How to manage files and use the file system on android

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Android includes full access to a file system, complete with support for removable SD cards. But Android itself has never come with a built-in file manager, forcing manufacturers to create their own file manager apps and users to install third-party ones. With Android 6.0, Android now contains a hidden file manager.

The file manager doesn’t have its own icon in the app drawer, as Google still wants to hide the file system from most people. But the file manager allows you to browse, delete, search, open, share, copy, and do everything else you’d want to do with your files.

Access Android 6.0’s Hidden File Manager

To access this File Manager, open Android’s Settings app from the app drawer. Tap “Storage & USB” under the Device category.

This takes you to Android’s storage manager, which helps you free up space on your Android device. Android provides a visual overview of how much space you’ve used on your device and break it down into categories like Apps, Images, Video, Audio, and Other. If you have multiple user accounts configured on your device, Android will show you how much data each user account is using.

Tap a category to see what’s using space and choose what to remove — for example, tapping “Apps” will show you a list of your installed apps with the largest apps first.

To access the file manager, scroll down to the bottom of this list and tap the “Explore” option.

This will take you to an interface that allows you to view and browse your device’s internal storage or external SD card storage. Android is actually presenting the file system here — the same file system you’ll see in third-party file management apps. Of course, you can’t access the full root file system without a third-party file manager and root permissions.

How to Use Android’s Built-in File Manager

Here’s what you can do from here:

  • Browse the file system: Tap a folder to enter it and view its contents. To go back up, tap the folder’s name at the top-left corner of the screen and tap one of the parent folders.
  • Open files: Tap a file to open it in an associated app, if you have an app that can open files of that type on your Android device. For example, you could tap Downloads to view your downloads and tap a PDF file to open it in your default PDF viewer.
  • Select one or more files: Long-press a file or folder to select it. Tap files or folders to select or deselect them after doing so. Tap the menu button after selecting a file and tap “Select all” to select all files in the current view.
  • Share one or more files to an app: After selecting one or more files, tap the Share button to send them to an app. For example, you could share them to Dropbox or Google Drive to upload them to a cloud storage service.
  • Delete one or more files: Tap the trash can icon to delete one or more selected files.
  • Copy files to another folder: Tap the menu button and select “Copy to” to copy the selected files or folders to another folder. From here, you can tap the menu button and select “Show internal storage” to see your device’s internal storage and copy it to any folder you like. There will be a “New folder” button here, allowing you to create new folders on your internal storage. Android doesn’t seem to have a way to “move” files — you’ll just have to copy them to a new location and delete the originals to move them.
  • Search for files: Tap the magnifying glass icon at the top-right corner of the screen to search for files on your Android device’s storage.
  • Choose between list and grid view: Tap the menu button and select either “Grid view” or “List view” to toggle between the two.
  • Choose how to sort the files: Tap the sort button at the top-right corner of the screen and select “By name,” “By date modified,” or “By size” to sort the files.

The built-in file manager is minimal and barebones, but it has all the basic features you’ll need — unless you need to access network storage locations or gain access to the root file system, which are more advanced features better left to third-party apps.

You can also tap the menu button whenever you see Android’s “Save To” interface and select “Show internal storage” to see your device’s file system, saving files wherever you want to save them.

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How to view and manage your files in Android 10

How to view and manage your files in Android 10

The latest version of Android has improved its built-in file manager. Here’s how to use Android 10’s file manager.

Image: Jason Cipriani/CNET

Android has long offered a file manager through which you can view and control your files, but the file manager has always been lacking in certain features and functionality. With Android 10, Google has spruced up the Files app with some helpful new options. The interface for managing your files is now easier to use. The app provides a universal search bar at the top, and it offers quicker access to specific types of files. Let’s look at how to manage your files in Android 10.

On your Android 10 device, open the app drawer and tap the icon for Files. By default, the app displays your most recent files. Swipe down the screen to view all your recent files (Figure A).

Figure A

To see only specific types of files, tap one of the categories at the top, such as Images, Videos, Audio, or Documents. The view changes to show all the files in that category. You can select more than one category. To see all images and videos, for example, tap the buttons for Images and Videos. To see all the files on your device, tap the buttons for all the categories (Figure B).

Figure B

You can also change the view by navigating to a specific folder on your phone. Tap the Hamburger icon in the upper left corner. At the Files pane, tap the folder you wish to view. You can drill down to a specific subfolder to see the files inside (Figure C).

Figure C

Next, you can search for files via the search field at the top. Type your keyword or phrase in the field, and the app tracks down and displays the associated files (Figure D).

Figure D

You can change the order in which your files are sorted. Tap the three-dot icon in the upper right and then select the Sort By command. You can sort your files by name, modified date, file type, and file size. You can also change the file view from thumbnails to Details by tapping the lined bullet point icon above the second column of files (Figure E).

Figure E

You can save or share one or more files. Long tap on the file you wish to share to select it. Long tap on any other files that you want to share. Tap the Share icon at the top of the screen. Choose the service, location, or app that you want to use to share the file, such as Dropbox, Facebook, Messages, or Twitter. Follow the steps to share the file (Figure F). To deselect selected files, tap the X at the top of the screen that shows the number of files selected.

