Storage Sense Makes Moving Apps Easy

The challenge with any mobile device is storage.  Windows Phone is no exception and the beauty of the majority of devices on the market today is that you can easily expand that memory by adding a MicroSD card to it.  In my case, in both my Lumia 635 and Lumia 1320 I have a 64GB card, giving me ample room for apps, music, videos and podcasts.  I had the cards in the devices when If first set them up so I could chose where these things were stored.  I did this with a Nokia app named Storage Sense and even if you add a microSD card to your Windows Phone after getting it, this powerful app will make moving content from your phones memory to the card a snap.

Storage Sense is part of Windows Phone 8.1 and in principle is designed to do two things for you.  First, it gives you an overview of

Storage Sense on Windows Phone
Storage Sense on Windows Phone

the memory on your phone and your storage card so you can quickly and easily see how much storage is being consumed on them.  Below this summary is where you find the second feature:  The ability to tell your Windows Phone where to install media, apps and other content.  By tapping the various items such as Music or Photos, you can tell your device where to store that type of content.  As you can see from my screen capture on the right, I’m storing virtually everything on my storage card so I can reserve as much of the limited amount of memory in my 1320 for the system itself.

If you tap on either the phone or SD card section of Storage Sense you will get a more granular breakdown of what is consuming space in that location.  Here you will be able to see exactly how

Storage Sense Location Detail
Storage Sense Location Detail

much space you have consumed in apps, music, photos, videos and so forth.  To the left you can see my SD Card storage breakdown and clearly I like my apps!  I have nearly 3GB of space consumed in apps and another 4.5GB of music.  It’s not much of a concern though given that I’ve got over 48GB of storage left on my 64GB card in my phone.

Now the real power of Storage Sense comes in its ability to quickly and efficiently allow you to move applications from one location to another, literally, with a few screen taps.  Windows Phone 8.1 as an OS is intelligent enough that when you move an app it will rework all the application connections to assure that it works properly as if you hadn’t moved it in the first place.  Gone are the days of having to uninstall and reinstall the app.  That makes Storage Sense the best memory management application on any mobile OS out there – and I’ll happily stick by that statement.

Moving an app is done by going to the detail of the storage location where your apps are located, by default this will be your phone’s main memory.  This will give you a list of all your apps that you have installed.  You can either select an individual app or you can tap the Select All button at the bottom of the screen then check the Select All box at the top of the display.  Now you have two

Select Apps to Move in Storage Sense
Select Apps to Move in Storage Sense

buttons at the bottom of the screen:  Uninstall and Move.  If you tap the Move button you are presented with an overlay asking your confirm that you want to move the app or apps to the new location.  Press yes and your Windows Phone will automatically start moving the selected apps.

Now if you select all apps, there will be some apps that the developer will not allow to work on a storage card.  For example, the Messages app has to stay installed on  your Windows Phone in the phone’s memory.  Storage Sense will give you a warning about this if the app cannot be moved and it won’t move it.  This makes it virtually foolproof as it won’t break an app.

Finally, if you have a Windows Phone now and have never put a storage card into it, Storage Sense makes this process easy for you too.  When you put the card into your phone you will be prompted with a question on if you want to format that card for use in the phone.  Storage Sense will then open and you can select the location where you want to store your content.  You will still need to do the moving of apps or media to the new card should you chose to do so as I’ve explained.

Storage Sense is a great little app included in Windows Phone 8.1 that is powerful but easy to use.  It’s likely one of those apps you will rarely use but when the need arises you will appreciate how forward thinking Microsoft was in its design.

For more tips and How To’s, be sure to check out my How To’s page


5 Replies to “Storage Sense Makes Moving Apps Easy”

    1. Files that are core to the OS will not be able to be moved. You can move apps, music, pictures and other non-core data via Storage Sense.

  1. How come I cant open my apps like messaging and app store and storage sense? Also cant even make calls off my ph as the I cant even open the calling keypad or even in contacts? I clicked into storage sense and moved stuff from the phone to sd card now nothing opens?

    Thank you

    1. I’ve not seen this behavior so I am not 100% sure the issue. Have you restarted your phone (power off for 10-15 seconds)? It could be that the phone has for some reason quit reading the card. Also, could be a fault with the card itself.

      1. Yes tried most things but still nothing maybe I should restore the ph! I think I’m going to have to so I can use the ph!!

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