Making sure your pictures are saved onto your Android phones SD Card

If you have an Android Smartphone and need to check your pictures to make sure that they are saved onto your Memory Card as opposed to the phone itself then its pretty simple.

The easiest way to tell is to simply trick the phone into not being able to see the memory card.

Unmount the SD card

Quick instructions

Settings > Storage (might say SD & phone storage) > Unmount SD card > Ok

Detailed Instructions

Tap Home – tap the home key and go to the main screen that you see when you first turn the phone on.

Menu Key – often in the bottom left corner of the phone under the display, there is usually a menu key, a home key, a back key, and a search key. Tap the menu key.

Settings – tap the settings option.

Storage – tap on the storage option, on some phones it says SD & phone storage,

Unmount SD card – If you have a memory card in the phone it will say Unmount SD card. Go ahead and click on that option. If a message pops up with a warning letting you know that some apps won’t work correctly without a memory card then just press Ok.

Note: If the phone says Mount instead of Unmount then the phone is not reading a memory card and you might need to check and see if you actually have a memory card plugged into the device. If you don’t have a memory card or your current SD card is malfunctioning then you might want to read about what memory card might be right for you.

When you click on Unmount SD card the phone will stop reading the memory card. Therefore anything on the memory card will disappear. Once you un-mount then go into your gallery and check your pictures. Any pictures that are on your memory card will have vanished. If you go into your gallery and you no longer see your pictures then they are all nice and safe on your memory card and you don’t need to do a backup.

Another way you can do this is to simply power off the phone and physically remove the memory card. Note: don’t just pull the memory card out of a smartphone when the device is on unless you un-mount it first.

Any pictures that are saved onto your memory card are nice and safe and you won’t have to worry about them if you need to perform a factory data reset or if the phone malfunctions or gets broken.

If some pictures are still showing after you’ve un-mounted or removed the SD card then those pictures are stored on the phone and will need to be moved to the memory card or saved to a computer. If you need to save those pictures to your SD Card then read the article on How to Save Pictures to a Memory Card from an Android Smartphone. Otherwise rest easy knowing that your pictures are saved on your SD card.

Checking your media

If you have an Android smartphone made by Samsung or Motorola or have downloaded a file management application and would like to see exactly what is saved to your SD card, or if you’ve moved your information and would like to make sure that everything transferred correctly then here is how you can check the information that’s actually saved onto that SD card.

Quick Instructions:

Applications > My Files (or just “Files”) > External SD (or SD Card) > DCIM > Camera, then check and make sure you can see all your pictures there.

Detailed Instructions:

  1. Go to your home page – go to your home page. You can get there by pressing your home key (looks like a house; it’s one of the four keys on the bottom of the phone under the display).
  2. Go to Applications – tap on and go into your applications. If you see a list of options like manage apps etc then you’re in the wrong applications. You need to go to the applications that show a bunch of icons. For example it’s where you would go to access your picture gallery, downloaded apps, camera etc.
  3. Select My Files – look for the icon that says “My Files”, it might even just say “Files”, and then click and open it. Sometimes it likes to hide out in the open. It’s there under your applications though, so find it and open it.
  4. Select External SD – you might have to scroll down a bit to select External SD. Once you have it open it will show the files and information currently saved to your memory card. If your pictures are saved to the memory card already then you might be able to see them on that window, if not then you might have to go deeper into the files. Sometimes it will show a DCIM folder. This is usually where pictures and videos are saved.
  5. If you see a DCIM folder click it – the DCIM folder might show your pictures directly but often just contains a camera folder and sometimes a thumbnails folder.
  6. Tap Camera – here’s what you’re looking for, your pictures should be shown here in the camera folder.

If you don’t see your pictures saved in your External SD then they are going to be saved on the phone itself. Typically pictures are going to be on your phone because that is the default storage location of most android phones, at least those that don’t come with a Memory Card.

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