Figure F

You can also view files on Google Drive if you use that service for online storage. Tap the icon for Google Drive. Drill down into the folders and files you’ve stored on Google Drive. At your Google Drive page, you can change the file view between thumbnails and Details by tapping the lined bullet point icon. You can search for specific files on Google Drive by tapping the search icon at the top and entering your search term.

You can also run other commands. Tap the three-dot icon at the top. You can create a new window or folder, sort your files by different criteria, and select all the files, among other commands (Figure G). When you’re done with Google Drive, press the left arrow to return to the Files app or the app drawer where you can reopen the app.

Figure G

You can view most files in the Files app through built-in viewers. Tap an image file, a video, or a PDF to open it. A video file automatically starts playing. In the video viewer, you can play, pause, go forward, go back, and scrub through the file. With a series of image files or PDFs, you can swipe left and right to move from one file to another.

Tap the Google Drive icon at the top to save the file to Drive. Tap the trash can icon to delete the file. Tap the three-dot icon, and you can opt to open the file with a specific app, download the file to the Downloads folder, send the file to an online service or an app, and print the file (Figure H).

Figure H

Finally, you can view other types of files such as Microsoft Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, but you need the mobile version of the app on your phone. Try to open such a file, and the app tells you that it’s unable to preview the file. Tap the link to Open With and choose the appropriate program, and the file opens within its associated app where you can view and potentially edit it (Figure I).

Figure I

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Unlike Windows, the stock Android system doesn’t come with a built-in file management system. However, Most users don’t even need the file management system on Android anyway. Everything is managed for them and they can easily access apps in the app drawer and the media in the phone gallery.

On a daily basis, file manager might not be required, but there are times when you need to use a file manager or may like to tap into your phone’s system. Although, some manufacturers do add a file manager in their phones, but they are not as robust as third-party file managers and lack many features.

Even if you do have a built-in file manager, we will still recommend opting for a third-party manager to get the most juice out of your Android device. For this purpose, our recommendation will be ES File Explorer. It is one of the best you can find in the market and will let you completely tap into your Android phone’s system.

Types of Folder You May Find

If you haven’t already downloaded a file manager yet, then please download one and continue. The features are almost same for all good file manager, but we have found the ES File Explorer to be better than others.

Once downloaded and launched, you will be able to see all the folders available on your Android phone. However, the names might not be familiar to you, making it difficult to interact with the data.

Below are the Folders that will contain your required data:

Download: This folder contains all the files that you have downloaded from the internet. It will not include the apps that you downloaded from the market, but all other audio/video data will be here.

DCIM: For accessing your camera images, you might jump straight to “Pictures” folder, but you will be disappointed there. All your images taken with your phone camera will be inside “DCIM” (Digital Camera Images) folder.

All other files will be under a proper name. For example, data such as, Music, Movies, Videos or Ringtones will be located in the respective folders.

Hide Your Data

Using the file manager, you can hide a specific folder from the Android’s system and it will be unable to read the folder or the data inside it. For this purpose, you will have to add a “.” at the start of the folder and it will be hidden. If you need full instructions on the process, you can read our Hide Android Photos guide.

There is also a way to hide media content of an existing folder, you can just create a “.nomedia” file inside that folder and all media will be hidden in that folder. You can refer to the guide above for proper instructions.

Manage and Exchange Data between Devices over Wi-Fi

This feature might not be one of the most common features of Android file managers, but ES File Explorer definitely offers it. You can use ES File Explorer’s “Remote Manager” to access your phone’s file system using another device on the same network.

All you need to do is opens the main menu and from there, scroll down and tap on “Remote Manager”. In Remote Manager, tap on Turn on and you will see an address in the middle.

Enter this address in the browser of the other device and you will see the whole system as a web page. However, you can only copy data from the android phone using this method.

If you want to properly exchange data, you will have to use an FTP client and paste this Android address there and then connect. For this purpose, FileZilla is a reliable FTP client.

The features above, and associated instructions are just to help you understand what file managers are and what power they hold. However, a file explorer app is not only limited to this, you can do tons of other things that you can’t even think of right now. You can browse around, but beware that you have the power to delete files if you want to.

If you have any questions or would like to share a file manager feature that you use frequently, let us know in the comments.

Filed in Cellphones . Read more about Android and Productivity.

Recently, Google introduced Files Go software on Android 5.Zero and above to manage files and switch data like AirDrop on iPhone. Accordingly, the applying will regulate and manage all data on the instrument, and then divide them into different file codecs comparable to pictures, audio, video, . Or programs categorized by Files displayed from computers, screenshots, photos from chat programs Messenger, Zalo, Viber, . on the phone. From there, customers can in finding files they would like faster, or delete unused files.

Besides the power to manage data on Android smartly, Files Go software can switch data between 2 Android devices to set up packages. We are not looking for to connect to the Internet, or use other supporting tool, just turn on Bluetooth to send files. The following article will guide you how to use Files Go to manage files on Android.

