How to Move Samsung Galaxy S4 Apps to SD Card After Update

Verizon and AT&T pushed out an update that lets users move apps from the internal storage to an external micro-SD card that a user can install by opening the back cover of their device. This can potentially free up some storage on the very limited internal storage available.

Before describing how to do this, let’s make one thing clear: users can move the apps, but a lot of the data stored on the internal storage must stay there. We confirmed this by moving the Amazon Kindle app from the internal storage of an AT&T Samsung Galaxy S4 to a 32GB micro-SD card. Then we used ES File Explorer to copy the downloaded books from the internal storage to the card. We fired up the Kindle app and looked for books on the device and found nothing listed.

Some apps require the user to change the directory of the data. We had to do this with the Olive Tree Bible Reader app.

gs4 micro sd card

The benefit of moving apps to a micro-SD card might be offset if the user doesn’t use a fast enough card. We recommend finding class 10 cards. They’re fast enough to handle anything a user needs to do with their phone.

Moving big apps to external storage can still save some space, especially with large games. We’ve freed up over 1GB by moving a bunch of apps to the card.

Here’s how to move an app.

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First see how much storage the apps take up by opening Settings. Tap the menu button on the bottom left or slide the notification screen down from the top and choose the settings icon.

gs4 settings

Tap on the More tab on the top right of the Settings screen (see below).

gs4 settings more

Tap on the Storage menu item. Wait for it to calculate how much storage the OS, apps and files use. Look for the Available space to see what’s left.

Now, return to the previous screen by tapping the back button on the bottom right of the GS4. Then tap on Application manager.

Start by sorting the apps by size. To do this tap on the menu button on the bottom left of the phone. Tap Sort by size and let the OS reorder the apps. Then select an app from near the top of the list. For example, we picked the Amazon Kindle app. Notice that it takes up nearly 65MB of space (see below).

app manager

If the OS won’t let an app run on the card, the button reading Move to SD card is grayed out. If it’s not, tap on it and wait for the app to move. Repeat the process until all apps that should run from the card, and can run from the card, get moved.

Comments

  1. john says

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  2. Kaysee L. Gore says

    I dont even have a move to SD option!!!! Its not just greyed out, its just not there! No before people tell me I need to update the system, I JUST GOT THIS PHONE 2 WEEKS AGO. It shouldnt need an update!

    • J-P says

      It is believed by some, that this update was deliberately delayed, to offer a reason for some “rooted” users to accept it, and thus lose the exploit that enabled us to open this phone up for custom roms. Apple pioneered this game, by deliberately holding back on functions, and closing jailbreak loopholes with updates that offered “features”(aka fixing bugs) that we’re enticing.

    • Man Leong says

      I got my S4 two days ago and still needa update it.
      Check your setting -> more -> about device -> Software update.
      I believe the update is dated back to June this year but strangely new phones (S4 purchased after June) do not come with the update pre-installed

  3. sandro says

    I moved apps to the SD card, but they are still shown in the system storage. I am not the only one with this problem . The button is a lie.

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