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How to Un-mount an Android SD Card Before Removing it

Recently we’ve been talking a lot about the benefits and reasoning behind un-mounting an external storage device or USB stick before you remove it. The same goes for SD cards used in Android phones and tablets.

When I first got an Android phone I thought the only safe way to remove the SD card was by first turning off the device. But that isn’t the case, as you can usually just unplug it without problems. But, to be on the safe side it’s a best practice to safely un-mount an SD card before you remove it. This will not only prevent you from losing data, but it also lets you disconnect the SD card without physically removing it should you ever have a need for that.

Note: This tutorial was written running Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). Menu options will vary depending on which version of Android you’re running.

Safely Unmount SD Card in Android

From the home screen open the settings menu on your device. This can be accessed from the App Drawer as well by opening the “Settings” app.

Within Settings tap the Storage button.

Android home screen settingssettings > storage

Scroll down the Storage screen and near the bottom you’ll find what we’re looking for. Tap the Unmount SD Card button. And then tap OK to confirm in the pop-up that appears.

unmount sd cardunmount confirm

The SD card will un-mount and a notification will appear saying “SD card safe to remove. You can safely remove SD card.” You can now pull it out of your phone or tablet and not risk losing any data. The device also will stop scanning the SD card and you won’t need to worry about the system accessing it, even though you haven’t unplugged it yet.

If later you want to mount the SD card back in, there’s two ways to do it. The first is just to physically remove it and then reinsert it. The other way involves going back into Storage >> Settings and using the Mount button which will only appear while the card is un-mounted.

now safe to removemount sd card

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10 Responses to How to Un-mount an Android SD Card Before Removing it

  1. Mirza Nauman Umar December 18, 2012 at 2:51 am #

    there is no option of “Un-mount” in my phone

    • John January 25, 2016 at 11:18 am #


  2. adif June 10, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    Tnx, but why there isn’t a shortcut option for this?

    • bejin December 1, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

      this was very helpful to me. was able to use to unmount card from my tablet. Thanks

  3. Roger Johnson October 4, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    Austin, I viewed your info on mounting an external SD card for my Android Tablet. I cannot get past the “mount SD card” command…I get a message saying “external storage unpluged”. How do I Plug it?
    Roger Johnson

  4. lena October 13, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

    I can’t find the unmount or mount on my Alcatel one touch

  5. munibba mushtaq April 7, 2016 at 7:34 am #

    kindly tell me how to mount it again..i am unable to find such option

  6. Carter June 22, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

    When I press the mount button,it still says SD card not available or unmount it as disk drive

  7. Karina July 7, 2016 at 9:56 am #

    Thank you that was very helpful!!

  8. I can't find the unmount button on gionee m5lite plz help August 22, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

    Plz help
    In searching the line to unmpunt the SD card

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