  1. The application to switch data by the use of WiFi on Android professionally
  2. How to switch data from iPhone to Android?
  3. Instructions for controlling Android devices by way of laptop

1. How to use File Go to manage files on Android:

  1. Download the Files Go Android utility

Step 1:

We click on on the link above to continue to obtain the Files Go utility to the software. In the first utility release interface, click Agree to agree to the terms of use via Google producer Files Go.

In the main interface of the applying you are going to see the entire amount of house used on the device. Managing data on Go Files can be divided into Memory and Files . Also whilst you click on on the File phase on the bottom of the display screen, you will come to the segment to manage the entire data. Go files will cut up the data into different classes.

Clicking on every merchandise will see the data can also be divided into different classes.

2. How to clean up Android memory on Files Go:

Step 1:

Next we will continue to clean up the tool in the Memory section . In the Duplicate Files segment , the application will filter the total number of replica files on the tool, together with the volume of replica files used. When you click on on this merchandise, you’ll see which files are duplicated.

Here you can make a selection the file you want to delete and click Delete under.

You will then obtain a message from the Go Files about deleting duplicate files. The software will delete the old model and leave handiest the new model. Click Close .

Next, the collection of replica files seems, click on Delete to agree. So you’ve freed the software for the tool with reproduction data.

Step 3:

Go to the Application cache section to carry out a cleanup of a few programs’ cache . When you click on this item you will get a listing of packages that include cache files. To blank up any utility, take a look at the application , or tick All items. Click Delete beneath.

Appearance interface asks Delete cache?Click Delete to agree.

Step 4:

Next, go to Find an unused application . The application will find the methods that you simply set up on the tool, nevertheless it hasn’t been used for a very long time. In the primary interface, users want to allow Files Go to get entry to data the use of the applying on the device, press Go to settings .

Next to remove the horizontal bar to the suitable at Files Go to agree to get entry to the data used.

Return to Find an unused software, we will see a list of all installed applications or games. Each utility may have capacity, along side the newest time to open the appliance.

To uninstall any utility, select it and click on Uninstall below. Continue clicking Uninstall to delete all data of the applying on the software.

We take turns with the rest data control pieces on Files Go.

3. How to send files on Go Files without Internet:

As discussed above, Files Go utility also has the serve as of shifting data between 2 units that set up Files Go application, via Bluetooth connection. We just want to flip on Bluetooth in both gadgets, then choose the data we would like to ship to entire.

Step 1:

Click on File management on the software after which click on the Send at protected file transfer button with out the Internet . Then input the title on your device that your mates acknowledge, after which click Next .

Step 2:

At the tool to receive the file, click on the Receive button and also name your software. Then, on the instrument that sends the file, the instrument shall be detected. Click on the software title you wish to have to connect to to switch data.

Step 3:

At this time, on the screen, the instrument will ship the connection. At the same time on the data receiving device, press Connect for two gadgets.

When the connection is a hit, the data management interface will seem. Click on the file you want to ship after which click Next.

Step 4:

Finally, you simply want to wait for the data to be transferred to the tool. Below are photos of 2 units that have won and despatched data to each and every different.

Step 5:

On the data receiving tool , press the arrow to the left of the interface to Disconnect the sending instrument. Next, go to the file Received and can see the report you may have simply received. When clicking on the arrow in the data will appear a number of other options.

Above is the thing how to use Files Go application to manage files, blank machine memory and data transfer between 2 devices without Internet connection. With Go Files, customers will keep watch over the entire report extra easily on the device, thereby filtering out junk files to building up memory capability. The Data Go Files Go feature additionally makes it easier to share files between two Android gadgets. Don’t skip Files Go with Three useful features for Android units.

I wish you all luck!

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Find the best file manager app for your Android device

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A file manager performs basic file management functions such as creating folders, moving and sharing files, and even freeing up space by removing duplicates and unused files. If the Android file manager you have doesn’t do everything you want, here are file manager apps that may do the trick.

The file manager apps in this list are free with minimal ads, updated frequently, have high ratings and downloads on Google Play, and work on smartphones and tablets running Android 5.0 and up.

Quick and Easy File Access: File Manager +

Access files stored in the cloud or on a PC.

Intuitive and simple interface.

Built-in image viewer, music player, and text editor.

Doesn’t support RAR, TAR, or 7Z compresses files.

May not recognize USB storage devices.

No dual-column option.

When your files are stored in a variety of locations, use File Manager + by Flashlight + Clock to quickly access any file in any place. The File Manager + opening screen is clean and straightforward, and icons are large and comfortable to see. It has icons for device storage, apps, cloud storage accounts, and the standard Android folders like Images, Audio, and Videos.

File Manager + has all the basic file management features. Create folders and files, copy and move files, sort files in folders, and rename and delete files. Bookmark files for easy access, share files in email and to your cloud storage accounts, and compress files. It also has tools to clear storage space.

Clean up Files and Storage: File Manager by Astro

Connect to cloud storage accounts.

Backup apps to an SD card.

Set favorite files and folders.

Usage tracking may seem invasive.

