Learn how to format and insert or remove the SD card on the Samsung Galaxy A20.
Transfer files- SD card
- From any Home screen, tap Apps.
- Tap My Files.
- Tap Device storage.
- Navigate inside your device storage to the files you want to move to your external SD card.
- Tap MORE, then tap Edit.
- Place a check next to the files you wish to move.
- Tap MORE, then tap Move.
- Tap SD memory card.
- Navigate inside your external memory card to where you want to move the files or folders.
- Tap Move to.
- To copy the file, tap Paste here.
Transfer files- PC
- Using the USB cable that came with your phone, connect the phone to the computer.
- If necessary, on the phone touch the Status bar, drag down to open the Notification screen, tap USB connected, then tap USB for ... notification.
- On your computer, Windows Autoplay will connect to the device. Click Open folder to view files > OK when the prompt appears. Other transfer options may appear depending on what software you have on the computer, such as Samsung Kies, Microsoft apps, etc.
- When the Removable Disk window appears, click Open folder to view files > OK. Multiple file folders (which are on your phone) will appear:
- One folder has files saved in your phone memory.
- One folder has files saved on your SD card.
- Locate the folder that contains files saved on your SD card and click to open it.
- Perform one of the following:
- Move files from computer to SD card
- Locate the files you want to move from your computer.
- Cut/copy and paste the desired file(s) from your computer to your SD card. You can also drag and drop items.
- Move files from SD card to computer:
- Before starting, note that it may be helpful to create a folder on the computer for which to store the files you move from the SD card.
- Locate the files you want to move in the SD card folder.
- Cut/copy and paste the desired file(s) from your SD card to your computer. You can also drag and drop items.
- Move files from computer to SD card
- When done, safely disconnect your phone from the computer (such as tapping the Disconnect from PC option on the phone).
Format SD card
- From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
- Tap Settings > Device care.
- Tap Storage > Menu > Storage settings.
- Tap SD card > Format > FORMAT.
- Wait for the SD card to be formatted, then tap DONE.
Insert / remove SD card
- At the top of the phone, insert the SIM removal tool into the hole on the SIM card/memory card tray, and then push until the tray pops out.
- Place the SD card on the tray. Make sure that the gold contacts face down and the card is placed as shown.
“There is not enough available storage to take a photo.”
Hands up if you’ve ever seen this message, or one like it, on your phone or tablet. We use our mobile devices for so many things while traveling these days, it’s way too easy to run out of space.
By the time you’ve added your favorite apps, saved some maps to use offline, downloaded a bunch of podcasts, and shot a few days worth of photos and video, the storage on older devices in particular is often bursting at the seams. Fortunately, if you’d prefer not to spend a few hundred dollars on replacing what is otherwise a perfectly good piece of technology, there’s a much cheaper option.
Whether you need more space on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device, there are a bunch of simple, inexpensive accessories that can help you do just that.
The Dedicated Gadget
For many people, the simplest approach is the best. Dozens of companies make flash drives that plug into a phone or tablet, typically with an accompanying app. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, with up to 256GB of storage that should satisfy even the keenest phone videographer.
These are our current picks.
Sandisk iXpand Flash Drive
Sandisk is one of the biggest names in portable storage, so it’s no surprise it makes a strong showing on this list. Its iXpand drives come in a range of capacities, with a USB 3.1 port on one end and a Lightning port on the other.
This makes copying files easy, whether you’re sending them between the iBridge and your phone or tablet, or to and from a laptop. The drive is very small and light, and you can choose between two different designs: one with a swivel cover, the other with a loop that sits behind the phone or tablet.
The swivel model can also be purchased with a USB-A to USB-C adapter, so you can connect it to the latest laptops that only come with USB-C sockets.
The simple app works well for moving photos and videos backward and forward between your iPhone or iPad and the iXpand drive. You can also set up automatic backups, and use the app to automatically move new video files straight to the drive after shooting them.Buy on Amazon
Sandisk Ultra Dual Drive
Android owners haven’t been forgotten, with companies like Sandisk making a small range of storage options for those devices as well. Any phone or tablet with OTG (“on-the-go”) support can use these types of gadgets, but it’s worth checking the compatibility chart before you buy.
