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Deleting files & folders on external (SD card) storage

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by ojos, Jun 20, 2020.

  1. ojos

    ojos Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I have a number of devices with different versions of Android ranging from Android 5 to Android 10. In addition to internal storage, all my devices also have external (SD card) storage. I have no problem creating files, reading,and writing them on my external storage, but none of the file managers I have installed so far will allow me to delete a file or folder. They all suggest I need to get permission for delete access to external but fail to tell me in an understandable way how to obtain this permission. I've even recently installed various apps with names like SD Card File Manager which explicitly claim they will delete files. However, when I select files or folders to manage the delete option is always greyed out.
    In desperation I have had to remove the SD card, load it onto my computer just to delete files and folders.Surely there must be a straightforward way of doing this directly on my Android devices?

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  2. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!

    i have the note 10+ and do not have any issues with deleting files or folders on my sd card. are these cards formatted internally or external storage?
    Dannydet and MrJavi like this.
  3. Dannydet

    Dannydet Extreme Android User

    Any file explorer app can do this...
    Your just not getting it.
    When it shows SD card, choose it. Then delete your files as needed.
    You have to choose the root path of the SD card, essentially.
    MrJavi and ocnbrze like this.
  4. tommo47

    tommo47 On Yer Bike, In Yer Chair
    VIP Member

    I don't use any third party file managers but just use the stock 'Files' app or the route via 'Settings' - 'Storage' - 'Sd card' and select the appropriate folders and files from there. Both provide all functions.





    #4 tommo47, Jun 21, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2020
    MrJavi, svim, ocnbrze and 1 other person like this.
  5. ojos

    ojos Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I have tried numerous file managers/explorers etc. Yes, they can all access my SD card and create / view / edit and copy folders, create / view / edit and copy files, all without any problem whatsoever. The only thing none of them will do is to delete a file or folder on the SD card as they keep telling me I don't have permission to delete. This is the same on ALL my Android devices (phones,tablets, different versions of Android from 5 to 10).
  6. ojos

    ojos Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I have so many SD cards ranging from sizes of 4GB to 512GB that I can't recall how / where each card one was formatted. I suspect many were formatted on my Windows 10 computer, but, wherever it was formatted, I never have any problem reading / writing contents on Android, only deleting.

    Because I frequently transfer large numbers of files from PC to Android I found that transferring files wirelessly from PC to Android is a nightmare.For example, yesterday as a test of latest technology, I tried copying about 128GB of files wirelessly from one Android 10 to a brand new Android 10 device which took about 7 hours. I've also tried connecting to Android via OTG cable and copying but, that can take hours too and lack of power supply risks my Android device totally running out of battery. So I intend to always continue taking SD card out of Android device, copying on PC before replacing card on Android device. Is this likely to be a reason for my deleting problem?
  7. Davdi

    Davdi Android Expert

    Permissions requirements depend on how the cards were formatted. FAT32/exfat have no concept of permissions, neither (AFAIK) does NTFS (Bur cards are not usually formatted that way).
    Put the cards in your computer's card reader, and when they show up in explorer right click and pick 'Properties' from the drop down menu. in one of the properties tabs it will tell you how the card is formatted.
    ocnbrze and Dannydet like this.
  8. ojos

    ojos Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Sandisk MicroSD 400GB.gif
    I attach a Properties statement taken a few minutes ago of one of my MicroSD cards (400GB in this instance). You will note it is FAT32 formatted. Folders and files on this card when mounted in an Android device can be read / written / copied and moved quite happily. But, as with all my SD cards, Android steadfastly refuses to allow me to delete anything. On this card, as always, while mounted on my PC I've just had to delete what I don't want before reinserting this to the Android device.

    Sandisk MicroSD 400GB.gif
    ocnbrze likes this.
  9. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Have you tried just using the stock Android file manager that come with your phone or tablet? That's all I use, and have never used any third-party file managers, and have never seen this problem with been unable to delete things on any device I've had.
    MrJavi, ocnbrze and Dannydet like this.
  10. Dannydet

    Dannydet Extreme Android User

    It comes down to you choosing the right path to the SD card for permissions....
    Once you have done it correctly, viola!
    You will be able to delete anything from your SD card, using any file manager that's on your device.
    MrJavi and ocnbrze like this.
  11. Dannydet

    Dannydet Extreme Android User

  12. Dannydet

    Dannydet Extreme Android User

  13. Trom

    Trom Android Enthusiast

    Perhaps a screen cap of the error messages? Like all of the others here who've replied, I have no issues deleting files from SD card on my Samsung tablet or on my old Huawei. (current phone no card)
    MrJavi, Dannydet and ocnbrze like this.
  14. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    I agree with @tommo47 You already have the capability to manage your microSD cards in your Settings >> Storage menu. It works at a system-level, third-party file managers do not (well unless you've rooted your device and use a root-specific file manager app). Use a file manager app to manage files and folders, use the already existing Android function to manage volumes.

    And keep in mind when using non-native utilities, like Windows Disk Management, it's optimized for Windows. Any support for other operating system issues like disk block defaults, file/folder attributes, file metadata will be incidental at best. Use Android's included tools to manage media storage for optimal, reliable usage.

    Look in the settings menu of whichever file manager app you're using and look for any Storage Access Framework options.
    That's what we all have to take into account since KitKat days. Soon to be supplanted by Scoped Storage
    MrJavi, ocnbrze and Dannydet like this.

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