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Be forewarned, this article is just a bit long!
OK, so you’ve recently purchased the HTC 10 and have picked out (or plan to pick out) a microSD Card to expand the memory of your device. Maybe you intend to use the MicroSD Card to supplement the G5’s memory of 32GB and add on an additional 64GB to bring your total on-board memory to 96GB, or perhaps you’re just looking for a space to store your music, pictures, and videos. Whatever the case is, there is one thing you need to think about if you’re intending to merge the MicroSD Card storage with your already-existing storage on your HTC 10: Does it support Adoptable Storage?
Sound familiar? I wrote a similar blog for the LG G5, which you can find here that explains more details about adoptable storage that may not be below. If you have the HTC 10, read on, as you’ll be very happy with the HTC 10!
Adoptable storage is the ability to utilize a MicroSD Card as an internal memory partition so that application data and other information can be stored on it natively. Think of it kind of like upgrading your hard drive in your computer – you can’t just stick a USB drive in to add in extra workable space (You can to an extent, but it’s quite cumbersome and inconvenient), therefore you need to add in a larger hard drive.
Android Marshmallow (Android 6.0) introduced the Adoptable storage feature that has been long awaited by many Android users over the years. Prior to this, you could “move” apps to the SD Card using manual methods or through available apps, yet the full data for the app never really transferred. There was still a disconnect between native memory and expanded memory. Android 6.0 sought to change this by allowing users to insert a MicroSD Card into their Android smartphone and adopt the external memory into internal memory. This would allow you to take your 32GB device and expand it to something like 160 GB if using a 128 GB SD Card. That’s a lot of room for applications, data, documents, music, pictures, etc.
OEMs and Adoptable Storage
The vast amount of Android smartphones with Android Marshmallow do not have adoptable storage capabilities. This is a bummer because adoptable memory can be very convenient to the end-user, especially as the sizes of apps continue to grow, and the camera quality (and ability to save RAW photos) improves.
Samsung and LG opted to not go with an adoptable storage option because the majority of users want to be able to transfer a card between devices. This is understandable, but many people desire the ability to choose what they want to do. I am one of those people. I desired the feature because I wanted to expand my available “native” memory, and I wanted to be able to use a feature that is now prominent in Android Marshmallow. Enter the HTC 10!
HTC 10 and Adoptable Storage
The HTC 10 makes expanding your memory via adoptable storage seamless and painless. You can purchase a MicroSD card and nearly immediately expand the native memory on the device from 32GB to 96GB or 128GB, the choice is yours. Unlike the other manufactures, HTC provides users with the ability to use SD cards in a traditional sense (transportable) or in an adopted sense. I think this is one key benefit of the HTC 10 over other devices. This isn’t a knock on other devices by any means, but this is a clear advantage that the HTC 10 has over competitors.
I purchased a 64GB MicroSD card for use in my device for dedicated storage. If you’re going to purchase a new card, make sure that it is at least a UHS-1 spec card. Anything less than this may cause issues with the ability to use it as dedicated adopted storage due to the inability to keep up with the necessary read/write speed. If possible, spend a few extra bucks for a UHS-3 card, as these are the fastest cards available at this time. Visit your local Sprint store to see the available MicroSD Cards offered. You can find a store here.
Now that I have a 64 GB SD card, I have now successfully expanded my available memory to 96GB, or about 90.53GB usable space. My MicroSD Card is now adopted to my onboard storage, meaning I cannot simply take my MicroSD Card out of my HTC 10 and insert it into another device. The contents are encrypted, and in order to move it to a new device I will need to format the card entirely. However, I do not see this as a detractor in the slightest. I now have plenty of space for applications, photos, videos, documents, etc. Instead of navigating between two files sets in my File Explorer (Root directory and SD Directory), I can now simply view everything in the root directory, making file management a breeze.
