Adopt SD Card as Internal Storage on Marshmallow and Move Apps to SD Card (How to)

One of the most exciting features of Android 6.0 Marshmallow is ‘adoptable storage’ feature that lets you use external SD card as internal storage on your phone. Once you adopt SD card as internal storage, your phone will install apps and store data on the SD card. This is a great feature for devices with low internal storage, like the Android One phone to extend internal storage space.

In this tutorial, we show you how to adopt SD card as internal storage on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and move already installed apps to SD card to gain space. Before you get start, note that once you enabled this, your SD card will format into Ext4 and encrypt, so you cannot use the adopted SD card on other devices without decrypting it.

Android-M-Adoptable-Storage

Note: You can also get Android 6.0 Marshmallow’s ‘Adoptable Storage’ like feature on older Android versions, but require root access. Interested users read this [HERE] post.

How to adopt SD card as internal storage on Marshmallow

1. Go to phone Settings and select Storage

2. Select your External SD Card and then select ‘Erase & Format’ option

3. You will get an option ‘Format as internal storage’. Select ‘Erase & Format’

4. On the next page, select ‘Use as internal storage’ and tap Next

Your SD Card will now be formatted (EXT4) as internal storage and encrypt it. Enjoy your extended internal storage and freedom from low storage space issue.

How to move installed apps to external SD card

Some apps will not install on adopted SD card, so you need to manually move such apps to adopted SD card.

1. Go to Settings -> Storage & USB -> Internal Storage -> Apps

2. Select the app you need to SD card.

3. Select ‘Change’, then select your SD Card and then select Move from the ‘Move Authenticator’. That’s it.

Note: You cannot move pre-installed apps to adopted SD card in this way.

Kannan is a computer and Android enthusiast, a blogger by passion and a tech freak. His always ready-to-help attitude, knowledge and hard work is what drives him.

38 Comments

  1. audi

    Oct 12, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    I have adopted sd card as default storage location in my phone Lenovo a7000.now can I remove the sd card when I want to ? Will the app data get erased ???

    • Kannan

      Oct 13, 2016 at 9:12 am

      You cannot use a adopted SD card as a normal sd card without decrypting and formatting back to fat 32

  2. Fasil khan

    Oct 12, 2016 at 11:41 am

    i dnt have this option my phone i am using on7 Samsung i recently upgraded my phone software from lollipop to marshmallow through online process, from that i am using marshmallow 6.0.1 but i have no such option “storage and usb ” i have only “storage” option their any idea what should i do?

    • Kannan

      Oct 13, 2016 at 9:13 am

      Not all phone, especially Samsung phone supports adopt sd card option

  3. Alif ashraf

    Sep 28, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    Hi.. how to decrypt the SD card back to use it in other devices?

  4. SOMNATH MONDAL

    Aug 26, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    could not find any option to adopt sd card in my Honor 4X Che1-L04 India. Plz help.

    • Kannan

      Aug 27, 2016 at 7:51 am

      Though Adopt SD Card is a native feature of Android Marshmallow, not all manufactures are enabled this feature on their devices

      • SOMNATH MONDAL

        Aug 28, 2016 at 10:50 am

        any option to adopt in Honor 4X Che1-L04 India??

  5. Nandkumar Eklahare

    Aug 22, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    I have lg stylus 2.When I go o settings and go to ext sd card, the message I get is Format or eject. What should I do now.

