One of the advantages many Android smartphones have over iPhones is the ability to add storage by using a microSD card. Simply popping one in the tray can instantly turn a humble 32GB device into one capable of holding your entire music library, movie collection and a wealth of photos and videos.

But how can you access all of this extra storage when you want to watch or listen to the content you’ve added? We show you the simple steps to finding the files stored on a microSD card in your Android phone.

Files app

Android phones are all different, but the general principle here should work on any phone. On your device, open the app tray or scroll through your home pages and look for an app called Files, My Files, or something very similar.

Tap this and you should see a list of various folders, including Downloads, Images, Audio, Video, and other related items. Beneath these there should also be a section with the title Storage Devices or something along these lines.

how to access sd card on android

There should be two items listed – Internal Storage and SD Card (or a name/number if it’s been formatted that way). Tap on the latter.

Now you’ll be presented with the contents of your microSD card. If you want to find those movies you shot on the recent family holiday, then head to Video. Camera images are usually found in the DCIM or Pictures, while other types of files or data will be nestling in the relevant folders.

If you don't find this app, you can download ES File Explorer from Google Play. This is effectively the same thing: a file manager that allows you to see the files and folders in your phone's internal storage and any SD card.

Accessing an SD card via Settings

If you can’t find the Files app, or just prefer another route to the SD card, then here’s what to do. Open the Notifications window by swiping down from the top of the screen, then tap on the Settings icon (the one that looks like a cog).  Alternatively, you can find the Settings app and tap that instead. 

Next, scroll down - or search - until you find Storage, then tap on it. Finally, select the SD card listed in the Portable storage section.

how to access sd card on android

If you don't yet have one, find recommendations in our best microSD card roundup. You might also like to know how to get Google Music to download to SD card.

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