“Couldn’t install on USB storage or SD card” error on kitkat-based ROM


When trying to install some applications on a Kitkat (4.4) ROM (for example OmniRom) you may get the following error:

Couldn't install on USB storage or SD card

This may be caused by SELinux which blocks access to the sdcard. This happens on Kitkat as the SELinux mode is set by default as Enforcing whereas on Jelly Bean 4.3 it was permissive.

To resolve this you can change the policy back to permissive by installing the “SELinux Mode Changer” app from the play store:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mrbimc.selinux

You will of course need to be root but since you’ve installed a ROM I guess you are already.

  1. Run the app and click on Permissive
  2. Install the app or restore the apk as normal
  3. Re-enable enforcing mode if you wish
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One thought on ““Couldn’t install on USB storage or SD card” error on kitkat-based ROM

  1. Alan says:

    What I did after upgrading to 4.3 and experiencing same error. Copy files and folders from SD card to new folder on laptop or desktop, disconnect phone from laptop/desktop, reformat the SD card with Android 4.3, copy files and folders back to SD card. Once done, you should no longer get the error message. No unmounting/remounting or rooting necessary. Apparently the SD card needs to be formatted with the updated OS to work as expected.

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