Do you have an Amazon Fire tablet? If so, did you know you can install apps directly to an SD card connected to your tablet? That’s right.
Since some Fire tablets only have 8GB of built-in storage, you’ll need to be selective about storage. You can’t install every app you want, nor can you save every video or music track you come across.
But with an SD card, you can add up to 1 TB of storage space to your tablet and install as many files as you want. You can even use it to expand your internal storage and create space for more apps.
This article shows you how to use an SD card with a Fire tablet running Fire OS 7.3.1 or later.
Using an SD card with a Fire tablet
Amazon Fire tablets are an excellent option for people on the go. They are affordable, lightweight and compatible with all major streaming services. But like other modern mobile devices, Fire tablets aren’t perfect.
If you have a Fire tablet, chances are you’re running out of storage space after downloading and installing essential apps. This can be especially inconvenient if you use your device to store content.
While you could transfer some files to an external hard drive, that would mean giving up instant access to your favorite videos, music, or apps. There would also be the inconvenience of connecting your tablet to a computer via a compatible USB cable when you want to store something externally.
Add an SD card to your Fired HD tablet and your fortunes will change instantly!
An SD card is an inexpensive way to add extra storage space for music, videos, apps, and other types of content.
Adding an SD card to a Fire tablet
One of the best things about the Fire tablet is the ease and convenience of adding an SD card. You will see later how to use the card as internal storage or as a mass storage device. Installation is easy. Here’s how to do it.
Here’s how to do it:
- Turn off your tablet by holding down the “Power/Sleep” button for two seconds and choosing “Power off”.
- Locate the SD slot on your tablet.
- Insert the pointed object into the cover covering the card slot to pry it open. You can use your fingernail, a knife or a flat screwdriver to do this. It is important to note that the door trim will not completely detach from your appliance. Instead, it turns down.
- Gently push on either side of the card to insert it into the slot until you hear a click sound.
- Close the door trim by gently moving it to its initial position. This prevents dust accumulation in the slot.
After taking these steps, your device should detect the SD card and indicate that unrecognized or unsupported storage is connected.
Using an SD card for storage with a Fire tablet
When you connect an SD card to your tablet, the system does not recognize the format and detects it as an “unsupported storage device”. With just a few steps, your device is ready to use.
If you tap the “unsupported storage device” notification, you will see two options:
- Use for additional tablet storage
- Use for portable storage
If you use your card for extra storage, you can install and host apps on it, but you can also store media on it. This allows you to free up space on your tablet’s built-in storage. On the other hand, you immediately lose access to any apps or files hosted on the card once you eject it.
Therefore, only choose the first option if you are sure that you will not have to remove the card very often.
If you choose the second option, you won’t be able to use your card to host apps. You can only use it to store music, movies and other media files.
Let’s take a look at the specific steps required to set up your card for each type of storage.
How do you use an SD card for portable storage with a Fire tablet?
If you only want to use your card to store media files, do the following:
- Once your tablet detects the card, tap “PORTABLE STORAGE”.
- At this point your tablet will ask you if you want to format your device. To do this, follow the instructions on the screen. You can skip this step if the card contains files you want to keep.
- Navigate to your tablet’s settings and tap “Storage”.
- Select “Internal Storage” to open a list of the apps installed on your device, starting with those that have taken up the most space.
- Scroll down until you see ‘SD card storage’. Below that you should see a series of toggle switches that allow you to specify the items you want to download to the card. These options are as follows:
- Download movies and TV shows to your SD card
- Download music to your SD card
- Store photos and personal videos on your SD card
- Download audiobooks to your SD card
- Download books and magazines to your SD card
By default, all the above options are enabled. If you don’t want to use your card for any of the options listed, simply flip the switch next to it to the “off” position.
After that, all downloaded files will be saved on the card. Remember that you will immediately lose access to everything stored on it if you remove the card.
Using SD cards as internal storage
If you want to use the card to host apps or store files, follow these steps:
- Select “Use for additional tablet storage” when your tablet detects the card. Otherwise, if the card is already used for portable storage:
- Open settings”
- Select “Storage”.
- Scroll down to “SD card storage” and tap “Format as internal storage”.
- Open settings”
- Follow the on-screen instructions to format your card.
- After your card has been formatted, your tablet will ask if you want to move the contents directly to the card or move it later.
- If you choose to “move content”, media files will be immediately transferred to your card, including music, movies and videos. However, no apps are moved.
- If you choose “move content later,” you can move files whenever you want, but the added benefit of this option is that you can move both files and apps.
To move apps to your SD card, do the following:
- Navigate to your tablet’s setting and tap “Storage”.
- Tap “Internal Storage”.
- Under ‘SD card’, tap ‘Move apps to SD card’.
At this point, your Fire OS will evaluate the apps that can be transferred directly to your card. However, apps that cannot be placed on your card remain in your tablet’s built-in storage.
Fire your way to bigger storage
The Fire tablet is an excellent device for reading books, playing games and watching movies on the go. However, it comes with limited storage space, so there may not be room for all your favorite files and apps.
However, with an SD card you can add a whopping 1 TB of storage that you can use as you see fit.
However, SD cards have some drawbacks. For example, some apps may run slower when installed on external storage. In addition, apps transferred from your built-in storage to the SD card cannot be restored. You can only download them again.
Nevertheless, an SD card can help you put more apps on your device and eliminate the need for external hard drives.
Have you tried using an SD card with a Fire tablet? What was your experience?
Let us know in the comments below.