I have Android Lollipop 5.0 installed on my phone and I already made the SD card the default storage option. However, when I try to install an app from the Play Store, an error message pops out, saying that I don't have enough space to install that application. I tried to make some additional space in the phone storage and i found that applications are installed right there even if the SD card option is enabled.

I'm not looking for a method to move installed apps from phone storage to SD (no Link2SD, rooting etc.).

I also tried to format my SD card both from the phone and the PC but the problem persists.

What should I do? I can't believe this operation is not allowed in Lollipop.


As pointed out by Can I install an app directly to my SD card? and our app2sd tag-wiki, what you want to achieve isn't possible for multiple reasons:

  • To install the app, Play Store first needs to download it. These downloads usually go to /data/local, which is in internal storage.
  • Not all apps allow to be installed on SD card. This is e.g. not possible for apps providing widgets or services – due to the fact the SD card is mounted only after the boot_completed broadcast, and thus apps installed there wouldn't receive that; resulting in services not started when they should be.
  • Even if an app could be installed on SD card, using the on-board methods (i.e. ) it cannot be moved to SD card completely. There's always a "base" remaining in internal storage (below /data/data).

All the above is valid from Froyo (Android 2.2) to Lollipop (Android 5.x). It's slightly different with Marshmallow (Android 6.x) and up when using , but I have no experience with the latter to tell exactly how it's different (see our adoptable-storage tag-wiki for a starter). As in that case, the SD card is "adopted" as internal storage, all apps you install should basically end up there. But what sounds "great" on a first look has some other "side-effects" you should consider first ;)

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