Wednesday, October 31, 2018

How to Move Android Apps to a Micro SD Card and Clear Space

By  Andy Betts,

You try to install a new app and the Not Enough Space warning pops up. All those games, photos, and 4K videos have finally taken their toll.
If your phone has a memory card slot, then the solution is easy. A microSD card is a cheap way of expanding your phone’s storage, and you can move apps to an SD card on Android to free up space.
How you do it depends on what Android version you’re using. We’ll take a look at them all in this guide.

Using a microSD Card on Android

Before you get started, consider a few points.
Memory cards are slower than internal storage, so you may notice slightly worse performance for more resource-intensive apps. When picking a card, go for the fastest and largest one your phone can support—check your phone’s specifications to see what cards it’s compatible with.
How to Pick & Buy the Best SD Card for Your Needs How to Pick & Buy the Best SD Card for Your NeedsWhat kind of SD card is right for you? Not all of them are the same, after all. Here are the minimum specs you should aim for depending any given activity or need.READ MORE
It isn’t possible to move preinstalled apps without rooting, and even some third-party apps may not support it. Also, on older versions of Android, you might not be able to use widgets associated with apps you’ve moved to your memory card.
With all this in mind, let’s see how to move apps to a microSD card.

Use a microSD Card as Internal Storage

Android Marshmallow introduced changes to the way phones can handle memory cards, and these changes continued into the later versions of Android.
You can now set microSD cards to work as internal storage. Instead of having internal and external storage existing as separate spaces, Android views the card as an extension of the built-in memory.
Data and apps can write to either as needed, and it all happens seamlessly. As a result, you don’t need to worry about where your apps are stored.
You have to set it up first. Your card will be wiped in the process, so make sure you’ve backed up any data you need:
  1. Insert the card into your phone. When the New SD Card notification appears, tap Set Up.
  2. Next, you need to choose how your phone should use the card. Select Phone Storageon Android 9, or Use as Internal Storage on older versions. Alternatively, go to Settings > Storage, tap the card, tap the menu button, and select Storage Settings. Tap Format as internal.
  3. In the next screen tap Format SD Card, or Erase & Format. This will wipe your card.
  4. On Android 9 you’re offered the chance to move your content—including apps—onto the card. It also shows you how much space you’ll save. Hit Move Content to complete.
This feature is called Adoptable Storage, and it requires you to keep your card in your phone permanently. The card is also encrypted, so you cannot put it in another device to copy the data.
The big downside to adoptable storage is that some manufacturers choose not to offer iton their devices. If you don’t have it, then you’ll have to continue moving your apps to your SD card manually.
How Android Differs Depending on the Hardware Manufacturer How Android Differs Depending on the Hardware ManufacturerNot all Android devices are created equal. See how yours stands out from the crowd with our comprehensive guide.READ MORE

Move Apps to an SD Card on Android 9.0 Pie

If your phone doesn’t support adoptable storage, it’s quick and easy to transfer apps to an SD card on Android Pie manually. Just remember that you can’t do it for every app, and not at all for the pre-installed apps.
  1. Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > App info.
  2. Find the app you want to move in the list and tap it.
  3. Select Storage. If the app supports being moved to a card, you’ll see a button here labeled Change. Tap this.
  4. Select the SD Card in the Change storage dialog box. This brings up a confirmation screen. Tap Move to begin.
To move the app back to internal storage, repeat the steps above but select Internal shared storage in the final step. You should always do this when you want to change or remove your memory card.

Move Apps to an SD Card on Android 8.0 Oreo

The process for moving an app to the SD card on Android 8 is basically the same as for Android 9:
  1. Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > App info.
  2. Scroll down to find the app you want to move to the card and tap on it.
  3. Select Storage. If the app supports being moved to a card, you’ll see a section labeled Storage used. Hit the button marked Change.
  4. Select the card you want to move the app to, followed by Move.

Move Apps to an SD Card on Android 7.0 Nougat

You can move apps to a memory card on Android 7.0 Nougat through Settings. However, you can’t move all apps, and where they don’t support it, you won’t see the Change button in Step 3.
  1. Go to Settings > Apps.
  2. Locate the app you want to move to your microSD Card and tap on it.
  3. Go to Storage > Change and choose your card from the prompt box that opens.
  4. Tap Move to complete the process.
Depending on the size of the app, it may take a few moments to complete (especially in the case of large games), so don’t touch your phone until it’s done. To move the app back, repeat the steps and choose Internal shared storage in Step 3.

Move Apps to an SD Card on Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Moving apps to a microSD card is the same on Marshmallow as it is on Nougat.
  1. Go to Settings > Apps then tap on your chosen app.
  2. Tap Storage > Change then choose the card when prompted.
  3. Hit Move to complete the process.

