Get adoptable SD Card storage on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, no root

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Get adoptable SD Card storage on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, no root


Samsung’s devoted following has a saying among them: “Samsung giveth, and Samsung taketh away.” Lo, for it was with great joy that the people greeted the Samsung Galaxy S6, bedecked with glass and metal and splendor, but the Korean smartphone manufacturer frowned upon its followers saying, “Thou art no longer worthy of removeable batteries or microSD storage.” And so the people wept. But then, a new ray of hope in 2016: the Samsung Galaxy S7, alive with both of these long-missed features gratefully returned. “But no adoptable SD Card storage,” said Samsung, lest we forget our place.

What we’re talking about here is the ability to have your smartphone consider expandable storage a partition of its internal storage. Although it’s nice to have this semi-permanent storage, the downside is that, once your SD card is formatted for this, you can’t just drop files, photos, and video onto it, then pop it out and move that data to another device with a card reader.

In spite of the playful image I portrayed above, Samsung disabled adoptable storage not to keep us humble, but rather because t hey believed their primary userbase would be more interested in portable SD cards . This decision has upset a few of the more hardcore members of the Android community, but behold a hero has risen. Modder Paul “MoDaCo” O’Brien has figured out a way to enable adoptable storage on the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge.

Although the method may confound casual smartphone users, it doesn’t look particularly complex. No rooting is required, and any careful user willing to read the relevant documentation should be able to pull off this ROM adjustment fairly easily. All you need is a PC andAndroid Debug Bridge .

Since this method doesn’t require rooting, what we can infer from this is that Samsung didn’t actually disable adoptive storage on a system level. They just took the option out of the UI. To use this hidden capability follow these stages :

1. BACK UP THE DATA YOU HAVE ON YOUR MICROSD CARD. Your card will be formatted by this process, so make sure you have saved any pictures, videos etc. from your card to your PC before you start.

2. Decide how you want to split your card. You can either commit 100% of the card to internal storage, or split between internal storage and conventional SD. This option is useful if you like to unplug your card and put it in your PC. I would probably recommend committing the whole card.

3. Open your command window / terminal on your computer and type the 'adb shell' command (with your phone connected of course). You will need to enable USB debugging in developer settings (which in turn is displayed by tapping the build number of the device 5 times) in order to see the option.

4. Type 'sm list-disks' to list the disks available for adoption. It'll look something like below - take note of the disk ID (disk:179:160 in this example).


5 . Partition the disk. For this we use the 'sm partition DISK TYPE RATIO' command. For example, to partition the disk above as fully adopted storage (aka private) I'd use the command 'sm partition disk:179:160 private'. If I wanted a 50/50 split between adopted and regular, I'd use the command 'sm partition disk:179:160 mixed 50'. Easy right?

6 . This process will take a while, but when it's done, the Settings > Additional Settings > Storage view on your device should show the new Internal Storage. Note that, for some reason, the total space isn't reported correctly as you can see in this image, however everything seems to work OK. When you install apps, they will generally install automatically to the storage with the most space available, although you can manually move things around if you want to, perhaps for performance reasons (the real Internal storage will likely always be a bit faster).


7. If you want to see another view of how you are doing for space, you can use a third party tool such asFreeSpace orFreeSpace Plus .


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