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Install Android Apps To the external SD Card By default

Every android app you download is installed in the internal storage of your device by default and it is very heart breaking when your smart phone ran out of internal storage and you can’t install any other app. So in this very interesting tutorial you will learn how to install apps to your external SD Card by default. This post will include the tutorial to install android apps to the external SD Card by default not only in rooted phones but also in non rooted phones as well. As I have previously stated that rooting is very beneficial for your phone, so to install android apps to external SD Card in rooted phones is a bit easy method than in normal smart phones.

I can bet that it is the easiest method you can find anywhere on Google, so stay attentive. Here I’m posting two methods to install android apps to the external SD Card by default (both are far easy methods). One is for the people having root access in their phones and other is for those who have no root access. Lets start with non rooted users.

Install Android Apps To the external SD Card By Default (Non Rooted Phones)

For non rooted phone users, or those who don’t have root access in their so-called smart phones, you can also install android apps to the external SD Card by default. Other website have a method to accomplish this by some external software ( SDK Manager, Java ADK or ADB). These software are very heavy (about 250mb) and are very much complicated. As promised we would provide you the best of us. So now the trick is you can install android apps to the external SD Card by default & you don’t even have to download any of these software. Just download this zipped file (344 kb)and follow each and every step very carefully.

Open C: drive

Open the drive in which your Windows is installed (usually C:), extract the downloaded zipped file and you should have the following four files after extraction:

  • adb.exe
  • AdbWinApi.dll
  • AdbWinUsbApi.dll
  • fastboot.exe

Make a new folder

Now make a new folder in C: drive and move all the four extracted files into this folder and hit refresh.

Enable USB Debugging

Now the next and the most important step is to enable USB debugging in your smart phone. To enable it,

  • go to SETTINGS
  • check on USB Debugging

Now connect your smart phone to your computer.

Open Command prompt

Navigate to windows(C:)SDK and open Command Prompt (Shift + Right-click anywhere in the folder > Open Command Prompt Here). Type this command and hit enter.

        adb shell pm set-install-location 2

Install android apps to the external SD Card by default

Done !

Install Android apps to the external SD Card by default

Now your apps will be installed in your external SD Card by default. To revert back this change, just type the following command

adb shell pm set-install-location 1

Install Android Apps To the external SD Card By Default (Rooted Phones)

Now here comes the tutorial for rooted phone users. Only a 2 step tutorial for rooted phone users.

Download Terminator Emulator

Download and install Terminator Emulator which is easily available on Google Play Store.

Grant Super SU permission

Now Open Terminator Emulator ans type su and hit enter. Super SU window will be popped up, just grant the permission and type the following command and hit enter

pm setInstallLocation 2

Now type exit and hit enter, this will shut down terminator emulator app. Now every app in your smart Phone will be installed to the external SD Card by default.

To revert back this change type the following command and hit enter

pm setInstallLocation 1
  • 0 indicates auto
  • 1 indicates internal storage
  • 2 indicates external or USB storage


Terminator Emulator is one of my favourite app that enables you to unlock hidden features of your smart phone. I will also post about this app, what it can do and how to use it, till then stay tuned for new updates on Kick-It-Easy. For any help, feel free to drop us a comment and I’ll be in touch ASAP.

About Saransh Bhatt

Hey Kicker, Welcome to Kick-It-Easy, I'm Saransh Bhatt pursuing Electrical Engineering, running a tech blog. I'm a huge science and technology enthusiast. I'll be posting abut tips and tricks for android and how to guide around all tech stuffs. Subscribe to Kick-It-Easy to get instant updates via email.

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  1. when i type the command in the terminal emulator. its says killed.

    • @qube, you have to use SU command first to gain root access. try it and do let me know if you face this problem again, then probably you are using android ICS. In some ICS based devices it is minor bug.

  2. i tried the non-rooted version and it says error file not found (usb debugging is on and my phone is connected). these methods never work 🙁

  3. I got the drivers for my phone and enabled usb Debugging. When I attempt the command I get
    “error: device offline”
    I use to get this “error: device not found” before I installed the drivers.
    Phone is LG L90

  4. When i type pm set-install-location 2 it returns killed.
    If i write su it returns su not found..plz help

  5. Its not like that.
    Type get-install-location 2
    It worked..

  6. pm set-install-location

  7. hello,I have done with all steps and it say´s 2 external but when I install any app it is on internal please help Device LG F60 android 4.4.4

  8. it worked really well when i did what AKA said but when I try to download an app from the play store it says not enough external memory when I actually have 27gb available?

  9. I have just bought one andoid 5.1 tv box “beelink i68”

    1) the primary disk from 8 gb is divided into two partitions. the first has 1.60 gb available and the second has 3.10 available. So I put an external SD slot. Now, when I install the app, they are always installed on the first partition (the residue from 1.60 gb) !! Even if you use the “move to sd” ..the only thing I can do is move some (not all) of the space occupied by the app on the secondary partition. How do I use the external SD ??? for me it is impossible to use the external sd to install games or apps

    Can I use the firts solution you proposed? “m setInstallLocation 2”

    I fear that this instruction see the secondary partition instead of the external drive. But I want to use the external sd card


  10. I have set the location but it is giving insufficient storage error

  11. When I type in su, a window does not appear for me and also when I type pm setInstallLocation 2 and type 2 again it tells me that is not found

  12. Installation of apps has been changed to external but apps are again installed in internal storage…my phone is Nokia x2 and it is rooted ..is there any solution for me….

  13. so what would it say if it changed?

  14. non rooted method isn’t working. says the abd server is out of date

  15. Installed Terminator Emulator and changed the default installation location using the command
    pm set-install-location 2. But still the apps are trying to getinstalled on to the internal storage.
    Any help will be appreciated.

  16. This does not work for many devices, as it only changes the install path to the emulated SD card that is still internal storage. It doesn’t install to the external, physically removable SD card. Any way around that?


    the adb file does not show open command windows option by right clicking it

  18. Your term ‘every app’ is wrong here. I did the shell tweak successfully on my rooted Galaxy S4, but you cannot move some built in system apps like Maps and Drive etc. Also default install location setting is overridden if developer has specified manifest file as ‘preferExternal’. And you can move the app to SD CARD LATER after it has been installed to internal memory. Just my 2 cents to prevent misleading.

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