How to Upgrade an Android Phone’s Memory or MicroSD Card

If you have an Android phone, chances are that you may want to increase or upgrade the memory, that is, the MicroSD card. While the stock memory stick can hold some data, any power user will need more memory with high data speeds. I’m not sure what class the stock memory card that came with my Xperia Mini Pro belongs to, but the 16GB Samsung Class 6 card that I purchased recently makes a lot of difference specially when taking photos. Here I’m going to explain how to upgrade the memory card for your Android phone.

Upgrade an Android Phone’s Memory card or MicroSD Card

To upgrade the memory card on your Android phone, follow these steps:

  • Connect your phone to PC using the data cord.
  • Go to My Computer and open your phone’s memory card.
  • Go to Tools > Folder Options > View > Show hidden files, folders, and drives.
  • Press Control + A (select all) and Control + C (copy).
  • Paste it somewhere.
  • Remove the old MicroSD card and insert the new one to your phone.
  • Go to connectivity settings on your phone and tap Media transfer mode (MTP) and tap OK.

MTP

  • Go to Settings > Storage > Unmount SD Card and tap OK.

unmount sd card

  • Go to Settings > Storage > Erase SD Card and tap OK (not necessary but recommended).
  • After erasing, tap Mount SD card.
  • Copy your old files to the new card.

That’s all. Now, you should have all your old files, data and installed apps (if any) on your new memory card.

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    • sudesh
    • May 8th, 2012

    Kindly advise how upgrade phone memory

    • Hi Sudesh, Have you read the blog?

        • JerryB
        • January 9th, 2013

        Vijay, when I connect my HTC Incredible to the computer via USB and open Windows Explorer, it shows two removable disd drives on the phone but there is only one SD card. I guess it came partitioned into two partitions from the factory. Is it still possible to upgrade to a larger SD card?

      • It should be possible. Just check what is there on the two partitions and upgrade accordingly.

    • Lori
    • May 21st, 2012

    Thank you, worked perfectly!

    • Jess
    • July 1st, 2012

    Thanks It looks like it worked as promised.

    • Frank
    • July 9th, 2012

    After I go to tools,there’s only error checking,defragmentaion and back-up? I can’t find any view options. I need some advice for this cos I want to upgrade my memory card pretty soon.
    Thank you
    I am using windows vista and my phone is sensation XE with Beats,running andriod v4.0 ICS

    • You will see the View option in any Explorer Window in Windows.

    • Kunal
    • July 23rd, 2012

    Hi, can you please let me know if this way i will get all the installed the apps to work the same way as before also i have a few games on my phone and i have gone through a lot of levels in those and i don’t want to loose the progress, please advise if changing the SD card will loose the games data and i will have to start from level one. i know it might sound bit stupid but i bought an ultra SD 8gb and not using it though have only very less memory left in my 2gb class 4 card because i am afraid my games will start again.

    • Yow won’t lose you progress if you do it right. If you are still in doubt, and if your phone is rooted, you can use Titanium backup to copy teh game data.

        • Kunal
        • July 31st, 2012

        Thanks Vijay i tried it, i didn’t loose any progress. My phone is still not rooted,i am little scared to do that as i might not damage the phone doing that :(

    • Sankalp
    • July 26th, 2012

    Vijay,

    I have a Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman with a 4 gb card. I wanted to replace it with an 8 gb card. I copied the contents of the 4gb card in my PC, removed the USB plug and switched off my phone. Then I removed the old card and inserted the new one. Switched on my phone after that and tried to copy the files in the new card, but there was an error.

    I did not follow your steps because I was not sure whether to disconnect and switch off my phone before removing the old card or not. My phone allows me to take out the memory card only after I have pulled out the battery.

    I don’t know how to upgrade now.

    Can you please help?

    • hi Sankalp,
      You did it right. What error message did you get? Did you format the car in phone? is the card working using a card reader?

    • ace
    • July 26th, 2012

    yet to try, this out but vijay I must appreciate you making an effort to reply each person’s reply personally… I’ve read many good blogs but once its written the author isn’t bothered if things are working or not.. though i understand when the blog becomes way too big its next to impossible.

