How do I use an SD card with my Galaxy device?

Having to decide what apps, photos, or videos to delete in order to free up storage space on your Galaxy device is frustrating. While your device comes with internal storage, you may be looking for more if you're an avid photographer or gamer. Fortunately, many Samsung devices allow you to use expandable memory to give you up to 1TB of extra space.

 

Not all phone models support the use of SD cards. If your device doesn't support an SD, consider using Samsung Cloud to expand your storage space.

How do I use an SD card with my Galaxy device?

Setting up your SD card

What devices can be used with an SD card?

Many Samsung devices allow you to expand the storage space with an SD card. This is an easy and cost-efficient way to store more photos, apps, and files on your device. The size and maximum capacity of the SD you can use differs between devices and models.

 

Find out which devices support a memory card and the maximum size they will accept.

How do I install an SD card?

Please note: not all phone models support SD cards. For extra storage space, consider using Samsung Cloud

Devices with a fixed battery

1 You will have received an ejector PIN in the box with your device.

Insert the PIN into the hole in the side of the SIM tray. It will pop open

Insert the PIN into the hole on the SIM tray
2 Have a look at your SIM tray. Some SIM trays will be able to use two SIMs or one SIM and an SD card, some will be able to use two SIMs and others will only be able to use one SIM. The example below is a hybrid SIM tray that can use two SIM cards or one SIM and an SD card.

There will be indicators on the SIM tray detailing where the SD card can go.

Hybrid SIM tray
3 Place the SD card in the tray with the gold-coloured contacts facing down
Place the SD card into the tray with the gold coloured contacts facing down
4 Push the SIM tray back into your device

Devices with a removable battery

1 Lift the back cover off your device. There is a release latch on the side to make this easier
Lift the back cover off your device
2 Remove the battery
3 Carefully slide your SD card into the slot at the top of the device

Please note: the SD card slot is on the bottom and the SD card slot is directly above it. Make sure that the SD card goes into the right slot

Slide the SD card into the slot at the top of the device
4 Replace the battery by sliding it back into the battery compartment on the back of the device. Once the battery is in the compartment, press it down gently. Make sure that the contacts on the battery and device align
Replace the battery
5 Place the back cover back onto the device and press down around each edge until it clicks into place
How do I format an SD card?

If this is the first time you are using this SD card, you should format it. This will make sure that it is setup correctly. Formatting an SD card may also help if you're having persistent issues setting up or using your external memory. Formatting an SD card will permanently wipe any data that you have stored on it. Make sure that any files you want to keep are backed up before formatting your SD card. 

1 Open the Settings app
Tap the Settings app
2 Tap Device care
Tap Device care
3 Tap Storage
Tap Storage
4 Tap Advanced
Tap Advanced
5 Tap SD card
Tap SD card
6 Tap Format
Tap Format
7 Tap Format SD card
Tap Format SD card
Where can I find files saved to my SD card?

The My Files app makes finding everything you have saved to your device easy. Your files will be automatically separated into categories based on their type as well as where they are saved.

1 Swipe up on your home screen to access your apps
Swipe up on your homes screen to access your apps
2 Tap on the My Files app. By default, this will appear in the folder named Samsung
Tap on the My Files app
3 Tap SD card
Tap SD card

Using your SD card

How do I move files to my SD card?

Once you have an SD card installed in your device, freeing up space is easy. All you have to do is move some files across, giving you extra space in the internal storage of your device.

1 Open the My Files app. By default, the My Files app will appear in the Samsung folder
Swipe up on the home screen to access your apps
2 Tap on the category of file you want to move
Tap on the category of app you want to move
3 Tap the folder where the files you want to move are stored
Tap on the folder where the file you want to move is stored
4 Tap the more options icon. It will appear as three dots in the upper right corner
Tap the more options icon
5 Tap Edit
Tap Edit
6 Tap each file you want to move. You can also tap All to select all files
Tap each file you want to move. You can also tap all to select all the files in this folder
7 Tap the Move icon
Tap the Move icon
8 Press the < button until you return to the main page of the My Files app
Press the < button to return to the main page of the files app
9 Tap SD card
Tap SD card
10 Tap on the folder you want to move the file to
Tap on the folder where you would like to move your file(s)
11 Tap Move here
Tap Move here
How to move apps to your SD card?

There are thousands of incredible apps on the Galaxy Store and the Play Store, offering everything from productivity to games. Some apps only take up a tiny amount of space but intensive apps like 3D games can quickly use up your internal storage. To free up some space on your device you may be able to move your apps onto an SD card.

