Moving apps to external SD on ZTE Sonata 3

Another user has posted this question in the past month with no response. I'm hoping reposting it may illicit some additional attention.

All previous phones I've had through Cricket allowed me to manually move all apps to my SD card. It had an actual option called "Move to SD Card" under the app settings. However, on the Sonata 3, this feature no longer exists. I can choose to make my SD card my preferred storage device, but that only works for pictures, video and additional media. It does not allow apps to be downloaded to my SD card.

I have searched for over an hour on how to resolve this, and short of rooting my phone (f that) it doesn't seem to be able to be solved. I've got to be missing a simple fix. How can we be in 2016 and a newer phone than I've previously had doesn't have a simple way to move apps? Wouldn't phone companys WANT their users to have as much internal storage as possible to encourage more app purchases and downloads? It doesn't make any sense...

Please, for the love of god, help me.


  • musicdjmmusicdjm United StatesPosts: 3,126 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer

    Welcome to The Z-Community ​ here is some more info on your issue.

    There are two ways to use an SD card with your device. In the past, Android has traditionally used all SD cards as portable storage. You where able remove the SD card from the device and plug it into your computer or another device and transfer files, like videos, music, and photos, back and forth. Your Android device will continue working properly if you remove it.

    Starting with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, though, some phones can use SD cards as internal storage as well. In this case, your Android device “adopts” the SD card as part of its internal pool. It’ll be treated as part of your internal storage, and Android can install apps to it and save app data to it. In fact, since it’s considered internal storage, any type of app can be installed to the SD card–including apps that provide widgets and background processes. Unlike older versions of Android, it doesn’t matter whether the developer has disabled the “move to SD card” permission or not.

    However, when you use an SD card as internal storage, Android formats the SD card in such a way that no other device can read it. Android also expects the adopted SD card to always be present, and won’t work quite right if you remove it. For this reason many companies have not included Adoptable storage but rather allow you to use the SD to save those file which take up the most space which is typically photos/ videos and music. The only way to move some apps is to download an app like App to SD card and it will allow you to move any apps that the developer has allowed to make movable

  • My SD card remains grayed out.  It still calls itself portable storage & won't let me format it as anything else... It's useless & now so is this lame phone

  • rchbrmd53rchbrmd53 Racine, WisconsinPosts: 7

    I have to agree there, this phone should never have gone to production unless it was revamped to be useable. If the only thing you want a phone for is making calls and an occasional text or two, then this phone is for you, but if you want extended functionality such as a few apps and surfing with the occasional download or two to watch a movie or your favorite show without getting space error messages, stay well clear of this one. ZTE should offer everyone that has one of these a new phone and compensate them for the service they lost. Sorry if i'm to blunt, but that's just me.

  • I got this phone from Cricket and since I cannot use the external storage for anything other than pics and similar this has to be the worse phone EVER.

    Is there a way to use the SD card as internal storage? If not, what is the use of having the SD card to begin with?

  • rchbrmd53rchbrmd53 Racine, WisconsinPosts: 7

    The SD card is basically just extended storage. It adds to the storage capability and gives you more capacity,  but the way it's set up, you cannot actually store to the card.  You can add another 32GB which will stop your error messages, but you can't directly store anything to the card.

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