Problems connecting to an SMB server.

No LAN or network file access.

The Astro file manager performs basic file management functions such as move, copy, rename, share, and compress files. Settings can be modified to change the information displayed for files and folders, and it also provides an easy way to move and backup files on the device storage to an SD card.

The Astro file manager also has an app manager and a storage manager. The app manager monitors app usage and informs you of the apps you rarely use, when you last used an app, and the app size. The storage manager shows how much space is used on the device and the SD card, the number of files in a folder, and the size of each folder and file.

A Windows-Style File Manager: Cx File Explorer

Connect to cloud storage, FTP, and local networks.

Compress files in ZIP format.

Loaded with useful features.

Slow to move a file from a phone to a PC.

Cannot favorite files and folders.

Doesn’t display hidden files.

Cx File Explorer has a simple and intuitive interface that makes it easy to browse and manage files stored on the device or in the cloud. It works like Windows File Explorer and Finder for Mac. Along with being a file manager, Cx File Explorer displays a visual storage analysis of the device and an app manager.

Cx File Explorer also analyzes the storage space on the device and lists the amount of storage used by file type, the largest files stored on the devices, and cache files. The storage analysis also contains tools to delete and move these files.

Quickly Transfer Files Between PC and Android: File Commander

Quick access tiles on Home screen.

Access files on Android device from a PC

Includes 5 GB of MobiSystems Drive cloud storage.

Ads to upgrade to Premium can be annoying.

May be unable to move multiple files.

Need Premium version to convert file formats.

File Commander performs all the basic file management tasks and provides access to cloud storage accounts, FTP servers, and local networks. Everything you need to manage your files can be accessed from the File Commander home screen, and the home screen can be customized to add or remove file locations.

To make it even easier to manage files on Android, File commander has a PC File Transfer tool that displays the Android file system in a web browser on a PC. When viewing the Android files on a PC, you can perform all the basic file management functions such as delete files and create folders.

Free Up Space: Files by Google

Suggests ways to free up space.

Backup files to your cloud account.

Share files offline with people nearby.

May change file formats when moving a folder with files.

Can’t resume a failed file share.

Can’t create shortcuts on Home screen.

Files by Google is completely free, has no ads, and is easy to use. As with most file manager apps, Files by Google organizes files on Android devices in an intuitive way that makes it quick and easy to find them. Files by Google also contains features to sort files, backup files to the cloud, backup files to the SD card, and to share files over an encrypted direct Wi-Fi network.

What sets Files by Google apart is its storage management features. Files by Google shows a visual representation of the free space on the device and SD card, frees up space on the device by deleting unused files and apps, and improves device performance by removing junk and temporary files. It also suggests files that can be deleted to free up space.

File management is one of Android’s biggest strengths and greatest draws. Unlike iOS, Android allows you to manipulate files and folders directly via file manager applications without external hardware or software. While you can’t access a handful of system-level files, the operating system still grants you plenty of control. Here’s a quick guide on how to navigate your Android phone’s storage folders.


To access and navigate your Android phone’s storage, use a file manager app or connect to a PC.


How to access and navigate your Android phone’s storage

In many ways, Android’s filesystem resembles that of a desktop operating system like Windows and macOS. This is not too surprising — Android is based on a modified version of the Linux kernel.

Like most desktop operating systems, Android also bundles a native file manager application. Some device manufacturers like Samsung and Xiaomi go one step further and offer a more fully-featured version. Open your device’s app drawer and look for an app called File Manager, My Files, or simply Files. You can also download a third-party application from the Play Store. Google’s Files app is a good starting point.

Depending on the app in question, you may be presented with a simplified view of your device’s storage (pictured above). The aforementioned Files by Google app, for example, bundles items under categories such as downloads, images, videos, audio clips, and documents. This interface also comes in handy when looking for large files taking up your phone’s valuable storage space. We’ll discuss how you can free up storage space later.

If you need full access to your device’s internal storage, tap the Browse or Internal Storage button. If your device supports a microSD card, you’ll also find a button to access it. Once again, though, the exact method may differ depending on your device and app choice.

Manage your Android phone’s storage with a PC

If using an app to manage your phone’s vast storage seems too inefficient, you can also access it via a computer. Connect your device to a computer using the USB cable bundled with most smartphones. Once connected, a notification should pop up on your device — select File transfer instead of the default Charging setting.

You’ll get access to the same files and folders discussed in the above section via this method. The biggest advantage is that you can offload files from and to your device without any third-party application. If you like to make backups of your photos and videos, this is the most reliable way to achieve it.

Android’s flexibility also means you can use your phone or tablet as a portable storage device. However, keep in mind that many devices still ship with slower USB 2.0 ports since most users never use their devices for file transfers. Still, you can go down this route if you’re ever in a pinch and don’t have a dedicated flash drive on hand.

