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)

bthornburgh2 months ago

I have an LG Optimus Q. I get nearly all of the way through, but when I enter the code "adb shell pm setInstallLocation 2", this is what I get:

"[1] Killed pm setInstallLoc..."

What does this mean? Can anyone help?

You have to include the dash "-"
adb shell pm set-install-location 2

Also has to be all lowercase.

still the apps are not getting stored in the SD card. pl advice if any alternates

pfca1 month ago

2 [external]: Install on external media

asantosh9 months ago
can this without rooting process be applied on my xperia the phone hangs due to lack of internal memory.??

I also have an xperia E..(C1504)..I tried it but not working

Somya Nagar492 months ago

Does This work on android 4.1.1??

zainlinux19892 months ago


adb shell pm setInstallLocation 0 or

adb shell pm setInstallLocation 1 or

adb shell pm setInstallLocation 2

Macj-862 months ago

Hello, I have Sony Xperia M.... The instructions were pretty straight forward.. I followed them exactly the same way and the end result was as you mentioned -- "2 [external]". However, after that, I tried to install a new app and it seems to be going to my internal memory and not to my SD card. Futher, i cannot see "Move to" or "Move to SD card" option to any of the aps which are already installed... So i folllowed all these steps and end up at the same point I was before... Can you give me any better solutions or alternatie solutions to get rid of this memory problems...? Thank you in advance

does it work on Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (GT P5100) ??!

spectere3 months ago

ok so I have a xperia m, and when I type adb shell pm set-install-location 2, it says no device found..... I had typed adb devices before this and it said list of attached devices....something like can someone help me plz???

jmarques63 months ago
I´ve done what you said and in the end I get 2[external] but the apps are installed again in phone memory. I own a BQ Aquaris 5
MrPureskill3 months ago
My computer can't find my phone even though it's connect to it, any help would be great thanks.
CaptainKirk583 months ago
Will this work on android 2.3.6? I am using a zte v795.
CaptainKirk583 months ago
Will this work for android 2.3.6?
Somya Nagar493 months ago
Hello, In the step 1, you mentioned to open 'cmd/terminal' in the platform-tools folder. But I cannot find it..!
Please Reply..
abhishekvspt4 months ago
Hello , I m abhishek ,i upgrade my android os from 4.1.2 to 4.2.2 but i have problem about when i install any app from anywhere it give mi error msg "Application cannot be installed in the default installation location".
RIU (author)  abhishekvspt4 months ago
If it worked before, you should undo it by using:
adb shell pm set-install-location 0

After that, try redoing it. If it doesn't work, they must've changed something in the new update

heidilee4 months ago
When I did this on my HTC EVO3D I had to set the charge mode to media sync for this to work. FYI.
jakobpoff6 months ago
For me the 'open command window here' option doesn't come up! I'm on Windows vista.
kasimdaruwala9 months ago
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?
sir can i uSe it on my ASUS FONEPAD?? :'(
RIU (author)  sweetkeralaboy7 months ago
If it works on your phone, i'm almost positive it will work on your fonepad. Given that the fonepad is just a bigger display for your phone. (I think). Give it a try!
kvoss17 months ago
If you set it up so apps install on the external sd card, can you still access apps that are installed on phone memory or on the internal sd card?
gguerra18 months ago
Hi, managed no doit in a mac and working... well kind of... apps are installed by default on the SD card, but some app data the uses a lot of space is still being downloaded do the internal memory... does anyone know how to make it move all app data to the SD by default?
hijratullah8 months ago
Thanks for instruction, I done your instruction step by step but it doesn't work. App is still installing in internal sdcard. sony xperia tipo dual (St21i)
Can any one help me!
I did everything, I got the "2 [external]" message, but I still don't have to move to sd option, what went wrng?

I have a Motorola D3 XT919 with Jellybean 4.1.2
I did everything, I got the "2 [external]" message, but I still don't have to move to sd option, what went wrng?

I have a Motorola D3 XT919 with Jellybean 4.1.2
msugand8 months ago
I now successfully completed step 2. As now all apps will be installed on the external sd card. when i tried this step [System Settings > Applications > Manage Applications] and select the app you want to move and press move, I don't get the "Move to USB storage" option as shown in the picture in step 3. I want to move the apps which are already installed on the internal sd card to the external sd card.
msugand8 months ago
I am using The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 with Android 4.1.2 version. I recently inserted a new micro sd card to free up the internal storage. i tried your steps but after the 2nd command-adb shell pm set-install-location 2 it says error:device not found.The Tablet is connected through usb. I even tried an alternative command- adb shell pm setInstallLocation 2 bt same result.
unplug your device reselect usb debugging then replug to computer then run adb device, good luck
Assamarqandi8 months ago
i did it!!!
Saalim8 months ago
Hello everyone..

I have a Samsung Galaxy Grand phone and I followed the steps mentioned below and run the command 'adb device' and got a result under 'List of Devices attached'...can anyone please help me with what to do next?

Is this done or do I need to do anything else?
georgeyk8 months ago
Worked fine for me. android 2, galaxy mini.
gopinaths8 months ago
i hav a prob dude. whn i typed the code which u given. it says thr "error : device not found".
also i can access my memory card.
plz help me
keshavbk9 months ago
I don't get the "Move to USB storage" option
paradoxsheep9 months ago
will it work on samsung replenish with android 2.3 (gingerbread)
dj_square9 months ago
does this work galaxy grand quattro/win with jelly bean 4.1.2
alihayder9 months ago
Hey I have a question man, I am using the Xperia Z. I tried following your thing on my 4.2.2 Firmware .423 firmware and like this is what I did can you please tell me if this firmware and stuff is compatible?


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