Need to clean up some storage space on your Android phone? You might want to think about moving some apps from main memory to your storage card. If you’re running Android 2.2 and up, many apps include an option that lets you move them manually to the storage card — but other apps do not. For instance, Adobe Flash Player 10.2 insists on hanging out in your primary storage area — even though it takes up about 12MB of disk space.
There are a number of apps that let you move stubborn programs like Flash Player 10.2 to the SD card, but most of them require root access. But it turns out you don’t need to root your phone to move Flash Player and other apps to your SD card. You just need to download the Andorid SDK on your computer and run a simple command.
Here’s how it works:
- Download the latest Android Software Developer Kit for your phone. The SDK is available for Windows, OS X, or Linux.
- Install or unzip the SDK on your computer.
- Open a command terminal and navigate to the Tools folder in the SDK directory (If you’re using Windows, just click the Start Menu, select “run,” and type “cmd” (without the quotes) and hit enter to open a terminal window).
- Make sure “USB debugging” is turned on in your phone’s settings.
- Connect your phone to your computer via a USB cable.
- In the terminal window on your computer type “adb shell pm setInstallLocation 2” (without quotes).
That’s it. Now you can go into the application menu on your phone and select apps one by one and manually move them to your SD card. Also, by default most apps that you install from now on will be installed to the SD card automatically.
You can restore the original settings by typing “adb shell pm setInstallLocation 2” into the same terminal window.
Note that not all apps can be moved. System tools like the Android Market or Google Maps, for instance, are going to stay in your main storage. This trick won’t work with devices running Android 2.1 or earlier versions of the operating system.
There are also some apps that you probably don’t want to move to your SD card. Home Screen widgets for instance, or other apps that load when you boot your phone are probably left in your primary storage.