After smartphone manufacturers thought it was a good idea to create devices without expandable storage, we now see manufacturers adding SD card slots to phones again. If you’re ready to expand your storage, it’s as easy as learning how to install an SD card on your Android device.

Here we show you how to install, remove, and what all this Mounting Model means in the first place.

Why insert an SD card?

Regardless of which device you insert the SD card into, you will need to install it, which means that the SD card will be readable by any device. Think of it a bit like a mini-installation that makes the SD card visible to your device and makes it enjoyable with your phone’s processes and software. When you remove it, the SD card will come off your device.

If you do not install an SD card on your Android device, the device will not be able to read it. If you do not remove your SD card before removing it, you may lose data on the card because you did not allow it to disconnect at the software level before removing the hardware (just like turning off your computer). instead of shutting down.

How to install an SD card in your Android phone

Installing an SD card should be as easy as inserting it into your Android device, and then follow the prompt to install it. Some of the more modern smartphones will automatically attach your SD card without prompting, while others may need to go to “Settings -> Storage -> SD Card” and follow the prompt to install it from there. Once the SD card is installed, it is ready to use with your Android device.

Removing (or removing) the SD card

For the most part, the term ‘disconnect’ has been replaced today by the much more familiar term ‘‘ Remove ’’ because it basically means the same thing (though don’t expect your SD card to come out of your phone. VHS tape).

To delete an SD card, go to “Settings -> Save” and then tap the “Delete” icon next to the SD card. Otherwise, press down on all your SD cards and press “Remove”. (Some older phones have an Unmount option, which does the same.)

Most of you already know this, but just to make sure that removing / deleting does not erase the data on the SD card (not to be confused with formatting that erases your SD card completely).

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Phone not recognized on SD card

If you’re trying to insert an SD card into your Android device but it’s not recognized, you’ll need to try formatting it on your computer as “exFAT,” which is readable on most Android phones. Insert the SD card into your Windows computer, right-click it in Windows Explorer, and click “Format.”

The main options you want to select from the new window are “exFAT” and the unit size of 1024 kb, which is a good default.

If that doesn’t work, try inserting another microSD card into your phone to see if the problem is with your phone or card.

Using SD cards without an SD card slot

While newer Android devices have more and more storage space, you can still use an SD card to quickly back up your files to external storage. If your device doesn’t have an SD card slot, you can still technically connect an SD card to your Android device. You can only use it to store files, but it gives you an extra option.

You will need a USB cable adapter on the go. If you have a micro-USB charging port, you need something UGREEN Micro USB 2.0 OTG cable on the go adapter. If you have a USB-C charging port, you need something JSAUX Type C OTG cable. Connect a standard USB stick or USB card reader to the Type A end and the other end to your Android device.

Use the file manager of your choice to transfer files to an SD card or USB drive from your Android device. Keep in mind that this is just storage for files, not applications.


You should now know all about the increasingly integrated installation and removal of the SD card (see Removal). If the computers have something over, we can reach a point where you can remove the SD cards without having to remove them first, but for now, continue playing safely and do your editing and unpacking according to our guide.

Want to use your SD card as Android’s internal storage? Just follow these instructions.

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Image credit: Flickr / Maurizio Pesce

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