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How to set the memory card as internal 'adoptable' storage on Galaxy S7 and S7 edge (no root)

How to set the memory card as internal 'adoptable' storage on Galaxy S7 and S7 edge (no root)
The Adoptable Storage feature of Marshmallow has the ability to merge the internal memory of a phone with the external storage in the form of a microSD card (if the device has such a memory slot), and treat the resulting cumulative memory as a one total partition. In theory, this would prevent user confusion as to how much exactly free space they have in total on the phone, instead of trying to calculate microSD storage and internal storage separately, or asking themselves what are these things in general.

Now, here comes the surprise - both the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge don't support this Adoptable Storage feature, despite shipping with Marshmallow on board. Thus, they'll treat the microSD card as a separate entity, instead of lumping it together with the internal memory in the storage menu. Here is Samsung's argumentation behind this decision: "Samsung decided not to use the Android Marshmallow “adoptable storage” model. We believe that our users want a microSD card to transfer files between their phone and other devices (laptop, tablet, etc), especially the photos and videos they shoot with the camera." 

Still, if you want Adoptable Storage on your S7 or S7 edge without rooting them to trip KNOX, and don't mind typing a few lines in a command prompt, geek-fu style, here's what you need to do:

1. Needless to say, first backup all data you have on the microSD card. Go to Settings>About, and tap 5 times on the build number to enable USB debugging on your Galaxy S7 or S7 edge


3. Connect your phone with the USB debugging option active, and in the command prompt on your computer, type adb shell

4. Key in sm list-disks, so that the phone can display the particular disk ID of your card;

5. If you want to use only part of the memory card for Adoptable Storage, and the rest for shuttling files back and forth, you can split them in half with the command sm partition disk:179:160 mixed 50, where 179:160 is whatever disk ID was displayed in the previous step.

6. It will be less problematic to use the whole card in Adoptable Storage mode, though, so you can simply type in sm partition disk:179:160, or whatever your disk ID numbers are, and then wait for the lengthy merging process to finish;

7. That's it, when you go to Settings>Storage now, you won't be seeing the SD card option, but all storage will be lumped together instead, though the total amount might not be present in the system app, so you'd have to install a third party file browser from the Play Store or a storage widget to keep an eye on it. Bear in mind that this will format your card, so make sure you have everything backed up to restore in this new common storage beforehand.

source: MoDaCo

61 Comments
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posted on 11 Mar 2016, 03:36 6

1. pupkin (Posts: 83; Member since: 04 Feb 2015)


Oh Cool.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 11:49

34. engineer-1701d (unregistered)


its like partitioning a hard drive for computers

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 03:52 19

2. tyrionTheWise (unregistered)


Why would anyone want to do that? You can already store apps on SD card on S7, without adoptable storage. And that also allows you to use the card elsewhere.

If you go for adoptable storage, you have absolutely no control over where an app goes. So a performance hungry app may be stored on microSD, whereas you may want it to be stored on the fast flash storage. Also important to mention that the device is encrypted. So making SD card as internal may further slow things down.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 03:55 2

3. iushnt (Posts: 1785; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)


agreed

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 03:55 1

4. iushnt (Posts: 1785; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)


agreed

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 03:58 10

5. chaosnightmare (Posts: 168; Member since: 20 May 2010)


Not that is useful, a better storage option or something but you know, at least samsung haters can stop whining about samsung ditching this function.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 05:05

12. greyarea (Posts: 249; Member since: 14 Aug 2015)


You would think all these positive samsung stories would be enough for PA haters to stop whining about it being iphonearea. But fanboys will fan...

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 05:19 6

14. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 3310; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


This little news doesn't cover up the hypocrisy of their articles and reviews. From crediting features from different rivals that Samsung implements in their device, to ALWAYS one rival, apple:

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Samsung-Galaxy-S7-to-have-a-version-of-Live-Photos-called-Vivid-Photo_id77435

Yet not writing a single article pointing out the dozens of features that single rival has copied:

http://www.gottabemobile.com/2015/06/08/ios-9-features-apple-borrowed-from-android/

http://phandroid.com/2015/09/09/iphone-6s-new-features-vs-android-phones/

To mentioning cons in non-apple device reviews, yet ignoring those same cons in apple device reviews even though they 100% apply.

