How can I install apps on my Android phone after internal storage is full?

R_Boiii April 23, 2013
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Ok so i recently put a new 32 GB micro SD card into my Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S. When i go to install new apps from the Google play store it says there is insufficient space on this device. I realized that most apps have been going to internal storage which this phone doesn’t have much. I can’t seem to move all apps to the SD card so I was wondering if anyone had any solutions to my problem.

I am on stock ROM and not rooted.

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  1. Vishal Srivastava
    April 26, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Commenting after a long time so I'd like to make it worth it. I have a Samsung Galaxy Y which is a low end smartphone with just 200Mb of internal storage so this problem arose way too early for me. Initially my phone wasn't rooted, running the default kernel and default ROM and 8GB SD card (which is still my setup). I installed App2SD, a free app which is doesn't require you to root your phone. However, except for a few apps, that I could have moved over to my SD card using the default app manager utility. Total waste of download according to me but it did save some space. However, over time, apps became more demanding (and overall, I got into installing larger sized apps as well for better quality). My internal memory started remaining full. Then, one day (exactly 2 months from the date of purchase of my phone), I decided to root my SGY. That decision was not based on lack of internal memory or installing custom ROM but based on me wanting full control over my phone. Later on, to save myself from the lack of internal memory, I installed DroidSail App2SD lite. This requires you to root your phone but is way more efficient as it can move almost all the apps to the SD card. This worked perfectly with me until recently. Recently, I decided that the default Android browser that comes with Gingerbread is too old and decided to install Firefox (as Chrome isn't compatible with SGY). The install went smoothly and DroidSail moved it to SD card to save space, but a problem arose- Firefox requires 20+ Mb of space for data, something SGY couldn't provide (its asking for 10+%, too much for a single app). I decided that I'd have to find other solution. One of the thing about Android is, that deep down, it's based on Linux. A concept that I used was virtual memory. I partitioned my SD card into 2 partitions, a 7GB default partition and an 1GB ext3 partition using Clockworkmod Recovery. Then, I used an app called Link2SD to link the entire app, its data and library files(if present) to my sd card. Pros- Frees both internal and SD card storage (although occupies the ext3 partition). I freed 100 Mb of internal storage using this technique and still have 800 Mb of ext3 storage. Another benefit is that the system recognizes it as internal storage so it'll load faster that SD card on boot. Other benefits include increased security- remove your SD card and data is gone, not to be accessed by unauthorised people. Cons- the only problem is the SD card itself. You'd need a class 6 SD card or better (not that the app won't work with others but it'll be slow) and the life of the SD card decreases as the number of read/write cycles are increased tremendously.

  2. DalSan M
    April 26, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Version 4.0.4 should allow moving apps to the SD card, though not all apps should. Read carefully and thoroughly this web page and go to the Original Thread listed on that page and read carefully and thoroughly as well. It isn't clear on if you would lose your data or not, so make backups of whatever you can first. It may be scary, but most times issues are caused by the user not going step-by-step with the directions and setup.

    The original thread on XDA explains that the newer vendor data storage location caused by the update to 4.0.4 will not allow many apps to move data from installed applications to the SD card because the app moving applications do not look in the new location. It is also stated which program actually works to move and/or uninstall system applications and bloatware.

    If you have further questions before starting to root, please search the xda-developers website and read through the comments to find answers first, then ask questions on the original thread if you couldn't find an answer. They usually do not take too kindly to people asking questions instead of searching first, but the developers there can give much more information and help than I can since I do not own an Arc S. Cheers.

  3. DalSan M
    April 25, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    I would need the Android version you are running to make sure that the method used will not "brick" your phone in any way. Each version has different ways of blocking root access, so using the wrong method may give more than just errors. As far as allowing to move applications to the SD card, you would have to create another partition to have two primary partitions, then use links2SD app and/or apps2SD to move the apps to the SD card. Use gl2SD to move game data from the internal storage to the sd card as well. Most of the information, methods, and questions you have can be found at, just do a search for your phone model and what you are looking to do.
    I would also suggest getting Titanium Backup to backup your apps and settings, then freeze or uninstall junk apps and bloatware. If you are bold enough and want better performance and more control, you could try a different ROM like CyanogenMod 10.1, just make sure you backup your phone using a custom recovery like ClockWork Mod so if anything goes wrong or you don't like it, you can restore the backup and go on like nothing ever happened since all apps, settings, and data would be restored to the last backup version.

