Saving Pictures from a Samsung Android Smartphone to an SD Card

Wondering how to save your pictures and videos from your android phone onto a memory card? These step by step instructions will show you how to copy all of the pictures from a Samsung Smartphone running on the Android Operating System and how to successfully paste those pictures and videos onto your memory card so they will be nice and safe from any resets or phone issues. It will also allow you to easily transport your pictures from one phone to another if you ever get a replacement.

This article will go over what you need to know for a successful backup of your Samsungs content and I recommend you look over it. If however you would like to skip right to the transfer process and procedure then you can click here to go to that section of the article.

First let’s start with the basics and go from there:

Do you have a memory card?

If you don’t have a memory card then you won’t be able to save your information to one, simple as that. If you don’t have one then you should do some research as to what memory card would be right for you and get one, they are usually pretty affordable and make your life so much easier.

If you’re not sure if you have a memory card, here is how you can check.

Quick Instructions:

Settings > Storage > Unmount SD = You have a Memory Card, Mount SD = No Memory card

Detailed Instructions:

  1. Go to your home page, the screen you see when you first turn on your phone (tap the home key, it’s one of the 4 physical buttons on the bottom underneath the phones display, usually looks like a house)
  2. Tap on your menu key, (it’s one of the four buttons too, usually on the far left.)
  3. Tap settings, (once you tap on the menu key, the phone should show a few options on its screen, one of those options is settings, select settings.)
  4. Scroll to and select Storage, (It should give you a list of options to choose from. Scroll down and select the option that has the word storage in it. This option will be different depending on what type of phone you have; it will say either “Storage” or “SD and Phone Storage”, etc. click on that storage option.)**UPDATE: If your phone is running on Android version 4.0 or later then after tapping on Settings you might have to then select the More option in the upper right hand corner of the screen in order to see this Storage option.**
  5. Look for an option that says “Mount SD card” or “Unmount SD card”, if the phone is reading a memory card then it will say “Unmount SD card”, the phones basically saying I see a memory card in me, do you want me to unmount it so you can take it out without having to power me off first? If it says “mount”, then the phone is not reading a memory card and it will probably be grayed out not even letting you click it.
  6. Don’t click it! If you clicked it, don’t worry it won’t hurt it, just click it again. It needs to read unmount if you want to save stuff to your memory card.

Mount SD = No Memory card

Unmount SD = You have a Memory Card

If that’s too complicated, didn’t make sense, or the issue on your phone won’t let you do that than just look for a physical chip that plugs into your phone, different phones have them in different places, sometimes you have to pull the battery out of the phone to get to it, sometimes it plugs into the side or the bottom, it just depends on the phone. Remember it’s NOT your SIM card that you’re looking for. SD or Memory cards usually say SanDisk on them and often a size like 2GB (two gigabytes) 4GB, 6GB, 8GB, 16GB and up. Some phones come with them some don’t.

If you have a memory card then proceed to the next part of the article, if not click here. If you need to know other methods to save your pictures you can check here. Other methods include computer, Bluetooth, online backups etc.

Is your phone Samsung?

How the phone will allow you to save transfer and manage information will depend on what manufacture made the device. These instructions are for an android Smartphone manufactured by Samsung. If you need instructions on how to backup your android phone and it’s not made by Samsung than you can check out this page. Your device should show “Samsung” branded somewhere onto the phones exterior and should also show the Samsung logo when powering on the phone.

What is your OS?

The Android OS (Operating System) that you’re using will also affect how you manage your information. As newer versions of OS are released it should become easier to transfer and save information. The basic procedure of these instructions should work for most current operating systems 2.3 (Gingerbread) and higher. If you ever want to check your OS on an Android Smartphone then all you need to do is go into your “settings” and click “about phone”. Once you’re in “about phone” then scroll down to where you can see the Android Version… 1.5 is called Cupcake, 1.6 is the Donut, 2.0 and 2.1 are Éclair, 2.2 Froyo, 2.3.x Gingerbread, 3.x.x Honeycomb, 4.0.x Ice Cream Sandwich, 4.1.x and 4.2.x Jelly Bean, etc. I love computer nerds, look at the version release names, there all alphabetical.

Checking your media

If your information is already saved onto your memory card then you won’t need to save or move anything, the works done. Here is how you can check the information saved onto an SD card.

Quick Instructions:

Applications > My Files > External SD > DCIM > Camera, then check and make sure you can see all your pictures there. If not proceed to the next step.

Detailed Instructions:

  1. Go to your home page – go to your home page. You can get there by pressing your home key.
  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 your phone. The pictures are most likely going to be on your phone because that is the default storage location on most Samsung phones, but we’ll get to that later in this article.

Locating and copying your media

Alright here is the meat and potatoes, how to backup your pictures and videos to your memory card.

