Edit

Encrypt Files on Your SD Card Using Your Android Phone

Edited by Clifford, Charmed, Lynn, Lhynne27 and 10 others

Android devices come with a whole bunch of security options, the most obvious being the option to set a password or visual pattern lock to stop others from accessing the device. But what if you need another layer of security for sensitive files? Consider encrypting files on your SD card for added peace of mind.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

A potential downside to file encryption is that it forces you to enter a password every time you want to access the encrypted file. However, in special cases where vital personal data is stored on the SD card, it could be a great extra layer of protection for your files. Here’s how to set it up.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

EditEnable A Password On Your Phone

  1. 1
    If you don’t secure your phone with a password, you will find that the Encrypt SD card menu does not enable you to select any files to encrypt.
    To be able to select any file on your SD card, you need to add a memorable six-character password to your device.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Tap the “Settings”
    beside
    icon on your Android phone and then tap “Security.”
    beside
    Tap the "Set Up Screen Lock" tab and select the password option from the list
    .
    Next, enter a secure password that you will be able to remember. Once you are done with setting up your password, it will go back to the “Security” menu. You'll notice the "Change screen lock" option has appeared on the list. It means that a password has now been set up on your phone.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

beside
beside
beside
beside
beside
beside

Edit Encrypt Your SD Card

  1. 1
    Tap the "Settings"
    beside
    icon on your Android phone and then tap "Security".
    beside
    This menu includes a wide range of setting and toggles that you can alter to change current and add new security elements on your android device.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Tap on the "Security" button and then on "Encryption".
    Next, tap the "Encrypt external SD card" tab located at the top of this menu to begin the encryption process. You could also check out the encrypt device option, which outlines the process and results of encrypting your phone.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Now you must set a password on the SD card.
    Insert the SD card into the phone and then follow the prompts that will allow you to set your SD card password. Your password must be a minimum of six characters long and include at least one letter. Confirm your password by adding it a second time. For your own safety, it’s a good idea to write your password down. You should keep that written record in a secure location.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  4. 4
    After your new password has been set, go back to the external SD card menu.
    You should be able to select the types of files you want to encrypt on your SD card. If you choose to encrypt media files, expect that the encryption process could take a while, depending on the number of media files that you have on your phone.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  5. 5
    The phone should display a few pages of information, which will explain the encryption process to you.
    The encryption process will start after you have confirm that you have read through details (it’s not a bad idea to actually read them).
    beside
    beside
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  6. 6
    The encryption process could take from a few seconds to several minutes, depending on the size of your SD card.
    You can check how the process is going by pulling down the notification area, which will show how long is remaining.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  7. 7
    After the process is finished, your phone will take you back to your home screen.
    You'll also see in the "Notifications" area if the SD card is already encrypted.
    beside
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  8. 8
    Don’t forget that every time you try to access the contents of your SD card, you need to enter the password that you have set up previously.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Add method

Add Method
x
Know another method for How to Encrypt Files on Your SD Card Using Your Android Phone? Add it here...

Edit Encryption, explained.

Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to access or decrypt the files on your SD card without the right password. Android's encryption algorithm is based on two major factors - the mobile device and the password. Lose any of these, and your encrypted SD card files will be inaccessible. You can only decrypt the SD card files by inserting the SD card into the mobile device that was used to encrypt it and then entering the correct password when the device is powered on.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

The password or key is stored to your mobile device's Random Access Memory (RAM). Theoretically, every time you access a file from your encrypted SD card, Android goes through the RAM first to retrieve the key and use it to decrypt the file. This is the reason why dealing with encrypted data is relatively slower than finding unencrypted files.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Why does it work this way? What does encryption mean anyway?

