I recently upgraded to 6.0.1 Marshmallow on my Galaxy S5 and I would like to adopt an SD card as internal storage. However, there is no option to do this.

When I format the SD card, there is no "Internal" option, only a "Portable" option.

screenshot screenshot screenshot

I am using this SD card:

Samsung 64 PRO Micro SD XC

I have tried formatting the SD card in windows, deleting the partition in windows, and even wiping the parition in windows. But Android always wants to add it was portable storage.

How can I force Android to add this as internal storage?

EDIT: According to this article, the Galaxy S7 doesn't support adoptable storage. So it's likely the S5 doesn't support adoptable storage either. I'm looking for a way to enable it using the adb command line if possible now.

  • Have you tried adding it as portable and then seeing if it will let you convert it afterward? – Matthew Read Jun 3 '16 at 22:21
  • Yes, I tried that. – steampowered Jun 3 '16 at 22:31
  • First sentence, did you mean Galaxy S5? Anyway, the S5 doesn't support it either, I have personally tested it. There is a workaround, please see my answer. – Thomas Vos Jun 4 '16 at 5:40
  • @steampowered, I see you are using a very high-end micro SD card. I am using this much cheaper card (amazon.com/gp/product/B00TB8XZOK, 64GB, $18), and when I made it adoptable storage in my Samsung Galaxy S5, any app I then move onto it (ex: Facebook, Google Photos, LinkedIn, Facebook Messenger, etc), worked SO SLOW that the app was actually COMPLETELY UNUSABLE. Did you find this slow speed running apps from the SD card as internal, adopted storage to be an issue with your Samsung card? – Gabriel Staples Jul 2 '16 at 13:17
  • Note: I did just order this new Samsung 64GB Pro+ card (amazon.com/gp/product/B012DTJ8NU, $48.49), which is supposed to be the #1 best sub-$100 micro sd card on the market right now, so I'm hoping it works much better, or else this adoptable storage thing won't be practical anyway, since apps run so slow when using it. (Here is the review and benchmarking tests that indicate this is the best, #1 card on the market right now: amazon.com/review/R15BKPZSKPC16X/…). – Gabriel Staples Jul 2 '16 at 13:20
up vote 38 down vote accepted

Samsung (and some other manufacturers') devices don't support Adoptable Storage by default. However, there are some workarounds how you can enable it. Some devices will require root, and others don't. If you have a Galaxy A5, J5, J7, On5, choose method 2 (root required).

Before proceeding, make sure you have a backup as this will format your SD card.


Method 1 (NO ROOT | Galaxy S7)

Some Samsung phones (e.g. Galaxy S7) and other Android devices do not require root. You will need to execute the following commands using ADB:

adb shell
sm list-disks
sm partition <DISK> private
reboot

Replace <DISK> with the output of the previous command. (example: sm partition disk:179,64 private). If you don't want to convert the whole disk, then use this command instead: sm partition <DISK> mixed <VALUE>. Replace <VALUE> with the percentage (0-100) to keep as external storage. (Example: sm partition disk:179,64 mixed 50, for 50%).

If you do have root access, you can use my app Root Essentials instead. Root Essentials will execute all the commands for you, without the need of a PC.


Method 2 (ROOT | Galaxy A5, J5, J7)

If the above method didn't work for you, then it is not possible to get adoptable storage without root. (e.g. Galaxy A5, J5, J7, On5).

If you have rooted your device, you will need to download my app Root Essentials. After you have downloaded it, go to "Adoptable Storage". Then click the button "Adopt".

Root Essentials will ask you to flash a plugin using a custom recovery. (e.g TWRP). It is not possible to flash the plugin without a custom recovery. After you have flashed the plugin, reboot your device and open Root Essentials again. Now try adopting your SD card again and it should work.


I have adopted my SD card successfully, what do I need to do next?

After you have adopted your SD card, you will need to migrate your existing data to the SD card. This is to free up space on the internal storage.

To migrate your data:

  1. Open (Android) Settings
  2. Tap "Storage". (or "Device maintenance" > "Storage").
  3. Select your SD card.
  4. Open the menu (3 dots at top right), and tap "Migrate data".
  5. Now your data will be migrated to the SD card.
  • 2
    Thanks, this worked to make it internal storage! The result seems to be a little buggy, as the OS doesn't always display the extra capacity. Not available for file transfers either. However, this is the best answer so I am marking it correct. – steampowered Jun 4 '16 at 13:25
  • @steampowered Yeah, the total storage size is messed up. But the individual ones should be correct. – Thomas Vos Jun 4 '16 at 14:48
  • 1
    After performing the ADB commands on 2 different sd cards, my Samsung Galaxy S5 is still not recognizing it as internal storage. I tried to run updates on my apps and keep getting messages that there is not enough storage. Will this even work on the Samsung Galaxy S5? Would rooting it help? – user177938 Jul 22 '16 at 20:31
  • 2
    Hi, I managed to use your commands on a Galaxy S5 and it's actually moving my data as I type this (you forgot to mention that one should click on the newly integrated storage and EXPORT to it to free up space on the real internal memory). Anyways, I then tried to do the same on a Galaxy A5 which now also has Android 6 and while the commands go thru in the console, nothing changes under Settings>Storage. Any ideas? – Jörn Berkefeld Sep 4 '16 at 7:59
  • 2
    Not working for Samsung J5 as well. – Varun Bhatia Dec 11 '16 at 5:15

Apparently need to add the "sm" so: "sm partition disk:179,64 private" otherwise "Partition not found." I'm very new at this, so I'm probably stating the very, very obvious for most people. Anyway, seems to have worked. This was on a Note 4.

I assume what's happened at this point is that, though the total size isn't listing as changed, it actually is. Wish I knew how to confirm with these tools.

Slight correction: Under "Storage" it does list the total correctly with internal being mostly full (as it was) and almost nothing on the card. Assume I can just treat it all as one big happy pile of storage at this point?

But what was meant by "can't be used for transfers"? I assume you're just meaning that you can't yank the thing out and pull things off and on with a computer or other device?

Anyone care to share some caveats or tips after getting to this point?

  • 1
    THANK YOU! the sm thing is not obvious. My Verizon Samsung Galaxy S5 was giving me the "partition now found" error before. Using your sm command above fixed it. – Gabriel Staples Jul 1 '16 at 17:26
  • 2
    The next step is to get into storage options and play around until it says something along the line of "moving files to sd". Once that's done, other than some confusion between both me and some apps as to what exactly is what, it works very well. My goal was to make it so my wife didn't constantly wonder where the storage she was short of was. Now, it's pretty much one spot, and plenty of it. Thank you all for posting this. I'll correct this later when I'm near my computer. – Bystander Jul 1 '16 at 17:30
  • correction: "partition not found" error – Gabriel Staples Jul 1 '16 at 17:44
  • I think that it is not available for file-transfairs means, that when I connect the phone to the computer via MTP I can not see the full new combined disk size. So I still end up with 16 GB – tokam Jan 5 '17 at 15:12
  • 1
    What?! Why take command line directions if your not actually going to follow them? Not "apparently" need to add the "sm". Perhaps this was included because it was necessary? w/e. This didn't actually work for me but adb shell sm set-force-adoptable true did. – BiTinerary Mar 13 '17 at 4:45

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