Google Play Store: How to Change App Download Location Settings

Key takeaways:

  • You can change the default download location for apps in the Google Play Store
  • Changing the download location can help free up storage space on your device
  • The process varies slightly depending on your Android version and device manufacturer
  • You can move apps to an SD card if your device supports it
  • Using a file manager app can make it easier to manage your app downloads

Why Change Your App Download Location?

By default, when you download an app from the Google Play Store, it gets saved to your device’s internal storage. This can quickly eat up your available space, especially if you have a lot of apps or a device with limited storage capacity.

Changing the default download location for your apps can help you:

  • Free up internal storage space
  • Take advantage of expandable storage if your device has an SD card slot
  • Better organize your apps by keeping them separate from other files

How to Change the Download Location

The exact steps to change your app download location may vary depending on your Android version and device manufacturer. However, here’s a general guide that should work for most users:

  1. Open the Google Play Store app on your device
  2. Tap the three-line menu icon in the top-left corner
  3. Select Settings from the menu
  4. Scroll down and tap App download preference
  5. Choose your desired download location:
  • Internal storage (default)
  • SD card (if available)
  1. Confirm your selection

If you don’t see the “App download preference” option in your Play Store settings, try the following alternate method:

  1. Open your device’s Settings app
  2. Go to Apps & notifications (or Application Manager on some devices)
  3. Find and tap the Google Play Store app
  4. Tap Storage
  5. Tap the Change button next to “Storage used”
  6. Select your desired download location and confirm

Moving Existing Apps to a New Location

Changing the download location only affects new app installations. If you want to move your existing apps to the new location, you’ll need to do so manually. Here’s how:

  1. Go to your device’s Settings
  2. Tap Apps & notifications (or Application Manager)
  3. Find and tap the app you want to move
  4. Tap Storage
  5. Tap the Change button next to “Storage used”
  6. Select your desired location (e.g., SD card) and confirm
  7. Repeat for any other apps you want to move

Keep in mind that not all apps support being moved to an SD card. In some cases, you may only be able to move part of an app’s data, while the app itself remains on your internal storage.

Using a File Manager App

If you find the built-in Android settings a bit cumbersome for managing your app downloads, consider using a dedicated file manager app. Some popular options include:

  • Files by Google
  • Solid Explorer
  • ES File Explorer

These apps provide a more user-friendly interface for browsing your device’s storage, moving files between locations, and managing your app downloads. They can also help you quickly identify and remove any unnecessary files or duplicates that may be taking up space.


Changing your app download location on the Google Play Store is a simple but effective way to manage your device’s storage and keep your apps organized. By following the steps outlined above or using a handy file manager app, you can easily customize where your apps are saved and make the most of your available storage space.


Can I move apps to my SD card on any Android device?

Not all Android devices support moving apps to an SD card. Your device needs to have an SD card slot and allow for this feature in its settings. Some devices may also limit which apps can be moved based on developer settings.

Will moving apps to my SD card free up internal storage space?

Yes, moving apps to your SD card can help free up space on your device’s internal storage. However, keep in mind that some apps may still store data or cache files on the internal storage even after being moved.

What happens if I remove my SD card after moving apps to it?

If you remove your SD card after moving apps to it, those apps will no longer be accessible on your device. You’ll need to reinsert the SD card or move the apps back to internal storage to use them again.

Can I set my SD card as the default download location for all apps?

On most devices, you can set your SD card as the default download location for new app installations. However, this setting may not apply to app updates or data files, which may still be stored on your internal storage.

Will changing my app download location affect app performance?

In general, apps stored on an SD card may run slightly slower than those on internal storage due to the difference in read/write speeds. However, the performance impact is usually minimal and outweighed by the benefits of freeing up internal storage space.