Move Apps to an SD Card on Android 5.0 Lollipop

Lollipop has less robust support for memory cards than later versions of Android, but you can still move apps from within Settings.
You’re limited in which apps you can place in your external storage; it depends on the developer supporting the option. Also, the entire app doesn’t move across to the card either—only part of it does.
You can see which apps you’ve got on your card by swiping to the right hand tab in the Appscreen, labeled On SD Card. This makes it easy to identify any that you may wish to move back in the future.
To move apps:
  1. Go to Settings > Apps and tap the app you want to move to your SD card.
  2. Next, under the Storage section, tap Move to SD Card. The button will be grayed out while the app moves, so don’t interfere until it’s done.
  3. If there’s no Move to SD Card option, the app cannot be moved.
Once it’s done, the Storage section will update to show how much of the app is now stored on the card (and how much is still in internal storage). The Move button will now read Move to Phone or Move to Device Storage. Tapping on this enables you to remove the app from the card.

Move Apps to an SD Card on Android 4.x and Earlier

Support for microSD cards was extremely limited in all Android 4.x versions (including KitKat, Jelly Bean, and Ice Cream Sandwich). Stock Android didn’t support the ability to move apps to an external card at all, as Google seemed intent on phasing cards out entirely. However, some manufacturers did opt to include the feature in their own versions of the operating system.
If your older device supports it, the process is straightforward:
  1. Go to Settings > Apps.
  2. Next, locate and tap the app you want to move to the card.
  3. Select Move to SD card. If this button isn’t available, you can’t move the app (or your phone doesn’t support doing so).
In the unlikely event that you’re still using an Android 2.x device, these steps are roughly the same ones you’ll encounter. Home screen widgets are not supported in these old versions—you’ll need to keep an app in internal storage if you want to use a widget.
If you don’t have the option on your phone, then you’ll need to look into a third-party app.

Move Apps to an SD Card Using Link2SD

If your phone doesn’t support moving apps to the SD card, or if you want to move an app that doesn’t support it individually, there are a few third-party apps that can help you out. Apps2SD is a popular option, as is FolderMount. Both require a rooted Android phone.
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We’re going to look at another choice, Link2SD, which has both root and non-root features. You can use it to move apps to your card in bulk, to “force-move” apps that don’t normally allow it, and to offload data folders for larger apps and games to your external storage.
First, launch the app and grant root permissions if your phone is rooted. Then tap the app you want to move and select an option:
  • Link to SD Card. This requires root and moves the entire app and its data to your card.
  • Move to SD Card. This doesn’t require root and only works if your phone supports moving apps to external storage. If you do have root, you can also force-move apps that don’t otherwise support it..
  • Link to SD Card (Data and Cache). Moves data files, and requires root.
To move more than one app at a time, tap the menu button in the top right-corner and choose Multi-select. Now tap all the apps you want to move, hit the menu button again, and choose either Link to SD card or Move to SD card. These are the same options as described above.
Link2SD is free, with a paid upgrade. It works on Android 2.3 and up.
Download: Link2SD (Free) | Link2SD Plus ($2)

The Best Way to Move Apps on Android

The best way to install apps on your microSD card depends on what version of Android you’re using, whether your phone’s manufacturer has implemented all the features, and what app you want to move.
In summary:
  • On phones that support adoptable storage, that’s the best choice. It removes any need to manage your card manually.
  • For phones that support moving apps to the card manually, that method is best and cleanest.
  • If your phone doesn’t support any of this, or if you have specific requirements, consider rooting and using Link2SD.
If your apps are taking up too much space, another good solution is to use the new range of Android Go apps instead. Not only are they smaller and take up less space, but they run faster on older or less powerful phones too.
7 Lightweight Android Go Apps to Save Storage Space and Memory 7 Lightweight Android Go Apps to Save Storage Space and MemoryGoogle's new Android Go apps provide lightweight alternatives to Maps, YouTube, and more. Here's what you should know and how to try them now.READ MORE

6 Warning Signs Your Cell Phone May Be Tapped

By Philip Bates,

How can you tell if your phone is tapped? Like it or not, most of us have grown used to our phones being spied upon—not at least by governments!
But other parties can tap into your smartphone. This includes hackers, your employer, an ex-partner, or the press! They might be listening in to your calls, reading and sending texts and emails, or altering information on your interface.
Here’s how to tell if your cell phone has been tapped.

