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How to Install Android Apps to the SD Card by Default & Move Almost Any App to the SD Card

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Android apps which are installed to the internal storage by default now you can also set the SD card as your default install location. This function allows you to move almost any app to the SD card. This app requires Android 2.2 or upgraded version. On the way to change the default install location you’ll require to use the ADB, or Android Debug Bridge, utility included with Google’s Android SDK.

Enable USB Debugging

First of all you will need to enable USB debugging on your Android device. Open the Settings screen click Applications and then select Development then click the USB Debugging checkbox to enable it. This will enable debug mode and will allow you to change the settings on your Android device from your PC. You may disable debug mode after completion of this process.

Install the Android SDK

First of all you need to download and install Google’s Android SDK on your PC. If you already don’t have Oracle’s Java JDK installed on your computer then you’ll have to download and install it before installing the Android SDK. Once you have installed both the app JDK and Android SDK, open the SDK Manager from your Start menu of your PC. The ADB utility is not being installed by default. It is already included in the Android SDK Platform-tools package – select this package and click the Install button to download and install it. After the process is completed then connect your Android device to your PC with its USB cable. Windows should locate the device and install the appropriate drivers automatically. If it doesn’t, you can download and install the appropriate drivers from your Android device’s manufacturer. Don’t mount the device after connecting it just plug it.

Using ADB

Open the Windows Explorer window and navigate it to the android-sdk\platform-tools folder. On Windows, you will find this folder at C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk\platform-tools by default. Check C:\Program Files\Android\android-sdk\platform-tools if you’re using a 32-bit version of Windows. Launch a Command Prompt window in this folder by pressing and holding the Shift button, right-clicking in the folder, and selecting Open command window here. Run the adb devices command and see your connected Android device then run the following command to set the default install location to your SD card:

adb shell pm set Install Location 2

If you want to revert this change later and install apps to the internal storage by default, run this command:

adb shell pm set Install Location 0

Moving Apps to SD Card

Apps that will refuse to leave your system storage can now be moved to the external storage To move an app to the SD card, open the Settings screen, tap Applications, and select Manage Applications. Select the app you want to move and click the Move button on its details screen.


Some of the apps shouldn’t be installed to your SD card and should remain installed on the internal storage. The external storage is unavailable when your Android device is mounted on your computer, so apps that remain running all the time should be left on your internal storage. Widgets, launchers, animated wallpapers, and anything you want to use while your Android’s SD card is mounted on your computer should be left on the internal storage.

About Siya

Siya has a master’s degree in Marketing and editor with passion. He holds 7 years’ experience in this field. She holds a keen interest in the know-how of what is brewing in healthcare and science.

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