How to format your Android’s MicroSD card for internal storage

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The lack of space in the storage of a device can be a big inconvenience. However, this problem can be easily solved using an SD card as internal memory. In this article we tell you how to do it in two different ways.

What kind of formats are there?

The action of formatting a drive, be it an SD card or a hard drive, consists of completely resetting it, assigning it a file system and deleting all its contents. From an Android mobile device you can apply two types of formatting to an SD card.

  • Format as external storage. Resets the SD card and allows it to be used to save documents and multimedia files. With this type of formatting it is not possible to install applications.
  • Format as internal storage. This type of formatting enables the SD card as an extension of the device’s internal memory. Thus, you can install applications and move files necessary for the operation of the operating system.

We must remind you that following the two methods mentioned all content on the card is deleted. You should also know that, if you opt for the second type of formatting, you can only use the card on the device that formatted it.

How to use any SD card as internal memory

To get started, head over to the storage options.

Storage options

Click on the name of your SD card.

SD card optionsSD card options

In file explorer, open the menu and select Storage settings.

4 Device storage options4 Device storage options

Select option Format as internal.

Format as internal memoryFormat as internal memory

Confirm the process by clicking on Format SD Card.

Start the formatting processStart the formatting process

Wait for the process to finish.

Formatting progressFormatting progress

When finished, the SD card will already be part of the internal storage. You can use it to install applications or save other large data.

Recovering an SD card formatted as internal storage

If you change your mind, you can recover by converting your card to external storage at any time. To do this, go back to the storage options and, in the menu of the three dots, select the option Format as portable.

Format as externalFormat as external

Confirm the operation with the button Format. Do not forget that, again, all data will be deleted. Please backup your information before confirming.

Confirm formatting as externalConfirm formatting as external

When finished, your card will once again be an external medium and can be used on any device.

Format SD by converting microSD card to internal memory

The second option to use a MicroSD card is use an ADB command. This may be a valid solution if the device manufacturer has restricted this option. Before continuing, you need to take some preliminary steps. First, enable developer options by repeatedly clicking on the build number. This information is usually available in the section About Phone.

10 Enable developer options10 Enable developer options

Next, enter the developer menu and activate USB debugging.

11 Enable USB debugging11 Enable USB debugging

Connect your device to your PC. In it you must download the Minimal ADB and Fastboot application. Open it and in the command window type adb shell. Immediately after, run the command sm list-disks. The returned result includes the identification of the SD card.

SD card IDSD card ID

Memorize the ID and run the following command:

sm partition disk:IDTARJETA private

By doing so, your card will have become internal storage.