Galaxy Note 4 SD card error: “This file cannot be moved”, other memory-related issues

When it comes to keeping what matters most in our digital lives, SD cards is almost always the way to go. SD cards are not only inexpensive but they are also convenient to keep due to their tiny size. Unfortunately, some of them are not always in the top shape. In fact, the longer one uses it, the higher the chance of it failing in the future. Despite taking good care of SD cards, some of us still encounter problems like the ones below. We hope that this post will help fix the Galaxy Note 4 SD card error and problems of our readers mentioned here as well as the Android community who has become accustomed to getting free advices from us.

Image credit: Samsung
Image credit: Samsung

If you have your own #Android or #GalaxyNote4 problem, don’t hesitate to contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this post.


Problem #1: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 saying “This file cannot be moved” when moving a file

I have been using the same SD CARD for awhile when all of a sudden everything but my documents were deleted. They include apps pictures.  Then after that it seemed to be working again and recently all of a sudden everytime I try to move something to my SD card or try to rename something on my card it says “This file cannot be moved”. it does the same with renaming files. I have tried to do this in several different apps such as Gallery, ES File Explorer and Astro.

One more thing. It will no longer let me move apps to SD card saying there is not enough room.

Please help me understand why it deleted everything then it was working and now it’s not. 

Is it possible that I have a tracking app from my ex-husband on my phone and if so how could I know and delete the app.

Thanks so much in advance for your help. Love the Drippler app been using it forever.  — Beth

Solution: Hi Beth. Knowing the real reason for your main concern (deletion of files from SD card) is tricky as this type of problem can be caused by anything including, but not limited to, firmware glitch, rogue apps, or SD card malfunction. In order to isolate the cause, try using another SD card for a day and see if that will make any difference.

Alternatively, you can try to reformat the SD card. This ensures that bad or possibly corrupted sectors causing the glitch will be wiped clean. As you already know, SD card life cycles are pretty limited. Depending on how it’s used, a decent SD card can give you a few years before conking out on you. Other reasons why your current SD card is not working properly can vary widely. Some of the common ones we know include physical defects, electrostatic charge or discharge, heat exposure, or liquid damage. They all affect the physical condition of the card but the most common reason why an SD card dies all of a sudden is file corruption.

If you are not careful with your SD card when removing it from the device, it can certainly cause serious damage especially when it is being accessed at the time. Sometimes, the driver on the card itself is caught in a situation that it can’t handle, which most likely leads to a crash and filesystem corruption. Other bugs during a deletion process can also pop up anytime depending on the situation.

These are just some of the common scenarios that can lead to the problem you have. That said, try a new SD card so you can observe how the phone behaves afterwards.


See also Solutions for Samsung Galaxy Note 4 SD, MicroSD Card Issues


Problem #2: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 with Lollipop does not allow saving backups to SD card

I use the Android app called “APP BACKUP & RESTORE” (by InfoLife, LLC)  to backup all of the apps on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4. I had used this app on all my previous Android phones, which ran Android Jellybean or earlier Android versions. The app suggested that I use my external SD card to store the backups of all my installed apps. It then saved them in the directory “Storage/extSdCard/APP_BACKUP_RESTORE/. Once I got my Galaxy Note 4, which came with the KitKat version of Android,  I got an error message in APP BACKUP & RESTORE, when I tried to save the backups to my external SD card. It gave me an error message indicating that Android blocked permission to write to the external SD card, so my only option was to save the backups locally to the internal phone memory (in “Storage/emulated/0/APP_BACKUP_RESTORE”).

I was told that once my phone received the upgrade to Android Lollipop, I would be once again able to save the backups to my external SD card once again. I was anxious to receive that update, as my phone’s memory was filling up quickly.

Unfortunately, after the phone was updated to Lollipop, I continued to get an error message indicating that Android is still restricting write access to the “Storage/extSdCard/APP_BACKUP_RESTORE” directory.  It says the DIRECTORY IS NOT WRITEABLE. I thought that Lollipop was supposed to fix this problem, but it obviously hasn’t. How do I get access to that directory again? — Robert

Solution: Hi Robert. One of the major changes Lollipop provides to users is the ability to allow apps to write to a secondary storage device like an SD card, a feature taken away by Android KitKat. With Lollipop, apps can not only access and write to their own folders in a secondary storage device, but also even access and write to folders of other apps provided a user permits so. Permission for an app to do such is only issued once, usually right after an installation although a user can revoke the grant anytime. That being said, we are as perplexed as you are with your case.

The best way to revoke or change permission for an app in Lollipop is to delete its data so you can try the following steps:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Proceed to Applications.
  • Select Manage Applications or Applications Manager.
  • Tap the All tab.
  • Look for the app in question.
  • Tap Clear Data button.

