Android Enthusiasts Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for enthusiasts and power users of the Android operating system. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have just downloaded APK files of a software from a website to my laptop. My question is if I install this on my phone, will it be installed in the phone memory or in the SD card memory?

I couldn't find any related question, so asking here.

share|improve this question

Any apk files installed in your device usually stay on its internal memory. The apk configuration defines whether the app should stay on the mobile's internal memory completely, or it may shift a few resource files (images, etc.) to the sd card. The main files (technically: the java class files and layout files) remain on the internal memory of the device.

This may be changed if your device is rooted, and you have partitioned your sd card to allow installations on it (technically: EXT4 extension replacing the FAT32 extension of a part of your sdcard, which won't be accessible to the user from the device as a Mass Storage).

Apps2SD is an app which eases the process of shifting apps capable of transferring resources from apk to sdcard, so as to free up some memory on the internal memory. The app does not help install apks on sd card.
Hope this helps.

share|improve this answer

It very much depends on the app you want to install, and what the developer of that app decided to be the preferred install location. See: App Install Location on

Beginning with API Level 8, you can allow your application to be installed on the external storage (for example, the device's SD card). This is an optional feature you can declare for your application with the android:installLocation manifest attribute.


If you declare "preferExternal", you request that your application be installed on the external storage, but the system does not guarantee that your application will be installed on the external storage. If the external storage is full, the system will install it on the internal storage. The user can also move your application between the two locations.

If you declare "auto", you indicate that your application may be installed on the external storage, but you don't have a preference of install location. The system will decide where to install your application based on several factors. The user can also move your application between the two locations.

The linked article contains a lot more details, but they are rather targeted at the developer. Above quotes however are the ones referring to your question. For a final answer, there are two choices: a) simply try and see, or b) ask the developer.

share|improve this answer

It will be installed on your phone memory(internal SD card).
But you can move that app to your External memory card using this application.

share|improve this answer
Not really. It depends. Especially on Froyo and above, the app is sometimes moved to the sd card – Power-Inside Nov 20 '12 at 4:30
I think he referred phone memory as RAM. Because he tagged RAM in his question. – Akhil Nov 20 '12 at 4:36
Wrong tags.. his question however clearly mentions about "phone memory OR sd card memory" and RAM has nothing to do with these. – Power-Inside Nov 20 '12 at 4:38

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.