Basics

Use an SD card to add space

Are you running low on storage space and needing to add more? Or do you want to share some media files using a memory card? You can do both of these things if your Windows Phone 8 has a microSD memory card slot and you have a microSD card.

Notes

  • Whether or not your phone has a microSD card slot depends on your phone's make and model. If your phone has one, the slot might be on the side of your phone or on the back underneath the battery cover. Check your phone's documentation or the manufacturer's website for more info.
  • SD memory cards come in a few different physical sizes. If your phone can use one, it'll use a microSD card (which is the smallest one) and appear as SD card on your phone.
  • To copy files to the card while it's still in your phone, you need to first connect your phone to your computer using a USB cable.
  • Some PCs have a regular SD card slot. If yours does and you have a microSD card adapter, you can insert the microSD card into the adapter, and then insert the adapter into the SD card slot on your PC to copy files to the card that way too. You can also copy files if you have a USB memory card reader that has a microSD card slot.

To store any new pictures, music, or videos on your SD card

  1. Find the microSD card slot on your phone, and then insert the microSD card into it.

  2. In the SD card found message box, tap Yes to store new pictures, videos, and music on the card from now on.

    New pictures or videos you take, as well as new music or podcasts you download, will be stored on the memory card.

Notes

  • You can check your storage space from your phone or the Windows Phone app. To learn more about storage categories and space on your SD card, see Storage on my phone.
  • To view pictures that are on the card, go to the Photos Hub. To play music, videos, podcasts, go to the Music + Videos Hub.
  • You can change your storage settings at any time to choose between storing things on your memory card and storing them on your phone. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Phone storage, and then change the settings for Store new music+videos on and Store new pictures on.
  • The storage settings are based on the individual SD card. So if you insert a different SD card, the SD card found message box will appear again.

To manage pictures on your SD card

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Phone storage.

  2. Tap the SD card bar, then tap Pictures.

  3. Tap Manage. You'll be taken to the Photos Hub, where you can manage your photo collection.

To manage music and videos on your SD card

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Phone storage.

  2. Tap the SD card bar, then tap Music + Videos.

  3. Tap Manage. You'll be taken to the Music Hub, where you can manage your media files.

Notes

  • You can manage other files on your SD card by connecting your phone to your PC and using File Explorer (called Windows Explorer in some versions of Windows) to add, move, or delete content.
  • To manage pictures, music, and videos on your SD card, your phone needs to have Windows Phone software version 8.0.10501.127 or later. See How do I update my phone software? for more information on updating your phone.

To safely remove the SD card from your phone

Before you take the card out of your phone, make sure you remove it from your phone first by tapping the Remove SD card button. Afterwards, you can use the card somewhere else, such as on your computer or on another device.

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Phone storage.

  2. Tap the SD card bar.

  3. Tap Remove SD card > Yes to confirm.

  4. In the Safe to remove message box, tap OK, and then take the card out of your phone.

Warning

If you don’t tap the Remove SD card button before taking the SD card out of your phone, it can cause problems with the card itself or with files on it. In some cases, you might see the SD card problem message box when you reinsert the card. If that happens, you'll need to insert the card into your PC to fix the problem. To learn more, see this Microsoft Support article about fixing SD card problems.

To format the SD card

You can format the SD card in your phone to erase files on it and start fresh. WARNING: All your personal files and everything else on the SD card will be erased.

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Phone storage.

  2. Tap the SD card bar.

  3. Tap Format SD card.

  4. Tap Yes in the Format SD card? message box to confirm and format the card.

Warning

Everything on the SD card will be erased and the card will be formatted.

To copy a file to an SD card in your phone

  1. Connect your phone to your PC using a USB cable.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • If you're using Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP, open Windows Explorer from the taskbar.
    • If you're using Windows 8, go to Desktop view, and then open File Explorer from the taskbar.
  3. Under Computer, click your phone's name, then click SD card.

  4. To move files between your phone and your PC, right-click the file you want to copy and click Copy.

  5. Right-click in the folder you want to move the file to and click Paste.

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