**UPDATE: If you have a Samsung phone running on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, or greater, then How to move pictures and videos to an SD card on a Samsung Android 4.2 smartphone is also a great guide, with pictures, on how to backup files from a Samsung phone to its memory card. If the Android version on your Samsung phone is before the Jelly Bean then feel free to keep reading and enjoy the guide.**

Quick Instructions:

Applications > My Files > DCIM > Camera > Menu key > More > Copy > Select All > Copy > External SD > Paste… Processing… Done.

Detailed Instructions:

  1. Select Applications – just like you did when you were checking to see if your information was already saved to the memory card. You’re going to want to go in to the applications in which you see a bunch of icons. It’s usually found on an androids default home page, but can sometimes be moved.
  2. Tap My Files – again just like you did in the previous step, and it too might just say “Files” instead of “My Files”.
  3. Select DCIM – don’t go into your SD card again, this time you’re looking for the DCIM folder that’s on your phone, not your memory card. So “My Files” then directly to “DCIM”.
  4. Tap Camera – Now you should see all the pictures and videos that you have taken.
  5. Press the Menu Key – usually the physical key below the phones display. On Samsung phones it’s often the far left key that looks like a partial box with a couple horizontal lines in it. Once you press the menu key some options should pop up.
  6. Tap More – this is one of the options that is shown once tapping the menu key. Go ahead and click more.
  7. Tap Copy – just select the option that says copy to let your phone know that you want to copy files from this location.
  8. Tap Select All – A very important step is making sure that all the photos you want to copy are actually selected. You can go through one at a time and make single selections but if you have a lot of pictures, which many people do, I would just select them all. If you don’t see the “Select All” option then you might have to tap on your menu key again. I have yet to see a Samsung phone that didn’t allow the user to select all in one way shape or form.
  9. Hit Copy – once all the media files are selected then tap on copy again, to let the phone know that these are the files you wish to copy. Once you tap on copy the second time the phone should present you with the option to select where you want to actually copy these files to.
  10. Select External SD – you might have to scroll down to see the option to select External SD. Once you do select it.
  11. Paste – once you have selected your External SD you should have the option to “Paste” or “Paste Here” click that. The phone will then start transferring your media files to your external SD card. It might take a few minutes depending on how many pictures and videos you have on your phone. Note: If you don’t see a Paste option then you might have to click the DCIM folder on the External SD page then hit paste. Maybe even External SD then DCIM then Camera, probably not though it should let you paste directly into External SD.

Check the OS

If the steps mentioned above didn’t look quite right for your phone then you might be on a more recent Operating System like the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich as opposed to the 2.3 Gingerbread (as mentioned earlier in the article) and the process of moving media will be a little different. To backup pictures on a Samsung Android 4.0 smartphone try this instead:

Applications > My Files > SD card > DCIM > Camera > Menu > Select All > Copy/Move (I myself prefer the copy option when it’s available) > EXT SD card (going to be selecting the external SD card) > DCIM (there is usually a DCIM folder on the memory card as well as the phone) > Camera > Paste (you might have to create a folder to paste or move your content to, but typically you can paste just your pictures if they were all selected from the Camera folder located on the phone itself).

Double checking your information

Once your information is copied onto your memory card you might want to make sure that everything transferred correctly. It’s fairly easy to do because you’ve already done it. Just go back to “Checking your media” in the beginning of the article, and follow the steps.

Once you have checked your files here is how you can make sure they are saved without a doubt.

Go and tap on the “Unmount SD card” (also mentioned earlier when we were checking to see if you even had a memory card). Once the SD card is unmounted it will often give you a confirmation screen stating SD card safe to remove, or the option would have changed from “Unmount SD card” to “Mount SD card”. In any case, once it’s unmounted go back and check your pictures on the SD card again. You should not be able to see them after unmounting the SD.

What you’re basically doing is tricking your phone into not being able to see the memory card, therefore once its unmounted all your pictures stored on the memory card should vanish. Along with any other files on your memory card for that matter.


You have successfully saved all of your pictures and videos to your memory card. Congratulations now they are nice and safe, should you ever need to reset your phone, or if something unexpected happens to your phone and it malfunctions, or if you just get a new phone and want to transfer your stuff over to it. Just pull the SD card out of the phone and put it into the replacement. The new phone should automatically recognize the files and put them on your new phone.

Setting up the phone for the future

Now that you have your files saved from your phone to your memory card you should setup your phone so that when you take a picture or record a video it saves directly to your memory card. Then you don’t have to worry about transferring the information again, it will just get automatically saved to you SD card, which should make your life a bit easier.

The exact process varies from phone to phone but here is the process on the typical android Smartphone.

Quick Instructions:

Camera > Settings > Storage > Memory Card

Detailed Instructions:

  1. Go into Camera – as though you would I you were going to take a picture or record a video.
  2. Tap Settings – it’s often an icon that looks like a little gear.
  3. Tap Storage – to set the location you want your pictures and videos to save to.
  4. Select Memory Card – the phone option is probably the one selected. You don’t want your pictures saved to your phone any more; you want to select SD card or Memory card that way they get saved to it instead.

