Using Link2SD On Android Tablets Or Smartphones To Store Apps On A microSD Card
How To Move Apps To SD When That Isn't Available?
Do you have an Android powered smartphone or tablet and find yourself running out of room for more apps? Since Android 2.2, support for moving apps to an sd or micro SD card has been standard with the Android OS. However...some device manufacturers have set up their smartphones and tablets so that internal memory, which is built into the device and can't be removed, and external memory, which is any microSD card up to the maximum size that is supported by the particular device, are so to speak, one and the same since the device may treat it as an extension or a part of the internal memory, so it won't actually let you move an app over to the microSD card.
This can be very frustrating with cheaper Android devices that may have very limited internal storage, such as the RCA tablet model RCT6077W2 that is advertised as having 4GB of internal storage but in reality, one might have just a little over 700 MB is really available to use. Some other devices might not be as restrictive, such as the Apex TM772 tablet that is advertised as having 8GB of internal storage, which in reality translates to a little over 3.5GB available to the user. What if you need more storage than you have built in and your tablet or smartphone just doesn't allow support for moving apps to your 8 or 16GB microSD card? That's where Link2SD comes to the rescue!
What Can Link2SD Do?
What Link2SD does is it moves apps to a secondary partition on a microSD card inserted into your device. Then it makes it so the apps can still be seen and loaded by your device, so long as the microSD card is inserted. Link2SD comes in both a free and a paid version, with the paid version being able to move the internal data of an app over to the microSD card. This is more of a professional feature and it won't be covered in this article as some apps may have issues with that. Besides, the basic options with the free version will suffice for most users.
What Do I Need To Be Able To Use Link2SD?
Note: Some or possibly not all microSD cards will work with this, such as 32GB cards, this may be due to a partition size limit that some devices cannot see beyond the first partition or possibly something to do with how Link2SD itself sees and handles the partitions. So far it seems 2GB and 16GB microSD cards work fine when split evenly, as in both partitions using half of the total storage available on an SD card, in my testing. Thanks to Jay in the comments section for bringing this up and reporting on it!
Firstly, your tablet or smartphone must be rooted. See my hub on rooting the Apex TM772 to learn how to do that as that method applies to most Android tablets and smartphones, even the RCA RCT6077w2 tablets and similar models. You will also need a microSD card. I recommend at least 8GB's in size to split evenly between regular file, music and photo storage and the other half to be used to store your apps on instead of them taking up all of the internal storage. Your microSD card must be formatted with two (2) PRIMARY partitions, the first being formatted to FAT32, the second being formatted to EXT2 or EXT3. For this process, I recommend using EaseUS Partition Master, which is available for free online.
microSD Cards From Amazon
Use Link2SD To Give You More Room For More Apps And Games
Format Your microSD Card For Use With Link2SD
Now that second partition, you may be asking how to do that. Link2SD currently isn't capable of formatting and partitioning a microSD card itself. One option would be to format the microSD card from your laptop or PC using something like EaseUS Partition Master Free. You will need two primary partitions, the first being formatted in FAT32 and the second one being formatted with EXT3 or EXT4. I will be writing a hub soon about how to do this from a Windows 7 PC.
Moving Apps To microSD With Link2SD
Move Your Apps To Your microSD Card With Link2SD
Once you have your microSD card properly formatted with two primary partitions go ahead and pop it back into your tablet or smartphone. Launch Link2SD, it will prompt you to tell it what format the second partition on your microSD card is using and then will reboot or prompt you to reboot your device. Next, after the reboot is complete, go ahead and launch Link2SD again. This time we'll start moving apps over to the microSD card. In the top right hand corner, tap the menu icon in the top right-hand corner of the app (the three vertical dots). From the menu options, select the "Multi-select" option. Then, to the left of where we tapped for the menu, the second icon from the left will appear as a group of boxes marked by check marks, tap that. This will select all of the apps that can be moved to the microSD card, skipping any apps that are Odex'd or part of the system install that cannot be moved. After tapping the "Select All" option, tap on the menu again in the top right-hand corner and choose "Create link." Link2SD will have the first three options selected by default. Go ahead and proceed with those and tap the "Ok" button in the bottom right-hand corner.
Link2SD will then proceed to move your apps one by one until complete. Some apps may take a short amount of time while others like games or for example Chrome may take longer and make it seem like its frozen or stalled. Depending on how many apps you are moving over, you may want to plug your device in and just sit it aside for a few minutes until the process is completed. Once finished you can verify the amount of free space you now have by going to the "Settings" menu for your device and selecting the "Apps" menu and viewing the amount of space used and the amount free at the bottom of the screen.
I Hope You Found This Hub And Link2SD Useful!
Some Android devices can be limited by internal storage and the inability to natively move apps to your microSD card, but with Link2SD, you don't have to worry about that. Once you've used Link2SD, you can enjoy downloading more games, apps, and ebooks for your Android tablet or smartphone.