The Ultra Dual m3.0 drive is the best of the bunch. The retractable design keeps the drive super-small, with a speedy USB 3.1 port for connecting to a laptop, and a micro-USB port that’s compatible with older Android phones and tablets. If you need a USB-C version instead, check out this similar, although larger, model.
The no-frills Memory Zone app works well, although you can use any Android file management app to move your photos and videos around. Write speeds could be better, but you’ll likely only notice if you’re copying hundreds of photos at once.
Overall it’s an inexpensive, easy to use, and reliable way of freeing up much-needed space.Buy on Amazon
The Cheapskate Approach
Speaking of OTG support, if you’ve got a compatible Android phone or tablet, you can connect it to pretty much any USB storage you can find. Plug one end of an OTG cable into the phone, and the other end into a flash drive, portable hard drive, or SD card reader, and you can move files around to your heart’s content using a file manager. I’ve used OI File Manager for years.
It’s a bit clunky, and by the time you add storage, not always much cheaper than buying one of the dedicated devices mentioned above. If you’ll be carrying a hard drive, memory stick, or card reader for your laptop anyway, though, this is a cheap way to also use it with your mobile device. Just be sure to get one that has the right connector (micro-USB or USB-C), and you’re good to go.Buy on Amazon
The Wireless Drive
Looking to share your extra space between a bunch of different gadgets? It’s time to grab a wireless storage device.
Sandisk Connect Wireless Stick
This little accessory looks like an ordinary flash drive, and it can act as one if you need it to. The smarts, though, come when you put the plastic cap back on the end and fire up the built-in wireless network. You can set it to create its own hotspot for other devices to connect to, or tell it to join an existing network if you’d prefer.
For phones and tablets, just download the accompanying app, connect to the right network, and you’re set. That app lets you automatically copy new photos, or you can move files backward and forward yourself as needed. For laptops and other devices, you just use a web browser to connect to the wireless stick and copy files that way.
It’s also possible to stream video directly, which is useful if you’re short on space on your phone or tablet. Coming in sizes up to 256GB, it’s an easy way to store and share files among all your different devices.Buy on Amazon
Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSD
If you need maximum storage space, hard drives still offer the most bang for buck, and a good wireless one will work with a wide range of other devices. There’s not much to choose between most models, but the Western Digital My Passport Wireless is our pick for a couple of reasons.
To start with, it does exactly what it’s supposed to do, simply and well. Copying and accessing files is straightforward, via the My Cloud app on mobile devices, or a web browser on anything else. Like the Sandisk Connect mentioned above, the drive can either create its own Wi-Fi network or join an existing one.
What pushes it above the pack, though, is the extras that come baked in. There’s a 6400mAh battery built into the drive, which lets you run it for up to 10 hours away from a power socket or use it to charge your other devices as needed.
You can plug in a USB-enabled camera to copy files directly from it, and a rare added bonus is the inclusion of an SD card slot. Even if you’re not traveling with a laptop, you can quickly back up your camera’s SD card with the push of a button on the side.
It’s shock-resistant to 3.3 feet/1 meter, and because it’s a solid-state drive, much less fragile than a traditional hard disk. Available in sizes up to 1TB, a pro-level device like this costs more and is much bulkier than a flash drive, but you get plenty for your money.Buy on Amazon
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The Combo Device
Finally, there are various wireless gadgets out there that let you plug in all kinds of storage and share it among your devices. The good ones are combo units with various other features as well, so if you’re in the market for something like this, it’s really a case of figuring out which aspects are most important to you. We particularly like this one, however, and use it all the time.
The RavPower FileHub trades off a bit of size and battery capacity for better networking and extra storage options. With both USB and SD card sockets, you can easily connect whatever storage device you have with you.
