Samsung Galaxy Note 9 can’t install apps on SD card due to Play Store error 18

Some owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 have been complaining about the Google Play Store error 18 which shows up when they’re trying to install an app. The error message goes like this “App can’t be installed on USB storage or SD card. Try again and if the problem continues, get help troubleshooting. (Error code: -18)” and apparently, the same error would show up if you try downloading the app again.

More often, this is just a minor problem and there were those who reported that the problem disappeared even if they didn’t do anything about it. However, there were some who had to perform some basic troubleshooting to fix the issue. So, in this post, I will guide you on how to fix this problem. If you’re one of the users who have encountered the said error, continue reading as this article may be able to help you one way or another.

For owners who are looking for a solution to a different problem, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common problems with this device. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work or if you need further assistance don’t hesitate to contact us by filling up our Android issues questionnaire.

Here’s what you need to do if your Galaxy Note 9 keeps showing the error 18 when you install applications…

  1. Reboot your phone if it’s the first time the error occurred.
  2. Make sure your SD card is working properly.
  3. Remove your Google account and add it again.
  4. Reset your phone.

A reboot may be able to fix this problem especially if it’s the first time that you encountered it. The reason is that the error might be due to a very minor firmware-related issue affecting the Google Play Store. So, restart your phone and see if it get fixed. If not, then move on to the next procedure.

Another possibility is that the SD card you’re using may already be corrupt or damaged and that might be the reason your Note 9 cannot write on it. So, try to unmount it and then mount it again to see if it gets detected and read. If it doesn’t, then try reformatting it, although you may lose all your files if you did but you really don’t have much of a choice now. However, if the SD card gets detected after unmounting it, then try installing applications. Better yet, try installing the app on your phone’s internal storage, if possible, and just move it to the SD card later.

If the problem persists after the first two procedures, try removing your Google account from your phone and then reboot it. Since your phone is tied to your account, there’s always a possibility that the problem is with the account. After the reboot, try setting up your account once again and try install the app you want. If the problem continues while the SD card is working properly and you badly need to install the app, then you have no other choice at this point but to reset your phone. Take time backing up your files and data as they will be deleted. After which, follow these steps to reset your phone:

  1. Back up data on the internal memory. If you have signed into a Samsung account on the device, you have activated Anti-theft and will need your Samsung credentials to finish the master reset.
  2. Turn off the device.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’.
  6. Press Power button to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  8. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  9. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  10. Press the Power key to restart the device.

I hope that this how-to post has helped you one way or another. Please help us spread the word by sharing this post to your friends or people who may also have similar problems. Thanks for reading!


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