Then you’re done and you won’t have to worry about your personal media files any more.

Moving other files the same way

The same process we used to backup your pictures can be used to backup other information from the phone onto your memory card. Just copy the file from the phone and paste it onto the memory card. For example if you have a music folder you want to copy over, you can copy and paste it in the same fashion.

Note: you can save contacts to your memory card as well as your SIM card. If you’re doing a full backup on your phone and need to know how to do that as well you can read the article How to Save Contacts on a Samsung Android Phone.

Other Methods of Managing Files

If you want another way to save your files to a memory card you can download an app to help you. The best one I have seen thus far is the ASTRO File Manager application. Just go to the Play Store and do a search for “File Manager” and you can see many free apps to choose from. And free is always in my price range.


I hope you enjoyed the article and the new found knowledge that your information is now safe on your SD card. If you have any questions or comments or suggestions don’t hesitate to leave them down below. I look forward to reading what you have to say, otherwise enjoy.

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61 thoughts on “Saving Pictures from a Samsung Android Smartphone to an SD Card”

  1. Thank you so much.
    Thank you so much. Now I am able to store photos directly to my external memory card.

  2. Nicole McCorvey

    Saving pictures to SD Card
    This was super helpful. It explained it perfectly – I am very satisfied

  3. video turns into picture thumbnail
    Hello, I went into the apps-my files, then into all files to move some pictures to sd card. Some how all the pictures end up in device storage in dcim/ .thumbnails and in sd dcim thumbnails. It turned my videos into pictures. Please help!

  4. No lcd screen
    I need to backup my phone to the sd card from my computer. I dont want all of it to go onto the computer just the card. Help. My screen is black but the phone is on.

  5. Wow! Thank you so much
    Wow! Thank you so much for such clear and concise information! I could never find a set of instructions so easy to follow……most were too technical for me. The time and energy you spent putting this tutorial together are much appreciated.

    1. You’re welcome

      Thanks for such a friendly and flattering comment my friend; and thanks for noticing. I do spend a lot of time and energy creating my guides and tutorials and I do try to make them easy for everyone and anyone to follow.

      So thanks again for taking the time to comment, I am glad that you found this tutorial helpful.

      1. Tutorial
        Thank you so much. My S3 messed up and then I switched to the S4 and I lost all my contacts and calendar info that wasn’t entered through google. Trying to put everything back in manually is a pain. Now my S4 is messing up and I found your info to saving everything, thank god. Now I can do a factory reset or replace the phone without being stressed out.

        Though I’m not sure about my appts in the calendar. How do I make sure I don’t lose them? Im very technology challenged and have never been able to use the google calender, so I always just put them on the phone.

        1. Transferring data from the Samsung Galaxy S3 to the Galaxy S4


          I am happy to hear that you found this guide helpful when backing up your Samsung Galaxy S3. I have the S4 myself so you got yourself a good phone. How did your S4 get messed up? Do you need any help cleaning it up again or sorting anything out? Were you going to reset your Samsung Galaxy S3 to pass it on or where you looking to reset your Samsung Galaxy S4 to start fresh again? If you were going to reset your Galaxy S3 to sell it or give it to someone else to use then keep the advice listed at how to properly delete the data from an Android smartphone in mind.

          If you have not already done so then make sure to setup your Gmail account correctly as well. Having your Google account setup properly on your Android can help streamline the transfer of information to a different Android phone or tablet or other Android device. This includes your Contacts, Calendar, Apps, Emails through Gmail, etc.

          Many non-tech savvy or new Android owners have someone else setup their primary Google account or set it up themselves with little thought about its importance but it really is a very powerful tool to help you keep everything synced. I would check the Google Account on your S3 first and if possible use that same account on your S4. If you already have everything backed up to your S4 and or don’t know your primary Google account information from your S3 then I recommend that you create a new Gmail that you can remember and then use that new Google account on your S4, and on future Android cell phones that you choose to upgrade to. It will make your life so much easier and help to streamline everything when it’s time to upgrade to your next smartphone.

          As far as syncing your calendar from your Samsung Galaxy S3 to your Samsung Galaxy S4 without the use of a Gmail account… I am not sure really, I have always kept mine in sync with my Google account. I bet that you could copy and then transfer the information from your calendar somehow using a memory card or a computer (if syncing to Google isn’t an option) but never having done it myself I might have to give it a try and play around with it a bit on my S4 before I can give you a proper answer to that question. If you only have a few appointments then it might be best to do it manually and just type it all into your S4 yourself.

          Sorry I couldn’t be of more help with the calendar question but when I get some spare time I will try to play with it a bit on my phone and let you know the best way to do it. Maybe even write an article covering that topic as well.

          In the meantime I wish you luck, I hope you enjoy your new S4 (I know I do), and if you have any more questions about your phone don’t hesitate to ask.

