I moved my microSD card from my old moto droid to the droid 4, but I can't see any of my old SD card apps. Is it possible to import them? Neither phone has even been rooted.


  • I've found the sdcard-ext directory and tried copying stuff out of there to sdcard with no luck – zje Aug 2 '12 at 5:05

By simply moving the SD card between devices, it is possible to transport data. The apps you are referring to are probably the once you moved to SD card via App2SD -- this will not move the entire app, but (hopefully) the biggest part of it. At least a small piece remains on the device -- which is, amongst others, how the device knows about those apps. And which is why "the other phone" won't show them: It simply doesn't know they are there, as they are not "registered" with that device.

So if you want to move them over, you will have to re-install them on your new phone (here: the Droid 4), and then (optionally) delete them on the old. The apps data are lost that way -- unless you can export them from within the app on the "old droid", put them on SD card, and import them with that app on the Droid 4. Or, alternatively, if both Droids are rooted, and you use Titanium Backup to backup app and data on the old, and restore them to the new phone.


If your idea is to permanently switch the card to the new device (i.e. not just temporarily, and then switch it back to the old), you might want to follow these steps:

  1. check with your apps list (from the homescreen, press the "menu" key, select "apps", and then again "apps" -- second place might be titled "manage apps", not sure, as it differs between devices and Android versions) which apps you've installed on your card, and write that down (just for safety).
  2. with the card in the old phone, uninstall the apps you've installed on the card (don't worry, you can re-install them later -- even the paid ones, as they are connected with your Google account)
  3. remove the card from your old phone, and use a card reader to attach it to your computer. With your file browser, check whether the directory .android_secure is empty. If not, just remove it. This step is optional, and should help avoiding trouble when re-installing the apps.
  4. now put the card into your new phone. All your data (stored on the card) will be immediately available.
  5. hopefully you've configured your device with the same Google account -- so now you can go and re-install those apps.

Alternatively, if your old phone has sufficient internal memory, instead of uninstalling the apps (step 2) you could simply move them to internal memory. Then, if you configured your phone to backup apps+data to the Google cloud, you should be able to just "sync them back" to your new phone (in step 5). I've never tried that, but the possibility exists.

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  • thanks a lot for the detailed answer. one quick question - I actually moved the apps using the builtin install to SD. it would appear that that makes no difference, right? I'm worried about reinstalling apps on the same card and possibly overwriting data... – zje Aug 2 '12 at 12:32
  • by "builtin install" you probably mean "App2SD", and having the card defined as "default location" -- that is exactly what I was talking about before. If you want to permanently move the card to the new device (and do not intend to put it back), there is a way to avoid this issue. I'll just update my answer to include this issue. – Izzy Aug 2 '12 at 12:40
  • Sorry for all the confusion and thanks for all your help. I'm traveling today, so I'll try this when I get back. Thanks! – zje Aug 2 '12 at 14:28
  • You're welcome -- good luck then, and a safe journey now! When done, let us share your happiness of success, please ;) – Izzy Aug 2 '12 at 14:34

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