My wife has a Samsung Galaxy S9 with Android 10 on it. It has an SD card which has about 11 free GB, and the phone’s internal storage has only 400 free MB or so.

I have two questions concerning photos/videos and storage:

  1. The phone’s camera is configured to store photos and videos in the SD card. However, we’ve found it arbitrarily stores them in the internal storage or in the SD card rather than respecting the setting. Why could this be happening?
  2. When we tried to move a photo from the internal storage to the SD card (by going to Gallery, selecting the photo, tapping the three dots at the top-right corner and tapping “Move to folder”), it says there isn’t enough storage in the phone before even asking where the photo should be moved. This happens with all photos in the “Camera” folder in the internal storage, whether or not they’re uploaded to the cloud. It isn't a memory (RAM) issue (unless I'm mistaken as to how virtual memory works), because even if all of the phone's real memory were used up and the phone had to create virtual memory, the size of the required virtual memory would be equal to the size of the file(s) we're trying to move, and 400 MB is much greater than the size of one photo. (Not a duplicate of this question, which is about moving apps to an SD card.)

We’ve tried unmounting and remounting the SD card, but that doesn’t solve either of the problems.

Thank you.

Edit: Added a note on why I don't think memory has anything to do with problem 2.

  • Did you try deleting useless apps or files? If you did and it didn't help then open the phone dialer, dial *#9900# and select the 2nd option “Delete dumpstate/logcat” in the prompted menu. Select ok to ‘Delete Dump’ and hit exit. (Sometimes there is problem just with the logs).. Try this and lemme know if it doesn't work – Aayush Oct 2 '20 at 4:06
  • @Aayush Android logcat logs are never saved to flash, logcat is a fixed cyclic RAM buffer. Deleting this buffer should have abolutly no effect on the used flash memory. Ever the amount of RAM used will not changed as the size of the used buffer is fixed. – Robert Oct 2 '20 at 6:54
  • You can find some pointers on how to deal with the insufficient storage space in our insufficient-memory tag wiki. After having initially solved this, to tackle your camera problem, you could try an alternative camera app (link goes to my site). I'm quite happy with Open Camera, which I use from F-Droid. – Izzy Oct 2 '20 at 7:56
  • @Aayush No, didn't try that. My question isn't about how to increase free internal storage space, but about why having very little free internal storage space prevents moving photos from the internal storage to the SD card. – Rain Oct 11 '20 at 8:35
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    @Izzy Thanks for the tip. I'd be reluctant to try a non-default camera app on my own phone, but I'll ask my wife what she thinks of your idea. As for insufficient space, please see my comment to Aayush. – Rain Oct 11 '20 at 8:37

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