Android 10 - MicroSD as phone storage

This is the reason, why I switched from google-Cam-Ports back to openCamera. In oC you’re able to activate the Storage Access Framework - this is not possible in google-Cam(Ports), maybe because, google wants you to upload all your pictures into google-drive.

Actually, I believe it was because of the introduction of scoped storage in android 11. It was recently dropped from LOS as well for this reason.
That doesn’t totally invalidate your argument of course.

Does this (dropping the option to save app data straight to an external SD card) affect manually moving files to an external SD card?

Oops, I had seen your post and then forgotten to answer.

Short answer: it doesn’t.

Half-long answer: scoped storage is something quite complicated and I haven’t understood everything. It shouldn’t affect the moving as long as the app used for moving the files has the rights to access whole storage, which should at least be the case for the stock file manager.

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I really wish I read all this before I installed my SD-card today. It took me 4 hours to install all my apps and log in and set everything up the way I wanted, but if it’s true that I have to reset my phone I need to start all over again. :frowning:
What is the best way to reset and reinstall everything on my FairPhone 3+?
Is there an option to move all the data that is on the SD-card, back to the phone’s internal storage?

Until now I made the problems worse with everything I tried so I hope I can still fix things without losing any data. :frowning:

What exactly have you tried already? It could help telling it.

Otherwise, a workaround has been found to avoid resetting everything, maybe you could try it. See post#26 in this topic. This could at least temporarily allow you to retrieve your data.

If it doesn’t work, you may want to try this method (not 100% sure it still works though):


Please help!

Am I a naive user, who thinks I can buy an SD card, insert it into my phone and it will work?

This is what I did today. And I selected “interal storage”. Then most part of my data was stored on the card. Then several apps couldn´t access the data. So I came to this forum and proceeded like post #26. The procedure didn´t work. So from the settings I removed the card.

Now the phone won´t recognize the card anymore. And asks me the same question again, if I want to use card as interal or external storage. I am not selecting anything now, because this will probably overwrite the data on the card. But I also don´t seem to be able to access the card via the phone anymore.

Is my data now gone? I´ve tried to remove, reboot, insert, reboot again. But it simply won´t recognize the card anymore. What now?!

Please tell me I haven´t lost my data…

I have bad news…
It’s now unlikely you’ll access your data again. Removing a card formatted as internal storage is a bad idea… Formatting it as internal storage is a bad idea from the beginning, though I understand you didn’t know.

Be reassured, before formatting the card the phone should ask you if you are sure you want to proceed. It should have ask you this the first time, didn’t it? So you can try both options and see if it works again, without losing the data directly. Perhaps if you just select “use as internal storage” it will work again the time for you to copy the data.

Otherwise, I don’t have any other idea…


Have a look at this post and topic


Thanks, but that sounds very tech to me. I am just a normal user that wanted to insert a MicroSD card and use it as internal storage. A normal use case, I guess. And now my data is lost.

These kind of issues drive me away from Fairphone. It´s so sad.

Yes your situation can be upsetting and I’ve seen others have this issue.

How much data will you loose by resetting the phone and reformatting the SD card as external?

When you say “most part of may data was stored on the card” do you mean previous to insertion or data moved from the phone to the card?

It appears however this is not a Fairphone issue but more a lack of clarity of Fairphone and lack of knowledge on the user about the benefits and drawbacks.

I didn’t even consider formatting the SD card as internal as the one I was using was from another phone and contained data I wanted to keep.

The issue for those that choose to use the SD card as internal storage and then have problems is an Android issue which you see from the following link. The method suggested for you may also seem daunting and may not work but may be worth reading.

What would happen if I remove a formatted SD card?

If you format an SD card as internal storage then remove it, applications will lose access to data which leads to considerable disruptions in operations. Fortunately, devices store information regarding the formatting of SD cards on internal storage. Therefore, as soon as you reinsert the formatted SD card, your phone should go back to normal.

How may I recover data from a formatted SD card that becomes unreadable?

When formatted SD cards refuse to be read, the best options for owners of devices that run on Android would be purpose-design repair applications. Such applications would allow the recovery of important data inside corrupted cards and they could restore the card themselves too.


I’m having the same issue. I’m using a PNY Elite Class 10 UHS-1 microSD Memory Card - 128GB

Maybe you would like to detail your problem?

It’s July 21. And I feel extremely frustrated and angry about the fairphone. Imagine you buy a phone, then you plan long holidays out in the nature and to be safe you have enough space you bring an sd card. Cause It says on the phone you can put in one of those. At the middle of the trip you run out of space and realise that you could just use that sd card you brought along. Well that’s what I did and then all of my pictures of the trip and the last months were gone. And the opportunity to take new pictures was gone as well. Now I’ve spend several days trying to recover the stuff with no success at all. I’m working with editing and cinematography. I’ve been recovering a lot of data that seemed gone and most of the times I was successful. Not here.

The most terrible thing about this is, that this thread is nearly a year old. And the bug is still not fixed?! And please don’t tell me it’s a bad idea to use a sd card in this way. It seems like the most natural thing to do. Selling a phone in this shape should have a huge sticker on the backside saying “DO NOT USE THE SD CARD SLOT!” Or there shouldn’t be a slot at all.

I wish so much somebody had warned me. This is really terrible. I’m ashamed that I tried to encourage people to buy this device.


Hi Dionysos, I really understand your frustration and assume you formatted your SD as internal storage instead of mobile? If so this indeed can cause a lot issues and it is always recommended to format as portable/mobile storage (not only for the FP3). So you can use an SD card (which by the way can break any time even if new), but not formatted as internal storage.


Hi Dionysos Welcome to the forum although not a great time your having.

As @yvmuell has considered you may have formatted the card, once you inserted it, as Internal storage rather than Portable, whereas this issue is not specific to Fairphone when an SD card is inserted the top option is to format as Internal.

a) If you choose internal the SD card is encrypted as are the contents of the Phone memory so you will not be able to view the contents once you remove it from the phone

b) if you remove the card the phone may not function properly as being now a part of the internal memory some app data may be stored on it too.-
For more detail see :-

Check the SD card Settings > Storage to the right of the SD card would be an eject icon if you have formatted it as Portable.

See also comments on the link below you are not the only one with similar problems ~ it’s not really a Fairphone thing.

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Hej, yes of course. That’s how I ended up here. And I read the whole thread. So of course I know these things now. But I really don’t think any costumer knows these things before formatting a SD Card. I just can’t understand that this option still exists nearly a year after being reported the first time and hope that it will be fixed soon. So less people end up like me.
The only thing to help me, are magic tips on getting back all my pics.


Ok, but I don’t really know how this should help now either.

In case you do not know this, I never used, but have seen comments here, that it helped

That using internal storage is often a bad idea, is def nothing only related/known to/since the FP3. Things with Google and Android are not always that easy as one might think and companies have to go through thousands of approvals before rolling out customizations. So even of I agree that it would be best to just remove this option, it might be Google to blame and not Fairphone