Encryption is essentially classified as a high level data storage security process. When you encrypt a file, you are altering its form using a specific algorithm so that the operating system will not be able to readily classify or identify it. With advancements in information security, the encryption algorithms being employed nowadays are basically "fool-proof". This means that there is no viable way of opening an encrypted file other than getting a hold of the key. Even hundreds of supercomputers could take thousands of years to open an encrypted file.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Encryption is designed to work this way for one obvious reason: Security. This ensures that sensitive data will not be compromised should it fall into the hands of intruders. But the catch is, it could also work against you if you are not mindful.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

However, there are accounts of encrypted data storage media being decrypted by freezing. This process is fairly sophisticated and would require considerable expertise to carry out; yet it still does not guarantee successful decryption. This process basically involves the freezing of the device by any logical means possible in order to slow down the vanishing of data from the RAM after it is powered down.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

With the RAM data intact, a computer expert could copy the data to a file and use programs that could automatically analyze it. And because the encryption key is stored in the RAM as the mobile device was powered up, there is a good chance that the key can be retrieved using this process. However, for this to work two important conditions must be satisfied - the device is powered on and it was powered on using the correct encrypted password. This means that the freeze process can only be used if you have turned on your device using the correct password beforehand, but forgot the password later on with the device still powered on.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

The bottom line is that forgetting your encryption password means trouble. It is like locking yourself up in a prison you built. For this reason, you should consider all factors before encrypting your SD card. One good rule of thumb: If it is not that sensitive, stay off the encryption route, especially if you have bad memory.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Edit Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • There is no limit to the files that you can encrypt in your SD card. However, it would take some time if you happen to encrypt several files at once.
  • Once your SD card is encrypted using your phone, you cannot use the files on the SD card on other phones unless you decrypt it first.
  • Performing a factory reset on your phone will make the encrypted file on your SD card unusable.

EditQuestions and Answers

How do I get all my stuff on my SD card to my new phone?

I just got a new phone and i wanted all my pictures and stuff on to it, but for some reason when I put on my SD card it doesn't show up and how do i transfer all my contacts over to it

First you must put the SD card back into the old device to decrypt it. Afterwards, it's as simple as inputting your SD card into the new phone. All of your information and data will be there. You will not need to transfer your contacts to your SD card in order access them on the new device. All you will need to do on the new device is enter your Gmail account information into the next device to have backed up contacts transferred over to the new device.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

See more questions like this: How do I decrypt my SIM card after factory reset

How to I transfer music from my cell phone to the SD card?

I can't transfer music on my phone to the SD card in my phone

If you are transferring the movie from your computer, then you will need to ensure that, when you drag and click your music, you are releasing the music into the SD card folder rather than your internal memory of your device.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Are the music files stored in your phone`s internal memory? If yes, and you are using an Android Smartphone, you can easily move the files using a file manager app from the Play Store. Get something like Es File Explorer, seen here:

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.estrongs.android.pop

Once installed, you can browse your phone`s internal storage for the files and copy/cut/paste them to your external SD card.

See more questions like this: How do I transfer my music to sd external card

What if you have secured your phone with a password, and you still can't encrypt the SD card?

What if you have secured your phone with a password, and you still can't encrypt the SD card then what?

I have had this issue before because I had a pattern unlock rather than a password with 6 digits. Take your password off and then re-enter your password on your device, so that you will now have the option to encrypt your SD card on your device.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

You can try the option of unmounting the SD card from your device, then replacing to see if the option will present itself. This is the way I bypassed this error.

I have encrypted the SD Card on Galaxy S4, but all the files are still visible even though I entered the password after restart. Why? Then what is does it mean encryption?

I have encrypted the SD Card on Galaxy S4, but still all the files are visible even though I entered the password after restart. Why? Then what is does it mean encryption?

The encryption process means that no one will be able to take any of your information off your SD card without the password.The files may be visible, but people will not be able to open or copy the files without the password.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Samsung exhibit metro PCs how to encrypt it?

How do I encrypt it? It won't let me do it on my phone

Howikis QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

What if you have secured your phone with a password, and you still can't encrypt the SD card then what?