I have come to love the ability to utilize adoptable storage because, as I mentioned before, applications are increasing in size and quantity. I used to get by with about 20 applications on my phone and my life was set. However, as time passes, I am finding that I need more and more applications in my daily life for various functions. I have roughly 100 applications (possibly more) on my phone that I use either every day, or every couple of days (or at least frequently enough to keep them). I have every Amazon application, Facebook app, games, travel, banking, etc. These apps might have been 10 MB a year or two ago, but many of these applications enhance features and offerings, which translates into larger file sizes. For example, Pokémon GO is 162 MB, another Pokémon game I have is 1.3 GB, Snapchat is 362 MB, Starbucks is 106 MB, Facebook is 373 MB, and my Discover Card app is 77 MB. Among these six applications, I have nearly 2.5 GB of space taken up, and this doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of all of my apps. The point is, applications take up precious space that you need for other things like photos and videos. You may not realize it, but these applications can quickly eat up your available storage space.
Adoptable storage is a life saver because it allows me to use my phone the way I want to use it, without sacrificing the ability to store just one more picture or install just one more app. I don’t have to delete an application to free up some space for a few extra pictures or vice-versa.
How to enable Adoptable Storage
Okay, now you’re wondering how to enable adoptable storage. I will help you with the below screenshots. It’s a fairly straightforward process and requires a few clicks, a slight amount of patience for the files to merge, and then you’re done!
To start, insert a MicroSD Card in the slot (make sure it’s at least UHS-1, with UHS-3 being preferred). Also, I recommend at least double the storage space than what’s on the phone natively. So, go with a 64GB or higher card.
Next, navigate to your settings and locate the storage option (scroll all the way down)
From here, you’ll see the available internal storage, along with your SD card you have inserted. To begin the adoption process, click the gear symbol next to the removable storage option.
You will see numerous options here, but clicking on Format as Internal will begin the adoption process. The phone will then check the card for compatibility and other issues.
Next, the phone explains to you exactly what you’re doing when you enable adoptable storage. You can change your mind if you want, it’s not too late. You haven’t lost any data. Just keep in mind that you must format the removable card and erase all data prior. So, before you go through this adoption process, either remove any files off of the SD card or use a new card. Click on the Erase & Format button to proceed.
Oh, look, another pop-up making absolute sure that you wanted to go through with the process. (I love this, by the way). You still have one last opportunity to decide if you want to proceed or cancel. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to press the format button…
Next, the MicroSD Card will format, clearing all contents to ensure it’s ready for use as adoptable storage. Then, you have the option of moving content to the new partition or to move it later. I suggest doing it now so that you’re done with it and don’t forget to do it later. Once you choose to do it now, the device will calculate the files and the time necessary to transfer that content to the new partition. My data took about 13 minutes, but your results may vary. During the move, don’t take out the SD card or you risk corrupting the data. Additionally, the device may not allow certain applications to work during the transfer, as these are being moved to the SD card. Finally, make sure your device has enough charge, otherwise you may end up losing/corrupting data if the phone dies during the process. Once it’s done, the device will advise you that it’s ready and working!
If you navigate back to Settings > Storage, you will now see that your total memory jumped up and reflects the adopted card. In my example, it went to 90.53 GB, which is the combination of 32 GB internal and 64 GB external (about 58 GB usable on SD Card).
That’s it, you’re done! That wasn’t so hard, right? Congratulations, you have now expanded your internal memory of your device and you likely don’t need to worry about running low on space for your applications, pictures, videos, etc. (note: I still recommend a backup solution for your data such as Dropbox, Google, OneDrive, or personal home cloud storage solution. You never know what can happen to your device and you wouldn’t want to lose your data.)
The HTC 10 makes adopting storage a straightforward process that keeps you in the know each step of the way. I am very thankful that HTC decided to implement this feature in its handset, and I wish that other manufacturers would do the same. If HTC can make the process straightforward and keep the end-user informed each step of the way, as well as give multiple opportunities to abort, I would imagine (and hope) that other manufacturers could do the same. Here’s to hoping that the ease of adoptable memory is not contained solely to HTC/Google devices!
I have long been a fan of other handset providers, but with the ability to adopt extra internal storage for my applications and other data is a huge win in my book. I have almost zero need to move to a new device due to limited storage space. I think I’ll be happy with my HTC 10 for quite some time!
What are your thoughts? Is adoptable storage a need in your life? If it’s not, why not? I’d love to hear it! Leave a comment below with your thoughts and/or questions!
As always, thank you for reading. What are your thoughts on adoptable storage?
Until next time!
- The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee