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Sindy@Amazon posted

How do I store my app on a user's micro SD card?

By default, your Android applications are installed to the internal memory of a device. The problem with that approach is that most devices have limited amounts of internal storage and that space quickly fills up with applications. Several games can easily take up all available space, as games are often very large in size they occupy on disk. Constant reminders that their storage is full can easily frustrate users. Fortunately, most Amazon Fire devices have a storage expansion slot that users can use to optionally add a microSD card of their choice and store their data on it.

As a developer you can take advantage of that, by specifying a preferred install location for your app or game. If a user doesn’t have a microSD card on their device, your app will install into the internal storage, as usual. When however, users have an expanded storage, they can opt to install your app to that location instead. We strongly encourage you as a developer to take advantage of that option, especially since it requires only 1 line in your Android manifest to implement.

The ‘installLocation’ attribute is normally absent in the AndroidManifest.xml file, but if you add it to the top ‘manifest’ element and specify its value as “preferExternal”, it will enable your application’s users to choose where they want to install your app (internal memory or the expansion microSD card):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<manifest xmlns:android=""

We strongly believe that this simple change can result in a better experience for your app’s users, higher satisfaction, retention and more favorable reviews and ratings of your app. Users love choice and you as a developer have the power to provide them with that choice.

Keywords: application installation location, microSD storage


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Sindy@Amazon contributed to this article levonl contributed to this article