Deleting an app’s data is like reinstalling the app anew so once you are prompted to re-configure App Backup & Restore, make sure that it is permitted to do exactly what it is designed to do.

Now, if this solution won’t do anything, consider contacting the developer by going to Menu>Feedback. The developers appear to be actively monitoring their product so we hope they can help you sort this out.

Problem #3: Note 4 Gallery app no longer downloads or stores photos to device

My Gallery application is no longer showing screen shots taken with my Note 4 or any saved images to my device.  Also I get a lot of pop up ads on my phones for other apps to download. Help!?! — Sherry

Solution: Hi Sherry. Something might have changed the directory of your Gallery app that’s why downloaded images and screenshots are no longer saved to their default folders. This “something” can be rogue app, or a malware, which may or may not compromise your phone security. That you are getting unwanted popups advertising apps to download is not good either. It’s not normal for a “clean” or uninfected phone to direct a user to download an app anytime. Your best bet here is to wipe your phone completely and start fresh. If you haven’t tried doing a factory reset before, here are the steps:

  • Turn off the Galaxy Note 4 completely.
  • Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home keys together, then press and hold the Power key.
  • When the Note 4 vibrates, release both the Home and Power keys but continue holding the Volume Up key.
  • When the Android System Recovery shows on the screen, release the Volume Up key.
  • Using the Volume Down key, highlight wipe data / factory reset and press the Power key to select it.
  • Now highlight Yes — delete all user data using the Volume Down key and press the Power key to begin the reset.
  • When the master reset is complete, highlight Reboot system now and hit the Power key.
  • The Note 4 will restart but it will be longer than usual. When it reaches the Home screen, then begin your setup.

Note: Factory reset deletes everything off the phone’s internal storage device. Before you proceed, make sure that you have created a copy of all your important files like videos, photos, contacts, music, etc.

After doing a factory reset, you should be picky when in comes to installing apps. There is no better antivirus nowadays than prevention, and that means being paranoid with everything that you download to your device.

Problem #4: Photos stored in SD card on Galaxy Note 4 get corrupted after a few hours

CORRECTION- I have Android 5.0.1 but that option was not available. This is the most up to date version from Verizon.

The phone has a 64 GB Samsung class 10 SD card inserted that was brand new when first put in the phone. It was formatted before any data was saved to it. I prefer to save photos onto the SD card because they take up so much space. However, most of all pictures taken when the phone is set to save to SD card get corrupted before they are saved, and then show up black in the camera roll. You will never notice that they are corrupted until hours later when you go back to look at them.

Right after they are taken, if you look at them they appear fine. But later, they can no longer be displayed. It shows an image of a clip art picture with an exclamation point next to it. Unfortunately this resulted in the loss of hundreds of irreplaceable pictures before I noticed the pattern and changed the save location to internal storage. Thanks. — Ben

Solution: Hi Ben. Just like what we suggested to Beth above, a good way to isolate the reason for the problem would be to try another SD card first. Sure, we can speculate on possible causes on this post but at the end of the day, using another SD card is still the most effective action that a user must do. If the problem appears when using another SD card, that’s an indicator that the root cause may be the firmware or one of your apps. In that case, you can either do a factory reset, or simply uninstall apps until the issue has been eliminated.

Problem #5: Ways to backup app data in Galaxy Note 4

Hi. I’m sorta still new to Android and the Google apps but I have found out that if i need to reinstall an app or if, I, for whatever reason need to shift the app from local storage to SD card or vice versa, all previous data is deleted. Unless i really make an account, and nowadays often it only links to Facebook for login, i would start from scratch. Doesn’t Android use some sort of udid like iphone does so it restores former usage data and preferences? Or is there another way to assure previous data isn’t lost? Thank you in advance! — Carmen

Solution: Hi Carmen. There are a number of ways to create a backup of your app data but the two most effective ones (but may not be convenient for everyone) include using the pre-installed Google backup system and/or third-party apps for non-rooted phones.

To use Google-provided backup system, just go under Settings>Backup & Reset. In here, you will see options to keep a copy of almost everything (Settings, app data, Wi-Fi passwords, etc).

Another method to use is by going through third-party apps route. There are many free apps in the Play Store that you can use for this job like Easy Backup & Restore, App Backup & Restore, Helium – App Sync and Backup, etc.


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If you are one of the users who encounters a problem with your device, let us know. We offer solutions for Android-related problems for free so if you have an issue with your Android device, simply fill in the short questionnaire in this link and we will try to publish our answers in the next posts. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem. 

When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

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