You have inserted a microSD into your Android smartphone and can't use it? The phone has recognized the SD but you do not know how to see the files in it or how to check the amount of space still available for data storage? Don't worry, these are trivial operations that can be performed without having a high level of computer knowledge. If you don't believe it, give me five minutes of your time.
In today's tutorial I'll explain how to see sd card on android showing you, step by step, the actions to be taken to have the SD card recognized by your smartphone or tablet and to use the card at its best. Also, I will introduce you to some useful applications to view files on SD card and manage available space on it.
Once the reading is complete, you should be able to perform the main actions required to see and use the microSD on your Android phone: formatting the SD card, viewing the files inside it and checking the available memory. In addition, you will be able to transfer photos, documents and apps to the SD - all practices that fall within the normal use of a microSD installed on an Android device. Happy reading and have fun!
Format the Android SD Card
La formatting the SD card on Android it is an operation that allows the user to use the microSD as portable memory or, if you have a smartphone with a version of Android equal to or higher than Marshmallow (6.x), as internal memory. If you choose to format the SD as portable memory, it will be possible to save photos and documents chosen by the user in it.
If, on the other hand, you decide to format the SD card as internal storage, the applications will by default save their data in it and you get the opportunity to install the apps on the SD card. Unfortunately not all apps can be connected to the microSD, but by rooting the phone and downloading apps suitable for the purpose, the problem can be remedied.
Formatting the SD card, whether you choose the portable memory option or the internal memory option, will result in the loss of all files previously saved on it. Before proceeding, therefore, be sure to perform a backup.
If you intend to format the SD card installed on your phone as portable memory, open the Settings (the gear icon), tap on the option Storage and USB and press on the item SD card. At this point, press onthree dots icon (top right) and, in the screen that opens, tap on the command Settings. Adesso, select the voice Format and, in the new screen, presses the button Erase and Format. Once formatting is complete, tap on the item end.
If, on the other hand, you want to format the SD as internal memory, in order to have the possibility to transfer the applications downloaded from the Play Store to it, open the Settings (the gear icon), select the item Storage and USB from the screen that opens and presses on the item SD card.
Now, tap onthree dots icon and, on the next screen, select the option Settings. Then go on Format as internal memory and confirm the start of formatting by pressing the button Erase and Format.
Once you have finished formatting the microSD as internal storage, you will not be able to use it in other devices, which will give you the damaged SD card warning.
Note: if you need to install the SD card on your Android phone for the first time and you have an operating system version equal to or higher than Marshmallow (6.x), a setup wizard will automatically start after switching on the device, during which you will be asked if you want to format the SD card as portable memory or as internal memory. For further information, I invite you to read my guide on how to install the SD card.
If your smartphone still cannot see the microSD, you can try to format the card via a computer with a Windows or macOS operating system. To do this, I recommend using SD Formatter: a free program for Windows and macOS developed by the SD Association, that is, the association that represents the most important SD companies globally.
To use it, all you have to do is select the microSD drive from the drop-down menu Select card, press the button Format and wait a few seconds for the card to be formatted. To learn more about how the software works, read my tutorial on how to format microSD.
View the Files on the SD Card
Once you are done formatting the SD card, you can start saving photos, documents and apps on it. When many files are stored, it may be useful to use a File Manager, which allows you to view and manage the data on the SD card in an orderly manner.
File managers allow you to perform many operations, such as creating new folders, moving or deleting files, etc. Here are a couple that I highly recommend you try.
Total Commander is one of the most advanced file managers on the Play Store. The application allows you to copy, move and delete the files on the SD card at will. Additionally, it supports cloud storage services, such as Google Drive and Dropbox. Its interface is entirely in Italian and can be used without limits at no cost.
If you intend to try Total Commander, connected to the official application page on the Play Store and tap the button Install. Then start the app and, in the screen that opens, tap on the item Allow, to allow the latter to access the files on the SD and on the device memory.
In the new screen displayed, presses the item corresponding to your SD card (eg. sdcard1) to view all the files in it. If you want to view photos previously taken with the camera and automatically saved in the external memory, select the item SD card (or its equivalent, eg. sdcard1), then presses the folder DCIM and, in the screen that opens, tap on the folder Camera.
Now, if you want to move one of the photos inside the folder Camera, tap on photo thumbnail e pigia sull 'sheet icon (lower left). In the new screen that opens, tap ontwo arrows icon and, in the new menu that appears, select the location you want to assign to the file.
If, for example, you want to move it to the subfolder Camera of the phone's internal storage, tap on the item Internal Memory, then select the folder DCIM and, in the screen that opens, tap on the folder Camera. To complete the procedure, tap on the item OK, then select the command Move and wait for the file to load.
X-plore File Manager
X-plore File Manager is another great application that allows you to manage all the files in the internal memory and SD card. It supports .zip and .rar files, it also allows you to access cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Google Drive. It too, like the Total Commander app, is completely free.
If you intend to try X-plore File Manager, connected to the official page of the app on the Play Store and tap on the item Install to start the download. At the end of the download, presses on the voice Allow to allow the application to access all files on the device.
