How to access android system files

How to access android system files

Nowadays, people are obsessed with Android smartphones. people spend time tweaking with their Android on many occasions including a walk with it, sit with it, eat with it and toilet with it. It sounds to be exaggerated, but the fact is that we use smartphones to take a selfie, listen to music, watch videos, play games and etc. By accessing Android from PC, you can manage the files stored on your phone more efficiently. But how? Just plug the USB cable in the computer? Definitely not. Here are three ways to help you get this done.

However, you may have learned about USB debug mode on your phone which is the most common means to connect to computer. USB debug mode is a function for Android developers in the early times which allows them to control Android through the PC. Android has open-source code, which means users can freely access to open USB debug mode whenever they want now. You can activate the USB debug mode by using a cable, let’s check for it in the first method.

Access Android phone from PC in three ways

Method One: Recommended Method to Access

The first way is to access Android files from PC via USB cable without other tools is by using ApowerManager. It is a one-stop management tool that allows you to access Android from PC so that you can manage phone pictures, music, videos, apps, etc. Follow the guide below to learn how to operate.

  • Download and install.

How to access android system files

  • Open the USB debug mode and plug the USB cable in the computer. Remember to change the USB connection mode to MTP or PTP. At this time, a prompt will pop up at the lower right corner of your computer saying “Installing device driver software”. Wait until the installation finishes.
  • Launch the phone manager to connect your Android to your PC. Then you can access Android files from PC.

Did you know? ApowerManager not only can access Android from PC via USB cable but also via Wi-Fi. For Wi-Fi connection, you should install an app on your Android first. Then you can scan the QR code or enter the verification code to build a connection. Moreover, as it is a one-stop management tool, it possesses lots of management functions, like contacts, messages, screenshots, backup and restores.

Pros: One-stop management. Fast connecting speed. Support various kinds of Android phones. A simple interface and easy operation.
Cons: The trial version only available for three days.

Method two:Method two: Access through Official Phone Driver

The second method is using the phone driver which the smartphone enterprise or Third-party provides, such as Samsung and HTC driver. The driver will help you access files on Android from PC. Here I take Samsung Kies and HTC Sync Manager as examples to talk through the instructions.

  • Samsung Kies

1. Visit Samsung official website to download Kies.
2. Install and launch it
3. Open the USB debug mode of your phone and then plug in the USB cable to access Android phone from PC.

How to access android system files

  • HTC Sync Manager

1. Navigate to the official website of HTC, find the mobile driver and download it. The driver would be in the Support Center.
2. Install it and then launch the driver.
3. Open USB debug mode on your Android. Plug in the USB cable to access Android from PC.

How to access android system files

Pro: Provide professional service to a certain kind of Android phone.
Cons: Complicated to use. Slow connecting speed.

As you can see, there’re special drivers for corresponding models. But you have to install two drivers for transferring files between two Android devices in different brands. Some of the drivers are glitchy, it occurs to me that the connection sometimes fails due to unknown reasons.

Method Three: Access without Assistant Tools

First, open the USB debug mode and plug in the USB cable.

  • If you want to manage files in the SD card, change the connection mode to USB storage.
  • If you want to manage the files in the internal memory, switch the connection mode to PTP.

Second, after successfully connecting, you will find your Android device appears as a portable device in “My computer”.

How to access android system files

Pros: Access Android device from PC without installing any software.
Cons: You cannot preview the files or to manage them efficiently like working with a software. Sometimes, it is hard for some Android phones to connect to PC.

Comparing with three methods above, the method of using Apowersoft Phone Manager is highly recommended. The reason is that the phone driver only compatible to certain kind of Android phones and the second method cannot access to the Android files in the internal memory and SD card at the same time.

How to access the Android file system via the terminal or Android File Transfer on Mac

I own a Sony Xperia S and a Mac. Problem with the Sony Bridge for Mac is that it’s terribly slow. It takes minutes to get access to your files. I also had a problem that I couldn’t access files that are added to the device since the ICS (4.0.4) update. With the latest upgrade (6.1.A.2.45, 26-aug-2012) this issue is fixed. This blog should also work for other phones, if other steps are needed please add a comment, then I’ll update the article.

