How to Move Apps to SD Card in Windows Phone 8.1; Do they Perform well?

Starting with Windows Phone 8.1, it is now possible to move apps to SD card just like Android. The primary reason wasn’t because it was available in the competition ecosystem but Windows Phone has devices with low storage space i.e. 8GB or future devices which may even go as low as 4GB.

Prior to this update, it was not possible to move an app or game to SD card restricting users on the count of apps and games they can have on their phone. Games occupying more than 1 GB space were impossible to download on these phones.

How to Move Them to SD Card :

While you cannot just long press and move them to SD card, you should use the Storage Sense to accomplish this.  Storage Sense is a new inbuilt app of Windows Phone which allows you to manage apps on Windows Phone including moving them to SD card.

Single App:

  • Search and open Storage Sense.
  • Tap on phone, then apps + games. Wait for the apps to get listed.
  • Tap on the game or app you want to move to SD card.
  • Select Move to SD

Multiple Apps:

  • Instead of selecting an app, hit the menu bar and choose multi-select icon.
  • This will bring up the checkboxes right next to each box.
  • Select and hit move to SD Card.

Next, it will take you back to apps+games listing with a shadowed sub title “moving” and it will be gone. To confirm, switch to SD card and you would see the app listed there.

There are two important things here. One, you should have enough space on SD card. Second, both app data and app will be moved.

Video Demo

How to Move Apps to SD card

Directly Installing Apps to SD Card from Store:

This happens in two cases. One, when you are low in space on phone storage, the store prompts if you would like to store on the SD card. An option appears here which allows you to set this as default. Second, you can permanently set to install on SD card by going to “Storage Sense > Change where you store your music, photos, apps and more.”

Game Performance Report:

  • Phone : Nokia Lumia 820.
  • Available Storage Left : 2.92 GB
  • RAM : 1 GB
  • SD Card : Kingston, Class 4, HC & 8 GB
  • Game : Asphalt 8 Airborne which occupied 1.41 GB

I played the same game in the same arena and with the same car both on SD card and the phone storage. Here are my remarks:

The game installation takes a lot of a time. It took me about 15 minutes to install it on this SD card. Also since I was downloading directly to the SD card from the store, even download was slow. My suggestion would be to first download to phone storage, if you have the space and then move to SD card.

The game load was slow when you do it for the first time and its slow by only 3-5 second compared to storage. After the game load was complete, switching between the apps running on phone storage and with the game was quick. No delays here.

The game play was smooth but occasionally you will see bit of frame drops and lags. However, they don’t kill the experience because you wont find it slow at all. If Asphalt 8 heat did not get slow on SD card I am sure you wont find any other game taking down the user experience.

Game Play Video:

Watch on YouTube


That said, we would like to hear from you. What is your experience with SD card? Which one do you use, which games you have moved and played along? Was it lagging ? Was the installation slow and so on. Do share in comments.

A die-hard fan of Windows, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Phone and Xbox, Loves to Do Video reviews on Windows Phone Apps, Games, Xbox Games, Xbox Tutorials.


  1. some apps getting slow. and when we press the start button the sd card installed apps icon loading slow

  2. I played Power cricket T20. After moving game to SD card, i noticed a dalay once in my half hour gaming. But overall performance was good

  3. Hey Narendra, Yes its going to be better but my idea was that class 4 should work just fine. I would need to figure how this works on phones with 512MB ram

  4. Well.. I am actually surprised because the news media read that an SD card of a minimum of Class 6 will be required. So not really an issue if it shows signs of being slower with class 4.Atleast it works :D

    Let us know the performance on 512MB devices aswell :)

  5. News Media as in like online articles? If yes than I yeah I heard the same and I went ahead with my experiment. They always recommend higher class but if Asphalt 8 works fine, should not be an issue with anything else.


  7. Hello. When I change SD card to be the place to store app after download from the stote. I cannot download any other. If I turn it back to the phone, everything becomes as normal. Can I ask why?

  8. My Watsapp is not working after I moved the data for it to my SD card. Whenever, I tap the watsapp icon, it goes in and returns on the main screen within a second.

  9. You were able to move that app to SD card? For me it always installs on phone storage. Can you move to phone storage and check.

  10. i cant move apps form phone memory to SD card…all kind of apps, can u give me some solution?
    my phone is Lumia 535

  11. Ok here is what you need to do.

    1. Open Storage Sense from the App List.
    2. Select Phone > Apps + Games. This will now show you the list of apps and games installed in Phone memory.
    3. Now tap on any of the app and select the option “Move to SD”.
    4. If you want to move apps directly to SD as you install new apps. Go to Storage Sense Main Screen.
    5 Scrol a little and look for an option which says “Store News on my” and select SD card as option.


  12. hello…I noticed that the pics and videos don’t be saved on SD card despite that the SD card is empty and has space more than 8 gigabytes….and also didn’t be saved on phone too …just in WhatsApp message….how can I fix this problem….thanks for reply

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