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


To safely remove an SD card from an Android device, first un-mount it from the system on a software level. This brief guide will show you the ropes.

Recently we’ve been talking a lot about the benefits and reasoning behind unmounting 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 unplug it without problems. But, to be on the safe side, it’s a best practice to unmount an SD card before you remove it safely. This safe unmounting will not only prevent you from losing data but also lets you disconnect the SD card without physically removing it should you ever need that.

Note: This tutorial was written for a Samsung Galaxy phone 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 menu can also be accessed from the App Drawer 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 unmount, 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 are two ways to do it. The first is to remove it and then reinsert it physically. The other way involves going back into Storage >> Settings and using the Mount button, which will only appear while the card is unmounted.

now safe to removemount sd card



  1. Mirza Nauman Umar

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

  2. adif

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

    • bejin

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

  3. Roger Johnson

    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

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

  5. munibba mushtaq

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

  6. Carter

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

  7. Karina

    Thank you that was very helpful!!

  8. I can't find the unmount button on gionee m5lite plz help

    Plz help
    In searching the line to unmpunt the SD card

  9. Gilbert

    How do I move all my pics to the sd card???
    Can’t seem figure this out…help

    • Maree

      It seems there’s a few phones with the option of the unmount button to tap on and I haven’t been able to find a reply or another site which will give you any other options but this unmount button..
      Frustrating grrrr

  10. Shane

    Thankyou. I have a Samsung S8 and was able to unmount the card.

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