The Best Fixes When Android Can’t Move Apps to SD Card

Don’t you just hate it when you’re trying to install a new app, and your phone sends the “Not enough storage” warning? If you have a memory card slot, the solution is simple. SD Cards are an affordable and convenient way to free up your phone’s memory and enhance its performance. However, moving apps to an SD card doesn’t always work.

If you’re interested in learning why Android can’t move apps to an SD card, you’ve come to the right place. This article will explain the reasons behind this issue and discuss potential solutions.

Android 10 Can’t Move Apps to SD Card

Many people using Android 10 have reported not being able to move apps to SD cards. In most cases, the “Move to SD card” button is greyed out. Let’s see why this can happen:

App Developers’ Choice

It’s up to app developers to choose whether they want to make their app movable to an SD card. Many developers create apps that can’t be moved to external storage. You may wonder why this happens. Namely, some apps simply can’t run from SD cards properly, and we’ll explain why.

Your phone is designed to jump back and forth between the internal and external storage, and all apps seem to be working perfectly, regardless of their location. However, the problem arises if you connect your phone to a computer. In such cases, the connection between the SD card and the phone can be disrupted. When that happens, numerous processes and features are automatically disabled, and this could be a big problem for some apps. For example, if an app features alarms, they could all be disabled once you disconnect your phone from the computer. The same thing happens when you remove the SD card from your phone and mount it back in.

So, to avoid this, many app developers decide it’s better to be safe than sorry and create apps that can only use internal storage.

If this is the case with an app you’re trying to move to an SD card, there’s not much you can do about it.

Pre-Installed Apps

Most phones come with a set of pre-installed apps. Some of them may be important for your phone’s performance, while others are bloatware. Although most can be disabled, such apps usually cannot be moved to SD cards.

Background Apps

Many Android apps run in the background and perform “hidden” tasks that contribute to your phone’s performance. Such apps can never be moved to the SD card.

Card Malfunction

One of the reasons you can’t move apps to an SD card could be the card itself. SD cards can often malfunction. If you suspect this is the issue, try removing the card from your phone, clean it gently, and mount it back in.

Phone Malfunction

Our phones can often experience temporary glitches and not recognize the SD card. In such cases, try restarting your phone before attempting to move the app to the SD card. If that doesn’t work, remove the card from your phone, wait a few minutes, and insert it back in.

What Can You Do to Free up Space?

If an app can’t be moved to the SD card, there’s not much you can do about it. This could be frustrating, especially if you need to free up some space in your internal memory. In such cases, we recommend moving your photos and music to the card. Also, be sure to delete everything you aren’t using. You can always move valuable and important files to your computer and “start fresh” on your phone.

Android 9 Can’t Move Apps to SD Card

It’s not uncommon to see the “Move to SD Card” option greyed out on Android 9. Although this issue may be annoying, there are usually valid reasons for this. Let’s see some of them.

App Developers’ Choice

Android app developers are free to choose whether they’ll enable users to move their apps to external storage. This may sound illogical: why would a developer decide against this? Let’s see why.

When an app is moved to the SD card, its performance could be jeopardized in certain situations. For example, when you connect your phone to a computer, the connection between the phone and the SD card could be interrupted. That way, the app’s functions would get killed, and you may need to reset them. While this may seem like a minor inconvenience to some, it could impose a big problem for others.

Imagine the app in question features an alarm. If the app gets killed, the alarm won’t ring, which could definitely make the user write an angry message to the developers. To avoid these situations and app malfunctions, many developers nowadays decide to make their apps suitable only for internal storage.

Pre-Installed Apps

Many phones come with pre-installed apps. Some of these apps are vital for performance, and others just seem unnecessary. However, most pre-installed apps are used for widget support. Thanks to them, you get timely information about weather, important events, etc. Such apps cannot be moved to SD cards because that could cause performance issues.

Background Apps

Android comes with numerous background apps that ensure a smooth operation. They need to stay in the phone’s internal storage to perform their function.

Card Malfunction

SD cards can experience issues when you least expect them. For example, if you dropped your phone, the card may have moved a bit, which could cause a malfunction. We recommend taking the card out, cleaning it, and inserting it back in.

Phone Malfunction

It’s not uncommon for phones to experience temporary glitches that could cause SD card issues. If you think your phone’s the reason you can’t move apps to the SD card, try restarting it. You can also try cleaning the memory card slot.

What Can You Do to Free Up Space?

In most cases, not being able to move apps to the SD card isn’t something you can change. It’s best to look for alternative solutions. Instead of moving apps to the card, move your photos, music, or videos. You can also transfer such files to your computer.

Android 8 Can’t Move Apps to SD Card

Android 8 or Android Oreo was released in 2017. Although several upgrades have been introduced since then, some people still use it. Like other Android versions, Android 8 can deny moving apps to the SD card. Here are possible explanations:

App Developers’ Choice

It’s up to app developers to decide if they want to make their app moveable to the SD card. You may wonder why app developers would decide against this. The answer lies in the app’s function.

Your phone is designed to run apps regardless of their location. However, the issue may appear when you connect your phone to a computer or reinsert the card. In such instances, there is an interruption of the connection between the SD card and the phone. As a result, many processes get disabled, including apps. While this may not be a problem for social media apps, it can cause serious issues for apps featuring alarms or reminders.

Developers want to avoid causing such inconveniences for their users, so they decide to make apps that can be stored only in internal memory.

Pre-Installed Apps

Most phones come with numerous, seemingly unnecessary apps that often cannot be uninstalled. Although you may think they are a waste of space, these apps often have specific functions. In most cases, pre-installed apps support your phone’s function and performance. Also, some of these apps provide useful information about the weather, important dates, etc. If you moved them to the SD card, you’d lose widget support, which is what phone manufacturers want to prevent.

Background Apps

Some Android apps can’t be moved to the SD card because such an action could jeopardize your phone’s smooth performance.

Card Malfunction

A damaged SD card could lose some of its essential functions and make moving apps to it impossible. You can try removing the card from your phone and cleaning it gently. If you notice physical damage, we highly recommend getting a new card and backing up your files to prevent data loss.

Phone Malfunction

One of the reasons you can’t move apps to the SD card could be because your phone is experiencing an issue. To fix this, try restarting the phone or cleaning the SD card slot.

What Can You Do to Free Up Space?

Since freeing up internal memory can improve your phone’s performance, you may wonder what you can do if you can’t move any apps. We recommend moving photos, music, and other large files to the SD card. Moreover, you can also transfer your files to your computer. That way, you’ll not only free up space but create a backup of all valuable files.

The Case of Insufficient Space

Many people like to move apps from internal storage to an SD card to free up some space and boost the phone’s performance. However, this isn’t always possible. Some apps can’t be moved to an SD card, and this isn’t something you can control. If you want to free up space, you’ll need to look for another way.

We hope this article explains why some apps can’t be moved to the SD card and that you’ve been able to find a way to manage storage.

How do you deal with insufficient internal storage? Have you ever experienced issues with your SD card? Tell us in the comments section below.

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