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Android Update 6.x Marshmallow & Adoptable Storage


Android Update 6.x Marshmallow & Adoptable Storage

With the latest version of Android called Marshmallow (6.x) Google have introduced something called ‘Adoptable Storage’ - So what is it and how does this affect Spotify?


Android and Apple have always shunned the use of external memory in their devices as the type, quality and age of the memory used is up to the user and may negatively impact the experience. It may seem like the OS is at fault, when in fact it’s sometimes caused by old or faulty memory cards – Hence why Nexus (and soon to be Android One) or Apple devices do not natively offer the ability to use an SD card in the devices.


However Google have accepted that people will always want expandable memory, and to try and make things easier in Marshmallow they have introduced something called ‘Adoptable Storage’. What this does is convert the SD card into an extension of the internal device memory allowing apps and their data to be stored in this extended file system.


When you insert a card into a device running Marshmallow it will ask you if you want to use the SD card as a portable device or Internal. By selecting portable it will continue to function as before allowing you to remove it without affecting the performance of the phone. By selecting ‘Internal’ you are now moving to the new Adoptable Storage function and the SD card will be formatted and 128-bit AES encrypted before being mounted into the device as Internal memory and part of the system before moving existing apps & their data across.


This is great for devices with small internal memory or for Android TV boxes where the SD card will never be removed. If you try and remove an SD card once you’ve converted it to Adoptable Storage then your phone will start throwing errors at you and apps will start crashing.



So what are the issues Adoptable Storage may cause?


There are several complications this can cause, these are the deciding factors to consider and the last is something to take note of when using Adoptable Storage and apps that require the ability to cache such as Soptify:


  1. SD Card performance; even using a fast class 10 card it will always be slower than internal flash memory, whilst it may not be too noticeable there will be some performance degradation
  2. SD Card quality; SD cards have a limited read/write capacity. By converting it to system storage then it will be used at a higher rate and will therefore affect the life of the card
  3. Most Importantly! Apps & their data will be able to store on this newly formed memory. This can however cause issue with cache files such as that used by Spotify due to the access to System memory as well as the encryption. If you intend to store downloaded ‘Offline’ playlists or albums then it is recommended you do not convert your SD to the new Adoptable Storage.

Note: If you have set your SD Card to act as 'Internal' you will no longer see the 'Storage' setting in the settings menu of the Spotify application as all memory is classed as Internal so you won;t be able to specify where the cache is to be stored.



How do I convert back to Portable memory from Adopted memory?


To convert an SD back to ‘Portable’ you will first need to backup the existing data by plugging your phone into a PC and copying anything visible on the device over. Once done go to the ‘Storage’ section of Android settings and format the SD card. Once done make sure to restart your phone so that the system correctly identifies the SD card as portable again. Once done, reconnect your phone to the PC and copy all the files previously extracted back onto the portable memory. After this is done it’s best to again reboot the device to ensure links are correctly initiated.



What else has the upgrade to Marshamallow introduced?


In the upgrade to 6.x Marshmallow Google have changed the way application permissions are handled. Sometimes if an application is installed on the device and then you update the device software to Marshmallow these permissions need to be reinitialised. If you are finding that Offline data cannot be stored on an SD card or the SD card is not able to be selected then check the permissions are enabled following the official Android guide here:


Control your app permissions on Android 6.0 and up

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     Using Spotify Since March 10th 2009
     Twitter: @mechanimal82

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34 Replies

My device is not rooted. If you can find a method to root LG Leon 4G,
please let me know.

Ok will do, it's so annoying

Unacceptable, as it is not a serious solution at all. Hard to imagine for Spotify developers maybe, but people have other apps on their phones also. For numerous models the adoptable storage is the only way to have apps installed on that SD card. All the other apps I have installed on the adoptable storage function (Audible with large offline available and playable audio books, Microsoft Excel etc with offline documents, Google Translate with offline dictionaries) but Spotify. Hence, Spotify fails to adept to this reality and that is disappointing to say the least. I would not be able to use any of the other apps listed above following this bogus solution.

You saved the day! I ran into an error about not having permission (We couldn't move your data. There might be something wrong with your SD card. Check permissions and try again.) when switching my offline storage location to the SD card, and it turns out that Spotify did not ask for storage permissions when it installed or tried to switch the storage location. It seems like a silly oversight but oh well. I fixed the issue by going to the app in the app setting menu of android and enabling storage permissions. Thanks!

Marked as solution

Please support the latest technology and software in the Spotify app.

My device isn't using adaptable storage. I have an S5 and since it updated to Marshmallow, my songs would randomly stop playing mid song after a little while. There was no rhyme nor reason to when it would happen either. I was bamboozled as to why this was happening and came to the conclusion that it had to be the update. It worked fine prior to this. Restetting the phone wasn't an option, as this would have been one big job.. I have loads of playlists downloaded to my external 64gb SD card and it was starting to become really annoying. Eventually I cleared all data except the app, then uninstalled the app and reinstalled, before downloading my playlists again. Touch wood, it has been fine for the past week, so I am hoping that this is now fixed.

I love it when a plan comes together!!!

What does this mean for Samsung GS5 users? It seems these and the S7 (Samsung in general) are unable to use adoptable storage. For us, it is bloat our internal memory with spotify data or everytime we want to download music for offline, we fill our internal memory so spotify will actually write to the external storage despite being set to save to SD. It is extremely user un-friendly. I think I am going to take my 15.00 family plan money else where. It makes me sad to do that. But, everytime I find new music I have to fill my internal storage to "trick" spotify to do what it is supposed to do. No thanks.

This is ridiculous. Can't beleive Spotify hasn't come out with a real solution months after the issue has been known. Work arounds don't work on the S5. Can't use Spotify until it's fixed. I was fine with the app itself being on internal storage, but not being able to download songs to the SD card is ridiculous.

I'm on Nougat 7.1.1 and use adoptable storage without speed decreasement thanks to a SanDisk Extreme Pro.

Spotify in latest version still randomly stops working with this infamous error message. Really? 14 months after release of the adoptable storage feature?

Every mentioned workaround is just temporary.


Please Spotify, fix this issue. It's annoying.



Htc m8 not opening error beta

Marked as solution

Same problem here, I have an SD card class U3, and formatted it as internal. HTC desire 820.
Please, software gurus, fix this. The community pays for Spotify to be happy.
Marked as solution

I've given up with hope for the Spotify team ever fixes something on Android. I guessing they only have one mediocre Android programmer 

They deliberately disabled the option of moving the app to the SD card when it's formatted as Adoptable Storage on newer versions. What-the-actual-**bleep**, Spotify?

This is the ONLY app bigger than 50 MB on my phone that does this (I have more than a hundred installed) 

If I cannot download offline songs and gave to clear the app's cache and data regularly to clear internal storage, then why the **bleep** I'm paying for a Premium account?

My understanding is that formatting an SD card as "internal storage" adds it to your phone's interna storage and the system only sees the one pool of internal storage. So what's the difference where an app is physically located?

This is true, but there are many apps which restrict themselves to
exclusively the internal storage, including app data. Most native Google
apps are like this, and do not offer an option to move to adoptable
storage. (Furthermore, adoptable storage doesn't force you to move all apps
that can be moved to external; you can choose to keep some apps on internal
for speed)

Presumably this restriction is so that some system things won't break, but
truthfully I do not see how that could be the case. I believe on Nougat you
can actually force all apps besides system apps to be transferrable,
regardless of what the app specifies, though I have not tested this out.

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