How to Make SD Card Default Storage on Android Devices

Some Android devices can use a MicroSD card as the default storage option. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll be referring to the card as an SD card, since they function the same way. To set one as your default, you’ll have to head to the SD card menu and select “Format as internal.” 

I’m Caleb, and I have a fair bit of familiarity with managing storage on Android phones. I use one myself, and I do use an SD card to boost my storage space.

In this article, I’ll look at using an SD card as the default storage option. I’ll also go over whether this is a good idea.

If you’re considering using an SD card as your main storage option, but you aren’t sure how, or if you want to know if you should try this, read on for the full summary.

How to Make SD Card Default Storage on an Android Device

First, it’s worth pointing out that not every Android device can use a MicroSD card as the default storage option. In that case, you might navigate to the correct menu but not find the option listed. This just means your device isn’t compatible with this feature.

While the exact menu structure might vary across Android manufacturers, you’ll generally have to go to Storage Settings and then select SD Card. You might have to find the Advanced Options menu for the SD Card option.

You should see the option to format the SD card regularly and Format as internal. The latter is the one you need to select, and after the formatting is done, the SD card will replace your phone’s internal storage as the default option.

If it isn’t clear, formatting your SD card in this way will erase the files on it, just like if you had formatted the card regularly. So before formatting, ensure you’ve moved any files you want to keep.

Pros and Cons of Using SD Cards as Default Storage

Using an SD card as your main storage option has both advantages and disadvantages. You should consider both sides of the coin before deciding to make this change.

The Pros

The main benefit of using an SD card as your default option is flexibility. Unlike your internal storage, you can change an SD card anytime. 

If you have a phone with a small internal drive and you’re running out of room for files, this can seem like a great benefit. In a situation like this, getting a 256GB or 512GB SD card can solve your storage woes easily.

You can also easily swap out SD cards for other SD cards. That’s to say, a smaller SD card with 64GB of storage can be interchanged later for a larger one, with a size like 256GB.

The Cons

Despite their flexibility, removable storage devices like SD cards aren’t without flaws. They’re not all made equally, and using the wrong card can negatively affect performance.

This depends on the card’s specs, but generally, you can assume that using an SD card won’t be as fast as using your internal storage. The drop in speed might be imperceptible or major, depending on the card’s performance.

In the worst-case scenario, if you’re using a slow SD card as your main storage option, you might not be able to run certain apps that require a lot of data to be read every second. This problem is one of the reasons why read/write speed is such a major spec for SD cards.

As such, you should take a careful look at the specs and performance of your SD card before deciding to use it as your primary storage.


These are some of the most asked questions about using an SD card as default storage.

How Do I Move Internal Storage to an SD Card on Samsung?

The process of picking an SD card as your default storage should be similar across most Android manufacturers, including Samsung. Head to Storage Settings, find the SD Card option and select Format as internal.

How Do I Make All My Downloads Go to an SD Card?

After using the Format as internal option, your downloads should go to your SD card by default, as it will take the place of your internal storage.

Should I Use My SD Card As Internal Storage?

This depends on multiple factors, like the size of your SD card, internal drive, and the card specs. Be sure to look into the card’s performance before making this choice since many SD cards are too slow for use as primary storage.


If your phone is compatible, you can easily set an SD card as your default storage by going to the SD Card menu in your settings and choosing Format as internal. However, before doing this, you should ensure your SD card can keep up with the performance demands.

Will you use an SD card as your main storage going forward? Let us know in the comments!

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