1. debaser87's Avatar
    How can we stop android from moving apps from sd card back to internal storage after they update? this is infuriating as it clogs up my phones memory when i can quite happily run apps from sd but they keep getting moved nack to internal storage! I believe this is part of a wider ploy of planned obsolescence to force users to upgrade their phones because they think their phones are slowing down, when in fact they would work just fine if android would stop interfering with where the apps are stored. I would imagine this problem could easily be fixed by the people at android and i think its up to us as users to make them aware that we know what they are up to! does anyone know where we can raise this issue and take the power back to have control over the devices we have paid for?
    12-22-2017 06:48 PM
  2. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central! This is how it has to work. Apps have to be installed directly to Internal Storage first, before you can use the Move to SD feature. When the app is updated, the app has to be moved back to Phone Storage first in order for the update to occur, since you're essentially reinstalling the app. I can't say why Android's developers didn't include a feature to automatically move the app back to SD, though, but it's relatively straightforward to go back to the Settings>Apps menu and tap the Move to SD button again.

    I doubt this is a play for planned obsolescence. It's always worked this way, and to be honest, moving an app to SD has always been fairly clunky. It only moves a portion of the app to the SD, so you're not necessarily saving a ton of space, and if the SD fails (which is not a rare occurrence, given the inherently lower quality of SD memory compared to onboard memory), then the app crashes and you've lost some data. And SD cards also have a slower read/write speed than onboard memory, so app performance on SD cards will also be slower (even with newer "high speed" cards).
    Tim1954 likes this.
    12-22-2017 11:28 PM
  3. debaser87's Avatar
    I'm not convinced. I still think the reason the developers haven't set it to reinstall the app on SD has to do with forcing upgrades. I spent about an hour moving apps from internal to sd and one week later 80% of the apps were back on internal. it's not viable to constantly move them back. many apps update very frequently so it needs to be fixed by the developers so we can have more control over our property. Just because its always worked this way doesnt mean it can't be improved and made better for the consumer.
    12-23-2017 02:13 PM
  4. ManiacJoe's Avatar
    That is just the way the Android update process works. :-(

    The ideal approach is that the app developers need to add in the easy feature to allow the app data to be stored on the SD card while the app code remains on the internal storage.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    12-23-2017 05:10 PM
  5. hallux's Avatar
    The other thing to consider, as far as the Android developers needing to "fix" this, is that the reference devices (Pixel, Nexus) don't include SD card slots. The SD card functionality is added by other device makers, it would fall on them to provide proper support for that capability. Yes, Android includes code to support SOME kind of storage on SD but for performance and stability that's really intended for media storage with the app capability an afterthought.

    Yeah, it stinks, but with newer devices having so much storage this really should become less and less of an issue.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    12-23-2017 06:15 PM
  6. azlen's Avatar
    Simple solution.... Turn off auto update. Updates are not automatically better or to the user's advantage. Selectively check the 'update' list and only select the ones that make sense for you. Remember, a "new revision" means they move the known bugs to unknown locations!
    Brian Harrison4 likes this.
    01-05-2018 12:38 AM
  7. mmortal03's Avatar
    Simple solution.... Turn off auto update. Updates are not automatically better or to the user's advantage. Selectively check the 'update' list and only select the ones that make sense for you. Remember, a "new revision" means they move the known bugs to unknown locations!
    This is a workaround for some situations, but most people want to get updates with the latest bug fixes and security patches, so this isn't very practical, and you still end up having to move the ones you update back over to the SD card one at a time.
    03-31-2018 09:17 AM
  8. mmortal03's Avatar
    Apps have to be installed directly to Internal Storage first, before you can use the Move to SD feature. When the app is updated, the app has to be moved back to Phone Storage first in order for the update to occur, since you're essentially reinstalling the app. I can't say why Android's developers didn't include a feature to automatically move the app back to SD, though, but it's relatively straightforward to go back to the Settings>Apps menu and tap the Move to SD button again.

    I doubt this is a play for planned obsolescence. It's always worked this way
    Actually, it hasn't always worked this way. KitKat would update the apps, and leave the stuff on the SD card on the SD card. You didn't have to move them back over manually after each update.
    03-31-2018 09:21 AM
  9. Simone Ramella's Avatar
    This issue has bothered me for a very long time and eventually I decided to root my LG G5 phone in order to fix it for good.

    After the root, it is possible to activate some additional features of AppMgr III, including the function that with just one tap automagically moves on the external sd card all the apps that can be moved. There is also another option to automatically install on the sd card the new apps that can go there.

    Rooting the phone can be scary and is not as easy as other tasks, but I'm really enjoying the freedom of doing with my phone what I want.
    04-06-2018 12:13 PM
  10. skyknight63's Avatar
    Really??? Who or what is in charge of these devices? KitKat left the apps on SD after updating, rooting can solve this; so how can one say 'this is how it has to work'?? The truth is this is how it currently works, wastes millions of users countless hours, and could be changed. We need a viable third phone OS, something like webOS which Google tried to buy and HP buried. People program phones, and it can be fixed. For whatever reason, Samsung and / or Google want it this way.
    06-06-2020 12:37 PM
  11. Mooncatt's Avatar
    Really??? Who or what is in charge of these devices? KitKat left the apps on SD after updating, rooting can solve this; so how can one say 'this is how it has to work'?? The truth is this is how it currently works, wastes millions of users countless hours, and could be changed. We need a viable third phone OS, something like webOS which Google tried to buy and HP buried. People program phones, and it can be fixed. For whatever reason, Samsung and / or Google want it this way.
    It's Google that wants it like this. They control Android, and have made it clear they don't like SD cards. They did try to throw us a bone by adding adoptable storage, where the SD card is formatted and treated as internal storage. That then brought up a host of other issues similar to the ones already laid out here, and numerous complaints of corrupted SD cards and lost data. So while that solves the problem in theory, in practice it was largely a failure and not recommended.

    But as pointed out earlier, internal storage isn't much of an issue anymore. That is, unless you're buying the dirt cheap phones with next to no internal storage. Those are also the same phones that have no real tech support and can be problematic all around, so are also not a recommended purchase.
    Laura Knotek and Golfdriver97 like this.
    06-06-2020 01:32 PM
  12. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Really??? Who or what is in charge of these devices? KitKat left the apps on SD after updating, rooting can solve this; so how can one say 'this is how it has to work'?? The truth is this is how it currently works, wastes millions of users countless hours, and could be changed. We need a viable third phone OS, something like webOS which Google tried to buy and HP buried. People program phones, and it can be fixed. For whatever reason, Samsung and / or Google want it this way.
    SD cards are inherently much less reliable than onboard memory. I've spoken to someone in the memory industry, and he frankly told me that consumer SD cards use bottom-of-the-barrel memory chips -- even those from well-known companies like Sandisk. On top of that, there are many many counterfeit cards that have flooded the market (typically from smaller or shadier online sellers). So the problem is that if you rely on an SD card to run an app, if that SD card fails, the app is broken and its data is probably lost. In addition, SD read/write speeds will always be slower (sometimes much slower) than onboard memory, so performance will take a hit.

    You say "people program phones, and it can be fixed" -- if you're aware of a good solution for running apps reliably and quickly on external storage, then I encourage you to bring that solution to the market (or apply for a job with these bigger companies).
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    06-06-2020 08:22 PM
  13. Golfdriver97's Avatar
    And cards are also very prone to man in the middle attacks. After a couple different brands of SD cards being corrupted during use, I have never used them in phones since. There are far better options that are cheaper, more secure, and have a lower rate of failure.
    B. Diddy and Laura Knotek like this.
    06-07-2020 12:06 PM

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