Android File Transfer

The easiest solution is to use Android File Transfer. With this application you can drag and drop files from and to your local file system. You have to disable the auto-start function of Sony Bridge for Mac (under Preferences), otherwise you won’t be able to access the files.

adb/command line

When you want to have more control you can access your phone with a *nix command prompt. You have to install the Android SDK for this.

Go the the prefences of your phone, developer options and enable usb debugging. Note that this is intended for developers only and gives full access to your device via usb! Disable it after your done and you’re not sure whether it’s safe to leave it on.

Under the platform-tools directory of the SDK home there’s an application called adb. ADB (short for Android Debug Brdige) is a nifty command line tool to communicate with your phone.
To browse the filesystem of your phone run the ./adb shell command in the SDK-home directory. This will open a console where you can enter simple commands like ls , cd and ll . The files are probably located in /mnt/sdcard on your Android device.
Now that your familiar with your file system exit the prompt with ctrl-d.

When you want to copy files from your device to your local computer use adb pull. Example:
./adb pull /mnt/sdcard/DCIM/100ANDRO/. /tmp/.
With adb push you can push files to your phone.

One of the many cool aspects of Android is the fact that you can access all aspects of the operating system. Unlike iOS, you can see all system files and have access to every file and folder on the device. If you’re new to the operating system and want to know how to upload, download and see all your Android files, this tutorial is for you.

How to access android system files

Android has its own file manager but there are also third-party file managers to make life easier. Since the native file manager is a part of every Android device, we’ll use that in our examples.

How to access android system files

How to see your Android files

The easiest way to see your Android files is to access device storage on the handset. There are two ways that you can do this: From the app drawer or from the Settings.

Access ‘My Files’ From the App Drawer

If you believe the best path is the one of least resistance, this is the method for you. Accessing all of the files on your Android device is really simple:

  1. Open your devices’ App drawer – Depending on the version of Android software you’re running you can click on the home screen icon that has several dots or you can swipe up on the screen.
    How to access android system files
  2. Use the search bar to quickly locate the ‘My Files’ app.How to access android system files
  3. Or, locate it among your other apps and tap on it.
    How to access android system files
  4. Select the folders to access the files you’d like to view.
    How to access android system files

Access Files From the Settings

This method isn’t exactly the fastest way to get your files, but it does let you see various file types quickly.

  1. Navigate to Settings, Storage & USB, and Internal storage – Because the Settings vary depending on your manufacturer, use the search bar within ‘Settings’ and type ‘Storage’ to find it quickly.
    How to access android system files
  2. Tap on the three-dot menu icon in the upper right-hand cornerHow to access android system files
  3. Tap ‘Advanced.’
    How to access android system files
  4. Select any one of the options that appear. For the purposes of this article, we’ll select ‘Files.’
    How to access android system files
  5. Browse the folders selecting the one you’d like to view.How to access android system files

Using a Computer

You can also view files while your phone is connected to your computer. This works on both Mac and Windows computers.

  1. Plug your Android phone into your computer with a USB cable.
  2. Set it for File Transfer if the cable doesn’t default to it. Wait for Windows to detect it.
  3. Open the phone in Windows Explorer and browser as you would any other hard drive.

Windows treats Android devices as external storage so you can drag, drop, add, move and delete files and folders as you see fit. The only limitation is that Android can only manipulate one file or folder at a time.

How Android Orders Files

While you can see and manipulate Android files in Explorer, the file system is not the same as in Windows. Device Storage is the internal memory of your device. Portable or SD Card is external storage, the SD card attached to your handset, if you have one installed.

The SD card can be configured to store images, videos, games and other data. Not all apps can be loaded onto an SD card so if something isn’t there check Device Storage.

Device Storage

Android core files will always be stored within Device Storage. Many apps, games and programs will also be stored there too. Within Device Storage you will see folders created by the Android OS.

DCIM is the camera and is where your images will be stored. By default this will be on Device Storage but can be configured to store on SD Card. Download should speak for itself, as should Movies, Music, Pictures and all the other folders.

SD Card

If your device has an SD card it will appear beside Device Storage both on the phone and in Windows Explorer. You can browse and explore it in exactly the same way. In Windows 10 it may display as Card, External Storage, or SD Card depending on the card type and your phone.

