How to transfer files from Android internal memory to SD card?

Many Android devices come with limited internal storage, which can quickly fill up with apps, photos, videos, and other files. One way to free up space on your phone’s internal storage is to move files to the external SD card.

Transferring files to the SD card not only expands your phone’s storage capacity, but can also provide performance improvements. Reading and writing data on an SD card can often be faster than internal storage since there is less competition for resources. Moving large files like photos, videos, and downloaded files to the SD card also reduces the workload on the internal memory.

This guide will walk through the steps to transfer files from your Android device’s internal storage to an external SD card. With just a few taps in the File Manager app, you can easily migrate data between the phone’s internal memory and removable SD card.


Before transferring files, you’ll need to make sure your SD card is properly inserted, mounted, and functional. Here are the key prerequisites:

  • Insert the SD card into your Android device. Make sure it clicks into place and does not slide out easily.
  • Go to Settings > Storage to verify that the SD card is detected. It should be listed with details like the total and available storage space.
  • If the SD card is not detected, try removing and reinserting it. Restart your phone. Inspect the card and phone for any obstructions or damage. As a last resort, use another SD card that is known to be working properly.
  • Once detected, the SD card may need to be mounted. This connects it to the Android system so files can be transferred. Go to Storage settings and select your SD card. Make sure the toggle for mounting is switched on.
  • Check that you can access and view files on the SD card through a file manager app like Files or My Files. Navigate to the card and verify you see existing folders and files.

If your SD card meets all these prerequisites, it is ready for transferring files.

Access File Manager

The first step is to open a file manager app on your Android device. You can use the native Files app that comes pre-installed on most Android phones and tablets. To open the Files app, go to your app drawer and tap the Files or File Manager icon (it may be called My Files, File Browser, or File Explorer on some devices).

If your device doesn’t have a built-in file manager, you’ll need to download one from the Google Play Store. Some popular options include File Manager +, Mi File Manager, and X-plore File Manager. Look for an app that has a simple interface and the ability to easily copy, move, and delete files.

Once you open your file manager app, you’ll see different folders on your device storage. This is where you can access and manage your files.

Locate Files to Move

To locate the files you want to move to the SD card, you first need to open the File Manager app on your Android device. The File Manager allows you to browse and access all files stored on both internal storage and external SD card storage.

Navigate to the folder location that contains the files you want to move. For example, photos and videos taken with the camera are often stored in the “DCIM” or “Pictures” folders on internal storage. You may have downloaded files from the internet that are saved in the “Downloads” folder. Audio files may be located in “Music” or other folders.

Use the folder directory in the File Manager to browse to the exact location of the files. Tap to open folders and subfolders until you find the files you want to move. You can also use the search bar in File Manager to search for specific files by name.

Once you have located the files, tap and hold on them to select them so they are ready to move to the external SD card. The next step is copying the files to the SD card storage.[1]

Select Files

To select the files you want to transfer from your Android’s internal storage to the SD card, you’ll need to use your device’s File Manager app. Open the File Manager app and navigate to the folder where the files you want to move are located.

To select multiple files, simply long press on one file and you will see checkboxes appear on all files. Tap the checkboxes of all the files you want to select. The checkmark indicates which files are selected. You can also tap to select individual files one by one if you only need to move a few specific files.

According to a Koofr help article, “To select multiple files press on as many files as you want to select and check marks will appear over all of the selected files.” This makes it easy to multi-select many files at once to move off of internal storage.

Copy Files

Once you have located the files you want to move to the SD card, the next step is to copy them. To do this, open the file manager app on your Android device and navigate to the folder where the files are stored. Long press on the file you want to copy, then tap “Copy” from the menu that appears. Alternatively, you can check the box next to each file you want to copy, then tap the Copy button at the top of the screen.

According to Google’s support documentation, you can copy files by tapping and holding them, then selecting “Copy” [1]. The WikiHow guide also mentions long pressing on the file, tapping “More”, then selecting “Copy” [2]. Using the copy function ensures the file is duplicated, rather than just moved.

Paste Files to SD Card

Once you have copied the files from your device’s internal storage, you need to paste them into the SD card folder. To do this:

1. Open the Files app and select “Browse” at the bottom. Navigate to the SD card folder, which is usually labeled “SD Card” or “External Storage”.

2. Long press in the SD card folder to paste the copied files. A menu will appear, select “Paste”.

The copied files from internal storage will now be pasted into the SD card folder. You can confirm they were transferred by browsing the contents of the SD card folder.

For additional guidance, refer to Google’s support article on moving files to SD card:

Confirm File Transfer

After pasting the files to the SD card folder, it’s important to check that the files were successfully transferred. Go back to the SD card folder in the file manager and confirm that the files you copied from internal storage now appear in the destination folder on the SD card. Verify that all the files transferred properly without any errors. Checking right away allows you to identify and troubleshoot any potential issues with the file transfer before deleting the original files on internal storage.

According to Google Support, “At the bottom, tap Browse. Scroll to “Storage devices” and tap SD card. Find the files you want to move or copy to confirm they’re there.”1 This ensures the file transfer process completed fully before the next step.

Delete Original Files

Once you have successfully transferred files from your Android device’s internal storage to the SD card, it is recommended to delete the original files on internal storage to free up space.

Here are the steps to delete original files on internal storage after moving them to SD card:

  1. Open the File Manager or My Files app on your Android device.
  2. Navigate to the folder on internal storage where the original files were located before you moved them.
  3. Long press on each file you want to delete and tap the delete icon.
  4. Confirm the deletion by tapping Delete when prompted.

Deleting the original files that have been transferred to SD card will clear up space on your Android device’s internal storage. This can help improve performance and allow you to save more apps, photos, videos and other data.1

Be sure not to delete any original files that have not been successfully moved to the SD card.


In summary, transferring files from your Android device’s internal storage to an SD card is a straightforward process using the File Manager app. The key steps are accessing File Manager, locating the files you want to move, selecting them, copying, pasting them to the SD card folder, and then confirming the transfer worked properly before optionally deleting the original files to free up internal storage space.

Moving files to external SD card storage has several benefits. It frees up the typically more limited internal storage space on your Android device, allowing you to install more apps and take more photos or videos. It also allows you to easily add or swap out SD cards to access different files, like music, videos, and photos. Since SD cards are removable, it also serves as a good backup of those files in case something happens to your phone. And SD card storage is inexpensive, so you can affordably expand the storage capacity of your Android device.

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