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Issue with storage option switching from SD Card to internal






Moto X4

Operating System

Android Pie


My Question or Issue

 This happened with my last phone, Samsung S7 running Oreo (or whatever the most recent OS is) but it was fixed when I got the Moto X4. I like to keep a lot of songs downloaded offline because my service is terrible and I also spend a lot of time in the mountains. Before I I update my phone to the new Android Pie OS there was no problems. Now everytime I reset my phone I think spotify cannot see my SD card at first and tries to download all the music to its internal storage and I have to go back in and tell it to store it in the SD card. That is extremely annyoing but not the end of the world. What is really frustrating is that I think all of the downloaded songs are still on the SD card and just keep redownloading and taking up space. Eventually this will cause me to reformat the card which will be a major pain for me since I store a large amount of photos on there also. Is anyone else have this problem? I have already uninstalled and reinstalled the application so any other suggestions or help?

Hey there.


We just wanted to let you know that we've looked into this with the right folks now.


We are currently trying to resolve the issue. We don't have a timeframe for a fix, but we're really glad you let us know about this. If you have any other questions, just let us know!


Keep your app up-to-date and have a nice day 🙂

Top Answer
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Please look at what I think could be the problem (and possibly the solution):

I noticed that the SD card only mounts AFTER I unlock the first time after the boot. You can see it by the SD card icon who apears quickly at status bar just after the unlock. For security reasons, it make sense, since someone who stole the phone could try to load malicious software via external storage. Spotify service probably loads BEFORE the SD card mount, and then, like a mother who call the police when his son is 30 seconds late to come back home, it switches to the internal memory and starts to download all again. If the PIN is typed before the system boot, the SD card mount and when Spotify service loads, it can find the external storage. Works like a charm. 

This solution did not let Spotify devs off the hook, since many other apps that use external storage didn't present this issue at all.



Make sure, if you have a PIN or password set, to Android ask BEFORE the system boot.


Further information here:

its in the developer options

The Solution is to install Spotify on the SD-Card as well. Its not possible by default. You have to allow this for all apps in the developer options.



I think I found a solution.

To format your sd card as internal storage. Uninstall Spotify and reinstall it. Will keep tabs on this and see if it works or not. It's been rebooted twice now with a day interval.

I formatted my sd card as an internal storage via the google file manager but this site shows how to do it via the Android settings menu:

It might say that it couln't find your SD card on boot but when you get past the lock screen and wait a few seconds and open Spotify it went away for me



I have the same problem, I have a Samsung A50 with a 512GB micro SD. And every time I restart the phone or update the application, it changes the default storage back to internal memory, what it does is that it takes up space and the smartphone fills up. buy this memory to avoid this, but the application does not work properly.


This issue is from 2019 and it' still a problem... Tested with various Android versions, from 8 to 13, and all had this problem.

I know most users don't download their music but common many of us do; in my case because I travel a lot and have no internet connection most time of the trip.

there are solutions;
first and easiest is to remove the encryption on the sd card. the issue is
normally due to the app searching for the library before the sd card is
mounted. sense it doesn't find it it erases the handshake code. decrypting
the sd card takes extra time.
second format your sd card as internal storage/adaptive storage. then using
the developer options move the Spotify app onto the sd card. it won't be
able to search for its library until the sd card is mounted. however if you
do the updates on some versions when updated it will be moved to internal
storage. simply turn automatic updates off. check in the app settings for
an update setting and turn that off. then don't do the updates.... like you
said its been years and nothing has changed.... critical security updates
will be force installed regardless of the auto update settings but these
occur infrequently.
third before restarting the device open settings>device
care>battery>background usage limits>deep sleeping apps>+(plus sign/add)
add Spotify to the deep sleeping apps. then when you restart do
settings>apps>Spotify app>turn on(at the bottom center)

of course at the max bit rate Spotify allows you for downloads you can fit
around 550 songs on 2gb so you could just move something eles to the sd
card and download them to the internal....


So, my SD card is not encrypted.  


On my S20FE I can't see anywhere that I can format the card as internal or adoptive, just format is all I have.  However, when I look at my storage, even though I have moved a lot of apps to the SD card, there are no apps showing that they take up space, just on my internal storage. does it show apps as using storage space, and A LOT of it too.

I have developer options enabled, but haven't moved my Spotify to SD yet, however I am no longer downloading my music, I just stream for now, but will be travelling east this summer with spotty data, so hopefully will be able to download again.  


lol I'd try to feel bad for you but doesn't the base 6gb model come with a
128gb internal storage? with 28gb you can store like 7000 songs... as for
the apps android and Samsung consider basically everything either at app,
app data, app cach, or library file. the hidden system apps and the Samsung
apps take up a lot of space. i have a cheap ass a21 and it has 58mb of my
stuff on the internal... my sd was almost full but i **bleep**ed it up....
(apparently if the sd card gets unexpectedly removed during a download, by
say dropping the phone or in my case getting it a bit damp(was raining out)
the boot sector/caching sectors are damaged and it can no longer be mounted
on a android. luckily you can mount it on pc as read only and retrieve the
data.) so it only has 600mb on it but android and Samsung are using 17gb on
the internal and 13gb on the sd card.... and its not that its actually
being used, its that its a sandboxed files system that's being reserved by
the system and /system.....

Thanks but that is not a solution but a work-around, and as work-around it may not be applied to everyone.

In my case (MotoZ3 Play with custom ROM android 13):
- SD external is not encrypted
- SD as internal does have a big cost (in custom ROM the SD as internal is lost in every rom update...)

- There is no way to install app in SD while as external; I do have custom ROM but it's not in root state (SafetyNet is on)


This Spotify problem is not because of custom ROM, it did happen in stock rom as well.

Saying things like "you don't need SD, in 2GB you can store so much music" is like saying "the road is in bad condition but no worry just travel by train" and then never fixing the road.


There must be a real fix: other software does work well with SD like PowerAmp and VLC, why doesn't Spotify?

you dont need root. you simply need to enable the developer options. if the
phone isn't designed for android or isn't designed for Android 13
then its not really surprising that the work arounds don't work. luckily if
you have a custom rom you could try a different one. the real issue isn't
Spotify its the boot up order for the android kernel. if android were to
add to the boot sequence a command saying wait 10 seconds before loading
Spotify or don't load Spotify app untill sd card mounted or no sd card
detected. that would fix it. but i don't think the Spotify team has access
to the android kernel.....