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How to move files to SD card

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Have you decided to transfer some important files to a memory card, so that you always have them available on various computers, smartphones and tablets? Good idea! The SD cards , in fact, can be used like any USB stick with the possibility of being able to fit into many smartphones or tablets, where it is not always possible to use a stick (if not via adapters, often uncomfortable).

Speaking of which, if you are looking for a method to move files to SD card , know that you are in the right place at the right time. In fact, below I will show you the most effective methods to transfer your files to a memory card starting from both a portable device and a computer.

Don’t worry: this is a very simple operation and does not require special computer skills. I am sure that, by following my tips, you will be able to do it better. So, it’s time to grab your memory card and set aside a few minutes of free time to transfer as many files as you deem necessary to it. I just have to wish you good reading and good work!

Preliminary information

How to move files to SD card

Before delving into the main theme of this guide and showing you how to move files to the SD card , it is good to give you some clarification on the formatting of the same. At present, there are three file systems “candidates” for use on microSD: FAT32 , exFAT and NTFS , each suitable for a specific usage scenario.

  • FAT32 : is the file system with the highest compatibility. SD cards formatted in this way can be read smoothly by Android, iOS / iPadOS, Windows and macOS. This file system, however, has one major limitation: it cannot store files larger than 4GB. It also provides for a high data fragmentation (therefore, over time, the performance of the unit, in the absence of adequate defragmentation, tends to decline).
  • exFAT : is the evolution of the FAT32 file system, which eliminates the 4 GB limit and is compatible with all the operating systems for smartphones, tablets and computers mentioned above.
  • NTFS : This is a proprietary file system from Microsoft, which can be read without problems on Windows and some recent editions of Android. On macOS, on the other hand, it is possible to access NTFS formatted SD cards for read only (unless you install specific drivers or software), while on iOS and iPadOS it is not possible to use this file system.

So, in summary, I advise you to format the SD card in FAT32 , if you do not intend to store files larger than 4 GB and you want to guarantee absolute compatibility with all devices (including TVs, consoles, DVD / DivX players and so on) ; if you plan to use the SD / microSD card mainly on Android, iOS / iPadOS, Windows and macOS, prefer formatting in exFAT instead; finally, if you are sure you have to use the card exclusively on computers animated by Windows, easily format it in NTFS.

In case of doubts or problems, I refer you to reading my guide on how to format a microSD, in which I have given you all the necessary information; if, on the other hand, you do not yet have a memory card on which to store data, take a look at my in-depth analysis dedicated to the purchase of a new microSD.

How to move files to SD card: Android

How to move files to SD card: Android

After clarifying the matter of formatting the memory card, it is time to explain to you how to move the files stored in the Android memory to it .

To start, insert the microSD card into the device: in most cases, simply remove the side door, using the paper clip provided “supplied” with the device, position the memory card in the appropriate slot (making sure to respect the correct direction) and insert the flip back into the device.

After a few moments, Android should recognize the memory card and make it available for file storage; if required, tap the notification relating to the insertion of a new memory card and choose to use it as portable memory , by pressing the appropriate button (if you choose to set the microSD as main memory, you will not be able to remove it from the device and use it on other devices ).

Now, open a file manager, such as Google Files (which should already be present on your device; if you can’t find it, you can still download it from the Play Store at no cost) and, if necessary, allow access to the device’s memory, by pressing the appropriate button. Next, tap on the Browse button located at the bottom (the folder- shaped icon ), then on the Internal memory item and reach the folder that contains the files to be transferred to the SD card.

How to move files to SD card: Android

Now, make a long tap on the first of the elements of your interest, to enter selection mode , and tap on the previews of all the other files to be moved (if necessary). Once selected, press the (⋮) button located at the top right, choose the Move to item from the menu that appears on the screen and tap the Continue button to move the files to the SD card.

If it is the first time you perform this operation, tap on the Continue , Allow access to SD card and Allow buttons , in order to authorize the Google app to view and modify the contents of the memory card.

If, for some reason, you cannot – or do not want to – download the Google Files app, you can use any file manager available on the Play Store or on the reference store of your device (eg Solid Explorer ), or use the ” pre-installed file management app on your smartphone or tablet: below I show you how to transfer files to an SD card using the default file managers of some of the leading manufacturers of Android smartphones and tablets.

How to move files to SD card: Samsung

How to move files to SD card: Samsung

To transfer files from the internal memory of a Samsung device to the SD card installed inside it, you can use the Archive app , pre-installed on all the devices produced by the South Korean company.

So, tap on the application icon, present on the Home screen or in the drawer of the device (it is identified by an icon in the shape of a white folder on an orange background ), tap the Internal memory item and access the folder that contains the files to transfer.

Now, make a long tap on the first of the elements of your interest, to enter the selection mode and, if you wish, put the check mark on the preview of the other files to be transferred; when you are done, press the Move button to put the app in transfer mode .

At this point, tap the Browse button which, in the meantime, has appeared at the bottom of the screen, tap on the SD Card option and open the folder destined to host the files (to create a new one, press the button (⋮) located at the top right and then on the item Create folder attached to the menu that appears). Finally, tap the Move Here button and that’s it.

