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Galaxy S7 System Uses Up 8GB Out of the Box, but You can Move Apps to SD

galaxy s7 storage

Remember that big stink that was made about Samsung not allowing for Android 6.0 Marshmallow’s Adoptable Storage feature? Well, this is right here is why people threw a bit of a fit. Out of the box, the Samsung Galaxy S7 uses up 8GB of the phone’s 32GB for system apps and TouchWiz and whatever else Samsung has pre-loaded. That’s a quarter of all of your internal storage, to put it another way. That’s…not good. 

As you can see from the image above, before I even completed setup on my Galaxy S7 (we unboxed it here!), I was down to around half of my 32GB storage available. In actuality, the image shows that I’ve used under 16GB total, but I’m still installing apps and have already jumped past the halfway mark and now have around 15GB left to use. If I were a typical smartphone owner who keeps a phone for two years, 15GB isn’t leaving me much space to install apps to.

People were complaining about the lack of adoptable storage, because they assumed that heavy app-installers would quickly run out of space to install more apps. If you look at my situation, that could easily happen. However, after digging around in the storage settings of the Galaxy S7, I noticed that Samsung is still allowing you to move apps to SD cards, just like they have done in the past. Take a look.

galaxy s7 apps to sd galaxy s7 apps to sd-2 galaxy s7 apps to sd-3

I ran through this process with a number of apps that I installed through Google Play that weren’t system apps. From games to airline apps to Google Analytics – they all let me move them to my 200GB SD. If I ripped the SD card out, it took away all of those apps and said they were tied to the SD card. That’s somewhat surprising, since the Moto X Pure Edition doesn’t allow you to do that. See for yourself here.

galaxy s7 apps to sd-2 galaxy s7 apps to sd

So, Samsung may be using up 8GB of space for system apps and services, but they are still letting you move apps to an SD card to free up space on the internal partition. That’s a good sign, especially since you can put in up to 200GB SD cards in the S7 or S7 Edge. And now might be a good time to buy this 200GB SanDisk microSD from Amazon.

Feeling better about the storage situation?

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  • Brian O

    I have a slightly different problem. I bought an 64 GB SD but my storage menu does not appear to allow me to move any apps to it. I don’t have a screen like the one shown above and can’t seem to find anywhere in the various menus where that option is offered. This pretty much renders the phone useless to me. No doubt its me failing to find something right in front of me (you should see me in a hardware store!), but possibly not. Any suggestions out there?

  • jtwildman1

    I’m not having any luck with moving apps..says will take a few moments..10 minutes later..nothing

  • Sidredd

    Unfortunately it seems loads of VR games and apps go straight to internal storage and many of them can’t be moved so Samsung appear to have shot their VR world domination plans in the foot by omitting adaptive storage…

  • Shelley Frick

    I’m so stuck. I have the Galaxy S7 Edge with a Samsung 128GB SD card inserted. I’ve formatted the SD card while it is in the phone and attempted to move apps over, but the phone is acting like the SD card isn’t inserted. My apps have the transparent “SD Card” icon your phone shows when you remove your SD card after moving your apps over. Any tips?

  • Johan Naudé

    I managed to move a lot of my apps to the SD but for some reason I can’t see the files in the explorer and my Storage isn’t shown accurately. It still shows there is only 2gb used on my SD even though I’ve transferred about 6gb’s worth of stuff via the App Manager. I restarted the phone too. Is this normal or did something go wrong?

  • k1DBLITZ

    I was very disappointed to find they disabled this feature. Allowing the SD card to be mounted as internal storage solves the following problems:

    1.) Not all apps can moved to SD – you are at the mercy of the developer.
    2.) Even when apps can be moved to the SD often times they are only partially moved – some of the app resides on the SD and some on internal memory.
    3.) Cache – It grows… and grows. Apps like Pinterest use GB’s of cache. It’s a double whammy. Yes, cache been cleared but that defeats the purpose of a cache.
    4.) In almost all cases, after an app updates (and some apps update frequently) it moves back to the internal storage at which point you must manually move it back to the SD. This can be very tedious and time consuming depending upon the number of apps It’s a vicious loop.

  • Richard Stieglitz

    i just got my new s7 edge.. it seems like a lot of my apps dont offer me the option to move to external and im already at 32!!! on my internal.. not so happy!! any help??

  • Sri

    my s7 edge from ATT does not provide this option to move apps to SD CARD, can anyone help why?

  • Jacob Couey

    Found a weird issue today, yes it is easy to move your app to external storage but when you update the app it automatically moves it back to internal.

  • Christopher Elvin

    Today I received my S7 edge and I can confirm that there is (as yet) no capability to move apps to the SD card

    • Sri

      My ATT s7 edge do not have that option to change storage. Are you from ATT or ?

  • I’m still astounded that people can eat up 32GB with apps. What apps are you people running?

    I only use up 4.73GB for apps. The biggest of those apps is Microsoft Office.

    The rest of the space I just use for media. If you have an SD card, that’s where all that stuff should be going. I just find it hilarious how much crap people put in their phones.

    But I understand that everybody has different priorities. I just find it mind-boggling what people put on their phones.

  • Gary Criswell

    My T-Mobile S7 Edge doesn’t have the option to change storage location. I’ve tried multiple apps.

    • Gary Criswell

      Well damn it, I must have not checked the right apps earlier as I found 1 that worked. Oh well

      • Laura

        what app was it, if you don’t mind?

        • Gary Criswell

          I tried to move the Best Buy app that I downloaded but it didn’t have the option. I tried a few more apps and they had the option to move. One app I could move was Instagram.

    • Sri

      My ATT does not have as well.. how come others are having this option to move apps?

