Storage issues FP3


I hope someone can help me. I only got my FP3 recently (Sep).

I’m using an SD card which is always shown as not found after a restart, but can be accessed under storage. Then again, when trying to update apps, I get an error “App requires external storage. xyz can’t be downloaded. Insert an SD card or USB storage with sufficient storage and try again.”

The SD card I’m using is 128 GB, <5 GB used. Internal storage is 22 GB used of 64 GB.
Storage should not be an issue.

The SD card is formatted as phone storage. This should also not be the problem as I read in the instructions that this is the way it has to be in order to save apps on it.

Another thing I have noticed is that I cannot see photos in Whatsapp anymore, they appear blurred and to be downloaded, but when I try to download, the same error message as above comes up.

I hope there is a solution.

Thank you,


Well, this is unfortunately the problem. It should not be a problem, but it is a known issue on android 10 on the FP3. It has been reported multiple times that it can cause many issues.
So please reformat it as external storage, though I’m afraid that may mean you will need a reset of the phone for the latter to work correctly.
You can reformat the card in the files app, go in the folder location of your SD-card, tap on the three dots and reformat it as external. That means that you won’t be able to store apps on it, but it is the only way for your SD-card to work. You can read more about how to format an SD-card in the #sdcardguide.


Thank you very much. It worked. The question remains, why are two options offered if only one will work? :wink:

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Well… Because it is implemented in android, and for an unknown reason for the FP3 it creates issues. It has been suggested to remove this feature, and I have asked FP to add at least a warning to their support article. Let’s see how things evolve and whether FP removes/fixes this bug.
At least, one thing known is that SD-cards formatted as internal storage can cause stability issues and slow the phone (because it is longer to transfer data between the card and the phone than on the phone directly, and if apps are on the sd-card it slows everything down), and isn’t recommended. If the phone or the SD-card breaks, it makes the other part unusable by breaking the internal storage. I had such an experience (phone died, data on the card not available) and thought I would never do the mistake ever again :grin:
Though I agree it can have advantages to format the card as internal, I dropped them in favour of stability :wink:


Thank you so much for all the info Alex. Really appreciate it :slight_smile:


Hi Alex, I have the exact same problems as Ina. Do I undesrtand it corectly that the SD Card is not working properly when formated as internal and that I have to format it to external? If that would be the case that’s a deal breaker. I need the extra space since I will want to save lots of music and photos on my phone. Also Fairphone then shouldn’t promote this phone with the feature that you can insert an SD card since it is not working, right?



External storage allows this, you can store music, videos, photos, files, etc… but not apps. If you want more details about the difference between internal and external storage, please read the #sdcardguide.
You can also read this part of this FP support article:

Well, you can put an SD-card in it, as external storage. Theoretically it should also work as internal storage, but because there is a bug it doesn’t, bug which was reported to FP:


Wow, you are really quick :slight_smile:

Well alltogether this is an issue that I really would have wanted to know about before purchasing the 3+. The Cons on the phone storage side are really a turn off and a huge set back for the enthusiasm i had for this phone :frowning:

So I guess I have to live with that. It puzzles me though that not many more people are annyoed about this.

Anyway thanks a lot Alex and let’s hope that they fix the bug soonet than later…


PS: Maybe you can help me with this issue too: In my settings in “phone info” ist says that my model is an FP3 although I bought the 3+. My back-cover is all black and not transperant so I should be good, right?

Sure, I can understand your frustration, I would also have liked to be aware of this in you case, which is why I contacted FP so that they make it a bit clearer.

Well, there were perhaps around 15-20 users who mentioned the problem on the forum and said they were annoyed, which is already quite many actually.
But TBH I think in any case it’s a bad idea to format as internal storage, and it has always been not recommended. I once formatted my SD-card as internal, it was very practical because it worked and was easy (it was on my FP2). Then my phone died, and all the data on the SD-card was stupidly lost. I couldn’t do much to get it back. So I thought “never again”, and formatted my next SD-card as external storage.
Actually, do you really need a card formatted as internal storage (I’m honestly asking)? Because 64GB should be enough for all your apps, and you can put all your data on your external SD-card.

That’s normal. There isn’t any difference (or nearly none) between the FP3 and FP3+ apart from the cameras and the speaker. From a technical point of view, both phones are the same model, but with different modules (apart for the little difference in core-modules, the FP3+ integrating a different speaker amplifier). The bigger difference is the recycled plastics and the increased amount of fair materials.


Thank you very much Alex!

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To anyone affected by the internal storage formatting issue (in this topic @Adlerer @Ina_Heikk):

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?

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