Free up Internal memory by Installing / Moving Apps to your SD card in Android OS devices Lollipop vs Jelly Bean/Kitkat

Edited by Ryan, Eng, Lynn, Ephraim and 18 others

Memory hot glued on motherboard.jpg

With mobile phones being able to take such good quality pictures and video, it's no wonder our devices fill up so quickly. There are a few options to help maintain free space on your phone, one of which is installing a microSD card. SD cards are a great way to easily double up the storage on your phone. Another great way to maintain free space is by utilizing an app like Google Photos. Check out our article on how to setup Google Photos to keep your device from maxing out its storage capacity Save Space on Your Android Device Using Google Photos to Backup Images.

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**Please note** Android removed the option to move an app to an SD card when Marshmallow was released. The below instructions are for Jelly Bean, Kitkat, and Lollipop.

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Method 1: Lollipop

Please remember to install a working microSD card before following the steps below.

  1. 1
    On the home screen, tap "Apps".
    Move Apps from Internal Storage to SD card 01L.png
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  2. 2
    Inside Apps, locate and tap "Settings".
    Move Apps from Internal Storage to SD card 02L.png
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  3. 3
    On the Settings screen, tap "MORE" and then "Application manager".
    Move Apps from Internal Storage to SD card 03L.png
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  4. 4
    Inside Application manager, tap or swipe to "SD card"
    Move Apps from Internal Storage to SD card 04L.png
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  5. 5
    On the SD card tab, tap an application you wish to move to your SD card.
    Move Apps from Internal Storage to SD card 05L.png
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  6. 6
    On the App info screen, tap "MOVE TO SD card".
    Move Apps from Internal Storage to SD card 06L.png
    This may take a few minutes depending on the size of the application.
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Method 2: Jelly Bean/Kitkat

Contents

Identifying why you are out of space

Before you can just tackle on the issue of having low space on your device you will need to first assess the situation to figure out exactly what is taking up your space on your Android device. Follow these steps in order to find out the main issues that are causing the low space before you can take action.

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  1. 1
    Go to your settings icon and select the option
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  2. 2
    Go to storage in order to open up the menu to view what is using the most memory
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Transfer your applications from your internal memory to your memory card

On your Android device, simply follow the steps below.

  1. 1
    Go to "Settings" then choose "Applications"
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  2. 2
    Click on "Manage Applications"
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  3. 3
    Choose which app you wish to move
    .
    Keep in mind that not all applications can be moved.
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  4. 4
    Choose "Move to SD card"
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In this section you will see your data split up into different categories ranging from Apps, Pictures, Audio, Download, Cached data and miscellaneous.

App/Applications

These are apps or programs that are on your device which mainly will be applications that came with your device and were not downloaded for the downloaded apps will be displayed in the Downloads section of this menu on your device. These apps may prove to be important so when deciding to delete these apps understand that they originally came with your phone and sometimes the only way to retrieve these apps again will require you to Factory Reset your device. To free up these files:

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  1. 1
    Go to your settings menu
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  2. 2
    Go to Application manager/Applications
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  3. 3
    Locate the files you are wanting to delete after referring to the above paragraph to locate the exact file that is taking up space on your device.
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  4. 4
    After selecting the app you can either choose to delete or move to your SD card to free up space on your internal or if trying to free up space on SD card choose to move to the file to the device
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Picture

Picture data that is on your phone or device, if you are wanting to get rid of some pictures to free up space you should consider downloading a drop box, sending them to Google drive or any other cloud space software that can free up your picture space but in turn keep those pictures safe. To free up space:

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  1. 1
    Go to your gallery
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  2. 2
    After downloading the drop box, Google Drive or any other cloud application proceed to the next step
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  3. 3
    Locate pictures that you are comfortable with moving or deleting
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  4. 4
    Select the picture and bring up your options menu on the picture in order to bring up a sub menu stating whether you want to delete, move to another storage space or one of your cloud applications
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  5. 5
    Make your selection in order to move the picture to free up space in the area you are wishing to free up
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Audio

This data will be either your music files on your device or any recording on your device that you have created/stored. Audio files are a bit different for you can in fact put them in a drop box but the process will be much slower than transferring pictures. An alternate route that you can take in order to free up audio space will be to save your files on your computer for a later retrieval to your device in the meantime:

