So if you were lucky enough to pick up the new 16GB Samsung Galaxy S4, you might be facing the same dilemma I did when I got mine… Storage space is limited so I picked up a 64GB Class 10 microSD card only to find that you can not move apps to external SD card!!! Coming from a 32GB Galaxy Nexus, I am accustomed to having plenty of storage space. Some would argue that 32GB is excess for a phone, but I strongly disagree.
After installing most of the apps I use on a regular basis on the S4, I had 2GB left in internal memory. This is before I allowed Spotify to sync my top 5 or 6 playlists for offline playability which is a must for me. Phone now FULL! But wait, I still have more crap!? ‘Tough’, says Google.
I can’t find a clear answer as to why the “Move app to SD” feature has been removed from recent phones, but I really don’t care the reason either. To people like me, this is a necessary feature and I will find a way to do it. You’ll quickly find that apps on the Play Store that boast the ability to move apps rely on the built in feature of Android to do this. Well, with that feature removed in newer phones (GS3, GS4, etc…) not even those apps will help you. It took me a while to find a solution but luckily, I found such a way and it works like a charm. However this method will require root. Click here to learn how to root your Galaxy S4.
Once rooted, you may proceed with these instructions.
The app you’ll want to download is called FolderMount and it’s my favorite price of Free hundred dollars. If you know much about Linux, you may understand how this app works. Essentially what it does, is take a folder in the phones INTERNAL memory and MOVE it to the External SD. Then, it creates a symbolic link in the INTERNAL memory to the new folder on the External SD. As far as the top-level operating system is concerned, the folder still lives in internal memory when actually, its on the external SD.
If that all sounds like techie jargon to you, then think of it like making a shortcut on your desktop. Even though you can access the file from the desktop, it is physically somewhere else on the computer.
So once the app is installed, you’ll be presented with a blank list. This is where you will create your first “Folder Pair”. This means you’ll select the folder in internal memory to move to external memory. The folder will be moved and replaced with a symbolic link, creating a synced “pair”.
When you click “Add”, you’ll be presented with the screen for creating a new pair. Simply give a name like “Spotify” or “Downloads”.
Here, you’ll browse to wherever the source folder is. If you’re looking to move an app, like Spotify, there’s a good chance it’s located in /storage/sdcard0/Android/data/ . Just find the folder that contains the app name like com.spotify.mobile.android.ui. By selecting that folder, it will migrate everything in the folder.
Now you will see a list of Folder Pairs you’ve created. The Push Pin turns green when the pair is actually mounted. NOTICE: when the pair is mounted, the folder will APPEAR on both the internal memory AND the external, but it only TRULY exists on the external. You can test this my dismounting the pair and watching the folder disappear from the internal memory. Very cool!
You can (and should) go to settings and specify that pairs should mount automatically at boot.
Now that you’ve successfully moved data/apps to your External, there are things to take into consideration…. Your External SD is more vulnerable than the phones internal memory. I would not suggest moving any sensitive apps such as banking to the SD. Another thing to consider is that if you remove the SD or it fails, your data goes with it. Also, consider the performance of the SD card you decide to use… I have read that anything Class 6 or higher should yield satisfactory performance for Read/Write. I chose to go with a Class 10, but that choice is yours to make.
CREDIT: FolderMount by madmack