  6. Backing up memos, messages and calendar
    Hi. Some of this article was useful, but most of it not at all.
    My Samsung Galaxy doesn’t have a folder inside “my files” called “SD Card” or “External SD Card”. I’m guessing because everything is storing straight to the Card anyway.
    So, it seems I don’t need to back up my pics or movies as they’re already going straight to the card.
    But I do need to back up all my Memos, my calendar and my sms messages.
    How do I do that?

    1. How to backup the information on your Samsung Galaxy

      Hello Jon,

      Please remember that this article is intended to help you backup pictures to a memory card. If you don’t have a memory card inserted in your Samsung Galaxy cell phone then it will NOT show an External SD option. If you have a memory card and it is working properly then you should be able to browse the files stored to that SD Card to verify that the pictures and movies are stored on it. Make sure to follow the first part of this guide and verify that you have a memory card and that it is communicating with your Samsung Galaxy properly.

      I am not sure what Samsung Galaxy smartphone you are currently using (Captivate, SII, SIII, S4, S5, one of the Notes, etc.) or what version of the Android Operating system your phone is currently running on so I cannot give you detailed suggestions or specific advice BUT if you are more of a visual person (like myself) then check out How to backup files to a memory card on a Samsung Android 4.2 smartphone. It shows, with pictures, how to move files such as pictures and movies to a memory card using an S4 as an example.

      As far as backing up your other information such as your memos, messages, and calendar, the process is going to be a little different…

      I think that you will find How to Backup and Reset and Android cell phone very helpful in saving data from your Samsung Galaxy smartphone including your Calendar (which Gmail should help backup), Your Messages (no default way to do this so you will have to use an App like SMS Backup and Restore), and as far as your Memos… I don’t really use the Memo feature on my cell phone so I personally have never had to create a backup of it before BUT I believe that Samsung Kies can help you backup your Memos (and most of your phones info) to your PC.

      I hope that helps. If you have any more questions then don’t hesitate to ask.

  7. Need to back up phone but lcd screen isn’t working
    hi, i’ve a Samsung Galaxy S4 and the screen just stopped working. the phone is ringing and text and emails i can hear coming in but because i cannot see the screen i cannot unlock the phone.
    Is there anyway i can back up the picutures and data on the phone before it gets replaced.
    My previous phone was a BlackBerry and whenever i did a back up on the pc, the pc screen would ask me for the unlock key.
    Help….. Debbie

    1. Trying to backup an S4 with a malfunctioning display screen

      Hi Debbie,

      Sorry to hear that your display screen stopped working. Good description of your issue by the way very helpful. Ok, your phone is still working so a PC is going to be your best bet, if you have a password or unlock pattern then your PC isn’t going to allow you to view the files on your phone without unlocking the phone first. Which is going to be difficult as you cannot see your display screen.

      Which feature did you use to secure your cell phone? Swipe, Face unlock, Face and voice, Pattern, PIN or Password?

      Chances are very high that even though your display screen is having issues your touch screen is probably still working properly. Since people who use unlock patterns etc use those patterns frequently you might be able to still unlock your phone by making the same gesture on the screen by memory. You will not be able to see the screen of course but if you enter the correct unlock pattern your computer will allow you to access the content on your phone and perform a backup to your PC. 

      If you plug your Samsung Galaxy S4 into a computer it should prompt you to open folder to view files but it won’t show anything until the phone is unlocked. Once the cell phone is unlocked it will show “Phone” which is the phones internal storage and if you have an external memory card you will see another option labeled “Card”. So you can plug your S4 into your PC and you will know that you successfully unlocked your cell phone when those options pop up.

      Try that, if possible, and let me know one way or the other. If you have any issues or cannot get your pattern entered correctly then let me know what security feature you used to lock your phone (as a password option would be difficult to enter correctly without seeing the screen) and we’ll go from there.

      1. lcd screen on s4 not working

        Hi James,

        thanks for your prompt reply, unfortunately my phone is protected by PIN only and i’ve tried to imagine where the numbers should be but its not working.
        I’ve also put my sim back into it and tried ringing it, and while it is ringing when i try to swipe to answer it wont answer the call.  So i think the touch screen is not working on it either.

        Any other possibilities before i send it back to Samsung??


        1. A PIN code would make it more difficult.

          I will setup a PIN on my S4 and send you a screenshot of the unlock screen. Hopefully it will help show you exactly where you can press and allow you to unlock it. You might be right though, if you called your S4 and couldn’t answer the call then your touch screen might be malfunctioning as well.  I tried to see if I could access the storage through a computer a few ways but couldn’t get into it without the PIN code. Which is good as that is why PIN codes exist in the first place but unfortunate when it comes to trying to salvage your data through a computer on a locked Android smartphone with a malfunctioning display screen.

