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How to increase internal memory on the Galaxy Note 4

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is a great phablet, but its internal memory isn’t as much as some of us would like: that 32 GB of on-board storage can fill up awfully quickly. Read on to discover how to increase internal memory on Galaxy Note 4 devices.

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Adding lots of memory costs less than you might expect. / © Samsung

How to increase internal memory on Galaxy Note 4: what you can and can’t change

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has three kinds of memory. There’s RAM, which is where your apps live when they’re running; there’s the internal flash memory storage, which is where you store your stuff and park your apps; and there’s a memory card slot, which you can use to add memory cards.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 ships with 3 MB of RAM, 32 GB of internal memory and an empty card slot. You can’t add more RAM - that’s an integral part of the phone’s guts - and you can’t increase the internal flash memory either. What you can do, though, is add memory via the memory card slot - and when you compare the cost of flash memory cards to the price some firms - such as the one whose name begins with “A” and rhymes with “Snapple” - charge for extra storage, you’ll be glad Samsung went with that option for the Note 4.

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Be very careful when you shop. There are lots of fakes around. / © Amazon

How to increase internal memory on Galaxy Note 4: what it costs

The Galaxy Note 4 can handle microSD cards with up to 128 GB of storage space, and such cards are a lot cheaper than you might expect: a quick dive into Amazon.com uncovers a SanDisk Ultra with 128 GB for $79.99, and a Samsung EVO with 128 GB for $72.99. Be careful, though: some sellers are offering no-name cards at much, much lower prices, and many of those cards are fake. More about that in a moment.

You can save a lot of money by getting microSD cards with smaller capacity - a Samsung EVO with 64 GB of space is currently $22.99, so buying two of them would save you $27 compared to the cost of a single 128 GB card - or you could just stick with one and buy another if you need it. Our advice here is the opposite of our advice when choosing on-board storage on devices without microSD cards, where we recommend buying as much storage as you can afford; with microSD cards it’s a case of buying as much storage as you need.

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At the moment it's cheaper to buy two 64 GB cards than one 128 GB one. / © Samsung

How to increase internal memory on Galaxy Note 4: what you need to know

Memory cards are not created equal. They come in different shapes and sizes, have different speeds, and conform to different standards. Here’s how to decode the jargon.

  • MicroSD: microSD is a tiny memory card designed specifically for mobile devices. The SD stands for Secure Digital. There’s another small standard, miniSD, but you don’t want that: it’s bigger than microSD and won’t fit in your Note.
  • MicroSD adapter: if you want to use your memory card in other devices, you might need an adapter to make it fit: for example, many laptops have memory card slots but expect to see a full-sized SD card in there. You’ll find that many microSD cards ship with an adapter that enables you to use them in full-sized SD card slots.
  • Capacity: SD cards of all sizes come in three different flavors: SDSC, SDHC and SDXC. The first two letters always stand for Secure Digital, and the last two stand for Standard Capacity, High Capacity and Extended Capacity. SDXC cards have the most storage. There’s also a newer standard, Ultra High Speed (UHS), but your Note 4 doesn’t support it so there’s no point in paying extra for it.
  • Speed: the speed of an SD card is shown by a class rating, so for example a Class 2 SD card writes data at up to 2 MB/s while a Class 10 is five times faster at 10 MB/s. Those speeds matter, because 2MB/s is only just fast enough for standard definition video recording. If you want to shoot full HD, you’ll need a Class 6 or higher - and if you want to take stills while shooting full HD, you’ll need a class 10.
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Many cards ship with adapters that enable you to use them in full-sized SD slots. / © Samsung

How to increase internal memory on Galaxy Note 4 without getting scammed

Fake memory cards are highly profitable, so there’s lots around. Typical scams include cards that look the part but don’t work at all, lower capacity cards sold as high capacity ones, and slower cards sold as high-speed ones. Some of the fakes are good enough to fool most people, at least visually: there’s a post showing some examples here. If you stick to reputable sellers (and remember, just because someone is selling on Amazon doesn’t mean they’re reputable - we’ve seen fakes there too), read the reviews and trust your gut you should be OK. If it’s a fifth of the price of everything else, it’s likely to be a dud.

