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How to Install Android Apps on SD Card Forcibly [No Rooting]

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How to Install Android Apps on SD card Forcibly without rooting your device and what is the need to install them on external SD card?

install android apps on sd card
Well generally most of the android devices comes with pretty low Internal memory Storage. My Samsung Galaxy Ace has 180 MB of Internal Storage, which isn’t enough for sure. I’ve been trying to install Angry Birds space game on my device but experienced a peculiar problem that I never expected to face “application couldn’t be installed due to lack of internal memory storage”. So, in order to install android apps on SD card, I’ve browsed for some genuine technique that works for most of the Android Devices.

Well, we can generally move android apps to SD card after installing them on our Internal Memory by using the famous Apps2SD application, but now in this post I’m going to focus on how can we forcibly install android apps on SD card directly and this works only on Non-rooted devices only.

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P.S – Before getting started, please make sure that you move your applications in SD card to your device’s internal memory (for backup purpose). Most of the devices are compatible with this process, but I expect that, the devices loaded with Froyo+ OS will be mostly compatible with this.

Storing Android Apps on SD Card

Prerequisites to Install Android Apps on SD card forcibly

  • Initially, Java Development Kit (JDK) should be downloaded on to your PC and then you have to install it.
  • Then, you must also download and install the Android SDK (Software Development Kit) onto your PC.
  • Not to forget, you must also install the PC Suite of prescribed device on your PC. Since I’m having a Samsung device, so I’ve installed Kies software.
  • Nextly, you have to enable the USB Debugging mode of your device which can be enabled as: Setting -> Applications -> Development -> Enable USB Debugging.
  • Make sure, you’ve turned off your Firewall and also your Anti-virus software, which might interrupt in on-going process.

How to Install Android Apps on SD Card 

After following all the prerequisites mentioned above, you just need to follow few simple steps to install android apps on SD card directly.

  • As you have already installed Java Software Development Kit (JDK) and Android Software Development Kit (SDK) on your PC, now you have to navigate to path where Android SDK is installed in your PC and then run Android SDK Manager.
  • In tools option of Android SDK Manager, you have to select the “Android SDK tools” and Android SDK Platform tools” check-boxes and click on Install Package. Now close the Android SDK Manager.


  • You have to connect your PC and device with the USB Cable, as you have already enabled USB Debugging.
  • Now Open the command prompt and navigate to the path of Android SDK and then switch to the \platform-tools folder. (drive:\Android\Android-SDK\Platform-tools).


  • Now you need to Issue a command “adb devices” in order to find out whether your device is connected properly or not. The adb devices command will display the list of devices that are connected to the system. If your device appears offline, then check your USB cable or try other post, else enter “netstat” in command prompt to check whether the port is in use or not.
  • If you device has been recognized, then enter the command “adb shell pm getInstallLocation” to find out the present install location. It will display one of the value among these 3.

0 [auto]: Let the phone decide the best location for an app.
1 [internal]: It installs everything in the internal storage.
2 [external]: It installs everything in the memory card.

  • Generally the default install location will be fixed to 0 [auto]. As our target is to install android apps on SD card, we need to change the value to 2 from 0 which certainly installs applications on SD Card.
  • Now, in order to make sure that you install android apps on SD card from next time instead of installing them on internal memory, you need to enter a command “adb shell pm setInstallLocation 2“.
  • Wait for few seconds and If you didn’t notice any kind of error messages, unplug and restart your device. And from now, your device will install android apps on SD card directly.

Finally, in this was you can install android apps on SD card directly on your non-rooted devices.

Siddartha is a Blogger from India. He is currently working as a Java Front End developer and he loves writing about tutorials, technology, algorithm, etc. You can follow him on Twitter | Facebook | Google+. You can subscribe to GadgetCage RSS Feed or Email Notifications.

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