Android 6.0 Marshmallow: How to move apps to your SD card

In Phones by Ramon Lopez15 Comments

One of the best reasons — and believe me, there are many — for upgrading your first-gen Android One phone to Android 6.0 Marshmallow today is simply to gain the ability to migrate your apps and files, such as your photos and videos, to a microSD card.

Yes, the feature is back on the latest version of Android, and I’m sure many of you are pleased to hear this news. But how exactly do you go about moving your apps and data to an SD card? Not to worry — I’m here to help. Just follow the guide below.

1. Go to Settings (I find that the quickest way to do this on Android is by pulling down the notification shade and then tapping the Settings icon).

2. Under Device, tap Storage and USB.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow apps to sd revu philippines (1)

3. Select your microSD card.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow apps to sd revu philippines (2)

4. Click on the 3 dots on the upper right-hand corner of the screen and then choose Migrate data.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow apps to sd revu philippines

5. Press the Move button.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow apps to sd revu philippines (4)

6. Wait for the process to finish.

That’s it! Your apps have now been moved to an SD card. Do note that some apps, including system and core Google apps, can’t be transferred to an external storage, and that migrating apps may cause them not to function as intended.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow apps to sd revu philippines (5)

Apps moved to SD card

Also, you can no longer use the SD card as a storage option for another device, unless you reformat it first using the device it has been paired with. You can use the same process to reformat the SD card, but instead of choosing Migrate data, you must select Format as portable.

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Ramon Lopez

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Reviews editor: Ramon “Monch” Lopez has almost 10 years of professional experience creating and editing content for print and digital publications such as Yahoo. He headed the gadgets-merchandising division of one of the Philippines’ largest retail operators somewhere in between. His latest addiction is the comments section of viral Facebook posts.

  • ann francis santos

    my oppo f3 cant install app on sd card… nor move.. what should i do? I cant even change default storage from phone to sd card

  • EmilyS

    Yeahhh, no. It only gives the options of “Eject” or “Format”.

  • Heni-b Cabael

    I click the SD card on settings but only can display there is format and eject SD card,what can I do?

  • Aeon Angel

    I have a LG K-10 from Metro PCS and I don’t even have that option… It says, EJECT OR FORMAT. No other options. HELP?!?

  • American GunNut

    Android is such a flustercuck at times. I have two Moto G3, one can move apps to the SD card, one can’t. Exact same phone, exact same phone software, exact same Android version (6.0). I tried setting the SD as internal storage, and the phone ran like a dog-tired dog.

    • Desmond du Pree

      It’ not because of Android. Google is the evildoer. Normally I don’t hang around on q/a’s like this, and maybe after one year you know more about GOOGLE I/O; it’s plain megalo-maffia.
      Anyway: format and mount your sd card (1st put your existing apps on another device!) and then merge it into your internal memory. It’ easy.
      Best thing: ROOT your phone. It’s YOUR device, YOUR freedom. Warning: inform yourself first well enough about rooting your device before taking action.
      Good luck!

  • Ashok Kanji Sachde

    4th option migrate data is not showing in micromax A1 Q4501why ?

  • Bibhash Roy

    I was not able to move any apps – only some media (photos – BTW, I am using Moto X Pure (Style) – what was your phone?

    • Two Android One devices (Cherry Mobile One and One G1). Have you formatted the card for use as the Pure’s “internal” storage? The method may not work for non-Android One or Nexus phones.

      • Bibhash Roy

        No I did not format it in any way – simply after inserting the sdcard, I have chosen to use it as “Portable storage” instead of “Internal storage”. My device is “Moto X Style” also know as “Moto X Pure” in US and is of Motorola make. I have upgraded it from Lollipop to Marshmallow. Not sure about what Android One is….:)

        • You have to format it as “internal storage” to be able to move apps to the SD card. It will format the card, though, so be sure to backup all your data. 🙂

          • Bibhash Roy

            I really do not want to format it as “internal storage” for the simple reason that I lose the flexibility of “using the sdcard in other devices”. However I think this was possible (moving apps to sdcard without formatting as internal) in earlier versions of Android (such as KitKat and Lollipop) but not in Marshmallow. Really, I rue my decision of not purchasing a higher internal storage phone (bought a 16 GB one)!

            • BelfastBastard

              Same. I’m actually quite angry Google have removed this functionality. I’ve a 16GB Moto X Play and on Lollipop I could store huge apps such as games onto the SD card no problem. Google Play Music and Spotify can rack up massive caches and hog memory quickly. I don’t understand why they have removed this ability. Having to format the card as internal is not ideal at all.

              • American GunNut

                You don’t understand why Google keeps messing with functionality, and removes usable features? Because they’re pricks. That’s what they do, over and over, time and again.