Question Move to SD Card option has disappeared

Dec 10, 2019
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Hello,

I have a Huawei Y5 Prime 2018 that has the Move to SD card option for apps. The android version is 8.1.0.

I recently decided to get a bigger SD card. I copied all the files from the old card to the new card but when I restarted my phone, the "Move to SD card" option was missing.

I google the problem and apparently this happened because I didn't move the apps that were on the SD card back to internal storage. So I put back the old card. But the problem still persists.

Even more odd, my settings seem to have changed. I don't have application manager, i just have Apps & notifications. or maybe that's what it was before...i don't know.

Can anyone help? My phone memory is fast filling up and I would hate to waste a good memory card.
 
You can't just copy things from one SD card to another when it comes to apps. They must be installed onto the phone and moved to the card, or installed onto the card directly. Anything else won't work. You can only use a SD card that is within the size (storage amount) that works for your device.

And, if the SD card was converted to be "Internal" rather than "External" storage, so that you could put apps on it, then it would have been encoded. Making accessing the data impossible without it being the original card in the original device and without any changes.

At this point, you are going to have to save any files (not apps) you had/have on the card(s) somewhere else (say a computer) and clear the card completely. Restart the phone (power it off and back on, without the card in it. Once it is back on insert the card and see if you can change the card to be "Internal" storage. I will include instructions below. If it allows the change, then you will have to redownload any apps you wanted on the card and reinstall them. Then move the files you saved elsewhere back to the phone or card as well.

First, you need to be using a phone that is running at least Android "Marshmallow" (6.0) or newer, or be able to upgrade to it. Second, you will need the instructions I am including below. And third, you need a phone that has not been restricted by the manufacturer from making this change. Which does happen.

NOTE: If any of the steps are missing on your phone, or they don't work for you, then you have a phone that either has an older Android version or has been restricted by the manufacturer. If that is the case, you will not be able to use this information.

How to turn the "External" SD card into "Internal" storage - Option A

NOTE:
Please be sure you start with a blank SD card. It needs to be blank because when the card is converted to "Internal" storage, it will be formatted (wiped) and encoded (making the cards data only readable by that device).
  1. Go to device “Settings”, then select “Storage”.
  2. Select your "SD Card", then tap the “three-dot menu“ (top-right), now select “Settings” from in there.
  3. Now select “Format as internal”, and then “Erase & Format”.
  4. Your SD Card will now be formatted as internal storage.
  5. Reboot your phone.
NOTE: If you don't reboot the phone, many things may not work correctly, so make sure you do.

How to turn the "External" SD card into "Internal" storage - Option B

IMPORTANT NOTE:
Be sure you start with a blank SD card. When the card is converted to "Internal" storage, it will be formatted (wiped) and encoded (making the cards data only readable by that device), so anything on it prior would be gone.
  1. Go to "Settings", and then select "Storage & USB".
  2. At the bottom of the list you should see the SD card's details, including the option to format it and make it "Internal" storage.
  3. Once this is done, reboot the device and you can start running things from the card.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you don't reboot the phone, some things may not work correctly, so make sure you do the reboot.

An Additional Note: Some apps (like system ones) are not movable. So while you can move downloaded ones, and some of the system ones, you will not be able to move many preinstalled apps.

A Final Note: If you set up the card as "Internal" storage, then the data on it will not be readable by any other device. To access the data you would have to connect he phone to say a computer and copy it over to the computer from the phone/card. Otherwise only phone can read the data. Also, be sure you do not reset (hard or factory) the phone. If you do, then all the data on the card will no longer be readable, even by the phone itself.
 
Dec 10, 2019
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Thank you for your reply.

The apps were installed on the phone and moved to the card. The card filled up. that's why I got anew card.
The new card is 64 GB which is within the size for my device. The phone recognizes the card and I can access the files on it.

The issue is that the "Move to SD Card" option has disappeared. The apps are working just fine. I just need to move them to the sd card.

I don't want to make the card an internal storage.

I'm running on Android 8.1.0.
 
That option is only available for a limited, very limited, amount of apps. Most apps will not move to a card without it being converted to internal storage. While you may not have realized it, you likely made the change when you originally started moving the apps.

If not, then you may well have to completely wipe the device (hard reset it) to get it back to its status before the removal of the original files on the original SD card. Should that be the case doing a partial reset, that keeps your data, would not work, it would have to be a complete one. Then you would need to back up your personal files (not apps) to another device or cloud account so you can re-add them after.
 
Dec 10, 2019
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That option is only available for a limited, very limited, amount of apps. Most apps will not move to a card without it being converted to internal storage. While you may not have realized it, you likely made the change when you originally started moving the apps.

If not, then you may well have to completely wipe the device (hard reset it) to get it back to its status before the removal of the original files on the original SD card. Should that be the case doing a partial reset, that keeps your data, would not work, it would have to be a complete one. Then you would need to back up your personal files (not apps) to another device or cloud account so you can re-add them after.
Hi,

I'm aware that option is available for a limited number of apps. That's why I rarely install new apps. All the apps I had installed had that option.
I never removed the apps from the original SD card. I only copied all the files in it to the new SD card, then switched cards.
When I restarted the phone, I couldn't find the move to SD card option so I switch back to the old card.
I am currently using the old card but the option is still missing.

All I want to know is how to get the option back. It always showed on all my apps. It was just grayed out for those that I couldn't move. Now it is not showing at all.
 
Dec 10, 2019
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You said the apps were on the original card. Did you put them back on the phone before you removed the old card and installed the new one?
Hello,

Like I said in my original post, I didn't move the apps back to the phone before I removed the old card.

I'm just wondering how removing the card took away an option that came with the phone. If there is a restore point option, I'm happy to try that out.
 
Then that is why it won't work.

If the apps were on the card and you removed it, they are no longer available. So you are left with trying to uninstall them (if it will let you since they aren't really on the phone) or doing the reset I mentioned already.

Phones do not have restore points like computers.
 
Dec 10, 2019
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Hello,
The apps work just fine. I have no problem with them. I could uninstall and reinstall them. However, I don't see how it will help.

The problem is that the "Move to SD Card" option has disappeared. It's not showing for the apps I installed or for the ones that were preinstalled like it used to before. I don't know if it has anything to do with changing the cards but if it did, then I would expect that the apps that were never moved to the card would be unaffected.
 
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