The reasons to root your Android device may not be many, but those existing reasons are fairly compelling. For instance, take a look at FolderMount. This app (available only for rooted devices) allows you to mount internal data folders to external SD locations. You can effectively move data locations used by apps that require large amounts of data (such as podcasts, images, videos, music, etc). It's a fairly single-minded application, but one whose purpose can mean the difference between a device having plenty of internal space or not.
Again, you must have a rooted device for this to work. With that in mind, let's install and use FolderMount.
The installation has a couple of steps. The first step is to install the app from the Google Play Store. This process is standard:
- Open the Google Play Store on the rooted device
- Search for FolderMount
- Locate and tap the entry by madmack
- Tap Install
- Read through the permissions listing
- Tap Accept
- Allow the installation to complete
Now, it's time for the second step. Launch the application and, if you're warned that FolderMount has detected a faulty module (Figure A), tap OK to allow the app to attempt to repair the module.
FolderMount running on a rooted Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S4.
If you do not get the above warning, you're in luck and FolderMount should just run. If you did get the warning, FolderMount is really good at handling the repair. Once the fix is complete, you'll be required to restart the device. Do that, and re-launch FolderMount. You should now see the main window (Figure B) with no warnings.
The FolderMount main page.
Using FolderMount is quite simple. You have to know what folder you want to mount onto the SD card and create a mount pair. The free app allows you to create three mount pairs (the paid version — purchased in-app — allows unlimited pairs, doesn't restrict source locations, shows folder sizes, and will cost you $2.50 USD).
To create a mount pair, do the following:
- From the main window, tap the plus sign [+]
- Give the folder pair a name
- Tap Source (Figure C)
- Locate the source folder
- Once you've navigated inside the source folder, tap the check mark in the upper right corner
- Allow FolderMount to automatically create the destination folder by tapping Yes when prompted
- Tap the check mark in the upper right corner to save the pair
- If your source directory is not empty, you'll be asked if you want FolderMount to move the files to the destination — tap Yes to allow (Warning: files with the same file name in the destination folder will be overwritten)
You should now see your new pair listed in the main window (Figure D). If your folder had existing files, and they're moved to the destination, the app using the files will not notice the file relocation.
Your newly created mount pair.
If you need to either edit or delete the pair, long-press the listing and tap the edit or delete icon (Figure E).
It's easy to manage your mount pairs.
After you've created the pair, tap the pin icon at the right edge of the pair. If it turns green, you're ready to go. If the pin is white, the pair is not ready for data.
For clearing up space on the internal storage of a rooted Android device, FolderMount is one of the best tools available. It does a lot of the heavy lifting for you and is quite reliable.
Are apps like FolderMount worth the effort to root your device? Or do you find the idea of rooting to be too much for too little? Share your thoughts in the discussion thread below.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.