    • Kannan

      Aug 22, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      Not all devices support Adopt SD card feature

  6. Sam

    Aug 12, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    I am having Lenovo A7000 Android 6.0 Marshmallow when i format sd card it doesn’t show any option please help

  7. John Driver

    Aug 5, 2016 at 3:18 am

    I have a Galaxy on5 with Android 6.0.1 and when I go to settings, storage, and select format the only option given is too format as external storage does not give option to format as internal storage. Is there another way to format as internal storage? Am I missing something? Please advise. My phone is a Samsung Galaxy on5 purchased through PCS mobile. Thank you

    • Kannan

      Aug 5, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      It seems that Samsung disabled Marshmallow’s native Adoptable Storage feature in Galaxy On5. However, you may refer this guide [http://techtrickz.com/how-to/extend-internal-storage-on-galaxy-s7or-s7-edge-using-adoptable-storage-feature-no-root/] which will give an idea about this

  8. Rajaneesh

    Jul 27, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    I tried, one app installed in sd card and remaining are not I have 32 gb space in my sd card please help me my phone internal storage is only 2 gb

  9. Bill Sharpe

    Jul 21, 2016 at 2:05 am

    I have a new Blu R1 HD smartphone. I have installed a SanDisk SD card. I set it up as internal storage but now when I go to Settings / Strage & USB I see internal and SanDisk SD card separately. There is no choice to change anything.If I hold on Internal Storage I see a list of folders. If I hold as SD Memory I see another list of folders. If I click on the menu — three vertical buttons at top right — I get a choice to Rename, Reject, or Format as Portable. Does that mean the phone really sees the SD disk as internal memory?

  10. Mayur

    Jul 7, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    i am trying to move apps to sd card but it says storage not sufficient whereas i have 30gb free…

  11. Amit

    May 20, 2016 at 12:35 am

    Will above steps of “How to adopt SD card as internal storage on Marshmallow” remove any data from SD card?

    • Kannan

      May 20, 2016 at 11:42 am

      It will remove data from your SD card, as it format and encrypt your card

  12. ALIASGAR

    Apr 14, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    KYA MERA MEMORY CARD DUSRE PHONE ME USE NAHI HOGA AGAR MAINE USE AS INTERNAL STORAGE SELECT KIYA TO??

  13. sofia traya

    Mar 30, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    im using lgk10 and theirs no also”change option” their help pleaseeee

  14. kallol nath

    Mar 28, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Not even my… Moto G2 … options not showing to Change storage location.

    • Hbproph

      May 7, 2016 at 1:54 am

      Because you sd card is not adopted

  15. jib

    Feb 1, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Is there a way to automate installing/moving most apps to the adopted card without using additional apps like Link2SD or Apps2SD?

  16. gaurav

    Jan 31, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    sir 1st time main sare apps move ho raha tha lakin ab kuch hi apps move ho rahe hai jaise pehle fb whats app move ho raha tha lekin ab nai ho raha hai

  17. tabish

    Jan 21, 2016 at 4:36 am

    Not showing any option to change apps to internal. To sd card storege in my moto g3…plzz help

    • Kannan

      Jan 22, 2016 at 8:14 am

      To get the option your device should be update to Android marshmallow.

      • Thomas

        Jan 29, 2016 at 3:35 am

        FYI mine is marshmallow but still I do not see the change option.

        • Kannan

          Jan 29, 2016 at 3:17 pm

          which phone you are using?

          • Lambertwm

            Mar 19, 2016 at 7:47 pm

            Same issue; moto g 2nd gen; marshmallow; some apps do show the “change (storage)” button (deezer, DiskUsage) but most don’t (bbc news, office lens). wtf is wrong with those android devs?

  18. hola

    Jan 9, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Iam not getting that option to move app to my sd card…like fb ola cabs or instagram

  19. Nabin

    Oct 14, 2015 at 1:40 am

    Plz tell how to convert that sd card for normal use..(for card reader purposes)

  20. ani

    Oct 10, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    i have a android one of micromax can u please tell me if I put my whatsapp in sd card and then I perform the expansion what will happen ?will any data will get erased ?what if I want to change sd card ?

  21. ocizer

    Oct 9, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    This feature is useless when the app gets updated from the play store it comes back to internal storage and you have to move it back again

    • Kannan

      Oct 10, 2015 at 11:24 am

      Thank you for the information. We will check that.

    • tabish

      Jan 21, 2016 at 4:38 am

      But how to move it, if not showing the option ..

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