Did you know that you can save the photos taken with your Android phone directly to the SD card? Whether you’re rocking an old-school Galaxy S3 or a (relatively) new Galaxy S10, you can save space on the phone by moving your recordings directly to the SD card. Some versions of Android and certain Android skins do not officially allow this, but it is still possible. Read on to find out how.
The process is pretty similar for most phones, so it can be applied to almost any Android phone with a MicroSD card slot. While the steps can vary slightly from phone to phone or between versions of Android, you can usually find your way around with a little poking around.
How to save photos to SD card on Android 11
Phones with a standard version of Android 11 may suffer from the lack of the option to save photos to microSD cards. Even so, it’s always a good option to double-check your camera settings before looking for any solutions.
This is because on some standard Android phones, you may not see the option to save photos to SD card unless you insert an SD card. It is therefore always advisable to insert the card and then check the option in the camera settings.
So we saved the standard storage space on an SD card on a phone with MIUI 12 based on Android 11.
- Open the “Camera” app.
- Tap on the three lines to open the camera options.
- Tap on “Settings”.
- Make sure the “Save to SD Card” option is selected.
In case you still don’t see the option to save to SD card, you should explore the options given below.
Google is not a fan of microSD cards and so the standard Android camera app on Android phones running Android Oreo, Android Pie, or Android 10 will not allow you to save to SD cards. There are workarounds for this, however. While it’s possible to set a microSD card as internal storage, it’s easier to just download a camera app that lets you save to microSD by default. One of the apps we recommend is the one called CameraMX.
Just open the app, open the settings with the gear icon, check Custom location and choose your SD card.
Phones with Android Nougat can already save photos directly on a microSD card instead of on the internal memory. There are two ways to enable this, and the first step for both is to insert the microSD card and then open your device’s default camera app.
You may then be prompted to change your storage settings so that photos will be saved to the microSD card from now on. If you don’t see a pop-up like the one in the left image below, don’t worry. You can also choose the microSD card as your preferred photo storage method in the settings menu of your camera app.
In the lower right picture you can see what the menu looks like on the LG G6. However, it should be similar to what you can find on any Nougat phone. Just go to the camera settings and look for storage options, then select the SD card option.
In order to save images directly to the external memory, you first need an SD card. Insert it into your phone, open the camera application and a message will pop up asking if you want to change the location to the SD card. The same popup appears on most devices when opening the camera app after inserting an SD card. Agree to the prompt on your phone and all future pictures will be saved on the external memory card. Easy.
If you happen to not see this message or you already have an SD card in your phone, you will need to configure it manually. To do this, go to the settings in the camera app and scroll down to warehouse. Here you have the choice between device and Memory card.
Note that on Marshmallow, you now also have the option to format an SD card as internal storage, meaning your photos will automatically be saved to it without it. But if you do this, the card will only work on the phone you formatted it on. This means that if you want to transfer files manually, you will need to connect your phone to a computer via USB. The card itself is not recognized by any other device. Read more here:
Android 5.0 Lollipop changed things again, making setting the location for photos easier (and safer). Apps have read and write access to directories on removable media again. All you have to do is make sure your phone has a camera app with an API that takes advantage of the new permissions. If your standard camera does not allow saving to the SD card, you can download another camera app. Check the settings in the app and look for a storage option.
Android 4.4 KitKat doesn’t like SD cards that much and pictures are saved to internal storage by default without the ability to simply change the storage location. A simple solution is to download the MX Camera application, which has options for choosing where to save pictures. The app can overwrite KitKat’s settings.
Just open the application and go to the settings, then camera and finally Custom location.
Samsung has gradually started to retire the SD card slot on most of its high-end devices. The option remains on the lower models. Here’s how you can save photos to SD cards on newer Samsung devices using OneUI.
- Insert the SD card correctly.
- After inserting the card, open the “Settings” menu and tap on “Device care”.
- Make sure the SD card is shown below.
Note: If you don’t see the map here, you won’t be able to continue.
Once that’s done, move on to the second step.
- Open that Camera app and then tap the settings Icon in the upper left corner.
- Scroll down and find the location option and select SD card.
How to save photos to SD card on old Samsung devices
For older Samsung phones, just insert an SD card and open the camera app. If everything is fine, you will be presented with a window that will allow you to use the SD card as the storage option of your choice.
If you don’t see this window, you can open the settings menu in the camera app (the gear icon) and scroll down to Storage room, Press and select Memory card. Job done.
Are you storing your photos on an SD card? What do you think are the benefits and dangers? Let us know in the comments.