Got a spare SD card? Hard drive? Memory stick? Just plug it in and copy away. As with the other gadgets mentioned here, you’ll use the included app for mobile devices, and a web browser otherwise.
You’ll also benefit from the addition of 5Ghz networking, although note it only works when turning a wired network into a wireless one. You can’t amplify an existing 5Ghz network to make it stronger, which is a bit of a shame.
There’s one-touch backup of your SD card to USB storage, and the 6700mAh battery is more than enough to recharge your phone when it’s getting low. You can also stream most video formats from a USB drive or SD card to your mobile device.
It does a lot, and doesn’t cost a fortune. Now that’s a combination we like. There’s a full review here.
Buy from RAVPower
Got any other mobile storage gadgets you’d recommend? Share ’em in the comments!
All images via Amazon.
About the Author
Dave DeanFacebook Twitter
Founder and editor of Too Many Adapters, Dave has been a traveler for 20 years, and a geek for even longer. When he's not playing with the latest tech toy or working out how to keep his phone charged for just a few more minutes, he can probably be found sitting in a broken-down bus in some obscure corner of the planet.
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How to connect USB storage devices to your Android phone
Many of the best Android phones use USB-C ports for charging and transferring files back and forth with your PC, but what if the files you need to email your boss are sitting on a Flash drive or a full-size SD card?
Fortunately, with an inexpensive adapter cable, you can attach a USB key or card reader directly to your handset. You can even get a USB-C flash drive for an even easier process.
Either way, you will need one of these things to get started if you can't upload the files from the storage medium to a cloud storage provider. So here's how to connect your Android phone to a USB storage device.
What you need
- A USB Type-C male to USB Type-A female adapter OR
How to Connect with a USB OTG cable
1. Connect a flash drive (or SD reader with card) to the full-size USB female end of the adapter.
2. Connect USB-C end to your phone
3. Swipe down from the top to show the notification shade. No need to do this if your file manager automatically appears.
4. Tap USB Drive.
You can now browse the files on the flash drive and copy them to the phone storage. If you want to copy from the phone storage to the flash drive, follow steps 5 to 9.
5. Tap Internal Storage to view the files on your phone.
6. Find the file you'd like to share. Hold down on it to select it.
7. Tap the three dots button.
8. Select Copy.
9. Navigate to your USB drive and tap Done to copy the file.
More Android tips
Android is a powerful operating system with many features, but we can help guide you through some of the things you might not know how to do.
For instance, we've also got guides on how to take a screenshot on Android and how to take a scrolling screenshot in Android 12, plus how to change keyboard on Android.
On the apps front, we can show you how to delete apps on Android, and how to update Android apps, while how to clear Android cache could also be useful.
Slightly more niche options include how to record a call on Android and how to scan a QR code on Android, while how to backup and restore text messages on Android should be of use to everyone.
Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. It's hard to nail down one thing that Jordan is passionate about, since his attention span for a single given topic or activity doesn't last long. Jordan tends to lurk on social media, but you can best reach him on Twitter.
• View available storage
• Free up storage
• Remove unused apps
• Clear app data
• Add storage
View available storage
3. Available internal storage will be shown.
Note: External storage will only be displayed when there is a memory card in your device. To view external memory, from the Storage screen, swipe left.
Free up storage
To delete unwanted Documents, Images, Audio, Videos and Apps, from the Storage screen select the desired field > select and hold the desired media > select Delete. Select Move to Trash to confirm.
Note: From the Device care screen, select Optimize now to free up space and optimize available memory.
Remove unused apps
From the Settings screen, scroll to and select Apps then select the desired app. From here, you may Uninstall or Force stop the app.
Clear app data
From the desired app's App info screen, scroll to and select Storage then select Clear data or Clear cache.
Note: For information on storing data to a memory/microSD card, visit the Backup & Restore with a Memory Card tutorial.
Phone storage samsung external
How to connect an external drive to your phone via USB
In case you weren't aware, the USB OTG standard has been around for quite some time. As a USB standard, it allows your smartphone to connect to several peripherals. Over the years, USB OTG has been used for several purposes like flashing ROMs stored on a USB drive, or even trying to connect external hard drives to your smartphone.
