How can I do this? My phone's internal memory is low, yet Android (2.3.3) still deems it fit to attempt installations of files in the phone memory, I haven't found any option for this in the settings.

Edit : Turned out, it was Facebook's contact syncing. I recommend you back up your contacts on your SD card, and clear the data from the "Contact Storage" app in your settings.

4 Answers 4


You can check your phone's internal settings to ensure that it is set to install apps on the SD card by default, and set it to do that if not.

You'll need ADB available on your PC, which is part of the Android SDK.

Download and install the SDK, and switch on USB debugging in your phone's settings.

Then, with the Android SDK installed, and your phone connected via USB with the USB Debugging mode switched on, enter the following commands:

adb devices

(check that ADB can see my phone, and start necessary services)

adb shell

(connects a shell to the phone)

pm getInstallLocation

(this tells us what you're currently set to. 0 = Auto, 1 = internal memory, 2 = SD Card)

pm setInstallLocation 2

(sets the default install location to SD card)

pm getInstallLocation

(run again to check that it is now set to the correct location])


Safely Remove Hardware, unplug phone and all done, without any need for root!

(Instructions a combination of these previous answers)


I use two related apps which should get you most of the way there:

  • SDMove - Lists all currently installed applications which can be moved to the SD card and facilitates doing so.
  • SDWatch, which runs in the background and watches for app installations. When it sees one, and the app can be moved to the SD card, it gives you a notification which takes you to the settings for the app so that you can move it.

Space is at a premium on my OG Droid and these two apps have been a godsend.


The bad news is its done like that on purpose (as some apps shouldn't be put on the SD card i.e. it breaks widgets etc).

If you root your phone you could put an alternative rom on which does allow you to set this up as the default, or you can pick up an app on the market - but you have to be rooted.

If you don't want to go the root option you do have some alternatives. An app like SDWatch (https://market.android.com/details?id=com.beaglebros.SDWatch&feature=also_installed) can alert you when you download an app that can be moved to the SD card. And or you could run an app like App 2 SD (https://market.android.com/details?id=com.a0soft.gphone.app2sd&feature=search_result) which will provide a list of apps that can be moved and enable you to move them easily. there are alternative apps to these in the market, so take a look and see what works for you.

  • Thanks, but, I have about 20MB left in the internal memory, the problem is I can't even download and install an app for it to be moved to the sd card. Also how can I remove unwanted stuff from the phone memory?
    – Mob
    Dec 2, 2011 at 16:12
  • @Mob: You can temporarily uninstall some space hogs like Adobe Flash or Angry Birds ;)
    – Chahk
    Dec 2, 2011 at 16:26

I have used app2sd its really good. You can used multiple application at once. It does not show those apps which can't move to SD card. Make user's life easy

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