Common Android folders

Even before you start using your device, Android creates a handful of folders on your internal storage. For example, some of these folders — like Downloads — are pretty self-explanatory. Nevertheless, here’s a quick rundown of the various default Android folders and what they’re meant for:

  • Android: This is the default location used for app data, cache, and other important files. It is not recommended to delete this unless you don’t mind losing your app data. Keep in mind that certain apps like WhatsApp also store your media files under this directory.
  • Alarms, Ringtones, Notifications: These folders store custom audio files for alarms, ringtones, and notifications that can be used by some default and third-party apps.
  • DCIM: Images and videos captured from your device’s camera app are saved here. You’ll also find this folder created on your microSD card if you opt to save pictures there.
  • Downloads: Anything you download from web browsers, such as Chrome or Firefox, will appear here. Other apps can also use this folder to store downloaded images and documents, even though separate folders exist too.
  • Pictures, Music, Movies, Video: These are all default folders used by various apps for your media needs. Some apps will allow you to specify other locations, but most media players will search these directories by default. The Pictures folder also holds screenshots under a sub-folder of the same name.
  • Podcasts: This folder is used by some apps to separate podcast files from the rest of your music. It will be empty if you don’t use a podcast app or don’t opt for downloads.

Advanced storage hierarchy

As mentioned previously, your Android device features a Linux-esque file system structure. However, only a small portion of your phone’s storage can be accessed when connecting your phone to your PC or browsing via a file manager. This user-accessible portion is often known as Android’s data partition. MicroSD cards also count as their own discrete partition.

If you root your Android device, you can also access five other hidden partitions, namely boot, system, recovery, cache, and misc. Here’s a quick breakdown of what each partition does:

  • boot — This partition contains the kernel, ramdisk, and bootloader. Your phone relies on these to boot when powered on.
  • system — The system partition houses the operating system files (also known as the ROM), including the Android UI and pre-installed applications.
  • recovery — An alternative to booting into the OS, the recovery software can allow the user to backup and restore other partitions.
  • data — The data partition saves user data ranging from contacts and messages to apps and music. This sector gets wiped when you perform a factory reset.
  • cache — Android stores frequently used data and app components here. You can wipe this partition to fix certain issues.
  • misc — This partition contains other important system setting information, such as a USB configuration, carrier ID, and other hardware settings, usually saved in the form of on/off switches.

Since the introduction of seamless updates with Android 7.0 Nougat, many devices also include a second system partition. One partition can be updated in the background and quickly switched to on reboot, making the update appear seamless.

Free up storage space: Which Android folders can you delete?

If your Android device is running low on storage space, you may be tempted to delete folders that you don’t recognize. However, this isn’t the best approach as many apps share common Android folders. Instead, try to delete individual files, apps, and games that you may no longer need. Large video files, for example, quickly add up and exhaust your phone’s storage. You can also get a quick summary of storage utilization from the Settings app, under the Storage > Manage Storage submenu.

Alternatively, try using apps like DiskUsage to visualize which files and folders are taking up the most space on your device. As mentioned earlier, Android won’t let you delete critical system files from your phone’s internal storage, so you don’t have to worry about doing any permanent damage.

According to the docs file path access is granted in Android R:

Starting in Android 11, apps that have the READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission can read a device’s media files using direct file paths and native libraries. This new capability allows your app to work more smoothly with third-party media libraries.

The problem is that I can’t get the file path from MediaStore , so how are we supposed to read a file path that we can’t access/retrieve? Is there a way, I’m not aware of, that we can get the file path from MediaStore ?

Some apps have a core use case that requires broad file access, such as file management or backup & restore operations. They can get All Files Access by doing the following:

  1. Declare the MANAGE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission.
  2. Direct users to a system settings page where they can enable the Allow access to manage all files option for your app.

This permission grants the following:

  • Read access and write access to all files within shared storage.
  • Access to the contents of the MediaStore.Files table.

But I do not need all file access, I only want the user to select a video from MediaStore and pass the file path to FFmpeg (it requires a file path). I know that I can no longer use the _data column to retrieve a file path.

  • I know a Uri is returned from MediaStore and does not point to a file.
  • I know that I can copy the file to my application directory and pass that to FFmpeg , but I could do that before Android R.
  • I can not pass FileDescriptor to FFmpeg and I can not use /proc/self/fd/ (I get /proc/7828/fd/70: Permission denied when selecting a file from the SD Card), have a look at this issue.

So what am I supposed to do, am I missing something? What was meant with can read a device’s media files using direct file paths and native libraries ?

3 Answers 3

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After asking a question on issuetracker, I’ve come to the following conclusions:

    On Android R, the File restrictions that were added in Android Q is removed. So we can once again access File objects.

If you are targeting Android 10 > and you want to access/use file paths, you will have to add/keep the following in your manifest:

This is to ensure that file paths are working on Android 10(Q). On Android R this attribute will be ignored.

Don’t use DATA column for inserting or updating into Media Store, use DISPLAY_NAME and RELATIVE_PATH , here is an example:

You can no longer use the ACTION_OPEN_DOCUMENT_TREE or the ACTION_OPEN_DOCUMENT intent action to request that the user select individual files from Android/data/ , Android/obb/ and all sub-directories.