    • Kundan Bhardwaj
    • July 31st, 2012

    Vijay Bhai I have a nokia 6303 classic and whenever I try to use gprs on it , it just restarts and keeps on blinking. I don’t have any knowledge about gadgets, can you give me some guidance what I should do about it ?

    • android tutorial for beginners
    • August 2nd, 2012

    thanks vijay for giving this blog..your way of approach is good..its worked perfectly..i have red many blog but your blog is pretty interesting

    • manoj
    • August 22nd, 2012

    sir i have idea zte blade and its memory is 150mb only and i have a memory card of 8gb …kindly help me to increase my ram from 150 to 1gb…..

    • You cannot increase the RAM as it is not there. You can install apps in the memory card. If you can root, you can use third-party tools to force relocate apps from internal memory to SD

        • manoj
        • September 7th, 2012

        right now i am saving the applications in memory card only …..which ever can be moved……but my phone is working very slow it takes lot of time if i open any application , like it takes atleast 3 seconds to 5 seconds to open any application.. and it sucks especially when i open the gallery…. it takes litterally 3minutes to open the photos and if sometimes opened then again it goes to the starting gallery page and starts buffering….. regarding applications. yesterday i have downloaded Zeam and found little bit better …sir i want faster access …. tell me what should be done…… the phone is very excellent but the slow opening of applications make us to not use the phone….

      • See if you can get at lease a class 6 Micro SD card. You may also want to reinstall phone software and use less number of apps. Better yet, you may also want to check if there are third-party developed build.

    • Joshua
    • September 12th, 2012

    I have an Evo 3D with Android 4. I don’t see an option to change the USB Connection to Media transfer mode (MTP). Is it using that connection type automatically or am I supposed to download something more to get it to use that connection type? Any help would be appreciated. Also I don’t want to use Mass Storage Mode (MSC) because I have heard that, that mode does not work correctly when changing from one SD card to another. Thanks!

    • dinesh
    • September 13th, 2012

    does idea zte blade smart phone supports 8gb sd card and work fine with it . bcoz i have a problem after using 16gb class 10 sd card.

    • Not sure, you may want to check XDA forums..

        • Subhankar Sanyal
        • November 14th, 2012

        It will support 16 gigs of mem, you can use Strontium 16GB MicroSD Memory Card (Class6) it will work without any issues.. However u can even install a class 10 mem, but you need certain tweaks, instead go for class 6….

      • Well, if you have the option to choose between Class 6 and 10, I would certainly go for Class 10.

    • Juzer K
    • September 21st, 2012

    I currently have a class 6 8GB memory card in my xperia arc. I’m planning to buy a ” Mobile Ultra 16GB class 10″ memory card. Will this improve the loading speed of my media files , games etc. stored in the memory card . Will it reduce the lag in games and also will it improve the start up time taken by the phone to load my memory card.

    • jsgordon420
    • September 26th, 2012

    For people having trouble finding media transfer mode such as HTC phones, a lot of times it’s just called Mount as Usb storage when you plug your phone into the computer. There should be an option when it says charge only or USB storage. If you don’t see that you may need to try a different Usb cable.

    • Siddharth
    • October 7th, 2012

    Thank u really really i had a 2 gb memory card and could not install all the apps in it and i didn’t knew how to copy the old files to new memory card thank u you showed me hw to do it

    • waiho
    • October 21st, 2012

    how do I fix this with HTC HD2 Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich

    • Andy
    • October 30th, 2012

    Aren’t you supposed to ‘Unmount’ before removing the old sd card, and not after putting new one?
    Also, what is the need to Erase a new sd card, since its already empty?

    • If you can hotswap the card, yes you have to unmount. Otherwise, you have to switch off your mobile anyway. The purpose to erase the new card id to format correctly.

    • Aashi
    • November 10th, 2012

    heyy my phone is not an android one….when i go to my computer, it does not have any seperate folder for my memory card…the data of my phone and my memory card is mixed…what should i do??