          I got my fingers crossed in the hopes that your touch screen is still functional and that the screenshot of my S4s unlock screen will help you unlock your cell phone. Note: I had to unplug my S4 a few times from the computer for it to recognize and allow me to access my cell phones information properly. Just thought I would mention that in case you enter your PIN properly but the phone doesn’t pop up on your PC right away.

          Good Luck Debbie, if there is anything else that I can do to try and help just let me know.

  8. Galaxy discover transfer memory help
    Hi I have a Samsung Galaxy Discover. My SD card is in and it tells me how much storage is on it. My problem is that there is no “my files” or “files” for me to click. My SD is empty and my internal storage is full. How do I transfer memory with no “file’s button”?

    1. Transferring pictures and files on the Samsung Galaxy Discover

      Hi Cheri,

      It is very, very odd that you do not have a “My Files” option available on your Samsung Galaxy. Double or even triple check your entire list of applications just to make sure you didn’t overlook it (that’s actually more common than you might think; sometimes this feature likes to play hide and seek).

      If you quadruple check your list of applications and you do not have a “Files” or more particular a “My Files” option (make sure to use THIS GUIDE as a reference) then you can download an app off of the Google Play Store to help you. Just do a search for “File Manager” and many different options will be available to you. One of my favorite file manager applications is the “ASTRO file manager” as its pretty user friendly and a very popular choice.

  9. 5 stars for such easy to follow instructions
    Thank you so much for setting up these easy to use easy to follow instructions. I have been so frustrated trying to follow other forums for moving files to my sd card. It took me one look on yours and I got it to work 🙂

  10. My Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    My Samsung Galaxy S Duos smartphone says your phone’s memory is getting low. What should I do?

    1. You might need to free up some storage space

      Hi Rajashekhar,

      If your Samsung smartphone is showing a message that your phone’s memory is getting low then chances are good that there is not much storage space left on your cell phones internal memory. I would check your Samsungs available storage and if it is indeed almost full then I would invest in a good memory card and move as much information as you can to that memory card. You can use the advice listed in the article above as a reference for moving much of the information currently stored on your internal storage to an external storage like an SD card.

  11. how to save pics to sd card from smartphone
    I just want to thank you soooo much. Such a HUGH help. I did it and it worked just like you said. I dont know what I would have done without your help. Again, Thank you!!

  12. Saving files to SD card
    Thank you so much. You are brilliant in how you explained the process to us lay people. I have never had instructions made so simple. It was almost as if you were in side my head seeing all the possible questions I would have and all the pitfalls doing this process. How intuitive…. how brilliant….. what a gift you have!

  13. Touch screen intermittent error/disfunction

    I have had to replace the screen on my Galaxy Note2 twice.

    The first time it was as good as new, but after the second round the screen started acting up.

    It will allow me to unlock it with the pattern, but should it be locked the next time the screen is totally unresponsive. I then have to press the lock button twice to dim and revive the screen and only then it is responsive again. Also, when a call comes in, I can’t answer it. Same problem, lock button twice then the screen responds. I did a factory reset recently, but that didn’t resolve the issue. I’m guessing something more than the screen is/might be damaged?

    Please can you give me some advice?


    1. Trying to pinpoint the cause of your touch screen issue

      Hi Pierre,

      That is a very strange issue. It almost sounds like a software problem as you said it works the first time and then you are able to fix it with a quick lock and unlock of the screen… if it was hardware like a malfunctioning touch screen then the screen wouldn’t work at all.

      Try to run a quick diagnostic on the touch screen to see if there are any dead spots on the screen. It seems like the powers at be are trying to phase out Android Star Code Commands but see if your Note2 will allow you carry out the commands to test its screen functionality. Open your phones dialer (as though you were going to type in a telephone number) and type in *#7353#. Once you type in *#7353# you should see a list of features to run diagnostic tests on. If your Note 2 is anything like my S4 (should be) then your phone will likely have a “TSP Dot Mode” and a “TSP Grid Mode”. Either of these options can be used to check the touch screen on your Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

      If you find any dead or unresponsive spots, make a note of where they are, lock and then unlock your cell phone run the test again and check to see if that spot still has issues or not. If it does then your screen is likely malfunctioning. If it doesn’t have any issues and your phone responds correctly then I would wager that its software related and I would bet that your actual screen is in fact functioning properly after all.

      As far as how you could resolve that problem if it is in fact a software issue… That might be a little harder as you have already tried a factory reset which didn’t help. Have you ever rooted, flashed or installed any custom software to your Samsung? You might be able to resolve it by re-loading a fresh copy of software to your phone. This is kind of a bit on the extreme side of things but since you already tried a reset with no effect than that might be the next step in trying to resolve your particular issue.

      I have yet to hear of that specific issue Pierre but if I was to make an educated guess I would lean more towards a software problem as opposed to the actual screen malfunctioning. I wish you luck and don’t forget to come back to the site to let us know if you were able to resolve your annoying issues or not.

