MicroSD cards and your Galaxy phone or tablet

MicroSD card and a Note 10 on a table

Running out of room on your phone or tablet? If you have a microSD card in your device, it lets you expand memory space and exchange pictures, music, or data with microSD compatible devices. It's a must for that catalog of pictures or songs you've accumulated over the years.

Note: Available screens and settings may vary by wireless service provider and software version. Samsung Android phones do not support the Adoptable storage feature.

MicroSD card types

Unless you are a tech wizard, you probably aren't aware that microSD cards come in multiple classes. Other than storage capacity, there are different factors that separate them. Some also come with extra features that give them distinct classifications.

  • microSD cards have capacity up to 2GB.

  • microSDHC (High Capacity) cards offer capacity up to 32GB.

  • microSDXC (extended Capacity) cards have capacity from over 32GB and up to 2TB.

  • Each type of card has a speed rating of 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10, from slowest to fastest.

While you can use any class of microSD cards in your phone or tablet, the microSDXC card is recommended for high-resolution video recording, due to its large storage capacity and high-speed read/write capability. For less demanding use, such as still photography, regular microSD or microSDHC cards will be sufficient.

Insert the microSD card

Note: Not all phone or tablet models support microSD cards. On these models, there will only be a slot for the SIM card.

MicroSD cards give you tons of space on your phone or tablet, but they are really tiny. Just be careful not to drop or lose the microSD card.

  1. Insert the ejector tool (which comes with your phone or tablet) into the hole in the SIM and microSD card tray on the top of your phone or tablet. If you have lost or misplaced the ejector tool, you can use a pin or needle instead but please use caution.
     

    Note: Be careful not to insert the ejector tool into the microphone hole, which is also on top of your device.
     

  2.  When the tray pops out, pull it out of the phone or tablet.
     

  3. Carefully place the microSD card into the larger opening in the tray - the SIM card slot is the lower, smaller opening. Then, reinsert the tray into the device.

    Someone inserting a microSD card into a phone
  4. If you have trouble getting the SIM and SD card tray out or it becomes damaged, please visit a Samsung walk-in service center or you can schedule a repair service online.

Transfer media to a microSD card

Just insert your microSD card and you can begin transferring your files. You can also use the options in Device care to help clear space.

First, insert your microSD card, navigate to the Samsung folder, and then tap My Files. Find the file(s) you want to move, and then touch and hold the file(s). Tap Move or Copy at the bottom of the screen, and then navigate back to the My Files Home page. Tap SD card - this will only show up if you have a SD card inserted. Then, tap Move here or Copy here.

Note: You can only move or copy files this way in the My Files app. You cannot move or copy files to other apps, such as Gallery.

Samsung My Files Home screen

Move apps to microSD card

Before you relocate an app to a new storage location, make sure you have a microSD card inserted. Otherwise, your apps will have nowhere to go.

Navigate to Settings, and then tap Apps. Swipe to and select the app you want to move. Tap Storage, and then tap Change. Choose SD card, and then tap Move to change the app's storage location. If needed, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the move.

If you do not see the Change option available, you can't change the app's storage location. For example, preloaded apps cannot be moved.

Change highlighted on a Galaxy phone

Encrypt or decrypt a microSD card

Important: If your phone or tablet is factory reset when the microSD card encrypted, it will no longer be able to read the microSD card. Decrypt the SD card before resetting or using it with another device.

If you use removable storage on your phone or tablet, you can protect your files by encrypting the SD card. Encryption converts data from a readable form to an encoded version that can only be read on the device that was used to encrypt it. Even though it sounds high-tech, it’s easy to encrypt files stored on your memory card on a Galaxy device.

From Settings, search for and select Encrypt SD card or Decrypt SD card. Tap Encrypt SD card or Decrypt SD card. If you set a lock screen, you will be required to enter your credentials before your device encrypts the files stored on the memory card. Keep in mind encryption can take several minutes or more, depending on the size of your SD card.

Make sure to connect your device to a charger while the encryption or decryption process is running. You will not be able to use the microSD during this time.

Searching for Encrypt or decrypt SD card on a Galaxy phone

Unmount and remove the microSD card

Need to remove the microSD card from your phone or tablet so you can upgrade? No worries, we'll walk you through it. Remember, you must unmount the microSD card before removing it.

  1. Navigate to and tap Apps, and then tap Settings.
     

  2. Tap Search, and then search for and select Storage.
     

  3. Tap More options (the three vertical dots), and then tap Storage settings.
     

  4. Tap Unmount, and then insert the ejector tool into the hole in the SIM and microSD card tray on the top of your phone or tablet. If you have lost or misplaced the ejector tool, you can use a pin or needle instead but please use caution.
     

    Note: Be careful not to insert the ejector tool into the microphone hole also on top of your device.
     

  5. When the tray pops out, pull it out of the phone or tablet.

    Hand removing a microSD card from a phone
  6. Remove the microSD card from the tray, and then insert the tray back into the device.

  7. If you have trouble getting the SIM and SD card tray out or it becomes damaged, please visit a Samsung walk-in service center or you can schedule a repair service online.

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