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!

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

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)

1-40 of 207Next »
scratur2 minutes ago

it worked fine and now it says location 2 external! but i encountered a problem when trying to download the apps on the store. i already tryed to clear the cache but nothing... it keeps saying "insufficient storage available" after the download of the app ends (right before the installing process) help me pls!

dsfsdf 402.png
scratur scratur1 minute ago

translation: error/ insufficient storage available obviosly :P

ElizabethH28 hours ago

thank you so much!!! my phone was running out of room and wouldn't let me install apps. this worked perfectly for me (: (:

CosminC1 made it!4 days ago


At first I've got the message "device not found", so I've started to search the answer through the comments, and combining a few of them gave result for me.

The order of doing things is very important: After I checked the USB debugging, I read that the phone drivers must be installed, so I launched the xperia pc companion from my phone...the drivers were installed successfully, but it still didn't worked. With the cable connected, I unchecked and checked again the 'USB debugging" and a new window bubble appear with a another/different driver installing (the one from this image), and after this it finally worked...

prin screen xperia.png
sruiz73165 days ago

It says "2[external]" but when I try and download an app it'll say give me the insufficient storage message. I have an android HTC SV One and Windows 7, any ideas?

Screenshot 2014-12-13 21.06.55.png
young87617 days ago
For those who have encountered "insufficient memory" prob try downloading app cache cleaner and clean your app cache maybe that will work
young87617 days ago
For those who have encountered "insufficient memory" prob try downloading app cache cleaner and clean your app cache maybe that will work

Using Sony Xperia M using this steps showing a error when setting location 2 ..

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

now how can i change my default installation location... suggest any other way


does this work with windows 8? because I cant open command window :(

please help

KathyH214 days ago

Did a factory reset on my HTC One V, then followed the instructions, and everything seemed successful. Redownloaded my apps. Then the phone shut down twice the next day, yesterday, but did eventually power back on. Today is another story. Won't power on, doesn't look like it's charging. Any ideas?

SreevaniP15 days ago


I have done all steps perfectly and even install location is showing as 2 but there is change in my phone applications. i cant move them to memory card..please help me!!

bashley18 days ago

1. I assume this won't work if you use linux. Too bad.

2. I have only 4 GB total storage. I get the "no room" message from the play store when I have less than 110 or so MB in my "internal storage" area (the other internal area is called "phone" and has a bit over 1 GB available).

3. I can still install new apps using 1MobileMarket even though the play store burps.

4. Good luck with the procedure.

ŠárkaZ1 month ago

Hi, I did all of the above and it worked just for moving the apps to my SD card. However when trying to install a new app I still get "Insufficient storage available." even though there´s enough available storage space on both, SD card (6.8 GB) and phone (88MB).

Please help !!!

Did you fix it because i am having dhe same problem.

EsmerA121 days ago

I can't install apps now. it says "free up some space and try again" i have 10gb free in my SD and 1.2 gb free on my internal storage. The program i want to install is 2mb

You must install your phone usb driver on computer first before do this job

gezafisch1 month ago

All i get is : error device not found. Help!

i think the most common mistake is make sure you device drivers are downloaded...

buteman1 month ago

I tried this and it did report that it had changed the default installation to 2 [external] but it made no difference to where it installed to.

As I had a fair amount of space on the internal card I tried using 1 rather than 2 as the default. Again no difference. What I did find was that I could move some extra apps to the internal SD card and they would run from there. I also found that clearing the cache didn't seem to affect any of the apps but did free up quite a lot of space on the tablet.

that what i got..

AminS122 days ago

i have cubot c9, i did all steps successfully, and it worked. but then after installing some apps ( they worked fine in the first time) , found them deleted. the icons in the desktop but can't open any of them , it says app is not installed. hope you can help me.

AndreiH23 days ago

i have lg optimus l5 2 with jelly bean 4.1.2 and the apps are still installing in internal storage...why?

AndreiH AndreiH23 days ago

it says i have not much memory on external..but i have..why??

MarcL11 month ago

Please help. I'm desperate.

Screen shot 2014-11-18 at 14.59.54.png

you have to put your mac pc in the trash its the worst thing that the human made, go to a micosoft and buy a one with w8.1 :)

johnh211 month ago

why is it that, i already have my phone connected and debugged but still it can not be seen when i try to locate it. any help or solution pls? all ports are okay.


Hello! i had the same problem, first you must go to your settings and enable usb debugging (you must acept your pc in a pop up asking for permision), then you had to plug out your cellphone , reboot your pc and do the steps and its going to work!

I think You'll have to allow access to Ur phone. When You connect it to the in debugging mode there should be a pop-up on Ur phone asking for permission.

InnosaintN27 days ago

Man thanks a lot I appreciate. I was even thinking of buying another phone with a larger internal memory. U just saved me.

As for other guys if it didn't work, try this


This is done with the "sdk manager" app found in first extraction folder, just run it and do what's below.

The abd feature isn’t installed by default. It is in the Android sdk Platform-tools package – select this package from the name column in the sdk manager interface and click the Install
button at the bottom left to download(update) and install it.

Then try the steps from the initial post


It worked fine for me...

MarcL11 month ago

monsieur-laws-MacBook:platform-tools monsieurlaw$ ./adb devices
List of devices attached
0123456789ABCDEF device

monsieur-laws-MacBook:platform-tools monsieurlaw$ ./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.
monsieur-laws-MacBook:platform-tools monsieurlaw$ ./adb shell pm get-install-location
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.
monsieur-laws-MacBook:platform-tools monsieurlaw$

Screen shot 2014-11-18 at 14.59.54.png
KarthikS11 month ago

Is this works with Micomax unite 2 with 8Gb ROM without rooting? Since application storage is only .99GB in this phone. Since my phone is new, i don't want to take risk by rooting the phone as of now.If not possible please suggest any other option so that I can install application directly in external memory card which i have is 16GB card. Thanks in advance. Suggestons are welcome

vijaym21 month ago

i have tried it on my desire 820 with 4.4.4... n found no change in the installation path... it always goes to my internal storage

buteman1 month ago

I have also tried this on my Samsung Galaxy S2 with the same result.

What a shame it doesn't work. I guess I will look at putting Linux on my tablet. At least I am pretty familiar with it so should have less problems like this.

Does it work in xiaomi redmi 1s
nousbloomy1 month ago

i did all but not works for me... there is still "insufficient space". Even though i tried this too >>1. adb shell pm set-install-location 2

2. adb shell pm get-install-location

TemisR1 month ago

I follow this video and it's work..-->

Does it work on 4.3 Sony?
SirPanics1 month ago

I got it working but the commands in this guide were wrong and apparently shell commands are case sensitive? Regardless, if you're having problems just look through the command list for the right command, for me it was "setInstallLocation" and "getInstallLocation" without the hyphens.

ChristsMan1 month ago

This is all well and good; however, android still downloads the files, to install, to the local directory on the phone not the external sd card. We need to know how to force android to download the .apk's to the external sd card

1-40 of 207Next »