Adoptable Storage: All you need to know

Google had announced Android 6.0 a.k.a. Marshmallow in May 2015 at Google I/O and was officially released in October 2015. Along with the new features that came with it, adoptable storage confused users the most. Many wondered what it actually was.

SD cards are a big help when it comes to increasing your phone’s storage. But, what if I told you that you could now use your SD card to increase your internal memory. Thanks to Google it is now possible to add an SD card and increase the total internal memory of your phone. When external storage media is adopted, it’s formatted and encrypted to only work with a single Android device at a time. Because the media is strongly tied to the Android device that adopted it, it can safely store both apps and private data for all users.

Storage and USB

You need to be careful though because once an external storage is adopted, you can’t just remove it whenever you want. It’s obvious that you can remove it manually but that’ll only cause the apps and services to crash on your phone while it prompts you to put it back in. Once that SD card is used as an adoptable storage, it won’t work on any other device until you format it again. If you opt to use your SD card as an adoptable storage then your system will first format it using the Ext4 file system and encrypt it with a 128-bit key size.

If however, you choose to use your SD card for something else, you’ll first need to move the apps back to the internal memory of your phone to prevent your apps from breaking up. After that you can go to the SD card menu in settings and format it as “portable”, meaning it’ll now work on other devices.

Adoptable Storage

Image showing Adoptable Storage feature

Why should you opt for Adoptable Storage?

Well, the perks are not many but can certainly prove to be of great significance. Using adoptable storage will not only increase your phone’s internal memory but also save you from the trouble of moving apps to the SD card whenever you are running out of space. All those games that require several gigabytes to run will find their way easily onto your newly adopted storage. And the best part about it is that you won’t even have to worry about running out of space.

Also read: Why smartphone manufacturers prefer Internal Storage over External Storage? 

Why should you NOT opt for Adoptable Storage?

The reasons are pretty clear in the aforementioned paragraphs. The first reason being that you won’t be able to use it on any other devices. You won’t have the freedom to remove it whenever you want. You’ll have to buy an SD card that has a good amount of memory. Also, make sure that it’s of the highest available class to prevent slowing down your device. When you decide to use your card for another purpose, you’ll first have to move the app data onto your internal memory. If there isn’t enough space on the internal memory to store all that data, you’ll have to bid adieu to that data once you format your card.


Concluding this, I’d say that it’s great to use adoptable storage if your phone has a low internal memory. But for others with a good enough amount of internal memory, I’d suggest you stick to portable storage. Most of you might have photos, music, and other articles and would not want apps and other data to eat up that storage.

Ashutosh Ghodasara

Ashutosh Ghodasara is a blogger from India. He is currently pursuing his bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering alongside diploma in photography. Honest, friendly, direct, respectful and patient are some of the words that describe him as a person.

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