SHIELD - Increasing your storage with Android Marshmallow

Answer ID 4025
Published 01/28/2016 05:57 PM
Updated 09/15/2016 09:54 AM
SHIELD - Increasing your storage in Android Marshmallow

How to Increase your Storage

New in Android Marshmallow, SHIELD users can increase their storage space for apps and games by setting up SD cards or USB drives to replace their current internal storage.

This new feature replaces the 'Auto-Move to SD card' feature previously available on SHIELD, making it much easier to store large games on your SD card. With the old feature, games would need to be installed to internal storage first before being moved to SD card. Now you can save games directly to your SD card without needing to worry about also having enough space on internal storage. In addition, unlike the previous feature, all games can now be stored on your SD card. Finally, USB drives can now be set up to store apps and games.

What to know before you get started:

1) When you format an SD card or USB drive as internal storage, it becomes encrypted to your SHIELD and can no longer be used interchangeably with other devices such as personal computers or cameras.

Alternatively, you can set up your SD card or USB drives as removable storage for sharing files, however, you cannot install apps and games to removable storage. If you use a USB drive to share content between SHIELD and a PC, you should set it up as removable storage.

2) When you format an SD card or USB drive as internal storage, it effectively replaces your current internal storage. You will no longer be able to use storage space on your existing internal storage for installing large game files. As a result, make sure the new storage space is larger than your current internal storage. SHIELD Pro (500 GB) users will most likely want to use SD cards and USB drives as removable storage.

Warning for SHIELD Pro users: If you previously installed apps and games to an SD card that has less storage space than your 500 GB internal storage, it is recommended to move those apps and games back to internal storage and set up your SD card as removable storage. If you set up your SD card as internal storage, you will no longer be able to use your 500 GB of internal storage for installing large game files.

3) Only one external storage device can be set up as internal storage at a time.

4) Make sure to use a microSD card with a Class 10 speed rating or higher or a USB 3.0 drive. Slower SD cards or USB drives will result in lower performance in apps and games.

Note for advanced users: New apps and games will prefer the new storage device for installation unless the app requires the .apk file to install to internal storage. Large .obb files will always install to the new device storage.


 

Setup Steps for New Storage Devices:

1. Insert a microSD card with a Class 10 speed rating or higher or a USB 3.0 drive. Make sure the new storage device has more storage capacity than your current internal storage.

2. Select 'Set up as internal storage' to format the storage device.

3. Select 'Move now' to complete the set up. This step is mandatory in order to set the new storage as internal storage. It will move data files from internal storage to your new storage device.

Setup Steps for Existing SD Cards:

Note: If you're already using an SD card for app and game storage, it will need to be reformatted in order to be used it as internal storage. SHIELD will help you save your existing data prior to reformatting and then copy it back to your SD card. Alternatively, you can choose to continue to use it as removable storage; however, you will not be able to install additional apps or games to it.

Warning for SHIELD Pro users: If you have installed apps and games to an SD card that has less storage space than your 500 GB internal storage, it is recommended to move those apps and games back to internal storage and set up your SD card as removable storage. If you set up your SD card as internal storage, you will no longer be able to use your 500 GB internal storage for installation of apps and games.

1. Install SHIELD Experience Upgrade 3.0 (Android Marshmallow). Your SD card will be detected and you will be prompted with two options: Set up as internal storage or Set up as removable storage.

2. Select 'Set up as internal storage' (SHIELD 16 GB users only)

3. Before your SD card is formatted, SHIELD will copy your current data to internal storage. If there is not enough room on internal storage to perform this step, attach a USB drive with enough free storage. This step may take more than an hour depending on the size of the apps and games installed.

If you do not have a USB drive, you have two options:

a. Select Cancel and manually move important apps or games from SD card to internal storage (as space allows). Focus on apps or games that have personal customizations or game saves. Remove SD card and move other important data to a PC (files other than apps and games like video, photos, etc.). Then, continue with set up and format in Settings > Storage & reset. All data left on SD card will be erased.

b. Select Cancel and continue to use the SD card as removable storage (all install apps and games will continue to work); however, you will not be able to install additional apps or games to it.

4. Select 'Move now' to complete the set up by moving data files from internal storage to your SD Card. The SD card will not be usable as internal storage until the data is moved.

Advanced FAQ

Q: I own SHIELD Pro and already have 500 GB internal storage. Should I use this feature?

A: If you own SHIELD Pro, it is not recommended to set up an SD card as internal storage since it doesn't make sense to replace your 500 GB of storage with less storage from an SD card.

Q: Can I upgrade to Android Marshmallow and continue to use the 'Auto-move to SD card feature' available in Android Lollipop?

A: No. In Marshmallow, storage for new apps and games needs to be encrypted. You can continue to use your SD card 'as is', however, you will not be able to install or move additional apps and games to it. Users should find that the new feature makes it much easier to take advantage of an SD card for game storage and it also extends the feature to USB drives.

Q: Can I unplug my storage device after formatting as internal storage?

A: This is not recommended since the storage device is formatted to not work with other devices. To safely unplug, first eject from Settings > Storage & reset > Eject. Failure to eject will cause applications to crash.

Q: After formatting as internal storage, an app fails to launch. What can I do?

A: First reboot your SHIELD. If the app still fails to launch, go to the Google Play store to see if the app has an Android Marshmallow update. For example, Asphalt 8 requires an app update for M. Open the Google Play Store > My Apps and install any pending updates.

Q: App or game performance is slow. What can I do?

A: Internal storage will provide the fastest performance for apps and games. If you choose to use a microSD card or USB drive as internal storage, make sure to use an SD card with a Class 10 speed rating or higher or a USB 3.0 drive.

Q: Where are the storage locations in a File Explorer?

A: The contents of the current user-defined internal storage can be found at /storage/emulated/0/.

The other storage location can be found as a subfolder named "InternalStorage", "SDCard", "USBStorage", "SanDisk" or such depending on the type of storage.

Q: Does the encryption slow down the read/write speed of my SD card or USB drive?

A: Performance differences between internal storage and SD cards or USB drives should be very minimal as long as a microSD card with a Class 10 speed rating or higher or a USB 3.0 drive is used.

Q: Can I access the encrypted SD card or USB drive by connecting my SHIELD to my PC?

A: Yes. If you set up your SD card or USB drive as internal storage, the contents of the storage can be found at /storage/emulated/0/. The other storage can be found as a subfolder named "InternalStorage", "SDCard", "USBStorage", "SanDisk" or such depending on the type of storage.

Q: Can I change my storage location back to SHIELD's internal storage after using this feature?

A: If you have enough free space on SHIELD's internal storage, you can move data back to internal storage and start using that location again as the default place for app and game installations. Go to Settings > Storage & reset and select 'Internal Storage. Then select "Move data now."


 

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