So you’re exploring your awesome Android phone (or Android device) and while in the Settings you stumble upon the SD card and phone storage (or Storage) and find an option to Unmount or Mount SD card. But what happens when you unmount the phone storage on your Android device? Good question and here is a brief description of what this does and why it is important.
If you have an SD card vs. don’t have an SD card
If you have an SD card also referred to as a memory card in your Android phone then the device should give you the option to unmount SD card. If you do not have a memory card in your phone or if you just placed a card into your Android phone, and have not yet powered the phone back on after doing so, then the option will read Mount SD card. This is also good to know if you want to test to see if your memory card is working correctly. If you insert a memory card and your memory card is reading Mount SD card and it’s grayed out and won’t let you tap that option then the phone isn’t reading the memory card properly and you might want to look into buying another memory card or looking into warranty options. Also remember to check for damage on both the card and the phone.
Inserting and removing a memory card
This is where the mounting and un-mounting comes in. If you ever want to remove your memory card from your phone then you should go into your devices Settings then tap on Storage (or SD card and phone storage) > and tap Unmount SD card. This will tell the phone to stop communicating or transferring information from the memory card to the device, or vise versa from the phone to the memory card, and allow you to remove your memory card safely.
If you do not unmount your SD card or power off the phone before removing your memory card then you can corrupt any files that might have been transferring when you removed the card and run the risk of damaging the memory card.
Corrupted or malfunctioning SD card
If you think that your memory card might have corrupted files or might be malfunctioning then I recommend that you save the information from the memory card to a computer and then erase/format the SD card.
Format SD card
You can erase a memory card using your phone with very little effort by first clicking the option to unmount SD card. When it’s done it often gives you a message to let you know that the SD card has been successfully unmounted and is now safe to remove. If it doesn’t then it should just switch from saying unmount SD card to Mount SD card. When it’s done, you will be presented with the option to Format SD card.
DO NOT FORMAT AN SD CARD UNTIL YOU HAVE SAVED ALL OF THE INFORMATION TO A DIFFERENT SOURCE. Formatting the SD card is like performing a factory data reset on a phone. Formatting it will erase ALL of the information currently saved to your memory card.
Now you know
A quick recap with some other important tips to keep in mind
- You should ALWAYS either unmount your SD card or power off your phone before removing your memory card.
- Unmounting the SD card does NOT result in a loss of data or anything saved on your SD card. It simply tells the phone to stop showing things from the memory card.
- Some applications use the memory card to store information to, or function properly. When unmounting your SD card from your phone you might get a little warning message letting you know that unmounting the SD card can cause some applications to stop functioning properly. That’s fine. Just press ok.
- You do NOT need to unmount your SD card to remove the back of your phone. You only really need to unmount your SD card when you plan on physically removing the memory card from the phone.
- You can unmount the SD card if you want to verify that things are actually saved onto your SD card. If you go into a file you assume is on your memory card, then unmount the SD card, the file(s) on the SD card should vanish.
- If you just got a memory card or are planning on buying a memory card then don’t forget to set the default storage location of your camera to your SD card by going into your Camera Settings and switching from phone to memory card. That way when you take a picture or record a video it goes directly to your memory card. Then you don’t have to worry about transferring pictures and videos to your memory card later, everything will be saved there already. This also helps provide better security for your media files, should the phone malfunction or become damaged. This allows you to simply take your memory card out of the broken phone, put it in the replacement phone and you’re good to go.
If you have a memory card that is 4GB or less then I recommend you invest in a larger memory card, with a high Class rating. If your memory card is one of the smaller cards you might want to read this article about choosing the best memory cards for smartphones.
Keep enjoying your phone
So now that you know the importance of unmounting your memory card before removing it from your phone you should be in good shape. Make sure to take lots of pictures and videos on your device and don’t forget to set the default storage location for your media to the memory card.