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How to Install android apps on your SD card without rooting

Many of you may have ran low on memory space on your android devices. And had to delete your favorite apps. With the tricks i shared with you now 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 or you can safely move your apps to SD card that has been pre installed and you are not able to move.

This trick works on both Windows and Mac OS.

NOTE: Even after applying the below tweak, some apps may still refuse to be moved over. In all likeliness, Facebook will be one of these. In this case, rooting your mobile device will be the only way to truly move or remove such an app.

Items needed to perform this action

  1. Android Phone (duh)
  2. A micro usb cable
  3. A computer with android SDK installed

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, http://www.androidcentral.com/root. Good Luck!

Step 1: Setting up your phone 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)


Step 2: Running the Tweak (adb)


Note: If your device doesn’t recognise by your computer install driver Start from here.

1. Windows
– Open the folder called ” platform-tools”
– shift+right-click anywhere inside the folder and choose [Open Command Window Here]

– right-click the folder called “platform-tools” and choose [New Terminal At Folder]

2. Enter in the following on cmd (see picture guide above)

For Windows :
adb devices
adb shell pm get-install-location
adb shell pm set-install-location 2
adb shell pm get-install-location

For Mac : (note – there is a period before the slashes)
./adb devices
./adb shell pm get-install-location
./adb shell pm set-install-location 2
./adb shell pm get-install-location

3. Check if you did it right
– if you did it right, the last output should say: 2 [external]

Have fun now! Now your apps will use SD card.

Note: Once you have moved over everything that you need to, I’d highly recommend reverting the tweak by connecting your phone and setting the default location back to 0. This will avoid any potential damages in system app failure.


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