Android Fix

Fixed: Unable to Move Files to SD Card Android

by Sophie Green   Updated on 2021-12-22 / Update for  Fix Android

Although Android phones have become increasingly popular, they come with their own set of technical issues. One of the common issues faced by several Android phone users is that they are unable to move files to their SD card.

Generally, Android phones come with a limited space in their phone but they offer the convenience of an SD card slot. Through this slot, you can free up the space in your phone memory by transferring the files to the SD card. However, when you are not able to do so, the storage space becomes limited and that is just the beginning of several other issues on your phone. Here are a few ways in which you can tackle the problem of being unable to move files to SD card Android.

1. Check Your SD Card is Inserted Properly

First thing you need to do is check if the SD card has been inserted properly into the slot. To be sure, you can take out the SD card from the slot and again put it back properly.

2. Check If the SD card Has Read or Write Error

One of the reasons why you can't move files to SD card is a read and write error. One way to check if this error is the reason behind you being unable to move files to SD card is to set your phone camera to store the images and videos taken from it directly to the SD card. After this, you can try to click a few photos. If there is no error shown in your phone, the SD card does not have any read or write error.

3. Check If SD Card Is Damaged

Although the SD card these days is pretty robust, you cannot completely rule out the possibility that it may be damaged for some reason, due to which you failed to move to SD card.

You can either check this by physically examining the card, or you can even unmount the card from your Android phone and make your computer read the card. If your computer shows up a prompt that you need to reformat your SD card, it may be damaged.

4. Reboot Your Android Device and Try Again

If the above steps suggest that your SD card is, in fact, working well and not damaged, try rebooting your Android device. Many times there may be a minor technical glitch that would be causing the problem, which can be easily rectified by rebooting the device. Before troubleshooting the problem, try restarting your phone and then move on to the more complex solutions.

5. Check the SD card Available Space

If there is no free space on your SD card, it is impossible for you to move any file to it. This is why you need to first ensure if your SD card has enough space or not. You can also try to move one file first, and if you are successful in doing so then you can move the other files in small parts.

If the process gets interrupted midway, your SD card might be out of memory due to which you might be unable to move pictures to SD card.

6. Try Another SD Card If All Failed

If none of the above solutions seem to help you out, the only option you have is to buy another SD card and use it instead. If the new SD card does not show any issue once inserted, then the issue is with the previous SD card.

Bonus Tip. How to Recover Lost Photos on Android without Backup?

When you are trying to troubleshoot the issue of you being unable to move files to SD card, you may end up losing some photos from your Android phone. It can be an issue if the photo you lost is an important one.

If you are ever in such a situation, one of the best ways to recover the lost photos is by using a tool like Tenorshare UltData for Android that has been specifically designed to help you recover accidentally deleted or lost photos from your Android device. You can use this program in the following way to recover your lost photos.

  • Once installed, launch the program on your computer and then click on “Recover Lost Data”.

    unable to move pictures to sd card
  • Once done, connect your Android device to the computer. Enable USB debugging by following the steps given on-screen.

    failed to move to sd card
  • Check the box in front of “Photos” and click on “Start”.

    can't move files to sd card
  • Preview the photos, select the ones you wish to recover, and then click on “Recover”.

    unable to move files to sd card android

You will be notified once the photo recovery process is done.


Whenever you can't move files to SD card Android, you can make use of any of the solutions given above. While doing so, if you happen to lose out on some important photos, you can easily recover deleted photos from Android phone memory using Tenorshare UltData for Android, which is one of the most recommended tools for file recovery in Android devices.