10 Steps to Enable Adoptable Storage on MIUI 11 Phones

10 Steps to Enable Adoptable Storage on MIUI 11 Phones 1

This trick helps you enable the built-in adoptable storage on Xiaomi phones running MIUI 11 without unlocking bootloader nor rooting. This feature allows you to use an external Micro SD Card like internal storage. Hence, you can move apps and their data to the external SD Card.

Previously, we posted a dirty little trick on how to enable adoptable storage using a Windows-based tool. The one you are going to see below does not need any additional tool nor a computer. Therefore, it can be done easier and more efficient.

What is Adoptable Storage?

Adoptable storage is completely the opposite of portable storage. Portable storage allows you to use external SD Card as portable media to store files. Portable means easily mounted on any device. On the other hand, adoptable means not portable.

Once mounted on a specific device, the SD Card cannot be used on other devices. Once the SD Card is adopted by an Android phone, it bounds with that device forever until you format it.

Shortly, the adoptable storage is a new technology to make an external SD card act like internal storage. Therefore, you can use it to store installed Android apps and data.

How to Enable Adoptable Storage on MIUI 11

Before we proceed, make sure you create backups of all your data from the SD Card. The procedure requires you to format the SD Card.

On top of that, please use only an SD Card with high read-write speed. We recommend you to use at least Micro SD Card Class 10 (10MB/s). Using Micro SD Card UHS-I (10MB/s) or UHS-II Mark 3 (30MB/s) is more recommended.

Step 1. Open Settings on your phone.

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Step 2. Type Storage in the search bar, then tap on the Storage (My device storage) option.

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Step 3. Choose Erase SD Card option.

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Step 4. The next page asks you whether to use the mounted SD Card portable or phone storage. Using it as the phone storage means you’ll use it for extra phone storage which in this case is as adoptable storage. Hence, choose Phone Storage.

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Step 5. Choose Format SD Card from the displayed option.

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Wait for the system to complete formatting the SD Card.

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Step 6. At this point, you have basically set your SD Card as adoptable storage. The system will ask you whether to move content now or later. For the sake of this tutorial, simply choose Move Content.

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Step 7. Wait for the process to go. It may take a while and probably a little bit longer depending on how many apps and data being moved.

Please make sure you don’t use the phone for any other tasks during the process. Also, make sure the phone has enough battery juice. Do not hesitate to connect the phone to its charger if the battery level is minimum.

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Step 8. Tap Done once the process has finished.

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Step 9. Reboot your phone.

Step 10. Go to Settings again, then go to My Device, then All Specs. Take a look at the Storage section and notice its capacity has increased.

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Cannot Find Phone Storage vs Portable Storage Options?

In some Xiaomi phone models, the “How will you use this SD Card?” feature is not available under the Format SD Card option. If this the case, simply follow some additional steps below.

Step 1. Launch the Play Store app on your phone.

Step 2. Search and install the Activity Launcher app (Play Store link).

Step 3. Open the app once installed.

Step 4. Choose Files then com.android.documentsui.LauncherActivity.

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Step 5. Tap the three lines menu at the top left-hand corner to launch the Sidebar menu. Choose the SD Card then tap on the three dots menu at the top right-hand corner.

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Step 6. Choose Storage Settings.

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Step 7. Choose Format as Internal.

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Step 8. Next, tap the Format SD Card button.

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Step 9. At this point, you can then follow the next steps as outlined in the previous section starting from Step 6: Moving content to SD Card.

Enjoy!

Credits belong to feds64.

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47 thoughts on “10 Steps to Enable Adoptable Storage on MIUI 11 Phones”

  1. Hello!
    I followed this guide and it did increase the capacity of my internal storage however i cannot use the freed space nor use it as a portable storage device. Please elaborate on that front. Also I removed the sd card and my apps launched without trouble so I’m guessing nothing was moved to the card.

  2. same problem the space given by the SD is under system storage and unavailable
    Redmi 5 and a kingston 32gb class 10 80MB/s reading and 10MB/s writing

  3. Same here. Redmi s2 32gb, using a kingston 16gb class 10. After process say 16 internal storage total, available the same before the format and not show me the available space in SD.

  4. Had the same problem. Any updates or has anyone been able to revert this process back?
    After formatting as internal the ad card options do not show anymore.

  5. Thanks!
    Method 1 is not available on Redmi 7A MiUI 11.0.14.0.
    Method 2 (Activity Launcher) works (“Files” will appear localized on non-English MiUI). There is an option content to be moved later (I chose it). Restart must be done after formatting! Odd things happened. 1. A Samsung EVO Plus 128 GB appears as 256 GB after restart; 2. A low on space message appears although there is enough free space; 3. After shutdown, taking out the SD and start, there is a message to insert the card back, because the apps, app data or files will be missing or inaccessible, but everything is there on the internal. After restart the message did not appear and the phone is back to its state before inserting the SD.
    Cheers!

    1. My phone is Xiaomi 7A with a Sand Disk SD Card of 16 GB class 10, I perform the steps on Method 2. No additional memory appears on the phone and no SD Card is appears on the Storage option.
      I put another SD Card but the Storage Option don’t show any other SD Card.
      What can I do now? How I can return to the previous settings.
      Thank you.

