How to insert a memory card in your phone to expand storage

How to insert a memory card in your phone to expand storage

Getting the “Storage space running out” notification on your Android phone is never a great sight. We have all been served with that dreaded notification at some point. In most cases, it’s usually the result of us just mindlessly downloading, installing, and storing stuff on our phones without being mindful of the storage limit or taking time to clean up. Whatever the case may be, it’s no time to panic. If you’re running low on storage, a microSD card can save the day. It’s the easiest and cheapest way to add more memory to your Android phone. Here’s how to do it.


Check if your phone supports a memory card

While microSD cards have become hard to come by on flagship smartphones, they are still prevalent on mid-range and budget Android phones. If you don’t know whether your phone supports a microSD card, check your phone’s hardware specifications or visit the manufacturer’s website. If a hybrid SIM slot is mentioned, your phone very likely supports a microSD card, with the microSD slot sharing positions with the second SIM slot. With that out of the way, let’s get down to the business.

How to insert a memory card

  • Remove your phone from the case and switch it off.
  • Now, you’ll need to find out where’s the SIM tray located on your phone. Depending on your phone, it may be located at the top edge, right side, or the bottom. You’ll see a tiny hole next to the tray (see the image below).

The SIM tray on the left side of the smartphone

  • Insert a SIM ejection tool or a paperclip into the hole to pop out the SIM tray. Don’t use force. The tray should come out easily.
  • Pull out the tray gently and set it aside.
  • If you have a hybrid SIM tray (see the first image below) with two SIM cards installed, you’ll have to give up on one SIM to accommodate the memory card. Some smartphones come with a SIM tray that has a dedicated microSD card slot. In that case, you can use two SIMs and the memory card (see the second image).
  • Most Android phones accept memory cards with a maximum capacity of 256GB. Some phones even support cards with up to 1TB capacity. A card with 128GB or 64GB memory should be fine for most users.

    The SanDisk Ultra SDQUNS offers 128GB storage with up to 80MB/s transfer speed.

    The SanDisk Ultra SDSQUA4 packs 256GB storage with up to 120MB/s transfer speed.

    The Samsung Evo card offers 64GB storage with up to 130MB/s transfer speed.
  • Insert the memory card on the tray with gold/bronze-colored pins facing downward.
  • Gently push the tray back into the phone.
  • Restart the phone. If the memory card was inserted correctly, you’d see a prompt to set up your SD card in the notification area.

How to set up the memory card

During the setup, you’ll be asked if you want to use your SD card as phone storage or portable storage. If you select the phone storage option, your phone will treat the memory card as internal storage, and you’ll be able to move apps and app-related data to it. However, you won’t be able to use the card on other devices such as your laptop or camera (unless you format it). Select “Portable storage” if you plan to use the card to move data back and forth between devices.

If you’re using an iPhone or a Google Pixel phone, then this tutorial is not for you, as neither of those support microSD card storage. If you use a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, some of them on the budget and mid-range do support microSD storage, but the more recent flagships in the S series and the Z Flip and Z Fold series do not support it.

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Team XDA
Team XDA

XDA-Developers was established in 2003, back in the days of the Personal Digital Assistant, or "PDA".

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