Android 10 - MicroSD as phone storage

I just updated my FP3 to android10. From that moment i was able to use my SD card as phone storage. Once i have configured it, telegram & whatsapp but also gmail (at the moment i notice just this apps) cannot use media anymore. I mean, i can write and read message but cannot download and upload images or audio or anything else. It just said: download failed. any clue? thank you

Welcome to the community forum!
:warning: Don’t format you sd card as internal storage except if you are sure of the implications!
Formatting the sd card as phone storage is known for breaking things on the phone, and you’re not the first one to report problems that occurred when doing this under android 10. Please reformat your card as external storage and use it like this, although there are some inconveniences with this. I’m also afraid this means you’ll need a #dic:factorydatareset or even a data formatting and a reinstallation from scratch. Keeping my fingers crossed for you :crossed_fingers:

Please also have a look at the #sdcardguide, it is well detailed.

Edits: Typos


As this post is quoted a lot as reference: please be aware that internal storage should work, but nevertheless doesn’t for an undetermined reason.
If you experience the issue, please #contactsupport specifying in the subject: “A10 - SD card phone storage issue”, precising which SD-card model you own. The more data they will have, the better they will be able to work on it :slight_smile:


:scream: :scream: :scream:
thank you for your answer… I’ll see what to do :crossed_fingers:


I used my FP3 since last October without an extra SD-Card, everything worked more or less fine. With storage slowly filling up I decided to get a SD card this week.

I got a 128 GB SD Card, inserted it and choose to use it as an extra internal storage. After formatting I got asked if I want to transfer files to free up space on the “real” internal storage which I accepted. And restarted the phone afterwards.

Now the problem begins,
after the restart, a system pop up tells me that the sd card is missing. But in the storage setting it shows me, that the card is inserted and that I got tons of free space. Problem still there after a couple restarts. I tried putting it out and in several times physically as well as in the Storage settings. Nothing changes.

This brings the following problems:

  • Brave Browser doesn’t start at all.
  • Camera App opens, lets me take pictures, but doesn’t save them
  • Whatsapp works but all my previously downloaded pictures are gone and I am not able to download new ones. Also I can’t take pictures in the app neither can I record voice messages.

In general I have the feeling most apps have storage reading problems.

Maybe important to mention that I updated to Android 10 2 weeks ago.

Any tips, advice before I try a factory reset?
Anyone had similar problems?

1 Like

I moved your post here, as you have the same problem. Please read the explanation in the second post.


Am I correct in thinking that as an sd card previously used successfully in a Samsung Galaxy does not show up anywhere on the device that the phone does not like the card? Presumably the device is as fussy with the sd cards as it is with the charging cables. Cables that charge any number of other devices do not work with the Fairphone and when a useable cable is found the charging rate is ridiculously slow.

I guess I just have to be more patient and accept the idiosyncrasies. I reinserted the sd card and suddenly there it was. I have no idea what happened.

My mother in law has the same problem after the FF3 update. We tried to reinsert the sd card, but nothing happened…

Dear community,
as the new FP3+ Android 10 version did not in any way warn about the problems with using a SD card as internal memory (as opposed to mobile memory) – see all the problems listed in this forum (and I had a few more) – I had to completely restart my FP3 from scratch (reset, reinstall all apps and configurations). I did this without the SD card inserted. Only when the phone functioned correctly in all respects (it did!), I reinserted the SD card and let it reformat as external/mobile. Worked well. Now the music files, fotos and documents have been manually moved to the SD card and the communication between the FP3+ and the SC card is as it should be.


@formerFP.Com.Manager: When the Fairphone 3 came out with Android 9, the easy possibility to incorporate an SD card into Internal storage wasn’t there. It was only possible to get this functionality via more obscure ways.
Our understanding here was that Google had removed the easy GUI access to the feature in AOSP, and with reason, because using an SD card as Internal storage was never ever a good idea technically.