To inconsistency in product reviews. Like their con for the S6 was due to it lacking a MicroSD card slot, so they gave it a 9.3. Then S7 fixes that and improves on many other things, they go and give it a 9.

A little positive article ain't gonna fix all of that anytime soon. They need to end their hypocrisy and double standards.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 06:27 1

16. greyarea (Posts: 249; Member since: 14 Aug 2015)


Granted there should be some diligence from the top, but there are a whole bunch of different writers you know? I simply don't believe it's a carefully planned agenda.

You think there aren't fans of other phones makers that don't always get a fair shake? Samsung is huge in scale and popularity, there are going to be unflattering articles. And every time one of those articles pops up, "iphonearena". Skins so damn thin it's amazing they can type at all.

I personally don't put so much faith into the review numbers to begin with so I'm not bent out of shape for a bit of numeric inconsistency. Though I might guess a phone getting reviewed a year latter might not have different expectations. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

For what it's worth:

http://www.phonearena.com/news/When-it-comes-to-its-customers-privacy-Samsung-sounds-just-like-Apple_id78996

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Galaxy-S7-edge-gets-dunked-in-a-pool-records-a-video-to-tell-about-it_id79005

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Smart-buys-four-previous-gen-smartphones-worth-buying-today-at-discounted-prices_id79041

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Samsung-Galaxy-S7-and-Samsung-Galaxy-S7-edge-pre-orders-top-expectations_id79158

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Samsung-is-more-than-just-a-smartphone-manufacturer_id79150

http://www.phonearena.com/news/6-great-new-Galaxy-S7-Edge-features-that-you-wont-find-in-other-phones_id79129

Just sayin, a quick look shows samsung gets decent love too.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 09:39

25. marorun (Posts: 3912; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Yeah Apple and Samsung are clearly favored by this website thats pretty clear..

Iphone just a tad lil more but not much.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 13:44

44. cdm283813 (Posts: 389; Member since: 10 Jan 2015)


More like everyone but Apple and Samsung knows what their doing. Take Nexus 6P. I still can't get a hands on feel before buying. Best Buy sales it online but it's not in the stores. And let's not bring up HTC, Sony, LG and Motorola. Those companies need to be perfect against AppSung.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 09:37

24. marorun (Posts: 3912; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Chaos the features dont work correctly using it this way they said it you need third party app to see the space and you dont see the options on the setting.

So its not thats usefull they should have left it fully open so we can choose if we want to use or not.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 11:59

38. j2001m (Posts: 2977; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


Then when customers have problems with the speed of the phone, as main parts of the phone is using the sd card, Samsung as big problem, at this time it's supper fast, also all normal sd card info in preloaded Into the ram to speed it up, it's why all the images just also load on the phone from sd card, unlike before with the s5

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 04:28

8. Shocky (unregistered)


tyrion, the not so wise

You can't use the sdcard for applications without this, the ONLY option you have window this is the old "apps to sd" hasn't been been reliable for years and usually fails with large applications.

If you want decent performance users will have to buy a high quality sdcard card, it won't match the internal performance but it's not that bad.

It's all about choice.

Use

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 04:40 6

9. tyrionTheWise (unregistered)


Yes, the apps to SD fails for large apps. But large apps shouldn't be moved to SD card at all, since they require huge I/O operations and the slowdown will be real. Even high end SD cards barely reach 1/10 speed in random I/O compared to flash storage.

Users don't want choice. They mess up and then blame the manufacturer for their own stupidity, leading to bad reviews of the product and bad publicity. That's the reason why apple products get so popular. As the 99% 'dumb' crowd gets no issues with them. However, those people don't know how to get around in settings on android and hence get poor experience.

Either way, doing this doesn't give you choice. It's a one time thing and if your SD card fails, you're done for. Also you can't 'choose' whether to install the app on SD or internal.

