After upgrade of any app - apps move back from SD Card to phone memory. After that, to save phone memory, I have to move upgraded app back to SD card.

Is any possibility to avoid this because it is very annoying?

I have Android 5.0.2 on Motorola E second gen phone.

  • Can you list the name of some apps which were moved back to phone memory after update?
    – Firelord
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 5:13
  • Apparently this happens on Lollipop, and the only workaround for it is to set install location of the apps to SD card with adb. Run this command adb shell pm set-install-location 2 and see if it solves the issue.
    – Manu
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 5:50
  • I'm seeing this on Android 7.0, Samsung Tab A. For example FeedMe, an RSS reader, with a cache of 1+ GB. Commented Jan 20, 2018 at 16:22

2 Answers 2


It is an existing behavior found in Lollipop. (May be an marketing strategy to make you buy expensive internal storage phones)

According to Lollipop the phone internal storage is referred as SDCard and removable SDCard as EXTERNALSD.

The apps is designed to be reside in SDCard (to support phone without external storage ) and hence the apps are installed back to internal storage.

This is fixed in Marshmallow were the EXTERNALSD can be configured to be an InternalStorage(SDCard).

So you can wait for an Marshmallow update for the device.

  • The question appears to be about upgrade, not the first time installation of an app. Can you prove that Android Lollipop is not smart enough to respect the current settings of user (that the app resides in external SD card) and decides to put the new APK (from update) into /data/?
    – Firelord
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 5:01
  • 1
    @Firelord even in case of updates the apk will be downloaded again and installed. I dont have personal experience but I can quotes several examples from XDA as this is most asked question for device having external storage and running lollipop
    – samnaction
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 5:11

From Anroid Central -Apps on SD card moving back to device after update

Actually, it did not happen in KitKat. It is a new (and very irritating) phenomenon with Lollipop. Basically Google just keep forgetting about SD cards (probably wish they didn't exist); which is kindof annoying given that their subsidiary, Motorola, is still selling phones that have too little main memory (8Gb) to run effectively without having most of your apps on the SD card.

so, the only (not recommended) solution is downgrade the device from Android 5.0 to Android 4.4..


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