Home > Tutorial > How to get Apps 2 SD Working for ALL apps in Android 2.2 AKA Froyo for Unrooted Nexus One Only

How to get Apps 2 SD Working for ALL apps in Android 2.2 AKA Froyo for Unrooted Nexus One Only

When froyo was out, there was no way to get the apps to install to SD unless the developer explicitly allows it. Fortunately, there’s a way to manually enable the apps2sd feature. Take note that I will not be held responsible for anything that happens to your phone if you follow these instructions, but they were fully tested on my own phone and it works great. This is only for unrooted Nexus One only.

1. Get the android SDK for 2.2 froyo (google it)
2. Install the SDK
3. Follow the instructions here: http://theunlockr.com/2009/10/06/how-to-set-up-adb-usb-drivers-for-android-devices/, for those using Windows 7 (like myself), get the usb drivers there (there’s a link to it), install it via your system hardware tab in Win 7.
4. On your phone, go to settings > applications > development > usb debugging -> enable it.
5. Plug in your phone to your usb cable, make sure it is turned on like how you would normally transfer files to your SD card.
6. Go to the android SDK\tools folder in your C: with start -> run -> cmd
(ex: cd\android-sdk-windows\tools when in CMD mode)
7. Type adb devices, make sure there’s something like:

List of devices attached
HT********* device

shown in the list. If yes then you have installed the drivers correctly, otherwise, go back to the page in step 3 and install the drivers properly again. Then try again.
8. After that, type adb shell in the command prompt (CMD)
9. then type pm setInstallLocation 2 (this is case sensitive, type it exactly with the case).
10. You should get something like this after typing it in:

$ pm setInstallLocation 2
pm setInstallLocation 2

11. You may then verify that the command was executed properly by typing:

$ pm getInstallLocation
pm getInstallLocation

12. Once done, type exit to exit the adb shell. Then type adb kill-server and press enter. This will kill the daemon, if you dont kill it, you wont be able to disconnect your usb via windows “safely remove usb” option.

After that is done, you may remove your usb cable from your phone and try to install some apps that are large in size, games such as raging thunder works best. After installing, you can go to settings -> applications -> manage apps and go to the apps on sd to check if the app/game is indeed in the sd. You will notice that the space shown there is the ACTUAL amount of space used by the app in your memory. So in short, not all the space will go to the SD card, but MOST of it will. For example a 5 mb game may have 1mb in memory and remaining 4mb in the sd card, so you still have lots of space. Do this for most of your apps and you will have LOTS of free space on your phone memory!

Take note that for widgets and keyboard replacements you SHOULD NEVER EVER use the apps2sd feature. Always set your location back to default by typing:

pm setInstallLocation 0 in the adb shell to revert back to the default storage method, then you may install your widgets/keyboard replacements. Then when you want to install apps to the SD, just do pm setInstallLocation 2 again. I have rebooted my phone a few times and the apps still stays there in the launcher, so far no issues. Take note that as you have more and more apps installed to your SD, it will take a LOT longer for the apps that have been installed to SD to appear on your homescreen or in the app drawer, just be patient and wait, they’ll be there. Hope guide this helps!

BTW this works for apps in the market too. Some apps may go into force closed mode, if it does, try it with the default install location (0) and install the app again.

Categories: Tutorial
  1. July 8, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Nice post. I know Bernie of CodeAndroid.my did an application on this but it seems that his site is currently down (and with it, the ModInstall APK). Anyways, do note that some newer FroYo custom ROMs have this functionality built-in to emulate a faux-A2SD. So you might need to consult the documentation if you’re using custom ROMs. Here’s a good reference on what should not be installed to external storage :-


  2. July 8, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Yes, you’re right, Custom Roms already have a variant of the A2SD, but this article is actually targeted at non-rooted N1 devices only, so I’ve updated the page a bit to inform readers that its meant for unrooted devices only. Thanks for the reference guide 🙂

  3. July 11, 2010 at 6:22 am

    I found an alternative way to get the ModInstall apk from Bernie (his site is still down). First go to its GitHub repo here:-

    Then click ‘Download Source’. Choose either ‘zip’ or ‘tar’ (whichever you’re comfortable with). Open the archive and the APK will be in the ‘bin’ directory. Install that to the phone and you can execute the setInstallLocation command through this application.

    • July 11, 2010 at 8:05 am

      Cleave -> Does this work on unrooted devices?

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