Where are play store Downloads stored?

The Google Play Store allows Android users to download apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, and books on their devices. Users may want to know where Play Store downloads are stored for several reasons:

  • To find a downloaded file that seems to have disappeared from the device
  • To organize their downloads folder and storage
  • To clear old downloads and free up device storage
  • To move apps to an external SD card
  • To troubleshoot issues with downloading large files

Knowing the default storage location for Play Store downloads and how to manage them is key to getting the most out of an Android device. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to where downloads are saved and how to access, organize, and manage them.

Default Storage Location

By default, apps downloaded from the Google Play Store are saved to your device’s internal storage in the Android/data folder. This folder can be accessed by connecting your Android device to a computer with a USB cable and exploring the file directory.

When an app is installed from the Play Store, it creates a folder with the app’s package name under Android/data to store the app data and files. For example, the Facebook app folder would be located at Android/data/com.facebook.katana on most devices.

Storing apps internally by default allows them to run more smoothly and access all of your device’s features. However, the downside is that internal storage can fill up quickly, especially on devices with limited built-in storage.

External SD Card

Some Android devices allow you to store Play Store app downloads on an external SD card instead of internal storage. To set this up:

Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > Default apps > Downloads. Select the SD card option to change the default download location. Once enabled, new app installs and updates from the Play Store will automatically download to the external SD card rather than device storage.

If your device doesn’t give you the option to change the default location, you may still be able to move apps manually after downloading them. Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > See all apps and select the app you want to move. If available, tap Storage & cache > Change and select the SD card. Not all apps support this feature.

Using an external SD card allows you to free up space on your device’s internal storage. However, app performance may be slower when running from external storage. Make sure you have a high speed SD card if choosing this option.

Source: https://support.google.com/googleplay/thread/107996758/how-to-download-play-store-apps-to-sd-card?hl=en

Find Download Folder

The Play Store download folder location varies slightly depending on your Android device, but you can easily find it by following these steps:

On your Android device, open the Files or My Files app. This is usually pre-installed or available for download from the Play Store.

In the Files app, look for a Downloads folder. On most Android devices, including Samsung, this will be in the root Internal Storage directory.

If you don’t see Downloads, try tapping the Internal Storage folder first. The Downloads folder may be inside there.

You can also use the Files app search bar to search for “Download” and it should show you the folder location.

Once inside the Downloads folder, you will see all files downloaded from the Play Store. You can tap any file to open it.

If you still can’t find the folder, open the Play Store app, tap the hamburger menu icon ≡, and go to My Apps & Games > Library. This screen shows all your app downloads.

Tap any app and you can choose Open File Location to view the Downloads folder where that app .apk is stored on your device.1

Viewing App Details

You can view the storage usage and folder location for each app you’ve downloaded from the Play Store. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Scroll down and tap on “Apps & notifications”.
  3. Select the “See all ### apps” option to see a list of all apps installed on your device.
  4. Tap on the app you want to examine.
  5. In the app info screen, look for the “Storage” or “Storage & cache” section.
  6. Here you can see how much storage space the app is using and the folder location where the app is stored.
  7. Most apps will be stored in the main device storage or external SD card if you’ve set that as the default install location.
  8. You can also view the app cache size and clear it from this section if needed.

Following these steps allows you to monitor the storage impact of any apps downloaded from the Play Store. You can use this to identify and troubleshoot any apps taking up too much device storage.

Moving Apps to SD Card

If your device has an SD card slot, you can move some apps from the internal storage to the SD card to free up space. Here’s how to move already installed apps to the SD card:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Tap on Apps.
  3. Tap on the app you want to move.
  4. Tap Storage.
  5. Tap the Change button and select your SD card.
  6. The app will now be moved from internal storage to the SD card.

A few things to note about moving apps to SD card:

  • Not all apps can be moved, some may not have the Change button.
  • App performance may be slower when running from SD card.
  • You’ll need to insert the SD card for the app to work.
  • Some device manufacturers restrict moving apps.

Moving apps to SD card can free up valuable internal storage space on your device. Just be aware of the limitations.

Clearing Download Cache

The Google Play Store download cache can take up a significant amount of storage space on your Android device over time. Clearing this cache is an easy way to free up storage space.

To clear the Play Store cache, open the Settings app and tap Apps & notifications. Tap See all apps, then select Google Play Store. Tap Storage, then click Clear Cache. This will delete any temporary download files stored by the Play Store app without losing anything important.

You can also clear the Download Manager cache, which contains the installation files for apps downloaded from the Play Store. In Settings, tap Storage > Cached data > Ok to clear this information.

According to Verizon’s support article (source), clearing the Play Store cache and data can help fix issues with downloading apps. So if you are having problems installing apps from the Play Store, clearing the cache may help resolve the problem.

Regularly clearing out the Play Store cache can free up a lot of storage space on your device and keep the Play Store running smoothly. Just be sure not to Clear Data which will sign you out and delete information like your watch history.

Downloading Issues

Sometimes the Google Play Store may get stuck while downloading an app or fail to download apps entirely. Here are some common troubleshooting tips for Play Store download issues:

Check your internet connection – Make sure you have a stable WiFi or mobile data connection. Play Store downloads can fail on slow or unstable connections.

Restart your device – Simply turning your Android device off and back on can often resolve transient Play Store problems.

Clear the Play Store cache – Open Settings, Apps, Google Play Store, Storage, Clear Cache. This clears temporary files that may be corrupted.

Check available storage space – Downloads can fail if you have insufficient storage available on your device. Try deleting unused apps and files to free up space.

Toggle Play Store auto-update – Disabling auto-updates in Play Store Settings can prevent long queues of app updates from interfering with new downloads.

Uninstall updates to Play Store – This reverts Play Store to the original version that came with your device’s OS. Sometimes updates can introduce bugs.

If issues persist, you may need to uninstall updates for Google Play Services app as well. As a last resort, you can also clear data for Play Store and Play Services, but this will reset them to defaults.

Large app sizes can also cause stalled or failed downloads. Use WiFi for big downloads whenever possible. For very large apps and games, you may need to be patient and allow sufficient uninterrupted time for the download.

Large App Downloads

Downloading large apps like games can take up a lot of data and time. Here are some tips for managing large app downloads on Android:

  • Use Wi-Fi whenever possible for large downloads. Downloading over mobile data can use up your monthly data allowance quickly.
  • Schedule large downloads for when you’re on an unlimited Wi-Fi connection at home or work. You can use the “Downloads” setting in the Play Store app to control when downloads occur.
  • Check the app size before downloading. In the Play Store, the app details screen shows the download size so you know what to expect.
  • Use the “Wi-Fi only” option in the Play Store’s download settings. This prevents large downloads from happening over mobile data.
  • Monitor download progress in the notification tray. Pause and resume as needed to manage other network usage.
  • Consider downloading apps overnight while charging your phone. Downloads continue even when the screen is off.
  • Reduce app size if possible through the developer settings. Some apps allow you to download only portionsneeded to run.

By carefully timing and managing large downloads, you can avoid data overages or slowdowns. Stick to Wi-Fi whenever possible for large game and app downloads.


To briefly summarize, apps downloaded from the Google Play Store are by default saved to the device’s internal storage. However, you can change the default download location to be an external SD card if one is available. This can help free up space on the internal storage, especially for large app downloads like games. Keep an eye on your Play Store download folder to make sure it’s not taking up too much room or becoming cluttered over time. Periodically clearing out the cache of already installed apps can also help regain some storage space. Knowing where your Play Store downloads are located and managing that storage effectively allows you to get the most out of your Android device.

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