Now with Android 10 the easy access to the feature seems to be back, and it has caused some grief for several users already.

Could Fairphone please investigate whether the easy possibility to let an SD card be formatted as Internal storage could be removed from Fairphone OS again to avoid trouble?


To anyone affected by the internal storage formatting issue (in this topic @Federico_Iadarola @Tschulius @brianleach @magoo @AnnaTreurniet):

Fairphone can’t reproduce this bug. Therefore, if you want them to work on it, please #contactsupport specifying in the subject: “A10 - SD card phone storage issue”, precising which SD-card model you own. The more data they will have, the better they will be able to work on it :slight_smile:

Can you also all confirm you are on the latest build of FPOS? If not, could you please update and try again?


Hi Alex (and others),
I am certain to be on the latest OS for FP3+, and I’m sure I was when I had the problems back then. I solved the issue by completely restarting from scratch, i.e. all settings to start with no SD card inserted, then installed all my apps etc. again and only then inserted the SD card, but as EXTERNAL/MOBILE. I cannot recommend to try again as INTERNAL, and would certainly not do myself, now that everythings is working fine…Cheers!

1 Like

Of course, I understand. Though could you just share what SD-card model you own (the one you had issues with)?

With pleasure :slight_smile:. It’s a ScanDisk 400GB card. Cheers.

1 Like

Hi there,

I have a SanDisk 128GB SD Card, which I also have had a ton of trouble with, until I found this thread!
I have the latest OS for FP3+.
Finally on my third reinstall, I’ve inserted the SD card as external for transferring photos etc. and I think all my apps now finally work.
I was bought this phone as a gift, and if the FP wasn’t so ethically awesome, I would have launched it through the window by now.
Gift-giver almost took it back to return!

Hope this info helps and please ask if you want to know more!


1 Like

@Hoots and @magoo
First of all welcome to the forum; and great, that you did not give up on Fairphone.
Hopefully this SD-card trouble is and remains your only concern.

Since there are quite a few different SanDisk cards out there, it could be helpful, to be more precise on the model. (The more info, the better; I would guess.)
If you take a look at the thread on compatible microSD-cards for the FP2, you will find, that e.g. the Samsung PRO+ 128 GB was reported to cause problems, while the Samsung EVO+ 128 GB and the Samsung EVO 128 GB were reported to work fine.

1 Like


Thanks for your reply. Makes sense to get as much info as possible!
I saw the thread but was unsure whether it applied to the FP3 too.

I have a SanDisk Ultra 80MBs Micro SD Memory Card - 128GB, although on trying to remember what the exact name of it is, I see that the shop I bought it from isn’t selling it anymore!

Glad to stick around anyways. This is indeed the only problem I have had.


Thanks a lot.
Sorry for creating a possible misunderstanding.
The thread is for the FP2 only and those experiences can not be applied for the FP3(+) .
I just meant to use it as an example, that one Samsung 128 GB works fine, while another model does not.

WOW! Fairphone knew of this since September and didn’t dare to disable the option in their OS. I just destroyed my memory, 3 months later, using the internal memory option. Didn’t expect to be obliged to double check for bugs on every option I select on my Android.

Good job that they are not even able to replicate the bugs, their users experience.

I recommended the FP3 to so many people until now, but this is really a gamechanger :(.

Hello to all,

I’ve been having the same issue, amazing that Fairphone actually allowed me to use my SD card as internal storage, when it would make all ma data disappear.

Things is, i still have hope to be able to recover my data: it is still there somewhere, it’s “just” that i can’t access it anymore. If i connect my FP to a computer via USB, it tells me that like 2Go are used on the SD card (which could be consistent with the volume of my data), but if i select the apparent folders, it only makes like 20Mo…
So where did all the rest go? Is there any way i could access the data i’ve been transferring to my SD card, and photos i’ve shot since then??
Many many thanks if you can help me with that, some of these pictures are valuable and could not be shot again…

My SC card is a Samsung 128 EVO+

Have nice day,