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Adoptable Internal device storage - Moto X Pure Edition, Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)

Adoptable Internal device storage - Moto X Pure Edition, Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)



Android Version 6.0 (Marshmallow)
 introduces Adoptable Storage, which enables a user to set up the SD card as internal storage and store applications, their data, and media on an "adopted" SD card.

Android Version 6.0 no longer uses the Apps 2 SD Motorola feature which enabled the user to move applications to an SD card. The Adoptable Storage feature provides a much richer experience by Android.


What is the difference between Portable Storage and Internal Storage?

What kind of SD card is best with the Android Version 6.0 (Marshmallow)?

How do I set up the SD card as Adoptable Internal Storage?

How do I move applications and media (photos, videos) to the Adopted SD card?

What happens to the applications, media, video, and photos that are on my SD card when I upgrade to Android 6.0?

I used Motorola's Apps2SD feature to move some applications to my SD card; can I still use these applications after the Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) upgrade?

After I adopt an SD card as internal storage, can I use this card in another device or my laptop?

How can I protect my data on the adopted SD card?

What if I change my mind about how I want to use the SD card for storage?


What is the difference between Portable Storage and Internal Storage?

When you insert an SD card for the first time in an Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) device, the device will prompt you to choose to use the card as Portable Storage or Internal Storage.

Portable Storage

Internal Storage

Select Portable Storage if you frequently swap your SD card between devices or use your SD card for media storage only (photos, videos, music).

Select Internal Storage if you want to completely extend your existing device storage with the SD card and need the card to store large applications, games, and their data.

Select Portable Storage if you have a Class 2, 4, or 6 card.

Select Internal Storage if you have a high-speed card (UHS-1).

Select Portable Storage if you frequently swap cards, use SD cards to transfer content between devices, and do not download many large apps.

Select Internal Storage if you want to store large games on the card, if your device storage is always filling up, and if you plan to always keep this card in the device.

Downloaded applications and their data are always stored in Internal Storage. They cannot be moved to a Portable SD card.

The card is readable by other devices (another phone, Mac, PC, digital camera).

Content on the card is not encrypted by default.

A Portable card will not require an automatic re-formatting of the card.

If the card is over 32 GB, may require a re-format.

Downloaded applications, their data and media can be moved to the Adopted card, as long as the application developer allows for this feature with their application.

The card is not readable by other devices. (another phone, Mac, PC, digital camera)

The card is always encrypted and cannot be decrypted on any other device.

An Adopted card will be formatted when Internal Storage is selected.

IMPORTANT: Motorola recommends setting up the SD card as Internal Storage if the device has 8GB or less of storage. 

If you prefer to setup the SD card as a Portable card, please visit Portable Device Storage - Moto X Pure Edition(Android 6.0)


What kind of SD card is best with the Android Version 6.0 (Marshmallow)?

We recommend use of a high-speed card such as a UHS-1 type for your device. Class 2 and Class 4 micro SD cards are not recommended for adopted internal storage usage. The performance of these cards is typically 10x slower than internal storage performance.

High speed cards are identified by these logos:

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While formatting a card for adopted internal storage use, Android will perform a set of speed tests. If the card is too slow, you may encounter a dialog during the adoption process advising that you may encounter device performance issues with that card.  In that case, we advise you to upgrade to a UHS-1 card before continuing.


How do I set up the SD card as Adoptable Internal Storage?


  • Tap Setup SD card > Internal Storage (If there are applications currently installed on the SD card, you will need to move these back to the internal storage before formatting the SD card.)


  • Once it's ready, the SD card will be formatted, encrypted, and usable as device storage.


  • After formatting, the Move Media app will prompt you to move data currently on your device internal storage to the SD card's adopted internal storage. This step will move selected content to the SD card.

How do I move applications and media (photos, videos) to the Adopted SD card?

Once a card has been formatted as internal storage, both the device internal storage and the card will show up as "device storage" under storage settings, and applications can be moved back and forth between the two.

To access storage settings and move media and applications, touch Settings > Storage > select SD card > select the three dots in the upper right > Settings > Move Media.

You can also move applications to the card by selecting Image > Settings > Apps > select Application > StorageStorage location > SD card.

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Once an application has been moved to the SD card, Play Store will install applications on either storage volume automatically, based on a set of rules provided by the application developer (you will be able to move applications from one volume to another). If the application developer has not provided the correct set of rules for automatic installation to the SD card, each time applications update, you will need to move them back to the SD card.

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IMPORTANTUpdates for applications that are stored on the Adopted SD card will not automatically update to the SD card and depends on the rules the application developer has set up. Once the update has been installed, you may need to go back in to the Internal Storage and move the app back to the SD card.



What happens to my current applications, media, video, and photos that are already on the SD card when I upgrade to Android Version 6.0 (Marshmallow)?

When you adopt the SD card as Internal Storage, you will need to move any current applications or media on the SD card back to device's internal storage before formatting the SD card.  After formatting, the device will prompt you to move data currently on your device internal storage to the SD card's adopted internal storage. This step will move all media, pictures, and documents to the SD card.


I used Motorola's Apps2SD feature to move some applications to my SD card; can I still use these applications after the Android 6.0 Marshmallow upgrade?

Yes, applications which were moved to your SD card will still be available after the upgrade; but you will not be able to move other applications to the SD card without 'adopting' it, as described above.


After I adopt an SD card as internal storage, can I use this card in another device or my laptop?

No. The card must be kept in the device. Another device (laptop, camera) will not be able to view the content on the card.  If an adopted SD card is removed from a device, the system will request that the card be reinserted; you will lose access to apps and data on the card until it is safely re-inserted.

IMPORTANT:  If an SD card set up as internal storage is removed from the device, it can cause card corruption.  There is no guarantee that, upon re-insertion, the device will still be able to read the card as it contains a unique encryption key. 


How can I protect my data on the adopted SD card?

We recommend you make sure important content (contacts, movies, pictures, media) and apps are backed up to the cloud.

The lifetime of an SD can vary depending on its manufacturer and class. We see a large variety of cards, each with different properties. If you decide to use an SD card for internal storage, it will typically have lower life span expectations than embedded device storage. Perform regular back-ups to the cloud to ensure you don't lose important data in the event of SD card failure.


What if I change my mind about how I want to use the SD card for storage?

To access storage settings, touch Settings > Storage > select SD card > select the three dots in the upper right > Settings > select whether you want to Format as Internal or Format as Portable, depending on what was initially formatted.

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