I believe that you are referring to phone lock like password or pattern, since there is no other security that you can apply on the phone (aside from antivirus applications). If you have a security lock on your Android phone, you should be able to encrypt your SD card on your mobile phone. If you still can't encrypt the mobile phone, you can simply do a factory reset on the phone to reset everything on your phone.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

If in case that you cannot encrypt your SD card for any reason, you can simply download an application from your Google Playstore to encrypt your files. You can download an application called Encryption Manager; this application works the same as using the direct feature to encrypt your phone's SD card files and any other stuff. Please note that this is not a free application. The Lite version of this app can only encrypt up to 5 files, and the full version is unlimited.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

If you want to know more about the app, go to this link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.giraone.encmanlite

How do I un encrypt my Sd card?I use a phone that has company emails so it is automatically encrypted. However i did not know the disadvantages of encrypting an SD card. How can i un encrypt it?

I use a phone that has company emails so it is automatically encrypted. However, I did not know the disadvantages of encrypting an SD card?

Howikis QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

See more questions like this: How can i encrypt my sd card. so that no one can able to access my data by using my sd card

When i put my SD card in my phone it said SD card is blank or has unsupported filesystems. should i format the SD card or do the Encrypt external SD card?

My question is up top I put in the wrong spot

Are you able to read the SD card on your computer using a reader? If you can, back up whatever files you have and format the card again for the phone.

I would suggest formatting the card to FAT32 for better compatibility with your phone.

See more questions like this: Is there anyway possible to fix a "blank or unsupported file system" 16gb sdhc card

I cant encrypt sd card using my android version 4.1.2?

I want to encrypt sd card using my pin. my phone have security & screen lock on setting, after clicking data encryption i put check on memory card. but still sd card not encrypted.

This seems to be a problem with your SD card and not because of the android version that you are using. Check whether the SD card that you are using is still in good condition or if it is corrupted.

See more questions like this: How can I encrypt SD card content on Samsung Galaxy S3

What if I'm using multiple sd cards and only want to encrypt one of them?

One SD card I keep personal info on and would like to encrypt it. The others I use for pictures and movies that I transfer back and forth with the home computer. Will the Galaxy Tab 3 know if the card requires a password or not? Also, how would I add files to the encrypted SD card from another source, like the home computer?

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Yes, your Galaxy Tab 3 will be able to detect which one is encrypted and it will demand the necessary security steps in order to be able to access it.

In order for you to be able to add files to the encrypted SD card, you would need to follow the security steps in order to enter it. Once you`ve done that and authorized the communication between the SD card and the computer, things will function as normal.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Hi - and thanks for the help. "Root Access to SD card post KitKat "upgrade"?

Root Access to SD card post KitKat "upgrade"

Howikis QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

How do i encrypt a samsung s2 t989?

Okay my main problem is that my option for encrypting my phone is not active

Howikis QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

Why my all data deleted when i set my storage settings in encryption?

I USE HTC EXPLORER A310e WHEN I ENCRYPT MY SD CARD IT IS FORMATTED I MEAN DELETED ALL DATA IN CARD ......WHY....? PLEASE TELL ME

Howikis QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

See more questions like this: I'm getting an error message when encrypting or decrpypting my SD card

I have decrypted my SDcard , but still i have to put password to open my mobile , i want to disable that without format?

I have decrypted my SDcard , but still i have to put password to open my mobile , i want to disable that without format

Howikis QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

See more questions like this: Hi bro. i want to put a password onto my sd card

Encrypt device option is missing?

I am using android 4.3, but i can not see encrypt device option

Howikis QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

  • If you have any problems with any of these steps please post in the comments section below.

Edit Comments

avatar

Anonymous user #1

46 days ago
Score 0+-
I have to encrypt my phone for work... I have pictures on older phone switched to new phone, transferred sd card, encrypted new phone, all pictures from previous phone are unreadable. Ok they are encrypted on old phone... so what now...

I have the old phone and it works fine (android 4.2.2)- do i put the sd in old phone then decrypt phone (if i can)in order to decrypt pictures then put sd card in new phone an it will re encrypt them?