Have you ever encountered a fake memory card or bought a card that’s too slow for your Note? Let us know in the comments.

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Readers' favorite comments

  • Chris Jul 6, 2015

    Weak article. How to increase it be sticking a microsd in? That title would have gotten exactly zero clicks. But, I suppose I should leave the Internet a better place right? There are apps which allows you to disable or remove apps that do not lend themselves to doing so. It's called debloater. Let Google be your guide. So for saving room, uninstall all updates to the app you are disabling, then disable/block it then it won't download updates taking even more room in your internal storage. You can also block carrier updates in case root is of interest to you.

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  • This article title is misleading as the micro-sd slot should not be called "internal memory". Many of the android apps wont use the micro-sd card well for storage and it is especially irritating for VR-Gear apps. The micro-sd is considered only available for photos and documents. Since the Note 4 is the last Note that you can easily replace the battery on and mod with heat sinks, it would be great to see a mod that you could do to increate the internal memory even if you have to send the phone off to a service. I wont buy a phone that you can't replace the battery on so I am stuck with note 4 for VR.

  • Thanks Gary, another relative novice helped! Cheers.

  • Some people are more novice and needed the basic type explanation that Gary provided. You guys are forgetting the famous quote "Everyone was a beginner once." Thank you Gary for an article that was helpful to me. Much appreciated.

  • Real helpful, thanks Gary - who could have known adding a memory card would increase space. Obviously everyone came here searching for SETTINGS that would increase space. You're a jerk.

  • John Crow Sep 27, 2015 Link to comment

    Found a good explaination about speed values and micro sd cards. At the link below. Appears that you get the same speed from an sd10 card and a uhs-1 sd card. Both have a speed value of 10 MB. uhs-3 has a speed value of 30 MB. There does not appear to be a uhs-2 sd card. Insert slashes as needed. System will not allow me to post an external link. Just replace each word slash with a /

    https:slashslashwww.sdcard.orgslashconsumersslashspeedslash

  • Root it and you can combine the memory of the SD card and the internal memory.

  • There is another error in this article. The Galaxy Note 4 DOES support UHS-I micro-sdcards, which of course is the next step above Class 10, but since, to my knowledge, it doesn't have the required second row of physical pins, it can't support UHS-II, which is a shame due to the vast increase in speed over UHS-I.

    The question is, and I can't get an answer from any level of Samsung technical support for this despite numerous lengthy calls, which level of UHS-I does it support? There are, to my knowledge, two speeds of UHS-I, 500x and 633x. If I bought a 500x, 128gb card, & it could've supported 633x, then it's slower than I could've had. If I buy 633x,and it drops back to 500x, then I wasted my money on a faster card. This is holding me up. I will not buy a card till I know. Does anyone know?

    As for the brand, I am probably going with Lexar or one or two other known high quality brands. I will not go with SanDisk due to reported higher levels of issues, though I realise many people swear by them....others swear AT them though, lol, so caution is going to be my guide here. And will not be buying a Samsung micro-sdcard, even though supposedly it's a good brand, strictly because of their blockade of the speed information, and because of other false information on the micro-sdcard subject which they have willfully disseminated, such as that the GN4 only would support 64gb.

    Btw, I thoroughly disagree regarding the advice to get two 64gb cards to save a few bucks over a 128. Convenience is worth a lot, who in their right mind would ever want to swap them out, except to put into another device, it's not a battery after all. That, plus the fact of not risking breaking something or wearing out the slot, and/or losing one or both of the little suckers while swapping them. The only rationale I can think of for having 2 micro-sdcards, would be if you have 2 devices.

    And get the biggest, fastest and most reliable brand that exists, unless money is a serious concern. Of course eating is more important. The definition of a micro-sdcard is similar to a humorous one I read regarding computers a few years ago, "a memory device that contains a fraction of the capacity, operates at an insignificant fraction of the speed and has a fraction of the reliability of what you and virtually everyone else needs and wants". That is as it should be...dissatisfaction ensures the market for continual progress.

    Meanwhile, again, does ANYONE have any credible info regarding the "supported" speed version of UHS-I in a GN4 (500x or 633x)? Links? I can't find anything. You would think the geeks would be all over this. Even the Droid Guy doesn't know, and apparently couldn't get the answer from Samsung either, I asked.

