How to move apps to your SD card on the Galaxy Note 8

Samsung knows that simply having an SD card slot in its phones increases sales. What you actually do with that slot is up to you. One of the historically popular use cases is to move apps over to the card to save as much of the internal storage as possible for things that can't be moved over.

While not every app can be moved to the Galaxy Note 8's SD card, many can — here's how to get it done, and save some of that 64GB of internal storage for something else.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap on Apps.
  3. Tap on the app you wish to move to the SD card.
  4. Tap on Storage
  5. Under "Storage used" tap on Change.
  6. To move it back, simply repeat the process, tapping "Internal" instead.

As you go through your list of installed apps to move some to the SD card, you may notice that many apps simply can't be moved. It's actually expected, and increasingly common for apps to only work on internal storage. Security-focused apps, pre-installed apps and many utilities simply have to stay on the internal storage in order to work right. Many games may let you move them to the SD card, but you'll find only some assets made the move while the critical files of the game remain on your internal storage.

Nonetheless, you can save some internal storage by going through and seeing which apps can be moved off to your SD card. If you plan on keeping an SD card in your phone near-permanently, it'll be a good way to free up that fast internal storage of other uses!

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

15 Comments
  • I don't do it anymore. I just keep my apps on my phone and my sd card is strictly for all my pictures, music, movies, documents.
  • Why not? I'm still trying to figure out why there hasn't been options to save images from other apps on the SD card instead of the device, like Giphy or Instagram.
  • I move over games and apps I want loaded but only use now and then. If the app is used a lot or I need Widgets, I leave on the internal storage. I sure wish we had a 128GB Note 8 option.
  • I haven't tried to do this yet with the Note 8 but have done it in the past with Windows Mobile devices. Every once in awhile, an app would either work or not or run faster or slower on either the card or internally. But I couldn't really see any changes in performance or battery life whether I was accessing an app from the device itself or from the SD card. But I still wonder if there's some tradeoff when you shift to the SD card?
  • @ GWaLL13: 1. SD Card Controllers in smartphones are slow. There is a huge performance disparity between the internal storage on flagship-level devices and the SD Card - it almost doesn't matter how good your card is, either. 2. SD Cards are volatile. They can fail randomly, and spectacularly. Quality is always in question, regardless of brand. I've had no-brand SD Cards last years under extreme use, while high end Samsung Cards failed within 5 months under light use. When they fail, the symptoms can be odd and seem unrelated to the SD Card itself. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people brought their phones in for problems, and the issue was actually a faulting microSD card... Best thing to do is just use your Internal Storage for apps and then store media on the SD Card - backing it up to some other medium in the interim. That way, if your SD Card goes bad, it will not affect your device's performance or app installations. You can just replace it, put the media (Music, Pictures, etc.) on the new card, and move on. With 64GB of storage, App2SD shouldn't even be on these phones, IMO. It causes more problems while fixing none, and it actually kills the SD Cards FASTER.
  • Exactly. I haven't moved apps to the SD card in years for exactly these reasons. Having the media on the SD card helps a lot when someone breaks their phone. You should also make sure to back them up to the cloud for as an extra safety measure.
  • Nintendo lets you move apps to the SD card on the 3DS and Switch, so why can’t phone companies do it?
  • Because external SD storage is slower and more likely to fail. It adversely impacts the performance of any app that has a widget or runs in the background.
    But the more pressing reason is that SD cards, unless they are encrypted (which slows them down even more) are insecure. A game is one thing. But most people don't differentiate between that and say a banking app, which this would make much easier to have. Google removed the ability from stock Android a few years ago. But ORMs who were too cheap to provide a decent amount of onboard storage hacked it back in. In response Google added some protections into Android to minimize the possibility of hacking. But it's still not a good idea.
  • Google didn’t remove apps to SD. Android 6.0 introduced “adoptable storage”, which lets you formate an SD card as internal. It’s the OEM’s that block that feature. And my point was, if SD cards are so bad for apps then Nintendo wouldn’t have allowed users to download games to SD on the 3DS and Switch.
  • Do I use this stupid option? Of course Not.Thanks to Android it doesn't let us group moving! Which means: A time Waster. Are they trying to force people into buying ****** memory that hardly exist some times!
  • No. Thru recognize that some people are stuck in 2012 and that some people actually need more than 64gb of storage.
  • Storage for apps. Some games are quite large.
  • I remember this not working at all on my Galaxy S4. Or if it did, Android didn't display my storage correctly. It looked like my device free space dwindled in the exact amount the apps on my SD card grew. But this was Lollipop, where adaptive storage was not supported. Now that things have changed with regards to SD cards, this may be better.
  • AC should not be advocating this at all. Honestly, this is a weak idea. Fan though I am of Andrew's work. A $1000 flagship device shouldn't warrant encouraging app dissection. BTW 64gb is still enough for all your apps surely, but 128 gb would have been better.
  • For my note 8 64 gigs is plenty plus my free 256 card I'm good if you need more then 64 gigs
    Then go on ebay an buy the 128 are 256 note 8 for 1100 and 1200 , are your pockets down with that . Heck most where complaining about the price of the 64 gig for 950