You explore the SD Card the same as any Windows File. If you see a DCIM folder, it means your phone is configured to save images to the card instead of internal storage. The same for Music, Movies, Playlists, and other files. As mentioned, not all apps and files can be saved into external storage so you may not see everything you’re expecting.

How to access android system files

Upload and Download Android Files

Now you know how to see your Android files, you should be able to move, add and change them too. Uploading and downloading Android files is just a matter of dragging and dropping them in Windows or selecting the menu option on your phone.

On an Android device:

  1. Navigate to Settings, Storage & USB, and Internal storage.
  2. Select the file or folder you want to move by pressing down on the icon and holding it until it says selected.
  3. Tap the three-dot menu icon and select ‘Move to’ or ‘Copy to.’
  4. Select the destination and confirm the move or copy.

Third party file managers

The Android file manager is quite capable but isn’t the easiest to use or to navigate. If you don’t like it much you can download and install third-party file managers from the Google Play Store. Search File Manager and choose an app you like the look of and that has good reviews. Download and install and then use as default. Most installation wizards take you through replacing the stock file manager so you will be in good hands.

Do you use a third party file manager for Android? Which do you use? Tell us about your experience below!

How to access android system files

Smartphones have emerged as the major highlight in the development of technology and have induced into the daily lives of people. Regardless of its popularity, several shortcomings make their use a little bizarre under various circumstances. One specific scenario where smartphones failed to outsmart the computers is in reading different documents. The smaller sizes of the screen and stunted functionality make it difficult to observe a document on the screen as compared to watching it over a PC. Thus, accessing Android files from the PC has been considered an optimal and easiest solution for such cases. This article provides you a comprehensive discussion over the dynamics of accessing Android from a PC.

Part 1: How to access an Android phone with a broken screen from a PC?

Whenever you face such circumstances where you accidentally break the screen of your phone and leave it inoperable from the screen, it does not mean that you cannot access the data present on your phone. This specific operation can be covered with the help of a third-party platform under the name of Wondershare MirrorGo. MirrorGo provides a very proficient set of features that allows you to easily access your Android device that is either broken or inoperable and even manages the data within it. MirrorGo offers a series of different features, which include controlling your Android device with the PC or mirroring it to enhance the consumption and observation of different files and applications across the phone. MirrorGo is not a simple mirroring platform; it offers a variety in managing data, which includes transferring files and sharing text and data across the clipboard of your computer. It even allows you to record the screen of your Android and share it over different platforms. This definitely makes MirrorGo an option that should be preferred across all users.

Wondershare MirrorGo

Mirror your android device to your computer!

  • Play mobile games on the big screen of the PC with MirrorGo.
  • Store screenshots taken from the phone to the PC.
  • View multiple notifications simultaneously without picking up your phone.
  • Use android apps on your PC for a full-screen experience.

To understand the operation of MirrorGo that helps you access Android phones from a PC, you need to follow the guide provided as follows.

Step 1: Connect your Phone with PC

It is significant to connect your Android with the PC before mirroring and controlling your Android from the PC. Use a USB cable to establish a connection. Select “Transfer Files” from the options that are provided on the Android to proceed.

How to access android system files

Step 2: Enable USB Debugging

Following this, access the “System & Updates” section from the Settings of your Android and select “Developer Options” from the list in the next window. Enable “USB Debugging” by turning on the toggle on the screen.

How to access android system files

Step 3: Establish Connection

A prompt message appears on the screen with the option to allow the computer to access the phone. Tap “Ok” to establish a connection.

How to access android system files

Part 2: How to access Android files from Windows 10?

The process of accessing the Android files with the aid of Windows is neither baffling nor bewildering to execute. Windows is recognized as one of the most intuitive and convenient platforms throughout the world, making it quite easy for a user to configure their Android device across a Windows 10 PC. The connection is as simple as connecting your phone with the computer through a USB cable. As you are done connecting the phone across the computer, unlock your smartphone and swipe its notification center from the home screen. A notification relating to the USB connection would be present on the screen. If not, you need to re-connect your device or check the hardware connection for any unnecessary breaks.