1. Incessant Battery Problems

Apple iPhone components
Before iOS and Android caught on, battery troubles were a sign of a phone tap. Hot batteries remain a concern when it comes to smartphones.
You’re probably very familiar with an overheating battery anyway. You might have even visited a phone store and inquired about the issue. In most cases, you’ll simply be told it’s standard for smartphones. Apple, for example, typically only worries if your device has got so hot, it’s shut itself down.
Why does your smartphone get so hot? Using numerous apps and consuming endless media will make your handset warmer, though this shouldn’t be enough to cause any damage to you or itself.
However, a hot battery can also be a sign of cell phone tapping. Uninvited software could be running in the background, allowing someone else to listen in.
Furthermore, be suspicious if your phone simply isn’t holding charge.
Monitor your phone: remember which apps you’ve used and how they affect your battery. If it consistently runs low on battery, despite you not using it that frequently, that’s too strange to ignore.
Older handsets don’t hold charge as well as newer models, however, so you need to eliminate other possibilities before looking for nefarious purposes.
Equally, you need to take note of other reasons your handset might be hot. Have you been sunbathing with it nearby? Have you been using lots of apps consecutively? Is a phone case locking heat in? Is another device connected via Bluetooth?
High temperatures and low power can nonetheless be indicative of malicious software. You then need to look out for other signs your phone is tapped…

2. Increased Mobile Data Usage

Keeping a close eye on your phone bills can save you a lot of cash. But it can also help you spot spyware.
Countless apps vacuum up huge amounts of data, especially if you don’t connect to free Wi-Fi offered by many stores (because this can be a security concern too). It’s even worse if you let your kids use your device while away from home. Still, you should know roughly how much data you use each month.
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If this amount increases dramatically, you need to narrow down exactly why that’s happening—and if you can’t find the reason, it might that a third party is intercepting your messages.
Malicious software uses your data allowance to send information it’s collected to an outside source. That means it’s not solely relying on your home Wi-Fi: it’ll be consuming data wherever you are.

3. Unwanted Ads and Apps

smartphone at desk apps messages SMS
You know your phone like the back of your hand—which is to say, not very well. You become overly familiar with your operating system, meaning you forget half the apps on there.
But it’s imperative that you know exactly what’s on your phone, especially the apps running in the background. If you’ve not installed them, they could be malicious.
One such piece of malware that tampers with your cell is Hummer. This Trojan infected about 1.4 million Android devices per day in early 2016. First spotted in 2014, it was most prevalent in countries like India, Russia, and the Philippines.
It’s estimated that, if the virus creators (likely based in China) got just $0.50 per infection, they could have made a profit of over $500,000 in just 24 hours.
Victims will see intrusive ads too because malicious software doesn’t always hide itself. Once installed, Hummer aims to obtain root access—i.e. administrative rights—to your device. This allows it to download unwanted content, and makes it incredibly difficult to get rid of. Even initiating a factory reset doesn’t work.
Malware can generate a lot of ad traffic, and thus increase data usage further.

4. General Performance Issues

It’s only natural that, the more data being used, the slower your device will be.
HummingBad is similar to Hummer, a Trojan with an estimated 10 million victims. It finds its way onto a device when a user accidentally downloads a fraudulent app. Fake versions of YouTube or WhatsApp, for instance, can still be found on the App Store.
7 Tips for Avoiding Fake Apps on Mobile App Stores 7 Tips for Avoiding Fake Apps on Mobile App StoresConcerned about fake mobile apps hiding malware? Here's how to spot fake apps on your phone's app store.READ MORE
Cybercriminals made $300,000 a month from HummingBad, notably in 2016—though it’s since enjoyed a resurgence.
The malware also gets root access, or, in some cases, tricks you into downloading a fake systems update for complete domination over your activities. It then promotes pop-up advertisements, and transmits information to a server controlled by Yingmob, a group of Chinese hackers. In addition to so-called “click-fraud”, HummingBad could intercept all your messages.
Think of all that information being transmitted to and from your smartphone or tablet! This will slow down your device, and you might think it’s simply that your handset is getting old…
It’s not isolated to HummingBad. You’ll suffer performance lags whatever method a cybercriminal uses to bug your phone.
Of course, real apps will take up power, but they shouldn’t noticeably affect your device’s reaction time.
You can check which apps are using the most RAM. On iOS, you just need to go on Settings > General > iPhone Storage. On Android, click Settings > Apps and swipe over to Running. You’ll probably see Photos and Music near the top of the list. From here, you can properly assess your app usage, and check for anything that doesn’t ring true.