    • R_Boiii
      April 26, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      I am running version 4.0.4 and what would be the simplest way to root my phone to avoid any problems.
      your answer as been the most helpful so far.
      If you could give me some simple ways to root my phone that would be extremely appreciated

  4. Chris Marcoe
    April 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Have you tried going through your apps and seeing if you don't need some of them? Just delete them off the phone. this might sound kind of mindless, but it should work. and, getting rid of some apps will likely extend your battery life. And speed up your phone.

    Good luck

  5. Athul Jayaram
    April 25, 2013 at 9:30 am

    store it in your sd card :)

  6. DalSan M
    April 24, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Which version of Android are you using? If it is version 4.1 or newer, then moving apps to SD is not possible without rooting your device. The theory is that Google wants the manufacturers to start installing larger internal storage for each device and possibly getting rid of an external SD slot (made apparent with the Nexus line of products and HTC One series devices). If followed precisely, rooting is fairly safe (I have done this since the HTC HD2 without any issues).

  7. R_Boiii
    April 24, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    So there is no way to get my apps to go straight to my SD card because I don't even have that many apps and it says its full and wont let me install any more.

    • Adil Farooq
      April 25, 2013 at 6:27 am

      You can move app to SD card but for this you have to Root your device then you get privilege to move every application to SD Card, Otherwise its not possible.

    • susendeep dutta
      April 25, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      Moveapps apps2SD is an app which notifies you when an app is movable.

      As you may have learned from all responses to your question,that not all apps are designed to be movable to SD card.It depends upon the developer to create his/her app to be SD movable or not.

      Now,since your phone doesn't have sufficient memory,all you can do is to be picky about choosing which apps to get into your phone.You can do this by choosing a All-in-One type of app,which accomplishes many tasks without need to install many apps.

      Also,make sure that no media or other files that you have created or stored resides in internal memory.

    • Vishal Srivastava
      April 26, 2013 at 6:11 pm

      Have you tried this? I have found it unsuitable for my needs but it's still good-

  8. Chinmay Sarupria
    April 24, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    There are 2 types of apps-
    1) Apps that can be moved to SD Card.
    2) Apps that cannot be moved to SD Card.

    Here many have said about app2sd but i think they have never used it. app2sd can only move those apps which can really be moved to SD card. So, you don't have to go to Settings to move each app.

    And if you have moved some apps to SD Card and still your internal storage is full then the one and only one solution is uninstalling some apps.

    • Vishal Srivastava
      April 26, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      I disagree, if you have root access, you can even move apps that can't be moved to SD card by default app manager. Droid Sail Super App2SD Lite is the app I use (or used to use).

    • Chinmay Sarupria
      April 27, 2013 at 7:44 am

      Please read the question again. He has already said that his phone is not rooted.

  9. ha14
    April 24, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Menu > Settings > Applications > Manage Applications > Downloaded > from here go through the applications you will see a section that says Move to SD.

    • R_Boiii
      April 24, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      i have done this already but a lot of my apps wont let me move them

    • ha14
      April 25, 2013 at 8:53 am

      how about to use software to clean android from cache...may be this can fix the problem, if not consider hard reset, you can use titanium backup to backup applications...before hard reset

      Clean Master: Clean Your Phone & Make It Run Faster [Android 1.6 & Up]

  10. Alan Wade
    April 24, 2013 at 6:54 am

    App Mgr III is very good for managing your apps!

  11. Junil Maharjan
    April 24, 2013 at 6:50 am

    move some of your apps from internal to external card using app2sd app

  12. babu vhora
    April 24, 2013 at 5:14 am

    After Full internal storage download App2sd and transfer files in sd card....

    • RichmondBanzon
      August 13, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Sir can i ask ? My Internal Memory is FULL but i dont have any APPS .I already Delete./Uninstall it

  13. Uchitha Jayathissa
    April 24, 2013 at 3:15 am

    If its always installing into your internal memory, you can use an app like app2sd. I'm recommending App2SD because its free and it has good functions like Moving Apps to 2nd Partition of the SD, Integrate Updated system apps into system replacing old apps(saves some memory because after you update a system app, old app is staying in internal memory while updated one is used.) and you can also uninstall system apps which you are not using. Better if you have rooted your Device.

  14. Louis W
    April 24, 2013 at 12:55 am

    Go to manage applications and then application info. Click move to SD card.

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