  14. samsung gs4
    hi i’m hoping you can help me. I took out my memory card from my Samsung galaxy s4 without unmounting it first and now when I put it back in the phone absolutely nothing shows up, as if the pics and videos were cleared. but the phone also doesn’t even show that I mounted an sd card. so i’m wondering if everything is still on that sd card or if theres anything I can do to find them. I even tried putting that sd card in an adaptor and into my computer to see if the pics were there but nothing happens at all. please help.

    1. Try to always unmount or power off before removing an SD card

      Hi Andrea,

      You are not the first person to run into this issue on your smartphone. In fact a few other people had the same issue and posted similar questions on the site under another article. You might find my replies to them helpful and can read a few of those replies and other similar comments on this subject HERE.

      If your Android cell phone and PC are not reading your SD card properly then the phone may have been transferring information to or from the memory card when you removed it causing the information on your SD card to become corrupted. It sticks that your card won’t read at all though, very unfortunate; and I don’t know if you are going to be able to recover the information previously or currently stored to it.

      Try the advice in the comment reply that I linked too and hopefully it will help get your phone to read properly again. If you cannot get it to work correctly than I suggest trying to format the SD card as a last resort. It will wipe any data off of the card but since the memory card won’t read properly anyways a re-format may at least get the card functional again allowing the phone to recognize, communicate and use the card again.

  15. lcd gone wrong
    hi i have just brought the s5 i have been using it fine i have an armed case on there 2. i was using the phone it was all good i popped it on charge went for some food the phone started to ring and as i went to answer it the screen was black i pulled the battery and tryed again same problem there seams to be no way around it. now if i keep trying i can just see the Samsung s5 message on the boot but then all black again its as tho the back light has gone. now i rang Samsung and they told me it sounds like i dropped it now i know i didnt. they have told me to send it to them to have a look but also said that if it has been done by sudden shock then it wont be covered under there warranty. as u can imagine im pretty upset with the response as i brought the phone out right from them over the internet

    1. A little off topic but… trying to fix your S5

      Hi Mark,

      The good news is that it sounds like you take good care of your cell phone and that it doesn’t have liquid or physical damage which means that if you cannot fix it yourself, which I believe you have a good chance of doing, you can send it into Samsung without worrying of being charged for the repair as this issue is covered under Samsung’s manufactures warranty.

      Sometimes Androids just get confused for no apparent reason at all, sometimes they malfunction, sometimes they just get a software hiccup and instead of getting a good scaring to get rid of their hiccups they tend to give a good scaring to their owners.

      Let’s see if we can’t get your S5 back up and running properly again. I might need more information about the issue to resolve it properly but if you can still see the Samsung logo when the phone is trying to start up and that logo doesn’t look faded or dark then it’s probably not the display screen. If it was a bad LCD or backlight issue then you wouldn’t be able to see anything at all. The phone might even boot up and even receive calls but you wouldn’t be able to see anything on its display. Does this seem to be happening on your phone or does the phone seem to just power off?

      From your description I have two theories.

      The first is that it is a possible power issue. The phone starts to turn on thinks that it doesn’t have enough charge to operate and immediately powers off. Since this happened when the phone was charging it might have just confused the phone a bit when the phone rang and you tried to answer it (which shouldn’t have happened as it had no reason to black out like it did). I would think that a battery pull (which you already tried) and a good night plugged into a charger would help resolve this type of issue.

      The second theory is that your phone experienced a slight software problem and you should try to boot your phone into Safe Mode to see if it will power up properly again using only its default applications. If that doesn’t work then you can try a hard reset for good measure.

      Now that I come to think about it I already have an article that covers a pretty similar topic and explains these things in greater detail. Check out How to fix an Android that wont power on and that’s stuck on the Samsung Logo, I think that you will find the advice listed there very helpful and I have a good feeling that you have a good chance of fixing your S5 yourself.

      Good luck Mark, if you have any more questions then don’t hesitate to ask.

      1. s5 screen
        My screen is dull when Samsung logo appears but it doesn’t always come up. I can hear the phone boot and can get calls and texts

        1. Then your original theory is likely correct

          Then your original theory is likely correct in that the display screen itself has likely malfunctioned (which sometimes happens) and will be covered under the manufactures warranty. Sounds like you just hit the unlucky lottery that’s all. As long as you visually inspect your cell phone and don’t see any signs of physical damage and your phones Liquid Damage Indicator stickers do not indicate water damage then you have nothing to fear and should send your phone into Samsung for repair.

          These exact situations are why warranties exist in the first place and manufactures are responsible for these types of defects and faulty or defective equipment; or should I say that they are responsible for these types of things for a full year from the time that a new phone gets purchased and your S5 should fall into this category and still be covered.

  16. phone turning off
    I have a samsung galaxy ace running on Android 2.3.6 (Gingerbread). It keeps turning off when the battery is still around 75%. I have checked the battery which shows GOOD. I was trying to follow your instructions about backing everything up before doing a reset; I don’t have many photos but quite a few contacts I’d like to keep. According to the check you mention, I do have a memory card (it shows Unmount SD card), but there is no folder called External SD. Help!

