How do I move files from SD card to phone storage on Android?

An SD card, or Secure Digital card, is a portable flash memory card used in smartphones, cameras, and other devices to expand the storage capacity. Many Android phones come with limited internal storage, so users will add an SD card to increase the amount of storage available.

There are several reasons why someone may want to move files from an SD card to their phone’s internal storage:

  • Internal storage is faster and more reliable than SD cards. Apps and games will load faster when stored internally.
  • Files stored internally are private and cannot be accessed if the SD card is removed. Sensitive files may be safer in internal storage.
  • Certain apps can only be installed to or run from internal storage, so moving their data files makes sense.
  • Consolidating files to internal storage keeps everything in one place and can simplify file management.

Overall, moving files from SD card to internal phone storage helps optimize device performance, security, and organization when storage space allows.


Before you can move files from your SD card to internal storage, you need to make sure you have an SD card properly installed and accessible on your Android device. The SD card also needs to contain files that you want to move over to the internal storage.

Here are the prerequisites to fulfill before moving files:
– Your Android device has an SD card slot and an SD card is inserted. The card should be properly mounted by your device.
– The files you want to move are saved on the SD card. Make sure the files are not corrupted or damaged.
– You have enough free storage space on your device’s internal storage for the files you plan to move over. Insufficient space will prevent transferring files.

As long as your Android phone can detect the SD card and you have files stored on it, you should be ready to move them over to internal storage through the steps outlined next.

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Launch File Manager

The first step is to open the File Manager app on your Android phone. The File Manager allows you to easily navigate and manage files and folders on your device. Many Android phones come pre-installed with a file manager app, but if yours doesn’t, you can download one for free from the Google Play Store such as Files by Google, Solid Explorer, or MiXplorer.

Once you have a file manager installed, open the app and you’ll see a directory of folders and files. This will allow you to browse and access content stored on both your device’s internal storage and external SD card.

Navigate to SD Card

To find your SD card in an Android device, you’ll need to open the File Manager app that comes pre-installed on most Android phones. The File Manager allows you to browse and manage files on both your device’s internal storage and external SD card.

Once you launch the File Manager app, look for a storage menu on the side or top of the screen. On Samsung devices, tap on the three horizontal line menu icon in the top left corner, then tap on “My Files” to show internal and external storage options.

You should see options like “Device storage,” “SD card,” or the SD card’s name. Tap on the SD card option to navigate into the external storage.

You can also search for “SD card” in the File Manager search bar, and it should show the SD card folder. Open it to browse the contents and find your files.

If you don’t see the SD card listed as an available storage location, make sure the card is properly inserted and mounted on your device. You may need to restart your phone or reinsert the SD card to get it to show up.

Once in the SD card storage section in File Manager, you can browse folders and files just like on internal device storage.


Select Files to Move

To select the files you want to move from the SD card to internal storage, tap and hold on a file to select it. You will see a checkbox appear next to the filename indicating it is selected. Tap on additional files to select multiple files and folders. Using the checkboxes is the easiest way to select multiple files to move at once.

Android does not have a limit on the number of files you can select and move at one time between storage locations, as confirmed on the Android Central forums (source). You can safely select as many files as you need to move from your SD card to internal storage.

Copy or Move

When you have selected the files you want to transfer from the SD card to internal storage, you will need to choose whether to copy or move them. Copying files will leave the originals on the SD card, while moving them will delete the files from the SD card after transfer.

To copy files, tap the three dot menu icon in the upper right corner, then select “Copy” from the menu. This will keep the selected files on the SD card, but create copies in the new location.

To move files instead, tap the three dot menu and choose “Move” rather than copy. After the transfer completes, the originals on the SD card will be deleted so you only have one version of the files in internal storage.

According to Samsung Community forums, some users have reported the Move function not fully deleting originals from the SD card on some devices. So it’s best to verify files were removed after moving them. You can always delete them manually if needed.

The Theta 360 website also notes that on their camera, the Move function transfers lower resolution versions of images to the phone, while Copy brings over full resolution files. So the copy option is recommended for that device.

In general, choose Copy if you want to keep the files on both SD and internal memory. Pick Move to transfer files permanently to your phone’s native storage.

Navigate to Internal Storage

To access the phone’s internal storage, open the File Manager app on your Android device. The File Manager allows you to view and manage files stored on both internal storage and external SD card storage.

In the File Manager app, tap on the menu button in the top left corner (it looks like three horizontal lines or a hamburger icon). This will open up a menu showing different storage locations on your device.

Under the Storage section, tap on “Internal storage” to navigate to the section containing your phone’s built-in storage. Here you will find folders containing your photos, downloads, music, documents and other files saved directly on your device’s internal memory.

Alternatively, you can also directly navigate to internal storage by tapping on the “My Files” or “Files” app on your home screen. This will take you directly to your phone’s internal storage section in the file manager.

Once in internal storage, you will see different folders containing various files and data stored on your device’s internal memory. Here you can view, copy, move or delete files as needed.

Paste Files

Once you have copied or cut the files you want to transfer from the SD card, the next step is to paste them into the destination folder in your phone’s internal storage. This is simple to do:

Tap and hold on an empty space within the destination folder on your phone’s internal storage. This will bring up a menu where one of the options is ‘Paste’. Tap on ‘Paste’ and this will transfer the files you copied from the SD card into the selected folder.

Alternatively, you can use the paste shortcut which lets you paste files without opening the menu. After copying files on the SD card, simply navigate to the destination folder on the internal storage, then tap and hold for a few seconds. This will automatically paste the copied files into the folder.

The paste function works the same whether you chose ‘Copy’ or ‘Cut’ when transferring the files initially. The only difference is that ‘Cut’ will delete the original files from the SD card after pasting, while ‘Copy’ leaves the originals intact.

So in summary, tap paste or use the paste shortcut to swiftly move your files over from the SD card into the desired folder on your Android phone’s internal storage.

Confirm File Transfer

After pasting the files into your phone’s internal storage, it’s important to confirm that the transfer was successful by checking that the files are now correctly located in the new destination. There are a couple ways to do this:

Open the File Manager app again and navigate to the folder on your phone’s internal storage where you pasted the files. Verify that the files are now present. Check the file names, sizes, and modification dates to confirm they match the original files copied from the SD card.

Alternatively, you can open the specific app where the files are used or accessed. For example, open the Photos app to confirm photos have been transferred, or open the Music app to check that music files are now available. Test opening or playing the files to ensure they were copied correctly without any corruption.

If any files are missing or weren’t transferred properly, you may need to redo the copy/paste process for those individual files. This should only be necessary on rare occasions though.

Once you’ve confirmed all the necessary files have been successfully moved, you can safely delete the originals from your SD card if you need to free up space.

Delete Originals

If you moved the files from the SD card to internal storage, you can now delete them from the SD card to free up space. Here are the steps:

  • Open the File Manager app and navigate back to the SD card storage.
  • Locate the files you previously moved to internal storage.
  • Long press on a file to select it.
  • Tap on other files to select multiple files.
  • Tap the trash icon in the top right to delete the selected files.
  • Confirm the file deletion by tapping “Delete” on the pop-up.

The original files on your SD card will be deleted, freeing up valuable storage space. Just remember that you still have copies of the files safely stored on your device’s internal storage.

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