The USB connection that has been established is, by default, a simple charging connection. Tap on the notification to amend the settings to “Transfer Files” or “File Transfer” as it appears. With the selection complete, you can now proceed to access the Android files from a PC.

Step 1: Open a new window of File Explorer by clicking on its icon present on the taskbar of your Windows.

Step 2: Access the icon that is representing a phone in the panel where the drives and other portable devices are present. Tap on it to access the internal storage of your Android device.

Step 3: Locate the specific file that you wish to access from the storage. You can either copy the file on your PC or initiate it directly while keeping your phone connected.

How to access android system files

Part 3: How to access Android phone from PC via Wi-Fi?

If you are into connecting your Android device with the PC through a wireless connection, you need to consider using a series of third-party platforms that would attenuate a perfect connection of your PC with the smartphone through a Wi-Fi connection. This article provides you an introduction to the platform under the name of AirMore that resolves the issues relating to the wireless connection of a PC with Android. To understand the simple operation of using AirMore for the purpose mentioned above, you need to follow the guidelines provided below.

Step 1: Install the Application

It is necessary to have AirMore installed on your computer. For this, you can utilize your browser or visit the AirMore Product page for downloading the platform.

Step 2: Access your Android

Download the application on your Android phone and launch for connection. Tap “Scan to Connect” to proceed.

Step 3: Establish Connection

With the two options available on the PC, you can either scan the QR code or hit the device icon present in the ‘Radar’ menu to establish a connection. It should be kept in notice that the platform requires the users to connect their devices across the same Wi-Fi for successful execution. For the ‘Radar’ option, it is also important to click “Accept” once the option appears on your Android.

How to access android system files


This article has provided a detailed introduction on how to access Android from PC through a variety of simple mechanisms that would allow the user to view their files on PC with ease.

This describes how to access files and directories on the Android OS that are usually not accessible with a file explorer. All my machines are running OSX so these instructions should work similarly for *nix derivatives. Windows users will require a bit more research on their own. A lot of assumptions are made, so if you require clarification on anything, ask and I’ll do my best to answer and update this gist.

Download appropriate Android system tools

You are going to need adb and fastboot commands, you can either install Android Studio or get just the SDK. I suggest just getting the SKD tools because it is a much smaller payload and has everything that you need.

Unzip/Extract the contents of the SKD directory

Execute the android command in the tools directory, it will start the SDK Manager. Uncheck all boxes except the “Android SDK Platform-tools” and click “Install packages. “, accept the terms and let the installer run. Close it when it’s finished and check the platform-tools directory, it should now contain, among others, the adb and fastboot commands. If you know how to add the commands to your PATH, that will make things a little bit easier but it’s not absolutely necessary.

Download custom recovery

TeamWin aka TWRP is my custom recovery of choice but you can use whatever you’re comfortable with. Search for your device and follow the instructions to install the appropriate version. I prefer getting a direct download. Take note of where it is saved, this will be the /path/to/recovery.img I will refer to later.

Load custom recovery

Connect your Android device to your computer and run ./adb devices from the “platform-tools” directory, your device should be listed.

and wait for your device to load the bootloader, then run,

“`./fastboot boot /path/to/recovery.img““

The above commands should load the custom recovery. TWRP and any other custom recovery should have a file explorer/explorer, use that to find and copy and the directory or file you need to a location that is accessible by a regular file explorer.

Most applications have a need to work with files and, in this article, we will cover the basics of file management and have a simple demo.


Like other modern operating systems, Android has a disk-based file system. There are two storage areas: internal and external. Internal storage refers to the built-in, non-volatile memory. Devices also can come with removable memory (like a SD card), which is referred to as external storage.

The internal storage is also occasionally referred to as permanent storage. Files saved in internal storage are accessible only to your app by default.

External storage can be removed at any time and files saved here can be accessible to everyone.

Applications can allow themselves to be installed on the external storage by specifying the android:installLocation attribute. (The default is internal storage.)

When the user uninstalls the application, if the app is installed on internal storage, all files are removed. On the other hand, if the application was installed on external storage, the app files are moved only if we save them in the directory that is obtained from calling API getExternalFilesDir().