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  1. 1
    Go to your Music Player
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  2. 2
    Find an audio file you want to delete or move
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  3. 3
    Find the song then press and hold over the song to bring up your set of options to move or delete the file
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  4. 4
    Choose one of the options in order to free up your space
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Downloads

This data will be everything that you have downloaded onto your device from pictures, audio, videos and applications. By clicking on this option in the menu you will be given a list of all downloads that you have made on your device, from here you can simply delete the files from your device but by doing it this way you will be able to know exactly which file is taking up the most space in order to remove:

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  1. 1
    Go to your settings menu
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  2. 2
    Go to Applications/Application manager
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  3. 3
    Select the tab downloads
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  4. 4
    From here you can choose the file
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  5. 5
    Select the option to either uninstall the download or to move it to another storage device
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Cached Data

This data will have to do with any application that is currently running on your device at this current time meaning that it is running in the background on your device at this current time. When an app is running on your device it is using up memory on your device taking up space and making your device run slower than usual.

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  1. 1
    Go to settings
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  2. 2
    Go to Applications/Application manager
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  3. 3
    Move to the tab labeled Cache
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  4. 4
    Here you can simply stop the cached Applications from running in the back ground
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Miscellaneous

These files are files that are considered to be settings on your device and are not the files you want to delete by any means. If your miscellaneous section is high on memory then understand that deleting these files can cause harm to your device for this is where your boot files, start up files and other main files are located on your device.

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USB Drive

An alternate way that you can free up space from your device will be to move the files to a USB drive so that you can successfully free up space without having to delete your files completely. You will need to get a USB drive in order for you to do this successfully to free up your space.

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  1. 1
    Plug your USB Device into your computer
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  2. 2
    Plug your phone into the computer via USB chord and wait for the file explorer to pop up on your computer
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  3. 3
    Select the option to explore your files on your device and from there locate the files you would like to move
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  4. 4
    Drag your files from your phones folder to your USB drive (removable storage) so that you can move your files successfully
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You can do this as much as you want so that you can free up space on your device successfully. This alternate way will ensure that you do not lose your files to deletion instead you will be able to recover the files and place them back onto your device at a later time for viewing or use.

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Get a file manager

A file manager will be able to allow you to successfully manage your application/files on your device in order to free up space. The file manager gives you the same access that your settings/application/storage menus give you but all in one collective application and space. An application manager will allow you to take care of these application/files in a faster simpler process on your device. You can download one of these file manager apps in your Google play store by doing the following:

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  1. 1
    Go to Play Store
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  2. 2
    On the top right tap the Magnifying Glass
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  3. 3
    Type into the search File Manager
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  4. 4
    Select from one of the many file manager apps in order to download
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Once you have downloaded the application you can simply open up the app from your menu in order to begin managing your application through the File Manager. Your file manager will allow you to successfully delete and move files on your device quickly without having to perform too many steps like you have to do in the above options of managing your applications.

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Bigger SD card

When you have an SD card which a lot of space it is unlikely that you would need to perform any of these steps for if you have a 32GB SD card you will have more space than you will need normally on your device. A 2GB SD card will not be enough for you to save a lot of applications, audio, music or video for your device. With a 32GB you will have more than enough space to even worry about having a storage space issue on your device by far. A 32GB SD card can be purchased from any major store such as Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy or any other store of that nature. There are in fact bigger SD cards that you can purchase but 32GB can help a great deal with managing and holding your files on your device. This option will save you the time from having to switch files from SD to device or vice verse, deleting files or moving them to your computer to save space. People who have SD cards of this magnitude they have less problems with space than other with SD cards of a lower space capacity.

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Tips

  • Check the compatible memory card for your phone before using it. An incompatible memory card or SD card will not run in your phone.

Questions and Answers

My Android tablet's miscellaneous data is at 2.63 GB. Is this supposed to be so high?

Miscellaneous data is stuff that applications cache and/or store on your tablet. For example, if you use Google Play Music (or any other streaming music service like Spotify, Beats Music, or Radio), the music that you keep or download onto your device will be stored in the miscellaneous data file. The same goes for applications like Dropbox that sync your files to the cloud; those files are duplicated and cached on your device before they are uploaded to the cloud, so your tablet actually has two copies. Other applications also use the miscellaneous data folder to store -- you guessed it -- miscellaneous data. If you're using a carrier-branded tablet, some of the pre-loaded carrier applications will be stored in this folder, as well; you will not be able to delete these applications unless you root your tablet.

