How do I Set SD Card as My Default App Installation Location on Android without Rooting

ADB Bundle

I’ve set my default Google Play app download and install location to storage card, do you? You may not find any option on your Android device to change the default storage location to SD card. But it is possible if you can spare 10 minutes. I know many of you must want it because of the low internal storage space on your phone.

Several times you may have got the frustrating message on your Android phone saying insufficient storage available. You may have seen it when you try to update the Facebook app or when installing new apps. It is because your phone uses the internal storage by default to install apps and of course the app updates. On a rooted device you can do wonder with your phone. But on an unrooted android phone there are certain limitations. But it is possible to move the internal storage apps to SD card without rooting. Also you can change the default app install location to SD card from internal storage. For this you need your Android Phone, the Original USB Cable comes with your device and a PC. This tutorial is pretty simple so anyone with basic computer knowledge can quickly follow it.

This post will answer your below two questions.

How to change the default download location from Internal Storage to SD card on an Android Device?

How to move internal storage apps to SD card on an Android Phone?

Hot to get rid off the Android phone notification saying insufficient storage space?

The below tweak will work if your android version is 2.2 or later. We can see below how to set SD card as your default storage location to download apps and also how to move internal storage apps to SD card.


Enable USB debugging on your android phone. To do that on your phone go to Settings->Developer options->USB debugging.

Download the suitable Google Android SDK on your computer. You can find 32 bit as well as 64 bit versions. Choose the one based on your Windows OS.

Unzip the downloaded archive file and copy the folder on to your PCs desktop.

Now connect your android phone to your PC using the original USB cable that comes with the device. Let your PC to identify your device and install the necessary drivers automatically. If not, you can download and install the drivers manually.

Open above unzipped folder which is copied to desktop. You can see the folder sdk. Double click to open it. Inside this folder you can see another folder platform-tools. Open it (it’s like : adt-bundle-Windows/sdk/platform-tools) and then launch command prompt.

ADB Bundle

You can launch command prompt from within the platform-tools folder. This you can done by press and hold the Shift button and then right click on any blank space inside the folder. It will open the context menu with an option “Open command window here”. Select it.

command prompt

Run the ADB devices command as below in the command line on by one.

adb devices

adb shell pm set-install-location 2

adb shell pm get-install-location

That’s all. If everything is done in the right way you can see the last out put of the command as : 2 [external]

This way you can set your android phone’s default app download / install location to SD Card. This also give you the comfort to move your internal storage apps to SD card without rooting your device. But be careful while moving the apps. Get rid of the “insufficient storage available” message on your Android by moving some of the apps that you installed on your internal storage. That you can done from your phone-settings-apps.


  1. I followed the techniques outlined in your article. But, at the end, I was not able to eject the device [meaning disconnect]. It told me that some files were in use. So, I shut down the machine and then disconnected the Android phone. Incidentally, I have an Auxus Handy H01. Even after the steps I am not able to install big apps. I still get this error “unknown error code during application install 919”

    Now, I am wondering if I could convert part of the external SD card as internal storage. I saw one or two videos on Youtube on that technique Thanks for helping..

    Background: The company foisted it on me without telling me that there is only about 40MB is available . The company advertised 2GB internal memory. But the device says that there is only 1GB Internal Memory, of which only about 40MB is usable now. How this can be good business practice I fail to understand. Even big companies like Samsung do it I suppose. There is no indication on the usable Internal memory with any of the Android devices.

  2. I did everything as described
    and got the result that yo mentioned
    but when I tried to install an app, it was installed to internal memory


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