To grant everyone permission to your files, you need to declare the following in your manifest file.

If we declare READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE, global read permissions are granted implicitly.

To save files on internal storage, we need to acquire a directory as a file by calling either the getFilesDir() API (which represents an internal directory for your app), or by calling getCacheDir(), which represents your app’s temp cache files.

A new file can be created by specifying the file and the name of the directory where the file needs to be created by using the File constructor as follows.

We also can create a file by calling openFileOutput() to get a FileOutputStream.

To create temporary files meant for caching purposes, use the createTempFile() API.

Hands On

Let us create a simple application that demonstrates working with files.

Fire up Android Studio and Start a new Android Studio Project.

How to access android system files

Figure 1: Starting a new Android Studio Project

Provide FileDemo as the Application Name and Click Next.

How to access android system files

Figure 2: Configuring the new project

On the next screen, leave the default values and click Next.

How to access android system files

Figure 3: Leaving the default values in place

On the “Add an activity to Mobile” page, choose “Blank Activity”. This creates an application with a single activity.

How to access android system files

Figure 4: Adding a new, blank activity

We are then prompted to customize the activity. We will leave the default values unchanged.

How to access android system files

Figure 5: Here is where you would customize the activity (but don’t do so)

Click Finish to creating the project files.

Next, Open the AndroidManifest.xml file.

How to access android system files

Figure 6: The AndroidManifest.xml file

We need to declare permissions to write to files here.

We are only doing the preceding declaration to demo how to declare what is needed to write to external storage. We now will switch to working with a file on internal storage.

Switch to the design view and add two buttons as shown in the following code.

Next, we will wire up the click event handlers to create files.

Create two method stubs in

Next, we will wire up the click events in the layout file.

Now, we implement the method stubs to create the files.

When we run our application, we will see the home screen as shown in Figure 7.

How to access android system files

Figure 7: The home screen, showing the two new buttons

When we click on the “CREATE FILE” button, we will see that a file is created and the Status text changes.

How to access android system files
Figure 8: The file has been created

Similarly, when we click on the “CREATE TEMP FILE”, a file is created in the cache directory.

How to access android system files

Figure 9: The cache file has been created

We now have created a simple application that works with files.


In this article, we learned the basics about file and made a simple application that creates files. I hope you have found this information useful.

How to access android system files

Ed has been involved in digital forensics for the last 10 years and has been using Cellebrite Digital Intelligence solutions since 2011. He is also a Cellebrite Instructor teaching for the last 6 years.

In this episode, Ed will cover both iOS and Android system logs that run in the background on their respective devices. There is quite a lot of additional digital evidence that can be found there, which Ed has used to solve several cases.

Sometimes you can find the same log data results in the initial data collection, but it is a lot harder to locate them there. By knowing how to access and produce log data, especially on Android devices that are becoming increasingly locked, you will be able to answer your investigative questions faster.

The best practice in the lab is to leave your device on. During the podcast we follow the system log collection process outlined below:


  • Vol Up + Vil Dn+Pwr for 1 second
  • Can be generated from the lock screen
  • You will see the power-off screen – Hit ‘cancel,’ or you will power-off your device!

A macOS is preferred to examine these devices, however, there is plenty to extract using Windows as well.


  • Must have USB debugging enabled
  • Root access not needed
  • Use ADB to access the logs

Listen to the podcast to get more hands-on advice on how to access Android and iOS system log files.

The preferred way is to download the SDK and use adb logcat (requires to activate "developer options" on device).

There are apps available for viewing the full system log, however they only work on rooted devices or require issuing a manual command via adb to make them work. For more information view see this question.

You can either download the SDK and use adb logcat or get Logcat Extrem from the Google Play Store, which shows the log directly on your phone.

There are several directories where logs (including those from crashes) might appear — not all of them are standardized (i.e. some may be ROM-specific).