  6. after doing the steps on Redmi note 7 pro, my DCIM folder and all its images are gone.
    the memory utilization still shows high so i think i have not lost all the photographs. the camera app doesnt work, the pics taken from the camera doesnt show up in any folder or galley. please support

  7. same problem with a 64 or 256GB Sandisk SD card…
    the process works with Activity Launcher and after the reboot I can see 64 or 256GB (depending of the SD card used) total space but System storage is taking 40GB (for the 64GB SD card) or 233GB (for the 256GB SD Card) and only 20GB are free…
    I have contacted Mi and they want me to send the phone back but it seems useless and only standard procedure, I am sure I will waste my time… anyone had found how to fix that as I see a lot of people having the same issue ?

  8. Hello any way to revert this? After doing this I cannot install anything from the play store. I am getting error “App requires external storage”.
    This feature is quite buggy. Redmi note 9s with Strontium 128GB card

  9. To disable, just unplug the SD card and the phone will ask you to forget it. If you plug the SD card, it will need to be reformatted. Reformat as external storage and never use this feature again.

  10. how to decrypt the sd card and reverse the storage. i used the second set of instructions my phone is redmi 6a. thanks in advance

  11. Hi,

    How to revert back my internal storage because after I merge internal & external sd I can’t update my MUI now.
    Hope you can help me with this problem.
    Thanks in advance!

  12. Doesn’t work on REDMI 7A GLOBAL MIUI 11.0.7
    After formatting through activity manager method, sd card disappears. When connected through MTP to PC only appears the SD CARD, not internal anymore, but it’s actually the internal (checked after inserting the sd card on my pc card reader and GPARTED)

  13. Thank Gods that u here man u saved my day
    i had spent 6h figure it out how to do this! my ass is flat now
    my man!!!!!!

  14. Activity launcher worked on my redmi note 4, also is there any way to move back the app to internal storage, as I did use activity launcher and when I check storage setting there’s no migrate data listed

    1. Found out. Man, my phone was stuck with the total storage being 32 GB because the feature doesn’t expand the storage anymore and my SD card had 32 GB storage. Also, my SD card was slow. Don’t use this article if you have a slow SD card with the storage being lesser than 128 gigs and such.

      I connected the phone to the PC with the SD card inside the phone and transferred all the data on the SD card to a folder on my PC and removed the SD card from the phone and restarted the phone.

      When the phone starts, go to the home screen and swipe down and you’ll see a notification about the SD card. Tap it and choose to Forget the SD card. Now, if you still want to use the SD card as a portable storage – then re-insert the SD card into the phone and reformat it and use it as a portable storage.

      This article should be taken down for the timebeing because the feature is buggy on MIUI 11.

  15. Tahnk you so much! @nd method worked on my redmi 6a. I would have like to use only 40% as internal though but it’s okay. I tried the adb method but it did not work. I did the mixed configuration via adb but it did not work porperly

  16. I did the 2nd method with activity launcher app and everything went well, however l am facing “storage space is running low” warning yet and it is terible.

  17. after doing this. the part of reformat as card. nothing appeared like do you want to moved all your file on as card. nothing. it’s was just saying as card ready to use this some Java errors appeared after. and i can’t open my setting>about phone it’s forcing to close whenever i going on it.
    redmi A6 global. is my phone

  18. I almost cry because it bugged my storage but fixed when i shutting down the cellphone, remove sd card then turn it back on then forget sd card then insert back the sd card then format it to portable again… I think the MIUI 11 storage system is a little bit buggy atm so i dont want to use sd cards as internal atm

  19. its work on note 9 pro 6/64 miui 12.0.3 but google play store cannot detect storage and it would say it need an external sd card, in the storage setting it will detect sd card not internal and when I open the detailed storage setting it will say minus free space and to revert it back u need to factory reset the phone. I’m using SanDisk sd card a2 uhs 1 v30 128 GB. still waiting for to vendor and google to fix it since genshin impact will take huge storage and it wouldn’t use sd card as it data storage

  20. thanks for the info, it works, my 256gb sdcard succesfully detected as internal, but it brings more trouble than advantage, many applications failed to work, such playstore, dropbox, miui setting crashed etc

    i have to rever it back, by
    – turn off phone
    – unplug sdcard and delete volume using windows disk management as it cant be detected, after revolumed and reformated with exfats format, sdcard dtected again in windows
    – plug it back to phone
    – reformat when requested

  21. i have a 32g Note 8T running Miui 11.0.4 and bought a SanDisk 64G micro SDXC Class 10.
    1st time i tried i had to use method 2… this told me it now had 64g of internal storage but 43g used up by system storage so still very little room. i then got it to forget this and reformatted the SD card on my laptop (it wouldnt recognise in my phone to reformat until i did) then i reinserted into my phone and it let me format again and gave me option for method 1 so i tried that. again 43g of system data and very little room ….now i’m getting messages that apps like dropbox and revolut keep stopping without letting me access them…..advice please on how to reset this device and get my phone back feel like its 1/2 way to being bricked. i’m scared

  22. HELLO, I did follow this instructions but i didn’t work at all, that’s why is there any way to Undo the this? Because If i removed the SD Card it doesn’t show my files but the SD CARD’S storage capacity doesn’t add up. BADLY NEED HELP.

  23. So far so good the only problem that I encounter as of now is that every app icons that I newly downloaded are disappearing in the home screen after restarting and the latency but they are minor as of now

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