    • Abrar
    • November 27th, 2012

    Hey vijay sir! i m planning to purchase XPERIA neo l, but i have read that it has only 300mb internal memory…is there any way to install apps in SD card?specially a big size games…
    actually i m going to use first time andriod phone and i have no knwledge abt it…and my friend told me that if i purchase phone with low internal memory then i wont able to install many apps or big size game as thy install in internal memory

    • Why don’t you get one of the Xperia 2012 models? They have more internal memory.

    • angelanelson01@hotmail.com
    • December 5th, 2012

    Worked for me! Thank you!

    • Dreama
    • January 12th, 2013

    Sadly, I am very confused on how 2 switch my microSD card. I have an LG Optimus Slide which came w/ the norm 2gb card. After using 4 2 mnths I’m constantly getting “low storage”. So, I decided 2 do sum research & ended up buying a “SanDisk Ultra 32 gb Class 10″ the package says “ideal 4 Android”. My 1st ? is…is this the correct card 4 my phone & 2 after reading ur directions on how 2 change cards. Do I HAVE 2 hook 2 a pc? Or can I just go 2 my settings & do it that way? Plz help!! Thank u :)

      • Dreama
      • January 14th, 2013

      Y hasn’t any1 replied??? I really need help w/ this. Plz & ty

    • You need not hook it to a PC.

    • John
    • January 16th, 2013

    Hello
    I have got an HTC Sensation i think it is an xe and it only has like a 1gb memory. Id like to purchase a 16 gb mem card. Will my phone still function? and does it matter which 16gb card i purchase? I see 6 and 10 and what have you. I have no idea what that means.
    Its my first androyd phone.
    Can you please help.
    Cheers John

    • 16 GB should work. Get a class 10 or Class 6 card as they will be faster.

    • Fernando
    • February 11th, 2013

    Hi,
    When I look at the mem card properties it tells me I have 1.3 GB used, but if I select all files and folders I can only see 630 MB. I have enabled hidden files and folders. Any ideas?

  1. I can’t open my SD card, error msg showing “No Memory card” then how I can mount and un-mount SD card ?? Please helo me :(

    • dinesh
    • April 22nd, 2013

    vijay wht u have sujjested is fine.. but in spite of doing that my phone memory is low… i have zte blade and it is showing me error wth phone storage msg nw and then.

    • Baron
    • May 5th, 2013

    Vijay…I just upgraded my Motorola Defy+ from a 2gb MSDSC to a Samsung class 10 32gb MSDHC and it is working perfectly. Thankyou for your guide.

    • RAJESH
    • July 8th, 2013

    But when I connect my phone it shows only turn on mass storage option

    • Ghrysz
    • August 3rd, 2013

    PC companion seems to be a specific Sony app, on my phone the possibility to choose between media transfer mode and mass storage mode does not exist/is not available (Android 2.3.4 -ZTEV856). The way I went was to image the card on the android to the card to be installed, in the laptop’s cardreader. I used a imaging/mirroring app to make the copy. After that dismount the card to be replaced, kill the phone, switch cards, fire it up, and remount the card if the phone itself has not already done this. The ZTE forgets the time every time it gets switched off so, well that’s something I learned to live with. Along with all the other glitches android seems to generate. This worked though. Have fun out there.

    • Not sure why it is so but As far as I have seen, even the cheapest phones provide the option of mass storage.

    • riyaz
    • October 4th, 2013

    vijay i m using ssmsang ace mobile very small internel memory i want make a big internal memory hw to make a big intternal memory poppplllllzzzzz tell me thanx

    • You need to root your phone and install link2sd. Check the XDA forums.

    • Ellipsen
    • October 11th, 2013

    Help, I’ve replaced the sd card on my phone, done, reformatted it (and lost progress on everything, because my laptop is windows 8 and I can’t find out how to save anything), I used to have a 4gb card in the phone, and have upgraded to a 32gb, but the phone still thinks its a 4gb. It is a samsung gt-i9070. I have other faults with it and will be upgrading it when I can, but that won’t be until may next year

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