5. Strange Texts and Messages

programming coding on Android device smartphone
How do you know if your phone is tapped or being spied on? You might be ignoring the signs already!
What you might pass off as spam, a nuisance, or a wrong number can be an alert that something’s wrong.
Suspicious SMS will be a seemingly-randomized series of digits, characters, and symbols, which will immediately strike you as odd but perhaps not especially malicious.
Do not ignore them.
The most likely cause of this is a fault in spyware used by cybercriminals. If it hasn’t installed properly, coded messages will appear in your inbox that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. These random data sets are instructions sent from the servers of a hacker to tamper with the fraudulent application. Alternatively, it could be the app trying to contact its creator.
Likewise, if any family or friends say you’re sending them bizarre texts or emails, this is a sign that your phone is compromised. This could mean your infected phone is trying to install malware on the devices of your loved ones.
Keep an eye out for any activity you don’t recognize. Look at messaging chains, social media profiles, and check your sent folder and outbox. If you can’t remember sending something, be suspicious.
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6. Websites Look Different

reptile can change color
This is a tricky one, but staying vigilant could save you getting ripped off.
It’s a scam we’re all familiar with, but no one’s infallible. We all forget advice, and make mistakes. If that mistake is clicking on a URL in a text or email, it can cost you big bucks.
However, you don’t even have to be redirected to a fraudulent link through a message. If there’s a malicious app on your phone, it could alter the appearance of websites you frequent.
The malware acts as a proxy, intercepting communications between you and the site you’re trying to visit. It might be presenting a false page to you, or simply keeping track of anything you type. And no, it doesn’t matter if you’re on Private Browsing.
This really becomes a problem if you’re using a site that requires personal details. That could be a password, financial details, or mere Personally Identifiable Information (PII), which is a major currency on the Dark Web. PayPal, for example, is a worry; so too is mobile or online banking.
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You might not notice any differences. They could solely be minor changes, like pixelated logos. And even if you do see something strange, it could just be the website experimenting with a new interface. Compare the mobile version with that displayed on a PC, bearing in mind responsive themes will look slightly different.

How Can You Tell If Your Phone Is Tapped?

Don’t be overly paranoid—most of us won’t be victims to a phone tap. Nonetheless, it’s worth brushing up on some security measures.
Reduce risk of infection by only downloading from official app stores; Apple and Google screen apps and games before letting them become available to the masses. Knowing which is the most secure mobile operating system can be helpful, and keep your eyes peeled for signs that your phone has malware.
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Thursday, September 20, 2018

6 Ways You Can Use Microsoft Office Without Paying for It

By Gavin Phillips 

Microsoft Office remains the gold standard of office applications. Don’t get me wrong: There are several good Microsoft Office alternatives available, but nothing cofomes close to the real-deal.
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That said, if you want Microsoft Office, you’ll be reaching deep into your pockets. Its continued popularity hasn’t seen Microsoft take a soft stance, and reduce the price.
Microsoft Office 2016 Home & Business currently retails for $229 for a single PC license. If that makes your wallet weep, check out these methods to use Microsoft Office for free.

1. Use Office Online

Microsoft itself offers a substantial collection of free Microsoft Office utilities. Office Online is essentially a browser-based version of the latest Microsoft Office suite.
It currently includes:
  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • OneNote
  • Sway
  • Mail
  • People
  • Calendar
  • OneDrive
There is a catch, however. The online versions only provide a limited Microsoft Office experience. Word Online, for example, does not include text boxes, WordArt, equations, charts, and more. You can still write a term paper, but you won’t be able to compile a company report. Similarly, you’ll be able to open and view your Excel spreadsheet, but your custom macros won’t load.
6 Ways You Can Use Microsoft Office Without Paying for It office online now
While Office Online does lack some functionality, it is a versatile free alternative to a fully paid license. The free versions will happily open your files, allow editing, and importantly, keep your document formatting in place at all times.
Don't Pay For Word! 5 Reasons You Should Use Office Online Don't Pay For Word! 5 Reasons You Should Use Office OnlineOffice Online is the free and cloud-connected version of Microsoft Office. Limitations are compensated by features, useful even to users of desktop Office. Best of all is itsREAD MORE

2. Microsoft Office Mobile Apps

Office Mobile is exactly as it sounds: Microsoft Office, in mobile form. It is an extremely similar experience to Office Online. The functionality is there, and editing and creating documents on the go is easy — but it is extremely screen size dependent.
For instance, editing a Word document on my Samsung Galaxy S8 is reasonable, but attempting to navigate an Excel spreadsheet is fiddly and frustrating. Conversely, editing a Word or Excel document on a larger, tablet-sized screen is actually quite enjoyable. I’m still not convinced you’ll be running your company accounts from Office Mobile, but it’ll certainly do in a pinch.
I’ll clear up some confusion for you surrounding the multiple Microsoft Office Mobile apps.


