ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Using Link2SD On Android Tablets Or Smartphones To Store Apps On A microSD Card

Updated on December 24, 2014

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.

Use Link2SD To Give You More Room For More Apps And Games

BEFORE:  All apps stored in internal memory, the default and only option that my Apex TM772 tablet uses.
BEFORE: All apps stored in internal memory, the default and only option that my Apex TM772 tablet uses. | Source
AFTER:  Showing the Apps screen again after using Link2SD to move all applicable apps and movable data to the secondary partition on my microSD card.
AFTER: Showing the Apps screen again after using Link2SD to move all applicable apps and movable data to the secondary partition on my microSD card. | Source

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

Choose "Multi-select."
Choose "Multi-select." | Source
Tap the check marked boxes option in the top right corner to select all movable apps.
Tap the check marked boxes option in the top right corner to select all movable apps. | Source
Proceed with the default options after tapping "Create link."
Proceed with the default options after tapping "Create link." | Source
Link2SD at work moving your apps and data.
Link2SD at work moving your apps and data. | Source

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.

Reader Poll

Does Your Android Smartphone Or Tablet Not Support Moving Apps To A microSD Card?

See results

Did You Find That Link2SD Was Able To Help You Force Your Apps Onto Your microSD Card?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • jesimpki profile image
      Author

      jesimpki 2 years ago from Radford, VA

      Awesome! I'm glad it worked for you. I wonder if it might be due to the partition size, either for Link2SD to see it or something with Android itself, but I'll go ahead and include a caution that some and possibly all SD cards from 32 GB and larger may not work. Thanks for reporting back here!

    • profile image

      Jay 2 years ago

      I Finally Got it. It must be the SD card. Thanks for all your help the 16GB is working now.

    • jesimpki profile image
      Author

      jesimpki 2 years ago from Radford, VA

      I don't see anything you're doing wrong. On the 16GB cards I made the FAT32 partition fprmatted to the first 8192 MB and then the rest was formatted to EXT3.

    • profile image

      Jay 2 years ago

      I'll try another SD Card and see what happens. I'll try a 16GB. What size did you make your partitions?

    • profile image

      Jay 2 years ago

      I tried using multiple tools,

      -AParted app (from Google Play Store)

      -MiniTool Partition Wizard

      -EasUS Partition Master

      I've tried using all types of ext for the second partition (ext2, ext3, ext4) and made sure both partitions are primary, still no luck. I might be one of the few with a S-ON RCA tablet.

      Each time I try to mount the 2nd partition, I get the following

      Mount Script Error

      ________________________

      Mount Script Cannot Be Created

      mount: Invalid Argument

      ________________________

      OK

    • jesimpki profile image
      Author

      jesimpki 2 years ago from Radford, VA

      Jay, try formatting your first partition as primary FAT32, the second partition as primary EXT3. If that doesn't work, try a different SD card. I just did this on two of the same tablet as yours but using a 16GB SD card. What are you using to format your SD card?

    • profile image

      Jay 2 years ago

      I have formatted them both as primary, however, when I have the SD card removed (I have a 32GB card btw) it shows that there is still an SD Card present with 1.26GB used and 1.25GB Free. In my settings and storage, that looks like the same amount as the NAND Flash storage. should I then Partition my SD card as [ext2 or ext3][FAT32]??? I just want to figure this thing out to make it work properly. Thank you for your help. BTW, this is a great guide, I think I'm just an anomaly.

    • jesimpki profile image
      Author

      jesimpki 2 years ago from Radford, VA

      Hi Jay, dod you format both partitions as PRIMARY partitions? If both or the second one are formatted as logical, that may cause the problem.

    • profile image

      Jay 2 years ago

      Hi,

      I have a RCT6077W2 tablet and am unable to get the Link2SD to recognize the 2nd partition. I'll be very thankful for any help you can provide.

    • Gadgetlesstech profile image

      Gadgetlesstech 2 years ago

      Absolutely my friend! Those $50 tablets are just that...a $50 tablet. On the flip side, there are some lower price point ones that do offer quite a bit of functionality.

    • jesimpki profile image
      Author

      jesimpki 2 years ago from Radford, VA

      Thanks Gadgetlesstech! Its especially frustrating on the cheap doorbuster "low-end" tablets that end up being a kid or teen's Christmas gift.

    • Gadgetlesstech profile image

      Gadgetlesstech 2 years ago

      Nice post and good information for those who may have a device that does not support the transfer of apps onto an SD card, be they few.

    Click to Rate This Article