USB OTG also lets accessories like mice and a keyboard be connected to your phone. This could be useful in scenarios where your screen becomes unresponsive and you may be required to connect your phone to an external display.
Is your smartphone USB OTG compatible?
To connect a hard disk or USB stick to an Android tablet or device, it must be USB OTG (On The Go) compatible. But how do you know if it is compatible? It's simple, just check the manufacturer's website or the box of your device.
If your smartphone is really old, if you no longer have the box, or if you are not sure of its model number, you can use a USB OTG Checker app for the same. That said, USB OTG is natively present on Android since Honeycomb (3.1) so it is more than likely that your device is already compatible than not.
The app that Nextpit recommends for verifying USB OTG Support is called the USB OTG Checker. It is a free app and you can download it from the Google Play Store
A word about power for larger capacity drives
When you connect an external hard drive to your laptop or PC, the drive itself is powered by your computer. The same is true when you connect your storage to your Android phone. However, most smartphones are not capable of pushing out quite as much power as a computer, and this can lead to problems.
Most smartphones can only provide about 0.5A of power. If your external drive requires more than this, it will simply not work. Hard drives need a bit more juice when starting up. This is because of the motor inside. If you find that your 1TB drive keeps disconnecting, this is probably your issue.
You can solve this problem by adding an additional power source. You'll need to get hold of an adapter that will allow you to connect a power bank as well as the connection to your device. Do this, and you should have no problems connecting your external storage to your Android smartphone. Just make sure you connect the power bank and phone first, then the external drive last.
Advantages and disadvantages of USB OTG
You might already be familiar with USB OTG without knowing its name. Anytime you connect a keyboard or mouse to your Android smartphone, you use OTG technology, and it's no more complicated to connect a hard disk to your smartphone than to connect a mouse to it. That said, there are a few conditions to be sure that your external drive will be recognized.
All USB-compatible devices can be used as long as they do not require an external power supply. In addition, your storage device (hard disk or USB stick) must be in FAT32 format. NTFS media will not be recognized. If your disk/key is not in this format, you can, of course, format it and put it in FAT32 but you will lose any data on it before the reformatting, so be sure to save it somewhere else beforehand.
Buy an OTG USB cable
Once you have determined that your device is OTG compatible, you can continue and go to your preferred store and purchase a USB OTG cable. Try to buy an OTG cable of good quality. It is always a good idea to read some of the reviews before you purchase one online. Beware of cheap quality products and avoid them as much as possible.
Ideally, you should opt for an angled cable like the one shown in the picture below. Do note that you should also pay attention to the type of USB cable when purchasing: if your phone uses a USB Type-C port, the OTG cable should also be on the same type.
Connect your USB drive or accessory to your tablet
Connecting a USB Drive or even a portable hard drive is a very easy thing to do. Connect the OTG cable to your smartphone and plug in the flash drive or hard drive to the other end. In the case of hard drives, most phones should have no problems recognizing them. If you do end up facing issues, it could be because the phone isn't supplying enough power to the drive. In such scenarios, please try the aforementioned power bank technique and try again.
To manage files on the hard drive or USB stick connected to your smartphone, simply use a file explorer. When the device is plugged in, a new folder appears. It is called USBDriveA in general, but this may vary depending on the phone you are using. You may also be asked to grant a one-time permission to access the hard drive.
If you're having trouble finding it, simply tap the slash button ("/") to return to the root of your smartphone. What's the difference from a cloud, you might say? No need for an internet connection, for one.
What other things can I do with USB OTG?
Connect a mouse or keyboard
This is one of the most typical ways to use USB OTG. It's possible to couple your smartphone or tablet with peripheral devices, such as a mouse or a keyboard, which you can then use to control it. There are some restrictions – for example, gaming mice with a billion buttons might not be fully compatible – but for the most part, the basic operations are enabled.
