látni fogsz egy új opciót: "Fejlesztői beállítások". Menj bele. Okézd le a felugró ablakot (röviden tömören csak annyit mond, hogy ott csak elővigyázatosan babrálj a beállításokkal, csak ha tudod, mit csinálsz.) Keresd meg az "USB Hibakeresést" és pipáld ki. :)
(A menüpontok "nevei" kicsit eltérhetnek típustól függően, de szerintem megtalálod őket. Nekem Sony Xperia SP-m van)

DevaG1 month ago

i did everything but it shows device not found

VineethP1 month ago

Please help me out with this below mentioned error:

C:\Program Files\Android\android-sdk\platform-tools>adb shell pm set-install-location 2
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.

TiagoP1 month 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 TiagoP1 month 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

AndrewS41 month 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.

willg21 month 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

willg21 month 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

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