Install and Move Android Apps to SD Card Without Rooting

The low-budget Android phones come with a limited internal storage capacity. When you install an application, by default it installs on phone memory. With the passage of time, the space gets consumed. In that reason, the phone becomes slower, and you’ll unable to install a new app.
Android Apps to SD Card
The solution is that, you have to install android apps to SD card by default, or you can move android apps to external SD card without rooting. These two procedures can help you to free up your phone memory. Carefully follow the below steps to Install and Move your apps on External storage.

Install Android Apps on SD Card by Default

Before going through the procedure, you must have to be done two things.

1) Enable USB Debugging
Enable it by going your Phone’s Settings >> Developer options >> USB debugging.2) Download Google’s official Android SDK

After download, Extract it in your computer and navigate to adt-bundle >> sdk >> platform-tools.

    • Launch the Command Prompt window in this folder by pressing and holding the Shift button, Right-clicking in the folder, and selecting “Open command window here”.

Android Apps to SD Card

    • Now connect your Android device and run the below commands one by one.

Android Apps to SD Card

adb devices
adb shell pm set-install-location 2
adb shell pm get-install-location

The “get-install-location” is only for checking the installation location. If it’ll show as “2[external]”, that means, now all of your apps will install on External memory card. To reverse the process, just put 0(auto) or 1(internal) instead of 2(external).

Error: More than One Device and Emulator

Android Apps to SD Card
If you have multiple devices connected to your computer, or you have installed an Android Emulator like “BlueStack”, then it’ll show an Error like, ”more than one device and emulator”. To overcome from this problem, first detect your device by running adb devices. Now run the below commands one by one.

adb -s CB5A1Y0DW4 shell pm set-install-location 2
adb -s CB5A1Y0DW4 shell pm get-install-location
Android Apps to SD Card
Just put “-s Your_Device_Name” after the adb command. That’s it. Now you can install Android apps to SD card by default without rooting.

Move Android Apps to SD Card without Rooting

If apps are eating your phone’s memory, and you want free your storage space by moving Android apps to SD card without rooting, then follow the below procedure.
Android Apps to SD Card
In order to move your apps, go to Phone’s Settings >> Apps/Application Manager and select “SD CARD” tab.

Now click on an app, which you want to move. After that tap on Move to SD card button to move that application to external memory.

Conclusion

Some handsets, like my Sony Xperia Z2 and other z series handsets which run on Android KitKat 4.4.4 are unable to perform these two operations. Sony is strictly removed the external storage access for the security reasons. I have tested this on Lenovo, Motorola and Samsung devices, and it is working great. This is the easiest way to install and move Android apps to SD Card without rooting. If you have any question regarding this, then feel free to comment below.

46 COMMENTS

  1. My tecno phone running Android 5.1, I can’t move apps to SD card. Please help me to fix this issue. Thanks

  2. When I run these commands I get the error device does not belong to Android 2000. Is there anyway around this? I have a moto e running 5.1

  3. I have a generic tablet, NID-1002, rooted, running Lollipop 5.1.1, it has an internal emulated SD card. I used the steps above setting the default to 2. Testing installation it still places all apps on the emulated card. When using 2 different APP2SD card applications, the apps tell me that my system has an “emulated internal SD card and cannot be moved”. Any thoughts?

  4. at first, i have a problem with permission.. all i did is disconnect the cable then disabling the "USB debugging" and enabled it again.. and ensure that there's enough space on your internal memory..

    thanks for this post, it helps a lot.. i've experiences some bugs on rooted so i try to let it back into its original firmware..

  5. My device is not listed bij sdb.exe.
    I put the phone in DevoperMode (android 4.4.2).
    Turned USB-debugging on.

    adb puts out the following:
    * daemon not running. starting it now on port 5037 *
    * daemon started successfully *
    List of devices attached

    Thats it. No devices while i'm sure the phone is connected.
    Hence the "Connect sound" from windows.

  6. Can i apply this tutorial to my Huawei Y530 ? Do this work for my phone? Please answer.
    And after i do this how can i undo if this dont work??

  7. After this, I got an "Unable to install Happy Chick app. Delete some items and try again" error. Then it will only direct me to the internal storage where I have 1.8 GB free space. My phone is Samsung Galaxy S Duos (gt-s7562) w/ Android 4.0.4. I tried almost everything to move apps to sd card but still no luck. I guess my phone/android ICS don't support ext sdcard. Could anyone help me to undo the adb shell and fix my original settings?

  8. I'm having an issue where I've moved the app to the SD card, but every time the app auto-updates it seems to move it back to the device storage. Can this be fixed without going through the SDK download?

  9. Hello, I have an Xperia E, and I tried to install a new game on my phone, but it shows me that I don't have enough storage room, even after I did this procedure. I think it only downloads the app and then stores it on the internal storage, how can I avoid this?

    • Some phones have restriction to use external storage. The common problem in Xperia E is the internal storage memory issue. If your internal memory app space is full, then you can't install in external also.

      or,
      If you have restriction, then you have to root your phone.

  10. Will it work on Lollipop phone? I use Sony phone, after the lollipop, move to sd card will appear but I wanted to know will it work?

  11. Hi Mr Chandan, Thanks for your tutorial. Can i get a copy of your version for the adt-bundle-windows_x86_64 Android SDK? Because when i download from website, it is not the version that what you teaching at this website. It not works at all. Can you share it with me for your version, maybe you can share it out to a link and i can download from there. Thanks.

  12. my phone is micromax a120 with kitkat 4.4.2. i connect my phone and it is not listed when i execute adb devices. i have tried all usb options on the phone (MTP, PTP). I have google usb driver installed.

  13. my phone zte v9820 with kitkat 4.4.2 below on ur post spec. (4.4.4)
    my device stucture is
    "storage/sdcard0/"
    "storage/emulated/0/" <<<<< fake sdcard (emulated from sdcard0)
    "storage/sdcard1/" <<<<< real ext sdcard
    is there any change that i can do like u do?
    if can, on what location should i type to make instalation folder on my real ext sdcard?
    thank you

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