  • It is recommended to only use File objects when you need to perform “seeking”, like when using FFmpeg , for example.
  • You can only use the data column to access files that are on the disk. You should handle I/O Exceptions accordingly.
  • If you want to access a File or want a file path from a Uri that was returned from MediaStore , I’ve created a library that handles all the exceptions you might get. This includes all files on the disk, internal and removable disk. When selecting a File from Dropbox, for example, the File will be copied to your applications directory where you have full access, the copied file path will then be returned.

    For getting path, i’m coping file with fileDescriptor to new path & i use that path.

    Finding File Name:

    Copy With File Descriptor:

    If you are targeting to Android 11 API, you cannot directly get access to the file paths, as there are many restrictions in API 30(Android R). As scoped storage API was introduced in Android 10(API 29), the storage is now divided into scoped storage (private storage) and shared storage (public storage). Scoped storage is a kind you can only have access to the files that are created in your scoped storage directory(i.e. /Android/data/ or /Android/media/ ). You cannot access files from shared storage (i.e. internal storage/external SD card storage etc.)

    The shared storage is again further divided into Media and Download collection. Media collection stores Image, Audio and Video files. Download collection would take care of non-media files.

    To learn in more details about scoped storage and shared storage refer this link: Scoped Storage in Android 10 & Android 11 .

    If you are dealing with Media files (i.e. Images, Videos, Audio) you can get the file path by Using Media Store API that having support to API 30(Android 11). and If you are dealing with non-media files(i.e. documents and other files) you can get the file path by using file Uri.

    Note: If you are using the file or Uri util classes (such as RealPathUtil, FilePathUtils etc.) to get the file path, here you can get the desired file path but you cannot read that file, as it will throw an exception of Read Access (as Permission denied) in Android 11, as you cannot read the files that are created by another application.

    So to achieve this scenario of getting the file path in Android 11(API 30), It a recommended to copy the file into the cache directory of your application using File Uri and get the path of the file access from cache directory.

    Here in my scenario I have used both APIs to get the file access in Android 11. To get the file path of the media files (i.e. Images, Videos, Audio), I’ve used the Media Store API (Refer this link: Media Store API Example – Access media files from shared storage ), and to get the file path of the non-media files (i.e. Documents and other files), I’ve used fileDescriptor.

    File Descriptor Example: I have created the system dialog file picker to pick the file.

    And handled the result of file picker in onActivityResult method of the activity. Get the file URI at here.

    Pass the file URI to the below method to get the file path. This method will create a file object at cache directory of your application and from that location you can easily get Read access to that file.

    Note: You can use this method to get file path for both media files (Images, Videos, Audio) and non-media files (Documents and other files) as well. Just need to pass a file Uri.

    How do I use file manager on my phone?

    Go to the Settings app then tap Storage & USB (it’s under the Device subheading). Scroll to the bottom of the resulting screen then tap Explore: Just like that, you’ll be taken to a file manager that lets you get at just about any file on your phone.

    What does file manager do on an Android phone?

    The Android File Manager app helps users manage and transfer files between the smartphone’s storage and a computer. Unlike native tools, the file manager app allows you to store a variety of files on the phone.

    Does Android have a file manager?

    Managing files on your Android phone

    With Google’s Android 8.0 Oreo release, meanwhile, the file manager lives in Android’s Downloads app. All you have to do is open that app and select the “Show internal storage” option in its menu to browse through your phone’s full internal storage.

    How do I open file manager?

    Tap any file to view it.

    The selected file will open in its default app. For example, tapping a photo will open it in your gallery or photo manager app. Certain file types, such as documents and spreadsheets, may require you to download an app for viewing.

    Do I need file manager on my phone?

    Android includes full access to a file system, complete with support for removable SD cards. But Android itself has never come with a built-in file manager, forcing manufacturers to create their own file manager apps and users to install third-party ones. With Android 6.0, Android now contains a hidden file manager.

    What is File Manager used for?

    See file management system. (3) Software used to organize files on a storage device (hard drive, SSD, flash drive). The file manager displays the file/folder hierarchy, and it provides functions to create, copy, move, rename and delete folders as well as copy, move, rename and delete files.

    What is the best Android app for file manager?

    10 Best File Manager Apps for Android (2021)

    • Total Commander.
    • Astro File Manager.
    • X-Plore File Manager.
    • Amaze File Manager – Made in India App.
    • Root Explorer.
    • FX File Explorer.
    • RS File Manager.
    • MiXplorer.

    Does Google have a file manager?

    Use Files by Google to free up space on your device and browse and share your files. Files by Google works on Android version 5.0 and up. If you don’t have the app, you can download it from the Play Store.

    How do I install file manager on Android?

    To open the File Manager app. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon (in the QuickTap bar) > the Apps tab (if necessary) > Tools folder > File Manager This iOS and Android device manager also allows you to restore the backup files to your phone Files.

    How do I download files to my Android phone?

    Download a file

    1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Chrome app .
    2. Go to the webpage where you want to download a file.
    3. Touch and hold what you want to download, then tap Download link or Download image. On some video and audio files, tap Download .

    How do I open files on my Android phone?

