I recently updated to Android 6.0 and made my new 64GB SD card as adoptable storage. Unfortunately, as per here:

Apps can be placed on adopted storage media only when the developer has indicated support through the android:installLocation attribute.

This is problematic since I only have roughly 4GB of internal storage and some of these unmovable apps are quite large.

Without going into partitioning the SD card into 2 and using Link2SD/Apps2SD, is there a way to move these unmovable apps? My device is indeed rooted so that should hopefully help.

Edit: In reply to the user1871, and also I will add: I already put all those things on the SD card. Right now I have roughly 1 GB free in the internal storage. Also I do not want to uninstall anything. When I used DiskUsage to see what was using up a lot of the space, it was the data/app folder which contains a whole bunch of unmovable things such as base.apk, lib and oat folders.

These types of unmovable files is what concerns me since they will quickly add up and overtake my free 1 GB. I just want to find out a way I can move (or at least create symbolic links to those files after putting them into the SD card) without using Link2SD type apps. I'm leaving doing that as a last resort since formating an adopted SD Card will result in me having to factory reset my phone :(

3 Answers 3


You just need a free app to do this without root. Please note that this does not work for preinstalled apps (like Google Play Books, etc.)

App: APK Editor


Open the APK editor and choose 'Select APK from app'. Choose your app from the list that will appear and select 'Common Edit'. Change the 'Install Location' field to 'External Preferred'. Click Save and then Install. (you may have to uninstall it first.) You will now be able to use Settings/Apps or your preferred app manager to move the app to your SD Card.

  • This is the correct answer, so simple, does not even require root. But it's not well known.
    – Milind R
    Nov 14, 2017 at 13:38
  • 1
    Correction! This works to install, but WhatsApp (for eg) seems to detect it as a tampered version and refuses to work.
    – Milind R
    Nov 14, 2017 at 19:43
  • Play Store link is dead :( Dec 1, 2018 at 21:27

Apps like Link2SD/Apps2SD can be falsely miss interpreted, apps once installed can have extra data moved to the sd card but a main portion of the app like the launcher will need to remain on the internal storage. there for a app cant be 100% on the sd card. you can set apps to auto install on the sd card but they still need a part on the internal. id suggest move any media pics,videos,music ect on the sd. uninstall any unneeded apps

  • Are you sure what you describe also applies to Link2SD? AFAIK Link2SD moves the entire app to the "special partition" and just creates a symlink in the original place. Same for Apps2SD (not to be confused with App2SD, for which what you wrote is valid).
    – Izzy
    Jul 11, 2016 at 6:38
  1. Open the APK editor

  2. Choose 'Select APK from app'. Choose your app from the list that will appear

  3. Select 'Common Edit'

  4. Change the 'Install Location' field to 'External Preferred'

  5. Click Save (Working.... )

  6. (you may have to uninstall it first.) Remove app and then Install again.

  7. You will now be able to use Settings/Apps or your preferred app manager to move the app to your SD Card.

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