Does Android File Transfer also transfer the data off the SD card?

I am about to give my FP4 to my teenage son. I’m just downloading all the data off it to my Macbook via Android File Transfer before moving my Android/Google account on to my new FP5, and then factory resetting the FP4 for him.

I’m planning to leave the current SD card in the FP4 for him, and have a new SD card for my FP5.

I cannot see on either the phone or Android File Transfer whether the data from the SD card as well as internal storage has been backed up, please does anyone know whether both are backed up? The SD card is formatted as external storage.

Thank you for any help!

If I understand you right, you want to get the data from the FP4 to your MacBook – so to check if everything is backed up you would need to check the MacBook storage through the Mac finder.

Thank you! It looks as though things like my photos are there, I just wondered if anyone more technically skilled than me knew how Android File Transfer works specifically. I don’t know what the formatting as external storage does.
Does it mean I could simply move the card to the new phone?

ok, I was already wondering if we had a shared understanding of what Android File Transfer does.

Android File Transfer allows you to simply see the contents of your Android phone’s internal storage and (from my experience) any SD card formatted as “portable storage” (external storage) inside the phone and AFT allows you to copy files between your Android phone and your Mac. You simply drag and drop the files and/or folders from AFT to your Mac or in the opposite direction.

Android File Transfer is not a backup up program that does the backup for you. It does not synch(ronize) contents between two devices. You can only copy files and folders back and forth manually (in my experience, this works much easier from the phone to the Mac than in the opposite direction).

Of course, you can use it to manually back up your data by dragging and dropping everything you want to preserve to the backup target.

Well, in your first post you suggested you meant to leave the card inside the FP4 for your son …

However, if the card is formatted as “portable storage” (external storage), that would indeed allow you to just eject the card from the FP4 and insert it into the FP5. The FP5 should ideally recognize the card without requiring new formatting (formatting usually deletes all data on the card).

To make sure the card is really portable storage, you should be able to see the card in Android File Transfer separately from the phone’s internal storage.


Thanks for this detailed reply.

Yes, I know it’s manual - I’ve just been doing that! What’s confusing me is that I can’t see the SD card separately in AFT, which I would expect to be able to do (I know Mac and Android don’t always play nicely, but still).

Yes, I am planning to leave the card in for him, as long as I can get my data off first.

You can launch the Files app on your FP4. The side bar on the left (triggered by the “hamburger” icon with three horizontal bars in the top left) should list the SD card separately from “FP4” (or “Fairphone 4”). If it does not, the card might actually be formatted as “phone storage” (i.e. the card won’t work in any other device). I vaguely remember “phone storage” was once called “extended internal storage” which can cause confusion with “external storage”.

Thank you! All sorted now, and a new FP convert launched into the world (he keeps trying to mod the Android system, is the free OS for Fairphone up and running yet?!)