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If you want to clear up some of your tablet's space if you use a music streaming service, simply open the application and delete some of the songs you have downloaded. This will clear up a lot of space in your tablet's miscellaneous data folder.

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However, if you don't use music streaming services and you want to clear your Dropbox (or whatever cloud service you use) application's cache to reduce the size of your Android tablet's miscellaneous data folder, follow these instructions:

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  1. 1
    Open your tablet's Settings application.
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  2. 2
    Navigate to Applications.
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  3. 3
    Tap Manage applications.
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  4. 4
    Find the cloud storage application you use.
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  5. 5
    Tap Clear cache.
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Your cloud storage application's cache will now be cleared. Your tablet's miscellaneous data folder will now take up less storage. You can clear the cache for other applications you use if you want to clear the miscellaneous data folder further, as well.

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Help trying to understand how the SD card works when it comes to my tablet?

I'm trying to move apps to SD card, and then I would like to free up space on my tablet, if possible

The SD card works as an additional space for your tablet. Any applications, phone contact information, SMS and MMS messages, and all of the other files are stored in the internal (fastest, non-removeable) memory, which is limited to a few megabytes or gigabytes, depending on your model. When you insert a microSD card, you can move parts (and only parts) of some (not all) applications onto it. You can configure some of your browsers to download files onto the microSD card by default. The Camera application can store video and image files on the microSD card as they are taken. You can move all of your music and media files to the SD card too. This will free up some space for new applications to be installed, phone contact information to be added, and messages to be received.

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Follow the tutorial above this question section and the tutorial on freeing up Android internal storage to clean up meticulously some of the internal memory in your tablet.

I have a new LG 38C and I cannot download anything due to the lack of memory?

Cannot download any apps due to the lack of internal storage, OS: Android 2.4

The phone you have, an LG 38C, has this as a common issue. Owners of the phone have reported that a weekly clearing of the cache within apps with Applications Manager has helped somewhat. They also put their phone into Recovery Mode and choose Wipe Cache Partition.

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Bought a Samsung Galaxy tab 4 7inch which is 8mb + 32 mb sd?

Thought this would be a replacement for the nexus 7 which Google bricked with update. the internal memory on the Samsung is full how do you get the tablet to use the SD memory??

This YouTube Tutorial shows you how to transfer videos, documents, and images to the SD card on a Samsung Tab 4. To move apps, go to Applications Manager and select apps. There will be an option within each app screen to transfer to the storage SD card. Now, some apps will revert back to internal memory because this is the usual path they are designed for. You can check from time to time when you storage gets low again.

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My phone is not working properly, please help me clear the virus?

Free up internal memory because Google and browser are not working properly

  1. 1
    Check to see if there are updates for Google and your browser
    .
    You can do this in Applications Manager.
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  2. 2
    While you are in Applications Manager, clear the cache of Google and your browser.
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  3. 3
    Put your phone into Recovery Mode and Wipe Cache Partition.
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  4. 4
    Install another browser such as Chrome from Google Play and set it up as your default browser.
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Moving applications to the SD card and installing an app which I have uninstalled?

How can I move my apps from memory to SD card? How can I install my application when I have uninstalled it? How can I create a password in my phone?

To move applications to the microSD card on Android below 6.0, follow the steps below.

  1. 1
    Press the home button.
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  2. 2
    Go to "Apps".
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  3. 3
    Go to "Settings".
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  4. 4
    Go to "Applications" (optional).
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  5. 5
    Go to "Application Manager".
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  6. 6
    Swipe left or right to the "DOWNLOADED" tab.
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  7. 7
    Tap on the application that you want to move to the microSD card.
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  8. 8
    Tap on "Move to SD card" if it is not greyed out.
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To move applications to the microSD card on Android 6.0 and above, follow the steps below.

  1. 1
    Press the home button.
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  2. 2
    Go to "Apps".
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  3. 3
    Go to "Settings".
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  4. 4
    Tap on "Storage & USB".
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  5. 5
    Tap on "Internal storage".
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  6. 6
    Tap on "Apps", which means "applications".
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  7. 7
    Tap on an application that you want to move.
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  8. 8
    Tap on the "CHANGE" button.
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  9. 9
    Tap on "SD internal".
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To install applications through Play Store, follow our guide on installing Telegram for Android. If you have uninstalled an application, you will not need to pay for it again, as the purchase history is stored within your Google account. However, some of your previous data, like progress in a game, can be lost.