Just plug in a USB mouse and you will automatically see its cursor appear on your display. This is also a great way to use your device if the touchscreen is broken. Alternatively, connect an external keyboard to turn a tablet into a laptop.
Connect a MIDI keyboard
If you fancy making music on Android, USB OTG enables you to connect devices such as MIDI keyboards and controllers, audio inputs for instruments and vocals, and various controllers that can turn your phone or tablet into a serious music-making machine.
Connect a game controller
Enjoy mobile gaming but yearn for a bit more control? Why not connect a gamepad to your smartphone? Using a wired Xbox 360 controller is an easy way to do this: just connect it to your phone with a USB OTG cable, launch a game and it should work right away, no configuration required.
What is your favorite use for USB OTG? Let us know in the comments.
Does Samsung's Galaxy S21 sound the death knell for Android phones with microSD?
Time was, you could peel off the back cover of your phone and easily swap in a fresh new battery and microSD card. Beyond feeling like a double agent in a spy flick, this extra flexibility gave Android phone fans some welcome ammunition to laud over their Apple rivals. Things though, have changed.
Phones today are slimmer, sleeker and more powerful than ever, but we’re also losing more and more features as the years go by. Replaceable batteries are a distant memory, and even the mighty, seemingly immortal headphone jack is all but extinct from modern flagships.
The latest feature in the crosshairs of smartphone evolution? Expandable storage.
That’s right — the microSD slot, beloved by power users and media hoarders alike, is in jeopardy of joining the smartphone feature graveyard. While expandable storage options have become less common in the past few years, it’s the latest release of Samsung’s Galaxy S21 series that could signal the beginning of the end.
It’s reasonable to say that Samsung is seen by many to be the ‘Apple’ of the Android world. Its handsets are widely regarded to offer one of the most premium smartphone experiences around, both in terms of hardware and functionality, as well as price. Not only that, but the South Korean tech giant also tends to jump on board trends that are created by Apple.
Yes, we know, that’s blasphemy in the hallowed halls of the Android Temple, but it’s true.
“It is increasingly evident that expandable storage is disappearing as an option on smartphones,” says Ben Wood, chief analyst, CCS Insight.
“Apple has always taken this approach, obliging customers to buy more expensive, large memory variants rather than a low-cost after-market memory card. With market leader Samsung abandoning expandable memory on its latest S21 smartphones, it looks like this option will follow the 3.5mm headset jack into oblivion.”
Ah, the sorely-missed headphone jack. Remember when Apple killed it off? Samsung released video ads making fun of Apple for it, only to pull them later when ditching the port from its own Galaxy flagship line.
The exact same thing happened when it came to the removal of the previously-included Galaxy S21 charging plug too. While the company has shown it can reverse decisions — it removed the microSD slot in the Galaxy S6 and brought it back in the Galaxy S7 in 2016 — we can’t really see it rebooting the expandable storage franchise ever again.
We’re focusing on Samsung specifically as the company is a fairly reliable bellwether for trends in the Android world. Though we can’t guarantee that other manufacturers will follow suit, it’s pretty likely, especially when looking at the headphone jack removal trend.
At the time of writing, the main flagship-level phones with microSD slots include last year’s Galaxy S20, and Note 20 Ultra, the Sony Xperia 1 II and Xperia 5 II, the LG V60 ThinQ, and the Xiaomi Mi 10i, to name a few major examples.
Backlash or acceptance?
Human beings are fickle, and it could be argued that thanks to the bombardment of 24/7 memes, mind-rotting TikTok videos, and constant news cycles, our memories have never been shorter.
Remember when the idea of removing the headphone jack seemed ludicrous? Ask the average person on the street about that today, and they’ll more than likely barely register the Before Times, trotting on happily with their AirPods or AirPods-esque clones firmly plugged into their ears. The more cynical among us might believe that the death of the headphone jack is primarily motivated by selling wireless earbuds, but that’s a whole other story.
“It will be interesting to see how this trend develops in the long term", says Bill Nagy, independent TMT analyst and consultant.
