Solved! Samsung Galaxy Tab A 2016; Set SD Card as Default

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Dec 30, 2018
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I want to set the SD card in my tablet as the default location for everything I can (Apps, downloads, etc).
I've checked a bunch of other guides for this, but they haven't worked. I can't for the life of me figure out how to do it.

Tried:
-Go to Settings>Storage (Doesn't exist) [The closest I could find was Settings>Device Maintenence>Storage]
-A bunch of other things I can't remember right now that i'll update as I remember.



Tablet: Galaxy Tab A (2016)
Model Number: SM-T580
Android Version: 8.1.0
Samsung Experience Version: 9.5
Kernel Version: 3.18.14-14805584
Knox Version 3.2


PS: I'm not particularly good with mobile devices
 
If the following instructions don't work on your device, then as it says within the instructions, your device cannot make the change. At least not for apps. Now you can set most other files to download to the card, just change the download destination in whatever app you re downloading through. That, however, again, won't work for apps. Apps need the following...

First, you need to be using a tablet 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 tablet 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 tablet, or they don't work for you, then you have a tablet 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 tablet.

NOTE: If you don't reboot the tablet, 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.

NOTE: If you don't reboot the tablet, some things may not work correctly, so make sure you do the reboot.


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 the tablet to say a computer and copy it over to the computer from the tablet/card. Otherwise only that tablet can read the data. Also, be sure you do not reset (hard or factory) the tablet. If you do, then all the data on the card will no longer be readable, even by the tablet itself.

 
If the following instructions don't work on your device, then as it says within the instructions, your device cannot make the change. At least not for apps. Now you can set most other files to download to the card, just change the download destination in whatever app you re downloading through. That, however, again, won't work for apps. Apps need the following...

First, you need to be using a tablet 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 tablet 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 tablet, or they don't work for you, then you have a tablet 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 tablet.

NOTE: If you don't reboot the tablet, 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.

NOTE: If you don't reboot the tablet, some things may not work correctly, so make sure you do the reboot.


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 the tablet to say a computer and copy it over to the computer from the tablet/card. Otherwise only that tablet can read the data. Also, be sure you do not reset (hard or factory) the tablet. If you do, then all the data on the card will no longer be readable, even by the tablet itself.

 
Dec 30, 2018
3
0
10
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Thanks for the fast reply.

I was unable to do either of these. Would rooting my device allow me to bypass the restrictions? (I've rooted an nVidia Shield and an Amazon Fire HD in the past).
 
I can't say if it would or wouldn't as I am not a fan of rooting. To many risks of bricking the device, not to mention other problems.

If you would like information on rooting a device I suggest you post in the rooting smartphones forum. Yes, yours is a tablet, but it uses the same Android that a phone does.
 
Dec 30, 2018
3
0
10
0


Thank you for the information.
 
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