SD card full, lots of space on phone but can't use

Hi all

I’ve just recently installed a 15g micro SD card. I chose the 2nd option? (Where the phone formats it to use as additional internal memory for photos and apps etc). the SD card is full now, and the phone has lots of freed up space, however it won’t let me take any videos etc as it says the SD card is full. Similarly with something I wanted to download. How do I get my phone to cop on and use all the freed up space it now has and not only use the card?



These two conditions sounds contradictory.
If the sd card would be used as internal memory Android 6+ treats it as one single logical memory block. No reason for differentiating any more. So you could not say if data is stored on the sd card or internal memory. That’s the way I understand this mechanism.
Also I believe you could not “copy” any app from/to sd card as logically it should be the same storage area.
What I can think of, for whatever reason it finally is not used as internal but external memory.
External memory should then be formated as exfat and if not encrypted accessible by a conventional computer OS using a sd card reader (maybe with adaptor).

Usually internal memory goes first before external memory. Since the card is full now you could try anyway to copy some apps from it to the internal memory.
If having used up every single bit it may help to free up little space to get the least file operation on your sd card going. Some data should be moved e.g. to a computer by usb.
Such things may still happen these days although filesystems has greatly improved meanwhile.

But as I have wrote, it sounds contradictory.

Another long way would be to backup your personal data to a computer and repeat the format procedure with the phone again assuring the card is properly integrated and used as internal memory. 15GB these days are not much too handle.
Then restore you data on the phone.

If you don’t want to reinstall and setup all your apps again a professional backup tool is needed. I am not into this on Android, but here are plenty of posts on such topics.


Thanks for your thoughts on this. What you suggest sounds possible, is. That the SD card is being treated as external memory.
His can I check this and of so how can I change it to use it all as internal memory?

In settings/storage, USB it says 8.58g used of 25.48 and it says SD 14.1 used of 14.1
When I go into camera it says 'your SD card is running out of space, change quality in settings or delete some images or other files…

Thanks for your help…

You can check the status of your SD-card under Settings

  • Storage & USB

If your SD-card is formated as external storage it is headed “Portable Storage”, otherwise it should be listed as “Internal Storage” or most likely just calculated as such.

You really should think twice before formatting it as internal storage, as this can cause problems, e.g. if your phone breaks. You than can not simply take out the Card and transfer all the data to your computer, as the card is not accessible.
Before making a decision, you might want to take a look here:



In settings/storage +USB it lists internal storage as 9g of the 25 g on phone. It then simply lists the SD card as an SD card with 14.21g used . not a lot of scope to explore or change things…
What you say about using the SD card as external storage makes sense. Is it possible to reverse this or for me to change how I have things to this? Need something to be able to have some space on phone so that wud be worth trying . I can’t see how to ajust or explore anything to do with it

Thanks for help

Is there a green heading above the SD-card saying “Portable Storage”?
That’s how it is on my phone and I use it as external storage. As I never had it formatted as internal storage I have no idea, how it will look like for this configuration.

Should you have formatted the SD-Card as internal storage you sure can reverse it.
That’s how I would do it. As I am no real expert, you might wait for some other opinion before followingths advice.
First of all make a backup of all your data (especially the videos)
Then “eject” the SD-card
Turn off the phone, take it out and format it with your computer
Put the formatted card in your phone and start the phone again.
Now it should recognize the “new” card and ask how you would like to format it.

As far as I know, there is no easier way .

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Admittedly, I neither used the SD card as internal storage myself, but if I und erstand the concept correctly, there’s no easy way to reverse the setting. By taking out and reformatting the card, IMHO you risk to lose all data like after a factory reset.
So you I would recommend

  1. to really make sure all data (including apps & settings, if still needed) is backed up to another device (e.g. your PC),
  2. then do a factory reset and shut down the phone,
  3. reformat the SD card as external storage (in the phone or using a PC) and
  4. restore your data and settings on the phone.
    That’s more or less what also @BertG recommended, I just wanted to make clear that changing the SD card setting quite probably might lead to loss of data if you miss something.

@BertG: no offense meant, only wanted to avoid potential misunderstanding and disappointment in case if issues.


None taken.
I am just glad for any clarification or pointing out my errors, as I want to help and not ruin the data.


I reset my phone and formated the SD card as portable storage. Thanks a lot for your help…


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