Forcing Android Apps directly install to the SD Card

Posted: June 23, 2012 in Android Posts
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Image representing HTC as depicted in CrunchBase

One of the biggest complaints levelled at the HTC  is the severe lack of internal memory. There are ways around this, one of which is forcing downloaded apps to install to the SD Card. There are a couple of pre-requisites, but the process itself is relatively straight forward.

You’ll need HTC Sync installed (or at least the drivers that come with HTC Sync) and ADB (Android Debug Bridge) or the Android SDK. The SDK itself is a >100MB download and can be relatively difficult to install, however if you head here, look under the section entitled Mini SDK, click show, you can download a zip file called SDK-Tools.zip. Once downloaded, extract the contents of that folder to a folder of your choosing. I recommend somewhere easy, like C:\SDK-Tools as you’ll need to navigate to it via a command prompt later.

You’ll also need to enable USB Debugging on your phone, that’s easily enough done by heading to Settings -> Applications -> Development -> USB Debugging. You’ll get a warning message, but just ok that you’ll be fine.

Once you’ve done all the above, the process is as follows:

1. Connect the Phone to the PC in Charge Only mode
2. Open a command prompt (Start -> Run -> CMD, you’ll need to run as Administrator)

Pics for the ADB stuff below:

3. Navigate to the folder you extracted ADB to. In my case, the command would be “cd\SDK-Tools” (minus the quotes).

4. Type adb devices and press enter. You should then see the serial number of your phone displayed on screen. If you don’t check, that USB Debugging is enabled and you’re connected in Charge Only Mode.

5. Type adb shell, press enter.

6. Type pm setInstallLocation 2 press enter (it’s important you enter this exactly as written as it’s case sensitive)

7. Type Exit, then disconnect your phone.

8. PROFIT!

You can now move apps that are already on the handset to the SD Card. Head to Settings -> Applications -> Manage Applications -> All -> Click an app -> Move to SD Card. All new apps will install to the SD Card.

It’s worth mentioning that apps with active widgets cannot be moved and a certain portion app will remain on the phones data partition, but this goes a long way to assist with the lack of internal memory!

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