How To Make SD Card The Default Storage In Android?

Published on: , by

Ai Disclaimer: We don't use AI for content or research. The contents is researched and written by our team.

» Home » Smart Devices » How To Make SD Card The Default Storage In Android?

In this tutorial, I will be guiding you through a step by step process on how to turn a portable SD card into your android’s default storage which will enable you to download or write any files directly over to your SD card without needing to transfer files each time from the internal memory to your external memory card.

Also, before we start with the process of making the SD card as the default storage. I believe it would be better for all of us to first have a look into some of the key points associated with the process.

For example, what are the pros and cons that come with turning the SD Card into default storage for your android device? 

Hence, let us begin by having a look at what are some of the pros and cons that are out there and also the key difference between an inbuilt memory and an external SD card.

But, if you want to directly get to the part where I describe the process on how to make an SD card as the default storage, then feel free to skip the material in between and directly jump to the following, “How to make SD card into a default storage?”.

How To Make SD Card Into A Default Storage?

As promised, here I have laid down all the required steps needed to follow in order to tuning an SD card into the default storage for a device.

This is a common guide, so no matter which model of android device you are using, you should be able to follow the steps and successfully be able to make your SD card into the default storage if your android version or model has the feature available as explained above.

  • Firstly, go to the “Settings” option on your device.
  • Then we will need to go down and select the “Storage” option.
  • Once we are inside the Storage section, we then need to select on the “SD Card” option and then tap on the “Three-dot menu,” which you will see in the top right corner.
  • Then, select on the “Settings” option from the drop-down menu and select on “Format as internal”.
  • Once that is done, in the next pop-up, select on “Erase & Format” option and let the SD card be formatted as internal storage.
  • Lastly, reboot your phone once, so that everything works normally henceforth.

Key difference between a Portable SD Card and an Inbuilt memory (Internal memory)

A portable SD Card can be swapped between devices at will.

As in the case of Internal or Inbuilt memory, they are always permanently placed inside a single device itself and cannot be separated at will.

The size of a portable SD Card may range from 2 GB being the smallest to as large as 512 GB being the largest.

As in the case of Internal memory or storage, at present, the size ranges from 8 GB to 128 GB, being the largest.

A portable SD card can be bought and then can be added to a device to increase its total storage size depending upon the size of memory it can hold.

The internal memory of a device comes pre-built and cannot be bought separately to be added to a device at will.

The above are some of the basic differences between an external SD card and an Internal memory.

However, the main difference between these both lies in the way they are used and what to expect when the SD card is used as a default memory or internal memory.

*NOTE: The method of making an SD card a default memory mat not possible in every kind of Android device.

Depending upon the brand of device and the version of Android OS installed, you may or may not be allowed to make an SD card the default internal memory for the device.

So if you can’t find the option of turning external SD card memory into default internal memory. Then it might have to do with the model of your device or simply the Android version you have installed.

Difference Between SD Cards Used As Portable Storage And Internal (Default) Storage

This section, I believe, is the most important section, which gives a thorough understanding of why or when you should decide to make an SD card into default storage.

  • In the case of SD cards used as Portable Storage, they can be easily swapped between devices without having to affect the data or content inside the memory in any way. Whereas in the case of SD cards used as Internal Storage, as soon as cards are removed from one device, the data may get corrupted as when used as a Default Storage, the SD card is automatically encrypted to be used in that device itself.
  • Again, when you use SD cards as Portable Storage. They can only be used to store files such as multimedia and document files. It cannot be used to store downloaded applications or use them in any way or so. Whereas in the case of SD Cards being used as Internal memory, you can easily download and store large app files directly into the SD card and run apps from it.

Is Making SD Card A Default Storage Really Necessary?

At a time when you decide to turn your External SD card into the default internal memory. One very important question you must ask yourself is whether making your SD card into the default storage really that necessary.

If you think the apps you need are not as large that you need any extra space, then the one already provided by the internal memory of the device itself.

Then my advice would be to skip the thought and just go with using the SD card as external portable storage to store large files such as videos, pictures, and docs.

Still, to help you decide on the necessity of requiring a larger internal memory.

Let us have a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages associated with it.


  • The very first advantage of using SD Cards as Internal storage is the SIZE. Depending upon the size of the SD card, the default memory size of your device can increase. That means you can store and run large app files directly from your SD card itself.
  • The second main advantage is its Cost. In comparison to inbuilt internal memory. External SD cards come much cheaper in price.


  • The main disadvantage of using an external SD card as the main default memory is that it is slower in speed than that of pre-built internal memory. It means that when you are running an app from the SD card, there is always a chance of frequent hangs or crashes. But still, depending upon the quality of your SD card, this type of con may vary.
  • Always more prone to breaking easily. By breaking, I do not mean literally breaking, but getting destroyed or permanently corrupted. Many times it is seen that SD cards that are used as default memory have a higher chance of breaking down. Hence, if you are working with important data or apps, then my recommendation would be to stick to the pre-built internal memory itself.
  • Data cannot be decrypted by other devices. Well, this is quite obvious actually, that once you use an SD card as internal memory, all the data you download or store inside the SD card is automatically encrypted to only be able to read by the device itself.
  • Apps which have been installed get deleted once the SD card is removed. Yes, once you remove the SD card from the device. All apps installed on it will automatically be removed or cease to function, thus, if you think that, you will not frequently remove the SD card out and forth. Only then it is advised that you turn an SD card into a default memory.

Like This Post? Checkout More

Photo of author
Rishikesh Hazarika is a tech enthusiast who is always curious to learn and absorb facts and data in the world of science and technology as well as tries to share his opinion. He has an M.Tech degree from North-Eastern Hill University, later he did a certificate course in Computer Hardware and Software, and a certificate course in Introduction to Architectingc