FP3 - SD Card as internal storage - Data Lost

Hello again - a small update: we have given the mini-SD card to an expert to try recover any data possible. The phone now says it has no internal storage at all, so it cannot save any new media. This strikes me as weird, too - no?

If I recall it correctly, before removing a micro SD-card, that is formatted as internal memory, the system has to prepare that card for ejection.
I don’t know, how Android is managing internal memory when a SD-card is used to expand it.
While the OS needed to run the phone will for safety and performance reasons surely be stored on the phone memory, the managing of the internal memory for data is related to phone-memory and SD-card. And I would guess, that this free space is managed as one “device” and not as two different devices (phone + card).
Therefore, removing the card without letting the OS “release” the card, might destroy the internal memory. Then it’s just to be expected, that the phone reports to have no internal memory.

Ok, but I knew this and we searched and searched and there was no path that would let us choose ‘release’ or ‘eject’. No control was given at all. And then the data-recovery expert decided that its ok and we have no other choice then to take it out to try and save any data.

I feel really sorry for you.
On the internet I found, that there shall be an option to unmount the SD-card under
Settings -> Storage
But I guess, you would have found this; so I have no idea, Unfortunately it’s irrelevant now anyways and purely academic. I have no idea, what you could do now.

Can you reinsert the SD card as internal storage and see it the phone works then maybe reformat the SD to external and hopefully any/all data on SD card will be transferred to internal memory…
Someone must have done this before ??

I don’t quite know if these old instructions still work under A10, but you can try nevertheless:

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Same problem here, seem to have lost 9 months of travel pictures…

Hi @Grass Welcome to the forum.

Do I understand that you have reformatted the SD card and hence have lost media and docs you had stored only on it whilst it was formatted as internal?

Apart from the issue of formatting as SD cards don’t last forever I always keep at least one backup of all my docs etc. on a separate SD card

Probably you find EN instructions for this and there is a way to recover

Same issue here.
Inserted SD card - since the camera app told me that is was running of out space on the SD (no SD was installed previously) - but so i thought to top up my storage by adding an SD card is not a bad idea. Fairphone forum suggested to do so too.

Only the Pictures that I took are lost - all other data are there. camera app does not save pictures anymore and downloads also don´t function any more.

Hi. @greenpeacealbert
As far as images not being saved along with downloads, have you checked the saving options?

Before this option arrived, with Android 6, it was simple. Use an SD card to store images and the phone memory hardly ever got used.

I have an SD card that I have moved through 5 phones with all my videos, images, music, documents, contacts, messages etc.

Never had a warning about memory.

It’s a really poor use to encrypt an SD card so that it can only be used on the phone that formatted it.

I have always seen SD cards as portable storage and back up, why anyone would do otherwise baffles me a bit, though I can see

the camera app told me that is was running of out space on the SD

would prompt some action but why not just insert the SD card and move the personal data, without encrypting the SD card ?

Surely if someone doesn’t keep an external backup they must know they will loose everything if the phone dies and who’s going to backup every message and image at every event. And why trust a cloud to keep my data safe??

Not quite sure if I understand that comment

  • the camera app told me that i was running out of storage space (and referred to the storage as SD - even though no SD card was installed at that time).
  • I have not encrypted my phone; i feel that my understanding of the hard- and software is there for too limited.

the storage setting of the camera was set to phone. As the SD was for mated as phone memory (the subject of this thread) - i could not change the camera storage.

I wanted to report the issue - being unable to download thing, trough the browser or even whatsapp pictures, in the context of the SDcard.

my pictures were uploaded to my google account (bad privacy, I know - but incredibly continent), so I lost the high resolution pictures.

I now ejected the SD card (thanks for the guide @Alex.A), after some difficulties. And hope that everything is now back to normal -
At least I now got 20 Gb of storage for my pictures free again…


The phone uses an internal solid state drive more properly called an SSD

The memory is automatically encrypted, so the only option is to have an SD card inserted and fomatted as Portable to stop it being encrypted.

These two things are at odds

For historical reasons in Android, the internal storage is sometimes called SD-card. In this case it refers to the internal storage.

AFAIK FP3s are encrypted by default.


This happened to me as well. Inserted an SD-card. Got two options. Did not understand the difference between them. Just clicked the first option (that must be the recommended solution, right?).

(…) waiting (…)


  • Images, video, recordings… everything lost.
  • A lot of apps not working properly.

ADB restore got me back. But data are still lost.


LineageOS next!!!

… which should give you the same choice for the SD card, with possibly the same consequences. But it has other advantages, of course.


I have the same problem: I bought a new SD card (256 GB), formatted it as internal storage and started taking photos and installing apps. For one week everything worked fine. Since then the SD card is only partly recognized: The apps installed on it still work, the system shows me how much space on the SD card is occupied, but I cannot access the data anymore.
Is there any way for recovering my photos?

Hi and welcome to the forum.

You can try deleting the cache on as many apps as you can.Maybe even delete some to free up and kick the memory access.

Starting in safe mode disables all your custom apps but not images.

This is a difficult issue to resolve

I bought a SD card of 256 GB because my local storage was almost full.
At first I had issues for the phone to recognize the SD card and finally I was able to set it up but I lost ALL of the pictures I took in my phone and maybe 1/3 of apps are fucked up and cannot start even after clearing local data and restarting the phone.

This is ridiculous to have such a bug. How can you pretend to have a durable phone with such an enormous bug… And pretending that you didn’t solve it because it’s not possible to reproduce it is ridiculous…

You need a f*** guide to explain how to install a SD card in a Fairphone… come one … How I am supposed to know that I should read the community forum before doing one of the most basic things : extending storage. And of course now it’s too late and I lost everything.

I don’t think I am gonna recommend this phone any more to my friend, this amount of bugs is too high. FP should invest more time in the software.

Hi and welcome to the forum, I note your annoyance, but apparently this is not exclusive to Fairphone or Android 10