    • I would very much like to go also. I have contacted several Samsung representatives regarding this very question. it amazes me that not only did none of them care, but I got the sense that they thought it was of little importance! isn't it it their job to know these things? Crazy

  • Martin Jul 6, 2015 Link to comment

    3MB of RAM? Galaxy Note 6? there is something wrong with this article

  • I bought a $35 128 card from eBay. What a mistake. It was a fake card. I ended up dishing out over $100 to get the real 128 card lexar high performance 128 micro SD card for my note 4 and I love it. I have tons of pictures and videos stored on it. Plus sever HD movies with room to spare.

  • It would be appropriate to mention the huge 'elephant in the room' problem with external SD cards: they can't be written to. Apps cannot be transferred to them. File mangers cannot write to them. In later versions of Android they are read-only, so any information you put there has to be written by sticking the card in your PC.

    Thanks for the refressher course on microSD parameters.

    • Chris Jul 7, 2015 Link to comment

      Right in 4.4.4 wrong in 5.x this is not an issue for lollipop. Also, not a problem in 4.4.4 for the Samsung file manager since it is a system app. It can move files to and from the microsd. In addition, if an app creates it's own folder on the microsd it can read/write otherwise it will have read access to any folder on the microsd card. Try educating yourself not spreading misinformation.

  • Great post...now as for myself I purchased a 128gb micro sd card from the "Geek" mobile shopping app now I got it for 12$ and it included an micro usb to usb card reader with slots for a micro usb and a full sized sd card now there isn't aren't any speed ratings on the card and I can notice a speed lag when trying to transfer larger files to the card its self...but it's great for what I need it for Inuit i def make a backup of what's on the card and keep it on the pic just in case this card decided to fail one day as of now oits going on stron for about 2 ½ months now

    • Chris Jul 7, 2015 Link to comment

      I find $12 for 128gb to be an unlikely price for a real card, how about a link?

      Myself I bought a fake SanDisk 128gb on alibaba for $14 and got the vendor to refund once I found out (proved) it was fake. Check the mfgr numbers inscribed on the back of the card. Very likely you'll find it to be an 8gb card with a faked fat table.

      • Thanks for the info I will definitely be looking at the back of my card today after work....(im sure it is a fake tho just havn't reached a limit as of yet) as for a link here it is...this one is ALOT cheaper than mine was oddly enough but has the same card and card reader....

        www.wish.com/geek/m/c/558baf71306dc440187c7ed6

      • Unlikely? maybe -or just where the smart people shop! its called economies of scale. overseas memory is sold for smaller margins. only a handful of manufacturers make memory, so I don't care about branding fakes. I only care about size and performance. I've purchased 128 gigs for $8. Most of the times it's been legit including speed. just a little concerned about possible reliability issues in the future. I've tried to look up the numbers printed on the SD cards with no luck. hope this helps.

  • Chris Jul 6, 2015 Link to comment

    Weak article. How to increase it be sticking a microsd in? That title would have gotten exactly zero clicks. But, I suppose I should leave the Internet a better place right? There are apps which allows you to disable or remove apps that do not lend themselves to doing so. It's called debloater. Let Google be your guide. So for saving room, uninstall all updates to the app you are disabling, then disable/block it then it won't download updates taking even more room in your internal storage. You can also block carrier updates in case root is of interest to you.

    • This was a helpful article for me. I use many apps. And I am up to my limit right now. So I did a quick search on the internet to find out if I could add storage. I found this article, and hoot hoot I do have a memory slot to expand storage. He gave a good run down on different storage cards. And I found out something new which was there are different speeds on the cell phone cards. I already know that with my Canon Camera but did not think about it for cell phones. So basically the article addressed my simple question. And yes I need the 128 card.

  • Some of the articles on here ,are bloody obvious was hoping it was about moving some operating onto the sd , you've bought a note 4 because you know what it can do, but you don't have a clue about the external storage ! Ridiculous

  • "The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 ships with 3 MB of RAM"

    Wow, I got a great deal. Mine came with 3GB of RAM.

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