How to move files to SD card: Xiaomi

How to move files to SD card: Xiaomi

Xiaomi smartphones also have an integrated file manager , accessible by tapping the appropriate icon (generally a white folder on a blue background ) visible on the phone’s Home screen, or in the drawer. After starting it, tap the folder icon located at the top right, next to the magnifying glass, then select the directory that contains the items to be moved and put the check mark next to each of them.

Once you have made your choice, press the Move button , tap the SD card item resident in the screen that appears immediately after, tap the name of the folder to which you want to move the files (you can create a new one by first pressing the (…) More button and then the New folder item ) and finalize everything by touching the Paste button , located at the bottom.

How to move files to SD card: Huawei

How to move files to SD card: Huawei

If you use a Huawei device , in particular, you can use the File Manager app , installed “as standard” in the operating system and accessible through the icon residing on the Home screen, or in the app drawer.

After opening the application, tap on the Local tab and then on the option relating to Internal Memory , then reach the folder that contains the files to be moved and enable the selection mode, by making a long tap on the first element of your interest. Then, choose the other files to copy by tapping on the respective previews and tap the Move button , visible at the bottom.

Once this is done, return to the first page of the Local tab , tap on the SD Card option , open the folder where you want to copy the files (you can create a new one on the fly, using the New folder button visible at the bottom left) and start the file transfer by tapping the Move button , also located at the bottom. It was very easy, wasn’t it?

How to Move Files to SD Card – iPhone and iPad

How to Move Files to SD Card - iPhone and iPad

As for the iPhone and iPad , the matter is a little different: the smartphones and tablets produced by Apple, in fact, do not support the insertion of SD or microSD cards into them.

However, if your device is updated to iOS 13 / iPadOS and, therefore, supports external USB memories, you can easily remedy the problem by “transforming” the memory card into a USB key, using a special adapter. In this regard, I advise you to prefer those compatible with USB 3.0 technology, to avoid any problems related to power supply.


Now, if you have an iPhone or a non-Pro iPad model, you will need to purchase a second adapter, to be used to convert the “standard” USB-A connector into a Lightning output .

Also in this case, to avoid problems due to insufficient power supply, opt for a device with both a USB 3.0 input and a second Lightning input, through which to connect it to the mains (iPhones, without external power support, are in capable of powering only USB sticks that require a current amount of less than 100 mA).


If, on the other hand, yours is an iPad Pro with a USB-C input , only get a microSD to USB-C adapter , useful for transforming the memory card into a USB stick equipped with the connector compatible with iPad Pro.


After you have obtained the necessary material, insert the microSD into the USB adapter , connect the latter to the second Lightning adapter (if provided) and connect the iPhone / iPad to the adapter you are using. If necessary, connect the USB-Lightning adapter to an external power source, using the iPhone / iPad charging cable .

Following this operation, the device should notify you of the presence of a new external memory, inviting you to open it with the File app ; all you have to do, at this point, is to open the file to transfer, tap the iOS / iPadOS share button and choose to save the photo to File . Finally, select the external USB memory as the save path.

If, on the other hand, you are only interested in transferring photos, you can use a special key with a Lightning connector , designed specifically for iPhone and iPad; to avoid compatibility problems, make sure that the key you choose is MFI certified (or made for iPhone ).


Once you have the device, get the companion app by downloading it from the App Store (generally it is free), run it and follow the instructions you see on the screen, to transfer the images to the external memory.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide you with specific information on the steps to follow, as each device requires the use of an app that is different from the others; generally, the necessary instructions are provided during the first start-up of the app, within the welcome tutorial. More info here.

How to move files to SD card: computer

How to move files to SD card: computer

Do you need to transfer some files stored on your computer to the SD card ? No problem: Windows and macOS are able to manage this category of memories, like a common USB stick.

In this regard, you will be pleased to know that many laptops (and some desktop computers) have an integrated SD (SDXC) card reader , usually located on the front or side of the device, on laptops, or on the side of the device. front of the case, for desktops (in the latter case, you may also find a port dedicated to microSD, as well as the one for SD cards).

If there is no input of this type on your computer, you can easily remedy the problem by purchasing a USB stick , that is a sort of “key” with a slot for inserting an SD / microSD card, or an SD HUB a USB , that is a device capable of hosting memory cards of different types and, if necessary, other USB devices.

Before buying anything, pay attention to the type of USB input on your device ( USB-A or USB-C ) and base your choice on this parameter.


Once you have the adapter that best suits your case, connect it to your computer using the USB connector , insert the SD / microSD card into it and wait for the operating system to recognize the external memory. At this point, you just have to use the built-in functions of the operating system to transfer the files inside.

  • Windows : right-click on the file or folder of your interest, select the Send to item from the proposed context menu and click on the name of the memory card / USB adapter, to finalize the copy.
  • macOS : right-click on the file or folder of your interest and select Copy from the context menu that appears. Now, double-click on the microSD / USB adapter icon visible on the Desktop (or on the same icon in the Finder sidebar), go to the folder where you want to paste the files, right-click on an empty spot on it and choose the Paste item , from the proposed context menu.

In case of doubts or problems, I refer you to reading my guide on how to transfer data from SD card to PC, whose indications are also valid for transfers in the opposite direction.