I just got a new 32GB SD card for my Nexus One. On the old one I have a bunch of apps installed and store the data there because the internal memory doesn't handle it. So now I want to switch SD cards, but how do I go about doing that without causing any issues? Do I just simply copy-paste everything, or is there another way to do it?

I'm on stock firmware on the Android and using Mac OS X Lion.


2 Answers 2


Unless you did some App2SD magic with ext4 partitions on your SD card (if you don't know what I'm talking about, you didnt), the SDCard will only have a simple FAT32 partition.

So all you have to do is copy all the data from old SDCard and to a new one and everything will be fine.

Easiest way to do it is to plug the phone in your laptop, put the card in the card reader (with help of an adapter which is usually bundled with new SD Card), copy everything over and swap the SD Cards in the phone.

EDIT: Android stores applications that were moved to sdcard in a folder named .android_secure which is hidden on OS X Finder and Linux Nautilus by default. Don't forget to move that :)

  • awesome, just had to restart my phone after copying and all is good :) Commented Dec 25, 2011 at 15:45
  • @Mavrik But SDHC card with FAT32 has 4GB limit per file transfer. Is it wise to copy from old FAT32 SDHC card to new SDHC card with newer file system that does not have 4GB limit?
    – Boris_yo
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 16:15
  • 2
    Android requires the SD-card to be formatted to FAT32 and not to any of newer filesystems so this is moot point (root hacks excluded, but for those you really have to know what you're doing).
    – Mavrik
    Commented Mar 10, 2012 at 15:26
  • Does this answer still work? Seeing as my .android_secure folder seems to be empty. Can I still migrate this way? Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 19:50
  • Yes, folder names have changed lately, but the process didn't.
    – Mavrik
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 11:59

If you have done anything fancy on a second partition (usually is EXT4 or EXT3 fs), or if you have CWM (ClockWork Mod) and can thus make full backups easily, I'd take a look at this answer.

In a nutshell:

  1. Make a backup with CWM (creates a backup stored on the SD card),
  2. Copy everything from the SD card to the PC,
  3. Insert and format the new SD card,
  4. Copy the data back to the new card,
  5. Restore the backup (including ext4) using CWM.

I believe you can do step 2. with the usual USB-cord method and that it only needs to include all data from the first partition (FAT fs). Do remember to include hidden files.

On older versions of Android (older than 2.2) if you are, say, using link2sd, you may also need to:

  1. Re-link apps (may need to 'reinstall' via link2sd's quick reinstall feature).

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