Or will that not work in real life?



thanks for your time...
avatar

Anonymous user #2

86 days ago
Score 0+-
I use huawei ascend y300 but I don't see any option after taping setting, security. What to do dude???
avatar

Anonymous user #3

102 days ago
Score 0+-
Serious answers email me or something or post a comment...email is
my baby's b day is april 19 I need to learn this asap
avatar

Anonymous user #3

102 days ago
Score 0+-
Alright serious question..I have a HTC sv 1.(beats audio)...encrypted my SD card.I can't view my pics or music in any way..I went back and couldn't find where to type my pin in to view my SD card.I went to settings and unchecked the box to encrypt SD card but says I could unecrypt and will erase all data..I seriously don't get this..my phone is encrypted but its different all I do is type in password when I turn it on with the SD card I don't even know where to type in
avatar

Anonymous user #4

179 days ago
Score 0+-
In the step: "If you don’t secure your phone with a password, you will find that the Encrypt SD card menu does not enable you to select any files to encrypt. To be able to select any file on your SD card, you need to add a memorable six-character password to your device. " DISABLE ALL OPTIONS
avatar

Anonymous user #5

197 days ago
Score 0+-
In the step: "If you don't secure your phone with a password, you will find that the Encrypt SD card menu does not enable you to select any files to encrypt. To be able to select any file on your SD card, you need to add a memorable six-character password to your device. " what if you have secured your phone with a password,and you still cant encrypt the sd card then what
avatar

Anonymous user #6

201 days ago
Score 0+-
In the step: "Tap on the "Security" button, then on "Encryption". Tap the "Encrypt external SD card" tab located at the top of this menu to begin the encryption process. You could also check out the encrypt device option which outlines the process of encrypting your phone and what it actually does to your phone." does not exist on lg
avatar

Anonymous user #7

218 days ago
Score 0+-
I have encrypted the SD Card on Galaxy S4, but still all the files are visible even though I entered the password after restart. Why? then what is does it mean encryption?
avatar

Anonymous user #8

241 days ago
Score 0+-
hi...i have encrypted data on my android mobile and after that when the data on SD card was not visible i used factory reset on my phone and now i can not see my data as it is there on SD card but not visible .....i know the password whatever i have given before going for factory reset.

tell me if i can again see those data using anyways
avatar

Anonymous user #9

233 days ago
Score 0+-
You need to RTFM. From the Tips and Warnings section above item 3 clearly states ...

Performing a factory reset on your phone will make the encrypted file on your SD card unusable.
avatar
Anonymous user #10
273 days ago
Score 0+-
hi...i have encrypted data on my android mobile and after that when the data on SD card was not visible i used factory reset on my phone and now i can not see my data as it is there on SD card but not visible .....i know the password whatever i have given before going for factory reset.
tell me if i can again see those data using anyways
avatar

Anonymous user #11

287 days ago
Score 0+-
i had done all the process.....the mobile also shows that it is encrypted ................but when i open my sd card on my device......it open without asking for password
avatar

Anonymous user #12

311 days ago
Score 0+-
what is the encryption level?? AES?
avatar

Anonymous user #13

319 days ago
Score 0+-
i performed the above steps and still i cannot encrypt sd card, encrypt option is still disabled.
Add your comment
howikis welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.




Strongfire
Premier Author
8 Articles Started
90 Articles Edits
5,550 Points
Strongfire is a premier author with howikis. Strongfire has achieved the level of "Sergeant" with 5,550 points. Strongfire has started 8 articles and made 90 article edits. 34,717 people have read Strongfire's article contributions.
Ask Strongfire
Strongfire: Hi, my name is Strongfire.
Strongfire: Can I help you with your problem about "Encrypt Files on Your SD Card Using Your Android Phone"?
 

Article Info

Categories : General Android Mobiles and Tablets | PL Check GREEN

Recent edits by: Vijay Gautam, amita, Alma

Share this Article:

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 29,940 times.

x

Thank Our Volunteer Authors.

Reward our volunteer authors

OR become an author
Get started