The core issue is in the title: the apps that were installed in the SD card seem to be not installed at all after I unmounted the SD card.

As additional information, these are the steps preceding the moment I have noticed this problem:

  • installed some apps (so, it's not an app-specific problem)
  • moved many of them to the SD card using App2SD - apps working properly
  • unmounted the SD card and detached from the phone (which is turned on)
  • no data were written on the sd card (only read operations)
  • put SD back in the phone (the same SD card)

At this point, I was, and currently am, not able to launch the applications previously moved in the SD card. The links are available on my home screen, but after tapping them I get an error message saying "error launching application".

They are not available in the app menu, neither are marked as "installed" in the play store.

Fortunately, the applications' data are still there, and installing some of the apps again they appeared the same as the last time I used them.

So, the question is twofold:

  1. Is there a way to recover the apps, or do I have to manually reinstall them?
  2. Is this a potential bug of App2SD?
  • Have you tried restarting the phone?
    – Chahk
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 15:04
  • I did it several time (the phone has a strange behavior since I reported the problem) Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 16:33

2 Answers 2


This sounds like a case of a vital hidden folder that you're missing - when apps are moved to the SD-Card, a hidden folder called .android_secure is created which is where the apps are stored in!

This is a common mistake to make, when replacing a SD-Card for a bigger one, so the moral is to ensure, when transferring to a bigger SD-Card, do not forget the hidden directories including .android_secure. Upon restart after inserting the bigger SD-Card, Android will re-scan the card and proceed to look in that specific hidden folder, for any apps that are moved to external storage and loads/caches the shortcuts for those respective apps.

  • 1
    That folder is called .android_secure :) Further your answer implies the OP switched cards -- the question doesn't indicate that: put SD back in the phone rather implies it was the same card. Apart from that: Good point!
    – Izzy
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 17:30
  • @Izzy Gosh thanks for the heads up... will edit it accordingly! ;)
    – t0mm13b
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 17:33
  • NP -- but you're still assuming the OP copied contents to a new card, which is not what the Q says (well, but it also doesn't deny it, so I'll give you a +1 nevertheless :)
    – Izzy
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 17:46
  • 1
    Maybe I am in denial too... methinks the OP should clarify if that was the case? :)
    – t0mm13b
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 17:48
  • @Izzy is right: I didn't change the SD card: it is the same. No data were written or changed while it was off the phone. Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 16:37

I had the same problem, but we might have different phones. For me, the reason why I never see my apps moved by app2ds is because my sd card is partitioned so that app2sd would be able to see only that part of the card, and my computer cannot see the partitioned part. Whenever I unmount my sd card to switch it out with one I have music on, I just have to restart the whole phone afterwards is all.

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