In the new screen that appears, select the item SD card (or the one corresponding to your SD card, eg. sdcard1) to view all the files in it. If you want to check the photos saved on the microSD, on the main screen of the app, press the item SD card, tap on the folder DCIM and then select the folder Camera.
If you intend to transfer a file from the internal memory to your phone's SD card, tap the icon located to the right of the blue arrow (top right) and, in the screen that opens, select the item SD card. Repeat the same operation for the icon located next to the symbol of blue arrow (top left) by selecting the item this time Device memory.
Now, tap on the item Device memory and select the folder you want to transfer the file from. In the new screen that opens, put the check mark next to the desired file and press the command Move (On the right side). To confirm the transfer to the SD card, press on the item OK in the screen that opens.
Note: The images taken with the camera are not always found in the DCIM folder, the one used by the camera's default app. In fact, if you are using a different camera app than the default one, the folder where you can find previously saved photos probably has the same name as the application you use.
Check the Available Memory on the SD Card
Sometimes, it may happen that you run out of available memory on the SD card without noticing it. It happens when, for example, you want to install a new application but the system prevents it because the memory is full. For this reason, you may find it useful to check the memory on the microSD more frequently.
You can check the status of your SD memory directly from the system settings. To do this, open the Settings Android (the gear icon) and tap on the item Storage and USB. In the new screen that appears, you will find information about the memory used and the available memory of the microSD installed on the phone.
To view the files inside the SD, tap on the item SD card (or the item corresponding to your SD card, eg. sdcard1). If you want to delete a folder or file, you simply have to long press on the desired file and tap on thetrash can icon which appears at the top right.
If, on the other hand, you want to entrust an application with the task of cleaning the SD, the app SD Maid can do for you. The application in question allows you to keep both the system and any microSD installed on the smartphone clean and tidy.
Its functions include: the removal of the files of all the apps no longer present on the mobile phone, the elimination of the application cache, a better management of the downloaded apps thanks to the detection of the largest applications. There is also the paid version (at a cost of 2,99 euros), which, unlike the free version, allows you to delete the temporary files of third-party apps.
If you want to try SD Maid, connected to the official application page on the Play Store and tap the button Install. Once the download is complete, start the app and proceed with the required setup wizard before you can start using it. On the screen Configuration, tap the items in quick succession Following, Allow Access, Allow e Following.
At this point, to allow the app to recognize the SD card correctly, select the item SD card (or the item corresponding to your SD card, eg. sdcard1) and, in the screen that opens, presses on the items SD card e Select (bottom right). If you have performed all the steps correctly, the voice SD Card turns green. To complete the procedure, tap on the item Done.
Now, you are ready to use SD Maid. To get an overview of some of its functions. When you are in the main application screen, tap onmenu icon (top left) and select the item of your interest: View, to view the capacity and use of each memory; File Manager, for file management or Application control, to monitor currently running apps).
The most important commands, however, are found on the main screen and are: Remains of application (to view the remaining files of apps already uninstalled), System cleaning (here is a list of system cache files that can be removed), Application cleaning (requires the paid version, it is the section that allows you to see the cache files of third-party apps) e Database (function through which large databases are optimized, to be clear those of apps such as Facebook, Dropbox and Spotify).
To start the desired function, tap on thearrow icon placed next to each item, or start the scan of the entire system by pressing the button Scan positioned at the bottom, in order to view all the useless files that you can delete. If you are interested in learning more about how the app works, I invite you to read my tutorial on how to free up space on Android.
Use the SD Card on Android
After seeing how to format the microSD, view the files in it and check the amount of space available, it's time to understand how use SD card on Android. Almost always, when you install an SD on a phone it is because you want to have more memory than the internal one, so that you can take more photos, own more documents and download more applications. If you give me another couple of minutes of your free time, I can point you to useful insights where you can learn in detail the procedures on how to move photos, documents and apps to the SD card.
Move Photos to SD Card
Once the SD is installed on the phone, you have the option to move the photos previously stored on the internal memory to the external one. In addition to images, it is also possible to transfer short or long video, depending on the size of the card storage. To learn more, you can check out my tutorial on how to move photos to SD card.
Move Documents to SD Card
In addition to images and videos, the SD card can hold a considerable number of documents. Usually, this type of file is less heavy than multimedia files. In any case, you may need to transfer even modest-sized documents that do not heavily affect the phone's internal memory to the microSD. To know the actions to be performed step by step, I invite you to read my guide on how to move files to SD card.
Move Apps to SD Card
Finally, installing the SD card on an Android smartphone allows you to move the apps downloaded from the Play Store to the removable external memory. The ability to transfer heavier applications to microSD is a considerable advantage in terms of space, if you take into account the internal storage of the mobile, which can be limited for the needs of some users.
However, apps are not always transferable. The only way to transfer them all is to do the root of your device (an operation that invalidates the warranty and can lead to the deletion of data on it), partition the SD adequately and use apps such as App2SD to force the movement of applications on the microSD. If you want to know more and / or need to free up the internal memory almost entirely, I invite you to read my guide on how to move everything to the SD card.