  17. Great explanation!
    This is a great, great post!, I found all the information I needed!
    Thanks a lot!

  18. Lost pictures
    I have a Samsung SGH-1577. The memory on my phone was full and I kept getting a memory low message so I put an SD card into my phone and copied all my photos and videos to the card. I triple checked to make sure they were on it and then deleted them from the phone. I also set the camera to save photos to the SD card by default for my future pictures.

    A little bit later I went to look at a photo and it and my other photos were gone! I unmounted the SD card, remounted it, checked again and they still are not there. My storage still shows 624MB of pictures and videos but I can’t find them anywhere on my phone.

    My phone is still having memory issues too and won’t let me upgrade anything because I don’t have enough memory, not sure what is going on.

    1. Trying to fix your Samsung and find your missing pictures

      Hi Lori,

      When a cell phone is having memory issues it can often be unpredictable. It’s hard to tell for sure if something happened during the transfer (unlikely since you verified that they all transferred properly), or if the memory issues are causing your media files not to sync or show on the phone correctly (possible), or what exactly is happening.

      How much available space is left on your Samsungs internal storage?

      If the phone doesn’t have enough memory to run properly then this might be the cause of your problem and you might need to do some more cleaning on the phone in order to fix it. I am surprised that remounting the card didn’t help… good job for trying this. Have you tried rebooting the phone? Restarting your phone should help force it to try to scan for media files to display as well.

      Have you tried connecting your phone to a computer or plugging your SD card into a computer directly to see if you can locate your media files that way? If you take a picture with your camera right now will it show up in your phones Gallery? Are you using your phones Gallery App to view your photos or are you using another application? Have you tried your memory card in a different phone?

      Like I said, it’s going to be difficult to say for sure what is causing this to happen on your cell phone but since you mentioned memory issues I am kind of leaning towards that as being the cause. Do some more cleaning and try to free up as much space on your phone as you can manage, reboot, try a computer if necessary and then let me know if that helps locate your missing photos. It sounds like you did everything right and didn’t do anything wrong, we just got to try and figure out what happened and/or why your phone wont display your photos properly.

  19. Lost pictures
    First, thank you so much for all the help! You are so clear with your instructions, which is greatly appreciated. Now to the questions. I have 130MB available storage, on my device. Yes, I tried rebooting phone. It did not work. I have cleaned up my phone as much as I know how, I don’t run that many apps. I have all my photos going directly to the sd card. I look at them by going to MY FILES, external sd, then DCIM, camera. All photos I have taken since I lost the original ones are showing up on the SD card. I put the SD card in my computer, it does not have my original photos. I am pretty sure my photos are gone. Hoping you my have something else for me to try. And, I still don’t understand where all my storage went. Still unable to update any files.
    Thank you so much

    1. Trying to manage your available storage space

      Hello Lori,

      Thanks for the kind words, I always appreciate positive feedback.

      130MB is NOT a lot of storage to work with and when a phone runs out of available storage it can have trouble functioning properly. Things can start crashing and even data such as pictures can vanish without a trace. I found it interesting that you mentioned rebooting as rebooting might help clear some temporary files from the phone and it might seem like a temporary fix but as you also pointed out it’s not really a permanent solution and at some point will stop working.

      Good job for investing in a memory card and great job for setting your default camera storage location to that memory card. You are on the right track my friend.

      So you can view your recent camera photos by going to your phones external sd and then opening the DCIM folder and then opening the Camera folder… out of curiosity do you see any pictures in the Device storage > DCIM > Camera folder? If so then you can move those photos to your sd card as well to try and free up some more space on your phone. Speaking of freeing up space… you mentioned that you don’t use many applications but have you tried to transfer some of those apps to your memory card as well? Some apps will let you move them and some won’t.

      You mentioned that you lost some photos… do you happen to know what caused their disappearance? Did they just vanish when your phones memory started to run out of available storage space or did they disappear while you were trying to save them somewhere or did they get lost be some other means. What phone do you own by the way? Some phones just don’t come with the storage space that I feel they should and it’s easy to run out of memory quickly.

      1. I have a Samsung SGH-1577.

        I have a Samsung SGH-1577.  The photos I seem to have lost are what prompted me to contact you.  It happened after I copied my photos and videos to a sd card.  I triple checked to make sure they were on it and then deleted them from the phone. There are no files in the devices DCIM -camera folder.

        I have moved a few apps to the sd card, some won’t move.  I am at a loss.  Just keep hoping that there might be something I missed. 

        Thank you

        A little bit later I went to look at a photo and it and my other photos were gone! I unmounted the SD card, remounted it, checked again and they still are not there. My storage still shows 624MB of pictures and videos but I can’t find them anywhere on my phone.

