What happens if the "Android" folder is deleted?


👤 Diwas Poudel    🕒 Dec 31 2022    📁 TECH

Have you ever dwelled in your android based phone's my files directory and wondered what is the work of the files and folder present there? And after a while, you encounter the folder named Android which is the same as the name of your mobile OS. Then you start searching what that folder is about and tweak it and wonder what happens when you delete it. Then here you are. Here is the answer to all your questions. 

Background

First of all, let’s dive into the mobile operating system. What is it about? Most phones are powered by the Android operating system. Which also happens to be your phone. Android is the mobile operating system. It is made from the modified version of Linux and other open-source software. It's a lot to digest so let’s break it down. 

What is an operating system(OS)?

The operating system is the piece of software that provides a platform for applications to operate. It manages both hardware and software resources.

What is open-source software?

Opensource software is the kind of software whose source code is freely available on the internet. Anyone can modify its content and use as per their need.

Finally, we understood that Android coordinates the work between hardware and software. Also, its core source code is freely available and can be found here.

Filesystem and file structure in android

The filesystem is the method and data structure that the operating system uses to control how the data is stored and retrieved. File structure is a certain way in which files are arranged in order to provide the functionality desired.

In an android file system, files are arranged in the following partitions:

/boot, /system, /recovery, /data, /cache, and /misc /sdcard,/sd-ext.

Note: If you have an external SD card then there may be another partition called /sdcard2 and soon.

  • /boot - This partition contains the kernel and ramdisk of the device. It contains the files necessary to boot up the system.
  • /system - This partition contains the main Android OS and the preinstalled applications.
  • /recovery - This partition contains the recovery files which are needed when the system fails to boot from the /boot files. This partition also works as a recovery partition when the system fails.
  • /data - This is the partition that is only accessible to the user (without rooting the device). The android folder we are talking about is inside this partition.  All contacts, messages, and application data lie in this partition. When the user factory resets the device, this partition is deleted.
  • /cache - This folder keeps the frequently used data for faster computation. When this partition is deleted, it reforms as it was. This partition again starts collecting data about frequently used applications and components.
  • /misc - This folder keeps the miscellaneous data and system settings regarding system information and many more. Do not go after the name and delete this partition it will cause many applications to work abnormally.
  • /sdcard - This partition points to the location of internal storage on the android device.
  • /sd-ext - This is the additional partition of the sdcard partition, which is present in some devices that have ROM with data2ext enabled.

Note: while exploring the file manager you might not get these partitions. To access these you need to have root access to your phone.

Also read: How to Check Phone Processor [Android,iOS]?

Android folder

The android folder can be easily found by navigating the file manager. This folder is inside the /data partition of the android operating system. Android folder contains the data, cache, and other important files of the user application system’s application on the device. Whatsapp also stores media under this directory.

Navigating the Android folder

If you are curious about how to find the android folder and see its contents then follow these steps:

  1. Navigate the file manager application on your android phone.
    File Manager in Android
    fig. File Manager in Android
  2. Click on Internal storage.
    Click on Internal Storage
     fig. Click on Internal Storage
  3. There you will see a folder named Android. That’s the folder we are looking for. See the contents if that makes sense to you.
    Android Folder
     fig. Android Folder

Note: there is also another android folder inside the SD card if you have one. If you have an SD card then check it out too.

–Your phone uses the temporary data stored in cache files to quickly recall associated information when you open an app. 

Contents of Android Folder 

They contain files and folders like Cache, data, media, obj, obb , AndroidSystemProperties, and many more.

What happens when deleted?

As we understood that the Android folder is the one where applications data, cache, and other important files are kept. 

So what do you think will happen when you delete it? Obviously, you will have the application data, cache, and other files. So then, another question arises. Will my application work after I delete the Android folder? The answer is yes. Your application will work perfectly as it was. It will just lose some data. Remember one thing, Whatsapp media is stored under this directory so be careful while deleting this folder. You might have some important media deleted permanently.

Also note that this folder may also contain files and data related to Spotify music downloads, games graphics data and history files, levels and scores, app settings, YouTube downloads, and numerous configuration files. As a result, if you delete it, Android OS will immediately regenerate it.
They also store some cached information of various applications for fast data retrieval, and after deleting the android folder, you may experience speed issues the first time you run the application.

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.

Also read: What happens if Google Play services are disabled or uninstalled?

Conclusion

Hence, at last, be careful about messing up your phone's internal files. Unknowingly you might delete the important file and may regret it later.  So hope you enjoyed the article and stay tuned for more such things that you didn’t know.

Article by: Prashant Raj Bista

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