Solve your storage problems on Samsung Galaxy S5 with Adoptable Storage

One of the most annoying things on my Samsung Galaxy S5 is the fact it I am running out of internal storage capacity all the time. Every time I was cleaning the cache or trying to move apps to the SD card, but each time an updated was installed the apps were back on my internal storage again.

To solve the storage problem which a lot of Android users experienced, Google introduced the Adoptable storage feature in Android 6.0. With this feature, you can add SD-card storage to your internal storage. But unfortunately, Samsung didn’t enable this feature on their devices.

Luckily I came across an article where they described this process for the Samsung Galaxy S7 (here) and as posted on XDA people confirmed it working on their Samsung Galaxy S5 as well. So I tried it myself and here a description how you can do it as well.

So let’s get started. Make sure you a working SD-card installed in your device. A warning: Within this process, you will lose all the data on your SD-card, so make sure you make a backup of it if the data currently stored on it is worth something to you!

First you need adb installed on your computer. Adb is a Android Debugging Bridge, which you need for this process. Adb is included within the SDK Android tool, which you can download here on the android website. If you have a separate installation of adb then that should work as well. Make sure you install it.

Then you need to set your device to USB debugging mode. If you haven’t used it before, you first need to enable. Go to Settings -> About this device and there you’ll find the build number. No rapidly start pressing build for about ten times until a popup appears. Now you can go back own menu and you’ll find a menu item, named Developer Options. Press this item and you’ll find an option USB debugging. Make sure this item is checked, if not click it and choose to enable it.

Now you can connect you phone to your computer. As long as you have adb installed it doesn’t matter if you have a Windows or a Mac. Start a command prompt in Windows or a terminal session on Mac. Now type:


adb devices

To so the devices which are connected. If this is the first time that you use adb on your device, then you will be prompted on your device to allow the pc. Choose to allow it.

Make sure a device is listed otherwise you need to check if your device is properly connected and the drivers are installed.

Now type:


adb shell

Which well let you enter a shell session. Now list the available storage devices, with:


sm list-disks

This should give you a respond like:


partition:179:160

The numbers can vary, but make sure you note this. Because you will need these numbers! Now you have an option to fully adopt your storage to your internal storage or to keep 50% as external storage.

For fully adopted storage type:


sm partition disk:179,160 private

For 50% type:


sm partition disk:179,160 mixed 50

Press enter and wait a few moments. When your prompt completes you can type exit to leave the session and you can disconnect your phone. Now go to settings -> Storage. Here you will see the storage listed as device storage. And if you chose the 50% option, then you’ll see a removable storage as well. To complete the process you can migrate your data. To do this click on SD-card and you well get a summary of the data that is used. You can now click on the three dots in the upper right corner and choose “Migrate data”. This will move data to your now your SD-card.

Enjoy!

6 reacties:

  1. Hi

    Thanks for your tutorial. I followed the steps and everything went very well. Yet I have a question regarding the final amount of storage dispayed by the phone in the storage screens. I have a phone with 16 Gb of internal memory and a 32 Gb SD card. Now that I’ve merged everything, the phone displays that I’m using 35+ Gb out of 64 Gb :0
    Do you have any explanation for such a result ? Do you still read the comments on your blog ? 😉

    Thx!

    1. I’ve noticed it myself as well that the total storage doesn’t match with the actual storage in the device after doing this trick. I guess this is a bug with in the Samsung version of Android. Remember this is more or less a hidden feature which isn’t enabled by default on Samsung phones.

      1. Thanks for your answer ! OK I’ll live with it. It doesn’t prevent me from sleeping 😉
        So far the performances of my phone are good. Once again, thanks a lot for the article

  2. Hey Menno,

    De command: “sm partition disk:179,64 private”
    Doet helemaal niks, en geeft gelijk een blank invoer regel.
    Dit is op Android 6.0.1

    Is deze ‘hack’ nog werkende of heeft Samsung hem gepatched?

    1. Hi Tim,

      Wat is de output die je krijgt bij het uitvoeren van het commando: “sm list-disks”? Komt het deel “disk:179,64” overeen met de output van de list-disks? Heb je controleert op je telefoon of hij inderdaad de opslagruimte niet heeft vergroot?

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