How to Add External Storage to Amazon Fire Tablets

Amazon Fire tablets are great affordable options for streaming media, reading ebooks, browsing the web, and more. However, one downside of these tablets is their limited internal storage capacities. The entry-level Fire 7 tablet only comes with 16 or 32GB of built-in storage. Even the higher-end Fire HD 10 tablet maxes out at 64GB.

Fortunately, most Fire tablets allow you to easily expand the storage using a microSD card. Here is everything you need to know about adding external storage to your Amazon Fire tablet.

What You Need

To add external storage to your Fire tablet, you will need:

  • An Amazon Fire tablet (5th generation or newer)
  • A microSD card
  • A small screwdriver or SIM card removal tool (to open the microSD card slot door on some models)

The maximum supported microSD card capacity varies by Fire tablet model:

  • Fire 7 (9th Gen): Up to 1TB
  • Fire HD 8 (10th Gen): Up to 1TB
  • Fire HD 10 (9th Gen): Up to 512GB
  • Fire HD 10 Plus (9th Gen): Up to 1TB

I recommend using a fast, high-capacity microSD card from a reputable brand like SanDisk, Samsung, or Lexar. A card with high read and write speeds (Class 10, UHS-I, V30, A2 rating) will provide better performance. A 128GB or 256GB card offers ample storage for most needs.

Inserting the microSD Card

The first step is physically inserting the microSD card into your Fire tablet:

  1. Turn off your Fire tablet by holding the power button and tapping “Power off”
  2. Locate the microSD card slot on the edge or back of the tablet
  3. Insert the SIM card removal tool into the small hole next to the slot to pop open the cover
  4. Gently slide the microSD card into the slot with the gold contacts facing down until it clicks into place
  5. Close the slot cover

Note: The Fire HD 10 (2021) uses a pinhole eject mechanism instead of a slot cover. Consult your device’s documentation for exact instructions.

Setting Up the microSD Card

Once the card is inserted, you need to set it up properly within your tablet’s settings:

  1. Turn on your Fire tablet
  2. Swipe down from the top and tap on the “SD card detected” notification
  3. Tap “Use as portable storage” or “Use as internal storage”
  • Portable storage: Store files to transfer between devices
  • Internal storage: Expand space for apps/games
  1. Follow prompts to allow formatting if necessary

I generally recommend using the card as internal storage to maximize usability. This allows you to seamlessly install apps and games directly onto the card.

Managing the microSD Card

In Settings > Storage, you have granular control over how your Fire tablet uses the microSD card:

  • Tap the card name to see details like total/available capacity
  • Tap “Apps and games” to move installed apps to/from the card
  • Enable/disable automatic storage of photos, videos, etc. on the card
  • Eject the card before removing it from your Fire tablet

The microSD slot makes it easy to carry around files, expand your storage for more apps/games, or offload photos from your Fire tablet. Follow the steps in this guide to start enjoying major storage gains on your Amazon Fire tablet!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about adding external storage to Fire tablets:

What file system does the microSD card need?

Amazon Fire tablets only support the FAT32 file system on external cards. When you insert a new card, your Fire tablet will ask to format it to FAT32 before use.

Can I store Kindle books on the microSD card?

Yes, you can set your Fire tablet to automatically save Kindle books to your expansion card. However, those books will only be accessible on devices logged into the same Amazon account.

What happens if I remove the microSD card?

If you used the card as internal storage for apps and games, removing the card can cause issues. Always properly eject the card in Settings before removing to avoid potential data loss or corruption.

Why can’t I move some apps to the card?

A handful of apps do not support installation on external storage cards. There is nothing you can do to force these apps onto microSD cards.

Do I need to buy a Made for Amazon microSD card?

No, Amazon Fire tablets work with any compatible microSD card ‒ you don’t need to buy a special Made for Amazon branded card. Just make sure it matches your tablet’s supported capacity and speed ratings.

How do I recover photos after formatting the card?

Unfortunately, formatting the microSD card erases all data on it. Unless you backed up the photos and videos beforehand, there is no way to recover media from a reformatted Fire tablet expansion card.

So in summary, picking up a speedy microSD card enables you to inexpensively overcome the storage limitations of your Amazon Fire tablet. Follow the steps above to insert the card and integrate it with your tablet’s storage system. Let me know if you have any other questions!