How to save photos to SD card from your Android phone

Did you know that you can save the photos you take with your Android phone directly to the SD card? If you’re rocking an old school Galaxy S3, a fancy LG G5 or a sleek new Galaxy S7, you can save storage space on the phone itself by pushing your snaps straight to the SD card. Some versions of Android don’t officially let you do this, but it’s still possible. Read on to find out how.

Save photos to SD card on Marshmallow

The first thing you need to store images directly in the external memory is an SD card. Insert it into your phone, open the camera application and a message will appear asking if you want to change the storage location to the SD card. The same popup occurs on most devices when opening the camera app after inserting an SD card. Agree to your phone’s request and all future pictures will be stored in the external memory card. Simple.

If by some chance this message doesn’t appear, or you have an SD card in your phone already, you need to configure it manually. To do this, you go to Settings in the camera app and scroll down to Storage. That’s where you are able to choose between Device and Memory Card.

Be aware, that on Marshmallow, you now also have the option to format an SD card as internal storage, meaning your photos will automatically be stored on it without doing any of the above. But if you do this, the card will only work on the phone you formatted it on. That means you have to connect your phone to a computer via USB if you want to manually transfer files. The card itself will not be recognized by any other devices.

What happens with Android 4.4 KitKat?

Android 4.4 KitKat doesn’t like SD cards so much and images are saved in the internal memory by default with no easy way to change the save location. One simple solution is to download the MX Camera application in which you’ll find options to select the storage destination for pictures. The app is able to override KitKat’s preferences.

Simply open the application and go to Settings, then Camera and finally Custom save location.

What happens in Android 5.0 Lollipop?

Android 5.0 Lollipop changed things again, making it easier to set the save location for photos (as well as safer). Apps once again have read and write access to directories on removable storage. All you need to do is make sure your phone has a camera app with an API that makes use of the new permissions. If your stock camera won’t let you save to the SD card, you can download a different camera app. Check the settings in the app and look for a storage option.

What happens on Samsung devices?

Things are made pretty simple here. Just insert an SD card and open the camera app. All being well, you will presented with a window offering you the option to use the SD card as your storage option of choice.

If you don’t happen to see this window, then you can open the Settings menu in the camera app (the gear icon) and scroll down to Storage location, press it and selected Memory card. Job done.

Do you save your photos to the SD card? What do you feel are the benefits and dangers? Let us know in the comments.

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