A good solution would be a better working 'move to SD' option. But right now, not enabling adoptable storage seems to be the better solution.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 05:33 1

15. Shocky (unregistered)


I agree with you, it's a total pain to use, it's unreliable and prone to failure.

However when we have limited storage users have no choice but to go down this road.

It's Samsung's fault for not giving us more internal storage.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 07:42 1

18. tyrionTheWise (unregistered)


"It's Samsung's fault for not giving us more internal storage."

This, so much this.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 10:01 1

29. marorun (Posts: 3912; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Real racing 3 on my sd card no lag or slowdown.
Some ppl need to test stuff before talking for nothing.

Giving the choice in developper option would been a minimal. Majority of non tech ppl dont even know how to access it.

As for SD card fail my SD is cover by a lifetime warranty and in nearly 10 years working in the industry i never saw a high end sd card fail only crappy one.

a better working move to sd already exist its called SD card adoption. You get the best of both world as you can force an app back to real onboard memory if you need.

Stop searching excuses.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 11:58

37. HighOnAndroidFTW (Posts: 185; Member since: 26 Apr 2015)


You need to practice what you preach buddy, I'd you knew anything you'd know ANY micro SD card can fail. I've had SanDisk fail and Samsung. So hush. Did they replace it promptly? Yes, did I lose my data? YES.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 09:58

28. marorun (Posts: 3912; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Yep removing the choice then having to use command line and get half the features is simply wrong.

And yes thats what we tested in store nearly half the app did not want to go on SD on the S7 where on my moto x play with adopted memory i was able to put at least 90% of them on the SD.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 12:02

39. HighOnAndroidFTW (Posts: 185; Member since: 26 Apr 2015)


That's what you tested in store? So a unit that most likely isn't even a production unit?

Smart choice to base your "facts" on

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 12:07

40. j2001m (Posts: 2977; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


Hm, I now 100% are up on you being full of it, "in the store only half the app did not move over," hahahahahhahahahahahhahahahah
It's not the s4 and s5
Ion the s7" if the App can be moved to sd card, then it moves all the data and not part of it like back in the days of s5 and s4
(I think this is part of android 6)

So this way you can put things you need on the sd card, like I moved all Spotify music data there,
Also in this mode, Samsung preloads the data into ram, so it works faster than from the s5 and s4 or if it was using adopted way

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 05:00

11. Good-Is-Better (Posts: 82; Member since: 12 Nov 2015)


Well, good news though. But not necessary. But, PA has to fill it new paper with stuff. CEO of PA: " guys don't leave any empty space". Guy: "Yes sir, we are doing just that". Hope it helps someone.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 05:10

13. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 3310; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


Exactly! I really don't understand what's the fuss for this "Adoptable Storage". Samsung has had the "Move to SD Card" function in TouchWiz. Even when google was abandoning SD cards support in Android, they provided a hack to do this.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 10:02

30. marorun (Posts: 3912; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


and its was never reliable and nearly 50% of apps dont support it.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 12:10 1

41. j2001m (Posts: 2977; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


That not the case, now, most of the apps can be moved and they moved in full as its now supported in. Android unlike before where Samsung was having to hack it, it's also now reliable as it transfer the full app and Samsung also preloads it to the ram when it used

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 07:04

17. joeytaylor (Posts: 464; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


Hey...can you unencrypte the phone like you could with the nexus phones....

(I don't if unencrypte is a word but anyhow lol)

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 07:43

19. tyrionTheWise (unregistered)


I guess yes. But it doesn't give you performance benefit, unlike nexus devices. So I suggest to keep it encrypted.

Unencrypte is not a word. The word you're looking for is called decrypt.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 08:30

21. joeytaylor (Posts: 464; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


Thank you....you are the wise one....haha.....i was just curious if there was a performance difference. ....if not then yes keep it encrypted. ....one other question. ....if it was decrypted would it still reformat the sd and make unusable in other devices or is the formatting a different issue

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 08:43

22. tyrionTheWise (unregistered)


Honestly no idea regarding that. You should ask that to a person who owns the device. But I'm pretty sure you can use the SD card on other devices too, as Samsung said that in their statement.

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