    Find & open files

    1. Open your phone’s Files app . Learn where to find your apps.
    2. Your downloaded files will show. To find other files, tap Menu . To sort by name, date, type, or size, tap More. Sort by. If you don’t see “Sort by,” tap Modified or Sort .
    3. To open a file, tap it.

    How do I find downloaded files on my Android?

    You can find your downloads on your Android device in your My Files app (called File Manager on some phones), which you can find in the device’s App Drawer. Unlike iPhone, app downloads are not stored on the home screen of your Android device, and can be found with an upward swipe on the home screen.

    How do I open file manager in android programmatically?

    Intent intent = new Intent(Intent. ACTION_GET_CONTENT); intent. setType(“*/*”); Intent i = Intent. createChooser(intent, “View Default File Manager”); startActivityForResult(i, CHOOSE_FILE_REQUESTCODE);

    Where is the file manager on my Samsung phone?

    It’s the orange folder icon. You can now browse and folders on your phone or tablet. If you can’t find the file manager, tap the search bar at the top of the app drawer, type my files , then tap My Files in the search results.

    How do I open file manager in Chrome?

    Find and open a file

    1. In the corner of your screen, select the Launcher. Up arrow .
    2. Open Files .
    3. On the left, choose where your file is saved. For files you’ve just used, select Recent. For a list of files by type, select Image, Video, or Audio. …
    4. Find your file and double-click it to open.

    Introduction to Android File

    Android allows each user to access the file system with a file manager on their computer. You can access and switch Android files between your device and your smartphone or tablet. You can plug into a USB cable and activate your mobile file manager in an Android system. As an essential part of a mobile program, Android’s file manager app responds. It offers simple navigation of data, storage space management, downloads, transferring data around and many other activities. However, most manufacturers of Android devices have an Android file manager program on their devices before downloading. In contrast with other third-party file managers, the pre-install file manager has fewer features.

    Top 10 Android File Managers

    Below are the list of file managers:

    Web development, programming languages, Software testing & others

    1 MiXplorer Silver

    MiXplorer Silver now has a powerful file manager at the moment, but now is a premium version of it in the Google Play store. This update bundles MiXplorer with several premium add-ons such as Mix folder, tagger, and metadata. This supports a variety of archive formats such as RAR and ZIP. The MiXplorer Silver has a built-in image and media player. It supports both a cloud-based and networked storage system.

    2. Solid Explorer

    This is an attractive framework for file management that offers a 2-pane Android phones and tablets GUI. It also supports TAR, RAR, and ZIP archive files, and the search indexing feature. Aside from a remarkable feature, Solid Explorer supports a wide range of plug-ins, including FTP server plug-in, USB OTG support, and much more. It has two distinct browser panes, combined with Drag & Drop support, that allows you to copy and move files from one location to another.

    3. FolderSync

    FolderSync File Manager has simple functionality for handling the file. The main purpose of the file manager of FolderSync is to ensure that the most used file by the user is synchronized between the Android device and cloud storage options. FolderSync File Manager user can easily backup and synchronize its files and directories with various storage providers including OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive. This file manager also supports several protocols for file transfer.

    4. Ghost Commander

    Ghost Commander is a Complete Commander-inspired file management tool. The Ghost Commander gives information on Android smartphones and tablets to the two-pane navigation system. You can easily access different functions with physical buttons. This application offers FTP support; left-hand users control and root features are enabled. It includes a range of complementary plugins, such as cloud storage and support for WebDAV.

    5. Amaze File Manager

    An open-source program with an appealing look and the impression of material design is Amaze File Manager. As an all-round central file manager, the Amaze File Manager works. Users can view the files in the grid or list view of the directory. The side drawer displays the folder mostly used such as images, songs, films, and downloads. This file manager helps users to bookmark their directories and display all media files filled with side drawer shorts. SMB and FTP connections are provided in this file manager program. It includes additional features for ZIP and root explorer support.

    6. Tetra Filer

    In a close directory, directory, or comprehensive view, the Tetra File Manager displays files and directories. Tetra Filer File Manager users can easily access by signposting their commonly used files. This also provides a search function to immediately locate reference files or directories. This concentrates on local data management so that cloud data is not stored here. This file manager does the job for you well if you’re searching for a single simple file manager that navigates your internal storage.

    7. File Manager +

    File Manager + is an elegant user interface with a standard distribution of various directory categories. This is an easy-to-use file manager that offers all the functionality a file manager requires. Both local and cloud storage, including connected storage (NAS) network access, are provided. File Manager + provides an integrated storage analyzer to determine files and directories that take up more room in the memory.

    8. Total Commander

    All the main features a user may want in file management are included in the Total Commander. It offers advanced folder access and permissions for a transition. It includes additional plugins for SFTP, FTP, LAN, WebDAV, etc. A two panel mode window is support for the Complete Commander File Manager to quickly access files. This software supports various file formats, network and cloud storage, as well as LAN and FTP support plugins, root functionality, bookmarking and more.

    Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader’s Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read more.

