Expand Your Phone Storage Using a Memory Card

Storing photos, videos, apps and other important files on your smartphone is an unbeatable convenience. But every device comes with a built-in limit, meaning that you need to choose between making hard choices about what to delete, or find an alternative way to store them.

Fortunately, if you use an Android smartphone or a flip phone, there’s a handy option available. You can add external storage to your device by purchasing and installing a memory card—or, as it’s more commonly known, “SD” (for “secure digital”) card. These are like miniature, more-powerful versions of the floppy disks we used in our old PC’s. Though they’re not much bigger than a fingernail, they can store enormous amounts of data—in fact, some can now accommodate up to 2TB of extra storage.

Adding a microSD card won’t be an option for everyone—iPhone models, for instance, can’t accommodate them, or you may just not want to deal with having a physical storage device. But for those who can, an SD card allows you to save additional files directly to the card instead of to your device’s internal memory. The type of memory card you need depends on the age of your phonesome older ones may use standard size SD cards, but most now use the smaller, microSD version.

Here’s how they work: your phone holds two types of memory. One, called device memory, stores everything that’s needed to make sure the systems that operate your phone are running properly. The other, device storage, is where your personal files go—things like pictures, music, or apps that you’ve downloaded. A microSD card provides additional storage for the types of items that are normally in your device storage.

You’ll want to check your user manual to make sure your smartphone can use an SD card and, if so, what type. Most devices have limits as to how many GB of additional memory you can add. You can always go to the Support page on Consumer Cellular’s website to find this information quickly. In fact, you’ll even find a video tutorial there showing you how to install and remove a microSD card. Generally, it’s just a matter of inserting the card into a slot located near or underneath your phone’s battery.

There are many terrific things you can do with a smartphone, but you need to remember that they simply don’t come with unlimited storage. By adding a convenient, and affordable, SD card you’ll be able to do even more.

11 Thoughts on "Expand Your Phone Storage Using a Memory Card"

  1. R. Jackson says

    How can I tell how much memory the SD card in my Samsung phone has? Also, does Consumer Cellular sell SD cards in larger storage sizes?
    Thank you.

    reply to R.

  2. Mark McDermott says

    Dedicated computer stores like MicroCenter have “bulk” MicroSD cards at $6 for 64Gb, then roughly doubling at each doubling of capacity. Some are sold with adapters to fit into standard SD slots in computers. The ones at Best Buy or even Walgreens won’t cost that much more, either.

    reply to Mark

  3. Kathy B says

    Can I install an micro SDXC card instead of the micro SDHC card that the directions specify?

    reply to Kathy

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Hi Kathy, the difference between SDHC and SDXC is the storage capacity. SDHC MicroSD cards come in different storage capacities between 4GB to 32GB, and SDXC can come in over 32GB up to 2TB. Some phones can only support up to 32GB, and some phones can support larger-capacity memory cards. We’re happy to check what capacity is supported on your phone if you give us a call at 888-345-5509 or chat with us here.

      reply to Nicole


    I purchased a 32GB card when my Samsung Galaxy J7 kept saying my storage was dangerously low however, it still keeps saying I’m dangerously low. Why? Does it not recognize the addition or do I need to transfer all new files to the new card and stop using the old storage? If so, how do I switch to the new card?

    reply to SHARRON

    • Hi Sharron, thanks for your question. If you’ve put your new SD card into the phone you do need to actually move information over to it to allow for that space to clear up in your internal storage. Give us a call at 800-686-4460 or chat with one of our agents here for further assistance.

      reply to Jacob

  5. Kenneth welter says

    Download music and pictures

    reply to Kenneth

  6. Steven says

    Link II: I already have pics stored in internal memory. How can I save/move/copy those pics to the SD card?

    reply to Steven

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