        My phone is still having memory issues too and won’t let me upgrade anything because I don’t have enough memory, not sure what is going on.

        1. I had a feeling…

          I had a feeling that it was a phone like that. The Samsung Exhilarate i577 doesn’t come with a lot of internal memory to begin with. If I am not mistaken it comes with 4GB of internal storage but only about 2.5GB of storage is available to actually use which can fill up really quick. So… you have to constantly keep an eye on and manage your memory for that device (which stinks).

          That being said… If the phone couldn’t work or process properly because of the memory problems then there is a slight chance that the transfer process couldn’t complete properly and the information could get lost. You mentioned that you confirmed that the pictures where transferred to the card though so I don’t see any reason why they would vanish from the memory card. So long as you erased the pictures on the phones storage as opposed to the pictures on the memory card but that doesn’t sound right either as you would still have a copy of your pictures stored in one location or the other.

          Un-mounting and remounting should have helped sync the photos if they were on the card and you should have certainly seen them if you plugged your SD card into a computer as well.

          Some apps won’t let you move them to the SD card. So you did well by moving the ones that you can move.

          I am not sure what version of Android your Samsung Exhilarate i577 is but if you access your phones “My Files” folder do you see an “Images” option? If so does it contain a “Camera” folder and if so does that Camera folder contain any photos?

          If you go to your “Storage” (you mentioned that it still showed 624MB of data) and you click on that “Pictures, videos” option will it display your photos?

          If you have had your phone for a while and have a lot of text messages stored up you can try deleting some of those un-needed threads to clear up a little bit of space on your device… not the most desirable thing to do I know but it could help clear up some much needed space as well.

          It sounds like you did everything correct Lori, it’s just that particular phone was built with, in my opinion, an inadequate amount of storage space to function properly for an extended amount of time and that lack of storage is causing all this trouble. The worst part is that there is not really much that you can do to try and fix it permanently.

          1. Lost photos

            I tried looking for Images, this phone does not have it.  I did check the storage and looked at pictures, video, the photos are not there either.  I did empty out my text messages, it was the first thing I did.  Lost my once in a lifetime photos of Hawaii, It is a hard way to learn a lesson.  You have been so very helpful and the instructions you give are very easy to follow, thank you.

          2. You’re welcome.

            You’re welcome Lori. Sorry to hear about your pictures and thanks again for the kind and thoughtful remarks.

  20. Thank you so much
    Thank you so much,
    Your instructions were very clear and easy to follow.
    It helped a lot.

  21. Recovering Corrupt(?) Vacation Photos from SD Card!
    I’m having an issue I hope someone can help me with. I put a Samsung SD card in my Samsung Galaxy S5, synced it up with the phone, and was able to take and save pictures directly to the card (since there wasn’t much space left on the phone). However, when I view my gallery it goes from actual images to a grey square with a white chess-pawn shape and a lightning bolt (where photos used to be). It’s like that for a lot of the pictures, but then it lets me view some random images just fine before going back to the grey square. How can I un-corrupt the other files?? These are my Hawaii vacation pictures and I want to recover them if I can.

    Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

  22. Viewing contents on my sd card and correct way to transfer items
    I’m so glad you’re available for help. And I am able to understand your directions to get what I need done accomplished. I’m not going anywhere else to get the help I need. I have found more help assistance in this section for several items than in the several other areas for help that I’ve recently looked before. Thanks again

  23. Using a memory card
    Thank you – so glad I found this – really easy to follow for us non-instinctive people who have inherited smartphones from our children!

  24. Samsung Galaxy S5

    I’m not even sure I can explain my problem. I have pictures on my phone that do not move to my laptop. When I connect to the laptop I am informed that no new pictures were found. When I open the file, it just shows the pictures that I saved.  I followed your directions and I was able to move pictures from 2015, and 2013. But for some reason pictures from 2014 do not move. When I get into dcim/camera, the only pictures there are ones that after moving to the laptop I decided to keep in my phone. These pictures are not on the sd card either and I tried to move them there, but they do not show up in any file… Any suggestions?

  25. Thanks for the amazing posts
    You have an amazing ability to decipher problems from written questions and to formulate answers in clear written English. This is almost a lost art form today. Certainly my calls -multiple- to Samsung did not reveal as much helpful information as your posts. I am curious: what is your background and do you want help getting a job with Samsung?

  26. Pictures saved to my SD are not showing
    I have tried several times to save pictures on my phone to my SD card. I get the notification that stated that my pictures have successfully been saved to my SD card but when I go to my gallery they are there. Any help?

  27. Transferring photos from Samsung phone to SD card
    Thanks so much. Your directions are so clear and I am hard to teach. I could follow you and my photos are moved!

  28. My Longstanding Conundrum
    You are a Star! I am a complete technophobe and have been trying to work out how to move my photographs from my phone to my SD card for months. I found your wonderful, crystal clear instructions today and my conundrum which has been driving me crazy was solved in seconds! Thank you so much x.

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