Please note: not all apps support SD card use. If you are unable to follow the steps below, the app you are trying to use may not be compatible. Some apps that can move to SD cards leave some data in your internal storage. This is not an error. If data has been left on your internal storage, then it is needed for the app to function correctly

1 Open the Settings app
Open the Settings app
2 Tap Apps
Tap Apps
3 Tap the app that you want to move
Tap the app that you want to move
4 Tap Storage
Tap Storage
5 Tap Change

Please note: if you do not see the change option, it may not be possible to move this app to an SD card

Tap Change
6 Tap SD card
Tap SD card
7 Tap Move
Tap Move
How do I save my contacts to an SD card?

Your contacts don’t take up much room on your device and shouldn't be moved to free up storage space. Moving contacts to an SD card allows you to quickly move your address book to another device or create a backup for emergencies.

1 Open your Contacts app
Open your Contacts app
2 Tap the menu icon. It will appear as three lines in the upper left of the screen
Tap the Menu icon
3 Tap Manage contacts
Tap Manage contacts
4 Tap Import or export contacts
Tap Import or export contacts
5 Tap Export
Tap Export
6 Tap SD card
Tap SD card
7 Tap Export
Tap Export
Can I set files to save to my SD card automatically?

Setting files to save to your SD card automatically saves you from having to move them yourself. It is not currently possible to set everything you do on your device to save to an SD card, however there are some apps that allow this functionality.

 

Setting your photos to save to an SD card automatically

1 Open the Camera app
Tap the Camera app
2 Tap the settings cog
Tap the settings cog
3 Tap Storage location
Tap Storage location
4 Tap SD card
Tap SD card

Setting internet downloads to save to an SD card automatically

1 Open the Internet app
Open the Internet app
2 Tap the menu icon. It looks like three lines in the bottom right of the screen. You may have to drag the screen up to see the menu option
Tap the menu icon
3 Tap Settings
Tap Settings
4 Tap Sites and downloads
Tap Sites and downloads
5 Tap Save downloaded files to
Tap Save downloaded files to
6 Tap SD card
Tap SD card

Troubleshooting

My SD card isn't recognised
1 Remove, clean and reinstall your SD card
  1. Unmount your SD card. Go to Settings Device care - Storage Advanced SD card - Unmount 
  2. Open the SIM tray and remove your SD card
  3. Check the SD card for any signs of damage or debris. Clean away any debris
  4. Place the SD card back into the SIM tray and push it back into your device
2 If your SD card still isn't working, try testing it in another mobile device. If the SD card works in a different device, there may be something stopping it from working in your primary mobile device. If the SD card isn't working in the second device, it is likely that there is an issue with the SD card
3 If you know that your SD card isn't the issue, place it back into your device and boot it up in safe mode. While using safe mode, all third-party apps are disabled. This makes it easy to see if an app is causing the issue. Find out more about using safe mode
  1. Press and hold the power button until the power off screen appears on your device
  2. Press and hold the Power off icon until the Safe mode option is displayed
  3. Tap Safe mode
  4. Your device will reboot and start in safe mode
  5. Check to see if your SD card is recognised
  6. If your SD card is recognised, then it is likely that a third-party app is the issue. Restart your device and try uninstalling the most recent app downloaded onto your phone 
4 If you have deleted any apps that you believe may be causing the issue, try formatting your SD card. Follow the steps in How do I format my SD card? for more information.

Please note: formatting your SD card will delete all the data stored on it. Make sure that you have created a backup of any data you want to keep before formatting your SD card

5 If none of the above options have worked, you may need to factory reset your device. Just like formatting an SD card, factory resetting your device will delete everything that you have saved on it. Find out more about factory resetting your device
6 If none of the above steps have fixed your issue, please contact Samsung Support.
My SD card is corrupted
1 Clear your cache
  1. Go to Settings 
  2. Tap Device care  
  3. Tap Optimise now
2 If clearing your cache didn't work, you may need to format your SD card. Follow the steps in How do I format my SD card? for more information.

If you're experiencing unusual behaviour on Samsung mobiles, tablets or wearables, you can send us an error report or ask us a question in the Samsung Members app.

 

This allows us to take a closer look at what is happening. The data is anonymised and only held for the duration of the investigation. Find out more about sending an error report through the Samsung Members app.

Thank you for your feedback!