  • Chris Vander Maas

    No adoptable storage means the SD card slot is useless without root and we still need to use Folder Mount. Better than not having that option and having a flagship phone that cant keep more than a few games installed, but meh!

  • Rick McKenzie

    I am not seeing the option to change storage location, when I go into the App/Storage. I am using S7 Edge (Model SM-G935T), running Android version 6.0.1, Anyone know if there is a setting that exposes this option?

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  • kenneth czyz

    I’m going to use the 200 gb I got for free when I got the v10

  • Gael Le Sann Nascimento

    Then you get an update on your app and it is back to phone storage. If you have a few apps around 200 mb and they get updated every week, i would give you a month to throw your brand new S7 thru the window.

  • Sam

    Why does it even matter how much the device takes up straight out of the box? It has an extra memory slot, so just go buy an SD card for unlimited more storage!

  • Mad Llama

    My question is, do they remain on the SD card after an update? On the GS5, they move back to internal storage, which is very frustrating.

  • Jon Spang

    Isn’t the best part about marshmallow that you can format SD cards as extended internal storage? No one is mentioning that, and if this phone runs 6.0 then it should be able to format 200 gb SD cards as internal memory making the phone capable of having 228gb of storage for anything

    • IceTrey

      “Remember that big stink that was made about Samsung not allowing for Android 6.0 Marshmallow’s Adoptable Storage feature?”

      Try reading the article first.

    • Chris

      No adaptive storage on this device. Samsung didn’t think we could handle the power.

  • Chris

    Move to sd is nice but on the s5 it is really picky on what it will put on the card. Some of my family have the 16 Gb version and I bought an sd to supplement thier gorge on games and apps and 90% had move to sd greyed out and even facebook which allowed it would not function right. I can only hope marshmellow apps function better with the sd or that expandable memory comes to the s7 and not just “hey we have an sd card slot”.

  • Ronald

    Moving your apps from high speed flash based memory to a cheap slow SD storage is a joke

    • IceTrey

      Buy expensive fast SD storage.

      • Ronald

        That’s wouldn’t matter as the memory controller would be the limiting factor

        • IceTrey

          So you have to wait a half a second longer.

          • Ronald

            That’s a big deal isn’t it, I mean most of us are here nitpicking useless benchmarks and app launch, reboot speeds etc.

  • krubby

    Unless I am crazy, I believe I can move apps to SD card on Turbo 2… And this is NOT with the new Marshmallow update (which I haven’t received yet anyway).

    Is the ability to move apps to a SD card unique?

    • Chris

      No, on my Moto X Pure on Lollipop I could move apps to the SD card. Now I can’t (on Marshmallow). I don’t understand why, I guess Moto wants us to make our SD Adoptable. I have no desire to do that.

      • krubby

        Hmm… I’ll be interested to see what happens when the DT2 gets the Marshmallow update (which supposedly is any time now but that’s a different story…).

  • Sam73065

    Compared to years past, 25% is miniscule. Samsung has always been a hog. But this is better than years past when Samsung was taking nearly 50% of 16gb storage.

  • Brian Richards

    Anyone using touchdown? Is it able to store it’s database on the sd card on this phone? On the s5 it THOUGHT it was storing it on the sd card, but because of the “virtual sd” it ended up just storing it in the main system storage area. I need to have a very large amount of email on hand for work, so this phone is dead to me if I can’t store that mail on the sd card and I’ll need to stick with my s6.

  • Handheld Addict

    That screen with the phantom SD apps icons sure brings back my Samsung memories. Just pray you don’t wake up one day to find your device not reading the SD card at all no matter what you do…. Which has been my sad outcome a few times now…

    (and I only use genuine Sandisk, Sony & Samsung cards BTW)

    • Butane87

      I’ve never done this…so when you move your apps to an SD does the app icon stay that way?

      • Handheld Addict

        Only if the phone doesn’t “see” therm. Once it does, they go back to normal. So when restarting the phone, when it first boots to the homescreen the apps might look like that for a few seconds.

        But with phones being so fast nowadays maybe this all happens so quick it’s un-noticible?

  • James Bray

    I didn’t know about the S7 not supporting the Marshmallow Adoptable storage… That is literally the best thing about Marshmallow. This has actually completely put me off of getting at S7 now.

    Storage is so cheap now! It shouldn’t even be a conversation!!

  • Be Together. Not the Same!

    A lot of people will never use the remaining storage, most adults don’t play games or put a bunch of junk on their phone, especially with security and privacy issues, I would rather put that junk on a tablet. SD storage for pictures and videos, and I still had a bunch of room on my 32GB Note 4. I understand this will be an issue for gaming hogs, then this isn’t the phone for you.

  • Doug

    I’m not sure what my 6P was out of the box but with virtually all the base apps still installed plus the ones I actually use regularly, plus the pictures I’ve taken since I got it (Not many) I’m still at barely over 5 GBs. Not sure where the 6p being 6-10 out of the box are coming from.

  • IgotGAME

    Not sure what the big deal is here…

    My Note 3, which I’ve had for 2.5 years now, has 7.72GB free on the internal storage. I’ve installed all the apps I could ever want over those 2.5 years. I mean damn how many apps do people put on their phones? My 32GB SD Card stores photos and music (granted I don’t take a ton of photos but have amassed over 2,000 of them during that time). It has 15GB free. Never had a problem with storage on this phone. My S7 Edge should be no different.

  • gabby131

    can you confirm if the apps moved to the SD card stays on the SD card when they update? thanks

    • Todd Nguyen

      I’ve noticed this too. Sure, I can move all my apps to the SD card on my One M8. But whenever the app updates, I have to repeat the process again. Are we doing something wrong?

  • Justen DeBowles

    Samsung Pay now supports WELLS FARGO!

    just had to spread that little nugget.