  • /data/anr : Some trace files seem to get here (Dalvik writes stack traces here on ANR, i.e. "Application Not Responding" aka "Force-Close"; see e.g. log excerpts here)
  • /data/dontpanic seems to be a standard location (AOSP), and contains some crash logs including traces (see e.g. viaForensics and StackOverflow)
  • /data/kernelpanics is another location — not having had any "kernel panic" on my Android devices, I saw no content there yet.
  • the /data/panic/panic_daemon.config may point to other locations configured — on my Droid 2 it mentions /sdcard/panic_data/
  • mentioned Droid 2 also has a /data/panicreports directory (empty here)
  • /data/tombstones may hold several tombstone_nn files (with nn being a serial, increased with every new file). As tombstones are placed for the dead, it is done here for "processes died by accident" (i.e. crashed) — and it is what is referred to as "core dumps" on Linux/Unix systems. However, not all apps create tombstones; this must be explicitly enabled by the developer (see Debugging Android Core Dumps).

There may be some more locations which escaped me; but as most logging is done on tmpfs , these data are lost with a reboot, and would not match the OPs question.

[dropcap]E[/dropcap]xplore out the things that are hidden in your android device with our method to view all your hidden files in your device. We are going to share the easiest method by which you can easily view all these files and manage them accordingly in your android. So have a look on complete guide discussed below.

In android there are numerous system files that are hidden. Mostly these files are actually hidden in the system folders of your device storage. And these files can be sometimes useful and sometimes they are just waste consuming up your storage. So it’s always better is to find unused junk files and remove it from your android. However, the problem here is you can’t see these files directly as they are hidden in system folders. So we have a cool way by which you can easily view all these files and manage them accordingly in your android. So, have a look on complete guide discussed below to proceed.

How to View Hidden Files and Folders In Android

Using Default File Explorer

Well, for those who don’t know the default file explorer of the Android operating system is quite effective and it can show you the hidden folders. There are few Android file manager apps available on the Google Play Store that can show you the hidden files, but most of the modern smartphone nowadays provides users an option to view hidden files. Here’s what you need to do.

Step 1. First of all, open the App drawer and then open the file explorer or File manager.

Step 2. Now, click on the three dotted menus from the file explorer and select the option ‘Settings’

How to access android system files

Step 3. In the next page, find and enable the option ‘Show hidden files’

How to access android system files

That’s it, you are done! Now you will be able to see the hidden files through the default file explorer. If your phone doesn’t have the option to show hidden files, then you could follow the next methods.

Using File Manager Apps – Es File Explorer

Here we will be using a cool file browser that will allow you to view all your hidden files which you can’t view in your default stock file explorer. By using this explorer, you can also do lots of things that are just impossible in the stock file explorer. Follow the steps below to proceed.

Features Of ES File Explorer:

  • File Manager:- This file explore manages all the files better like cut/copy/paste and exploring system folders in your android device.
  • Application Manager:- You can easily manage apps in this explorer like uninstall and backup etc.
  • Remote File Manager: You can easily manage files remotely over the devices.
  • Built-in ZIP and RAR support: Allows you to compress and decompress ZIP files, unpack RAR files, and create encrypted (AES 256 bit) ZIP files.
  • View Hidden(System) Files And Folders.

Step 1. First of all download and install this cool android file explorer that is ES File Explorer File Manager.

How to access android system files

Step 2. Now open the app and swipe from left to right in the app and there select the option Tools.

How to access android system files

Step 3. Now there scroll down and enable the option Show hidden files.

How to access android system files

Step 4. Also, you can explore out system files and folders by navigating to root folder and there you will see lots of hidden files.

How to access android system files

That’s it! you are done, now you can easily manage all the files and folders better in your android device.

Using Astro File Manager:

Step 1. First of all, you need to download and install this cool android file explorer that is Astro File Manager.

How to access android system files

Step 2. Now You need to click on three dotted sign which is located on the top right corner of your screen, and then select the option “View Settings”

How to access android system files

Step 3. Now you can see two two tabs “Basic” And “Advanced” You need to tap on “Advanced” tab

How to access android system files

Step 4. Now you will see many options. there you need to enable the option of ” Show hidden files”

How to access android system files

That’s it! you are done now you can easily manage all the files and folders better in your android device.

So above is all about View Hidden Files and Folders In Android. With this, you can easily manage and view all the hidden files and folders in your android and remove the files that are just paying extra load on your android storage. Hope you like this, keep on sharing. Leave a comment below if you have any related queries with this.