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To set a password for your smartphone, follow our guide on how to change lock-screen security to "password".

No option to set SD card as default download destination on Samsung ON5?

I have a Samsung ON5 and my internal storage is almost full. I've looked through EVERY menu, my browser menus/settings, even individual files options, and as far as I can tell there is NO way to set the SD card as my default download destination. Got any ideas?

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Then you will have to go into Applications Manager and select each app and change the path. You can try an app such as Apps2SD or root your phone and use ES File Explorer.

My Note2 is not recognizing memory card?

Why is not my Note2 recognizing the memory card

The VisiHow article titled Insert and Remove the Memory Card of Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has tricks for what to do when your memory card is not recognized with a Samsung Note2.

I am trying to download hulu app to my Android tablet and it says I don't have enough space. What can I do?

My apps don't have the move to SD card.

If you really want Hulu, then you will need to remove many apps that you have not used in a long time. You also should delete any images or videos saved to the tablet. Put your tablet into Recovery Mode and select Wipe Cache Partition. Then you can attempt to install Hulu again.

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My Tab going slow and hanging when I use the internet can I re-install upgrade version without using Tab memory?

My Tab going slow and hanging when I use the internet can I re-install upgrade version without using Tab

If your memory storage is low, this is your issue and not the internet browser you are using. You certainly can clear the cache of the internet browser within Applications Manager but your lagging is due to the fact that you have too much stuff on your device.

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Hi, I am trying to move all of my internal memory from my tablet to my SD card but it will not allow me. I already went to the Android site to follow the instructions and it doesn't have those options on my tablet! What do I do to get the memory transferred over?

Transferring my internal memory to my SD card when the tablet doesn't give me the option!. I have tried: I have went to the Android website and I have already tried to install a file transfer app and I am still at a dead end.. I think it was caused by: The tablet's memory is full and the tablet doesn't have the ability to transfer the files over to the SD card.

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Not all tablets have the same operating system when it comes to storage paths. If there is absolutely no way for you to move items to the SD card, then you will have to prioritize what to keep on the tablet. Regular housekeeping of apps helps with storage issues. Keep videos and images to a minimum on the tablet. Look into using cloud storage programs such as Google Photos for image cloud storage.

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Storage space running out, What is the remedy?

I have removed all downloaded apps to SD card, removed unnecessary original apps, applied cleaners but still on logging to internet, it shows "storage space running out" in a minute or so.. Apps shifted to SD card do not appear to have vacated the internal space.. The largest occupier is Google apps. Could the phone run smoothly if those be deleted ?

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Did you reboot the tablet after you made the changes? Put your tablet into Recovery Mode and choose Wipe Cache Partition. Most of the Google apps are hardwired to the device. The only way to remove them would be to root your tablet. Clear Your Browser Cache and Cookies is a VisiHow tutorial that steps you through clearing your browser history.

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How can I prevent losing media files when I delete them?

I moved some media files to an SD card. I deleted them from the original spot to make space. Now the files were deleted from phone and SD card.. I have tried: I selected the file to copy. Then I selected the desired location to copy to. Then I pasted it. Then I went to delete them from the original spot, I then checked to see if they were in the new location and they had been deleted. I checked after pasting them to the new location and they were present.

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There are Google Play apps that say they can find deleted files such as Undeleter. You can install this and see if it recovers the deleted files. As long as they have not been overwritten then you have a chance. You may have accidentally formatted your SD card which is why they are missing from the SD card.

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Can you tell me how to get more games without deleting them?

I moved my games to my 32GB SD card but it still says manage space. and I have 29GB worth of space.. I have tried: I've cleared cache. I think it was caused by: I guess my tablet act like this because I have too many apps.

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Even though you have moved apps to the SD card, they still use internal memory in some capacity. You also have to reboot your device and put it into Recovery Mode for Wipe Cache Partition when you complete the transfer to SD card.

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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please post in the comments section below.

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Article Info

Categories : General Android Mobiles & Tablets

Recent edits by: Jay, Maria, Monica Holsey

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