“Apple faced consumer backlash for removing the headphone jack, but it didn’t have an immediate effect on iPhone sales over the two years following the move. However, Android-based phones are known for their flexibility, a feature that is well regarded by Android users. Increasing removal of the option to use microSD cards, especially by replacing it with cloud storage, is likely to garner a rise out of Android consumers.
"Other Android manufacturers would be wise to assess the market reaction to Samsung’s move to inform their future development cycles.”
It’s likely, then that hardcore Android users — the sort of folks that delve into the world of unlockable bootstraps, custom ROMS, and frequent various Android forums — may choose to boycott microSD-less Samsung phones, but they make up a tiny percentage of sales.
Not only that, but OnePlus (a company widely regarded to be catering to Android enthusiasts), has never offered expandable storage, and still seems to have a positive following. That remains true for the brand new OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro.
Do you even need expandable storage?
Today, you could quite convincingly argue that most people don’t need expandable storage. Thanks to the wide availability of cloud storage solutions like Google Drive and Photos, you can easily store your files and media online, saving the space on your phone for apps and any media files you want immediate access to (such as episodes of your favorite show to binge-watch on a long flight).
Beyond that, there’s also the fact that despite advances in technology, microSD transfer speeds remain much slower than your phone’s in-built NVMe storage, which provides much snappier, smoother performance. Yes, that’s a little geeky, and won’t really interest the casual user, but it’s a point worth mentioning.
The problem, however, lies in the fact that we’re seeing things like 8K video recording become more common in new handsets. If you’re a keen videographer, you’ll be chewing through on-board storage in no time. In addition, services like Google Drive and Google Photos are no longer completely free — you need to fork out a monthly fee once you go past your free 15GB storage limit.
You could (convincingly) argue that removing expandable storage options is a way for companies to push their own cloud storage solutions in future, like the likes of the Samsung and OnePlus cloud services, to list a few examples. If you haven’t already spotted it, this could result in the headphone jack/wireless headphone upselling situation all over again.
On a far less subtle level, this also allows companies to follow the Apple method of pushing higher capacity devices at higher price points.
“Ultimately it means that if you want a smartphone with a large capacity you need to opt for a more expensive model rather than increasing the memory at a later date with a memory card,” Wood states.
This is all conjecture of course. Maybe Samsung will bring back expandable storage along with the headphone jack in a nostalgia-laden retro product throwback.
Perhaps manufacturers will make phones a little thicker to give us bigger batteries, that can also be swapped out again. Hell, we might even see phones with removable covers like the good old Nokia days.
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Looking for a phone with a microSD card slot? You'll want to stay away from Samsung's new Galaxy S21 line. Having been present on earlier Galaxy S phones, Samsung is finally dropping the microSD card slot for expandable local storage on its latest devices. (Here are CNET's Galaxy S21 review and Galaxy S21 Ultra review.) Although the move is not completely surprising -- Samsung didn't include the option on last year's Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Z Flip foldables -- it does mean you will need to be more thoughtful in choosing how much storage you want your new phone to have when you buy it.
Now playing:Watch this: Our first look at the new Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus
"Over time, SD card usage has markedly decreased on smartphones because we've expanded the options of storage available to consumers," the South Korean electronics giant said in a statement. Samsung starts the base storage for its entire S21 line at 128GB, with a 256GB option available for just $50 more. Those looking to maximize their storage, however, will need to pony up $1,380 (£1,329, AU$2,149) for the S21 Ultra, which is the only phone available with 512GB of storage.
Although a number of Android phones now ship with 128GB of storage space as the default option, rival Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Mini still start at 64GB of storage. Only the pricier iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max models have a base storage of 128GB, though Apple never supported expandable storage for its phones.
For those looking to offload files, Samsung notes that its new phones support the latest wireless technologies including 5G and Wi-Fi 6E, which should lead to faster uploading and downloading of files saved on cloud storage platforms like Microsoft's OneDrive and Google's Drive.
Discover the latest news and best reviews in smartphones and carriers from CNET's mobile experts.