Android 4.4 users and before should download the Microsoft Office Mobile app. The app is specifically designed for those using older Android versions.
6 Ways You Can Use Microsoft Office Without Paying for It Android Microsoft Office Apps Word Excel
Android users post-4.4 should download the newer, individual apps:


Luckily, things are a little simpler for iOS users. The Microsoft Office Mobile bundle was gradually phased out in favor of individual apps. However, there is no legacy version of the app, like Android.
I’m not going to list the individual apps, like I have done for Android as there are differences between iPad and iPhone versions. But you can find the Microsoft Corporation App Store page here, and that contains the individual download links.
Note: iPad Pro users need a qualifying Office 365 subscription to create and edit documents.
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3. Sign Up for the Office 365 Trial

Office 2016 introduced numerous changes across the suite. If you haven’t already used Office 2016 elsewhere, you might want to give it a try before dipping into your pocket.
11 Frequently Asked Office 2016 Questions Answered 11 Frequently Asked Office 2016 Questions AnsweredOffice 2016 is looming and raises many questions. Do you have to buy a subscription, can you upgrade now, and can you go back to Office 2013? We compiled frequently asked questions and provide the...READ MORE
As such, you can take a free one-month Office 365 trial.
6 Ways You Can Use Microsoft Office Without Paying for It Office 365 trial
The trial will grant you access to the full Office 2016 suite, as well as 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage. Now, Microsoft isn’t throwing Office away. No, you’ll have to provide a valid credit or debit card (or PayPal account) during the sign-up process. When the trial ends, your account is automatically charged, so set a reminder on your desktop!

4. How About the Office 365 ProPlus Trial?

Once your 30 days comes to an end you’ll be either sold or ready to try something different. Alternatively, why not try another trial? This time using the Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus trial.
You’ll get another 30 days (unfortunately down from the 60 given with Microsoft Office 2013), and access to the same range of fully-featured Microsoft Office programs as before.

5. Buy Hardware With Office Bundled

Microsoft Office rarely comes bundled with a new desktop or laptop. Unless it is a specific introductory deal, you’ll be purchasing Microsoft Office as an add-on. And if you’re building your own PC, well, you’re straight out of luck.
That said, these types of deals aren’t impossible — you just have to strike while the iron is hot. Unfortunately, that means you need a circumstantial trifecta: new hardware with a bundle deal, the money to take advantage of said deal, and the need to actually upgrade your hardware.
One option is the Acer Aspire One Cloudbook series. The majority of these laptops come with a Microsoft Office 365 Personal 1-Year Subscription. While this is handy, you’ll have to keep up the subscription to continue accessing Microsoft Office.
Similarly, there are some Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 Laptops that come with a full Microsoft Office 2016 installation, without a subscription.

6. Ask Your Employer or School

Everything we’ve covered so far allows you to grab Microsoft Office for free, but also comes with limitations: availability, functionality, hardware. This final option, however, offers some of you a very good chance of acquiring a full version of Microsoft Office 2016 completely free.
First, you’ll have to check in with your employer, or if you’re a student, your school. Many companies and schools can offer either a free or extremely low-cost Microsoft Office license for one reason: the people working or studying there need it. Businesses will have to pay, but bulk licenses may mean your employer can provide a free or cheap option.
6 Ways You Can Use Microsoft Office Without Paying for It Office 365 education price
Furthermore, Microsoft has long supported schools with free Office 365 Education packages. It might be that you simply have to directly ask.

The Best Things in Life Are Free

Grabbing a full version of Microsoft Office for free isn’t possible for everyone. But you’ve got some excellent options, nonetheless. The combination of free Office 365 and Office 365 ProPlus trials grants you 60 days of Microsoft Office.
After that, the choice is yours. I think 60 days is actually an excellent amount of time to decide whether you need the entire Microsoft Office spectrum, or whether a free option like Office Online will suffice.
13+ Reasons You Should Upgrade to Microsoft Office 2016 13+ Reasons You Should Upgrade to Microsoft Office 2016Microsoft Office 2016 is here and it's time for you to make a decision. The productivity question is -- should you upgrade? We give you the new features and the fresher reasons to help you...READ MORE
Can you think of any other ways to access Microsoft Office 2016 for free? What are you favorite free alternatives to Microsoft Office? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Originally written by Matt Smith on 2 June 2014.


How to Move Android Apps to a Micro SD Card and Clear Space

By  Andy Betts, You try to install a new app and the  Not Enough Space  warning pops up. All those games, photos, and 4K videos have fi...