How to Move Apps to SD Card without Rooting – Android Tip

There were times when your Android phone used to run out of space, and you are looking for a way out to make some space to add another application in a limited smartphone internal storage. Here we have the most accessible and cheapest option to expand the memory by adding a MicroSD card. This article will talk about different ways to move apps to SD cards without rooting the device. 

Let’s first understand the difference between a rooted and unrooted Android device and how it affects the phone performance below:

  • In a rooted device, it is easier to move all apps from smartphone internal storage to SD card
  • There is no restriction on types of app that can or cannot be transferred to an SD card
  • Although a rooted device offers many ends user-level options to play around with the phone, at the same time, it comes with different security risks and many faults.

Before we begin with how to move apps to SD cards without rooting, it is essential to talk about one critical key concept, i.e., almost all apps can be transferred to an SD card. But to do that, there is a developer option that needs to be enabled to make all application movement possible.

Let’s enable the developer option to make our step-by-step guide easy to complete:

  • Go to device settings -> Scroll at the end, look for Developer option -> Double clicks on it
  • Now under Developer menu -> Look for Force allow apps on external -> enable it
  • Once done, restart the phone 

Here we are going to cover two ways to move apps to SD cards without rooting:

  • Using Android built-in File Explorer
  • Using third party tool – AppMgr III

How to Move Apps to SD Card without Rooting: Using Android File Explorer: --

All Android devices above Android Marshmallow offers this feature to move apps from internal to SD card. It might be hidden under some button that might not be visible on a few smartphones with a mucky user interface; we will look at a different workaround for such devices.

  • Go to your device storage option under settings
  • Look for storage booster -> move apps to SD Card

The app movement can be done one at a time, and all apps can be moved to external storage; however, you need to keep in mind to enable developer settings.

Move Apps to SD Card without Rooting: Using AppMgr III: --

On few devices, the process to move an app from internal to SD card is not available (user-friendly), and third-party apps are specifically designed for this purpose.

Here we will use the most popular Apps to SD card app called AppMgr III to complete the app transfer process.

  • Go to Google Play Store -> search for AppMgr III -> enter
  • Locate -> click on it to Install AppMgr III
  • Once the application is installed -> launch the app
  • It will show different tabs for Movable/On SD card/ Phone Only
  • The application listed under Movable can be moved to an SD card
  • Tap on the application, and it will show an option to move to an SD card
  • The process has to be repeated one by one for all the apps that need to be transferred

There might be some occurrences when apps moved to SD card starts to perform slow, and you might think moving it back to Internal storage could solve the problem. In such a scenario, go back to the application that you want to move under settings -> applications -> storage -> Change type from “SD Card” to “Internal”.

In some new devices, we have seen an option to use SD cards as Internal storage called Adoptable Storage.


In such cases, it helps to increase the storage limit and provides more room for application and system files to load more efficiently from the internal storage. There will be nothing called SD card storage once the SD card is encrypted and used as Internal storage.

This option can be achieved by going into settings -> storage -> SD Card -> select option “Use for extra phone storage” -> Phone Storage -> it will expand the Internal Storage.

Pros of Moving apps to SD Card:

  • More space on Internal storage
  • Offers cost-effective, cheaper storage space
  • Reduces memory usages by apps
  • It can be swapped to a PC, and data can be browsed

Cons of Moving apps to SD Card:

  • Performance issues of apps may degrade when compared to Internal storage
  • Memory cards with low read and write speed can impact phone performance
  • High chances of applications getting corrupt

FAQs on Moving apps to SD Card:

Is it necessary to move apps to SD Card when there is enough Internal storage present?

The simple answer is No. And in case the phone comes with ample internal storage, it is always advised to use Internal Storage as it offers high-speed data consumption when accessed from Internal storage compared to an External mounted SD card.

Is it possible to move all apps to SD Card?

Yes, in previous versions since Android Marshmallow, Android is developed at a massive pace, and hence apps that were not allowed to move by the system can be moved by enabling developer options

What is the top-rated App to SD card application available in the Play Store?

The top-rated app is App Mgr III; another app to SD apk is Link2SD, Files to SD card etc.

How do I switch storage to SD Card?

Already downloaded applications can be moved to SD card by going into settings -> storage -> default storage -> Tap on “SD Card” to switch storage


All new devices come with enough internal storage to handle 100’s app, system files, and data in the current situation. However, if the user needs expandable storage, buying an external SD Card and using an adoptable storage feature (if present) will do the job; else, following the ageing process to move apps to SD card without rooting will do the job.

Do let us know which option would you prefer the most and why in the comment section below.

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

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