    Older Android devices support USB mass storage for transferring files back and forth with a computer. Modern Android devices use the MTP or PTP protocols — you can choose which one you prefer.

    To select a USB connection protocol, open the Settings app, tap Storage, tap the menu button, and tap USB computer connection. You’ll also see the protocol your device is using as a notification when it’s connected to a computer via USB.

    Why Modern Android Devices Don’t Support USB Mass Storage

    USB mass storage — also known as “USB mass storage device class,” USB MSC, or UMS — was the way older versions of Android exposed their storage to a computer. When you connected your Android device to your computer, you’d have to specifically tap a “Connect storage to PC” button to make the Android device’s storage accessible to the computer over USB mass storage. When disconnecting it from the computer, you’d have to tap a “Turn off USB storage” button.

    USB mass storage is the standard protocol used by flash drives, external hard drives, SD cards, and other USB storage devices. The drive makes itself completely available to the computer, just as if it were an internal drive.

    There were problems with the way this worked. Whatever device is accessing the storage needs exclusive access to it. When you connected the storage to the computer, it was disconnected from the Android operating system running on the device. Any files or apps stored on the SD card or USB storage would be unavailable when it was connected to the computer.

    System files had to be stored somewhere; they’d never be disconnected from the device, so you ended up with Android devices containing separate /data partitions for “system storage” and /sdcard partitions for “USB storage” on the same internal storage device. Android installed apps and its system files onto /data, while user data was stored on the /sdcard partition.

    Because of this hard split, you might end up with too little space for apps and too much space for data, or too much space for apps and too little space for data. You couldn’t resize these partitions without rooting your device — the manufacturer chose the appropriate amount for each partition at the factory.

    Because the file system had to be accessible from Windows device, it had to be formatted with the FAT file system. Not only does Microsoft have patents it exerts on FAT, FAT is also an older, slower file system without a modern permission system. Android can now use the modern ext4 file system for all its partitions because they don’t need to be directly readable by Windows.

    Connecting an Android phone or tablet to a computer as a standard USB storage device is convenient, but there are too many downsides. The craziness had to stop, so modern Android devices use different USB connection protocols.

    MTP – Media Device

    MTP stands for “Media Transfer Protocol.” When Android uses this protocol, it appears to the computer as a “media device.” The media transfer protocol was widely promoted as a standardized protocol for transferring audio files to digital music players using Windows Media Player and similar applications. It was designed to allow other media player companies to compete with Apple’s iPod and iTunes.

    This protocol works very differently from USB mass storage. Rather than exposing your Android device’s raw file system to Windows, MTP operates at the file level. Your Android device doesn’t expose its entire storage device to Windows. Instead, when you connect a device to your computer, the computer queries the device and the device responds with a list of files and directories it offers. The computer can download a file — it will request the file from the device, and the device will send the file over the connection. If a computer wants to upload a file, it sends the file to the device and the device chooses to save it. When you delete a file, your computer sends a signal to the device saying, “please delete this file,” and the device can delete it.

    Android can choose the files it presents to you, and hide system files so you can’t see or modify them. If you attempt to delete or edit a file that can’t be modified, the device will refuse the request and you’ll see an error message.

    Your computer doesn’t need exclusive access to the storage device, so there’s no need to connect the storage, disconnect it, or have separate partitions for different types of data. Android can also use ext4 or any other file system it wants — Windows doesn’t have to understand the file system, only Android does.

    In practice, MTP functions a lot like USB mass storage. For example, an MTP device shows up in Windows Explorer so you can browse and transfer files. Linux also supports MTP devices via libmtp, which is generally included with popular desktop Linux distributions. MTP devices should appear on your Linux desktop’s file manager, too.

    Apple’s Mac OS X is a holdout — it doesn’t include MTP support at all. Apple’s iPod, iPhone, and iPad use their own proprietary syncing protocol along with iTunes, so why would they want to support a competing protocol?

    Google provides an Android File Transfer application for Mac OS X. This application is just a simple MTP client, so it will work for transferring files back and forth on a Mac. Google doesn’t provide this application for other operating system because they include MTP support.

    PTP – Digital Camera

    PTP stands for “Picture Transfer Protocol.” When Android uses this protocol, it appears to the computer as a digital camera.

    MTP is actually based on PTP, but adds more features, or “extensions.” PTP works similarly to MTP, and is commonly used by digital cameras. Any software program that supports grabbing photos from a digital camera will support grabbing photos from an Android phone when you select the PTP mode. PTP was designed to be a standard protocol for communicating with digital cameras.

    In this mode, your Android device will work with digital camera applications that support PTP but not MTP. Apple’s Mac OS X does support PTP, so you can use PTP mode to transfer photos from an Android device to a Mac over a USB connection without any special software.

    If you have an older Android device, you may be forced to use USB mass storage. On a modern Android device, you have a choice between MTP and PTP — you should use MTP unless you have software that only supports PTP.

    If your device has a removable SD card, you can remove the SD card and insert it directly into your computer’s SD card slot. The SD card will be available to your computer as a storage device, so you can access all the files on it, run file-recovery software, and do anything else you can’t do with MTP.