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Hidden app files

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by sethkoterba, Dec 14, 2020.

  1. sethkoterba

    sethkoterba Lurker
    Thread Starter

    My kid has a Samsung A10e running Android 10 and uses Messenger Kids like crazy sending pics and videos all the time. The device storage fills up very quickly and I'm trying to find where Messenger Kids is storing its data so I can remove old files and clear up space. I've been digging through the files with both the default file browser and other file managers, but I can't find anything. The app manager says the app is using 15GB, but the total file size for all files accessible through the file manager is less than 3GB. How do I get at the Messenger Kids files?
     



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  2. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    The short answer is "probably through the Messenger Kids app".

    I've never installed this app, but its cousin "Messenger" stores all of its data privately, i.e. in /data/data/com.<whatever>, which is a location you won't be able to access via a file browser on an unrooted phone. This is normal: it's how one app keeps its data from being accessible to every other app on your phone (a basic security/privacy measure). And even if you could, I doubt that would be a good way of selectively cleaning stuff out: a lot of the content is probably in one or more databases rather than one file per message, so a file browser wouldn't be able to do much other than delete the whole lot.

    So as I say, I don't have this app, but what you describe fits what I'd expect based on other Facebook apps. Hence I'd think the way to clean up would be to go into the Messenger Kids app itself and start deleting stuff from in there. You can use the app manager to clean the app's "cache" (temporary files, which can always be safely removedt), but apart from that or wiping the entire app you won't be able to do anything else from there.

    Now whether this app has a friendly setting for deleting older content, or whether your only option is to delete either entire threads or individual messages I don't know (but that is basically all the full fat Messenger allows - not even "multi-select" for deleting groups of messages. It's almost like Facebook don't want you to remove things, and don't care about your storage use...).

    From the amount of space it's using I assume that they've sent/received a lot of videos? I can't think of anything else that would use that much space.
     
    MrJavi and ocnbrze like this.
  3. sethkoterba

    sethkoterba Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Thanks Hadron. My issue has been that Messenger Kids doesn't allow you to delete individual pics, videos or even entire threads. My only way to fix the issue thus far has been to completely delete and reinstall the app. So far I've had to do this about every month or so to keep the app from gobbling up storage and making the phone unusable. It won't even let me install on the SD card where at least I could go a few months.
     
  4. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Installing to SD is always something the developer has to enable. But it probably wouldn't really help: all that does is put part of the app on SD, it doesn't move the "private" data there, so it would probably only save you 100MB or so and otherwise would eat the internal storage in just the same way as it does now.

    So it doesn't let you delete anything?? At least with the regular Messenger you can do a long press and hold on a post or thread and you get the option to delete it. I mean I know that Facebook are infamous for assuming that they own your device and it's fine for them to use as much resource as they want, but that is crazy.
     
    ocnbrze and MrJavi like this.
  5. sethkoterba

    sethkoterba Lurker
    Thread Starter

    yep, can't delete ANYTHING. I think its a "feature" in that kids can't delete/hide things from their parents. However, I just discovered that you can use the parent connected app to delete pics and videos individually (no batch selection) and each one requires 3 clicks to select, delete and confirm. I don't know how other parents manage this issue, but they must be in the same cycle of delete/reinstall that I am.
     
    ocnbrze likes this.
  6. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Yeah, multiple clicks per item sounds plausible. They really aren't interested in making this easy. At least you've found something, but unless it also allows you to delete threads or he's sending/receiving individual videos of many hundreds of MB that will be very tedious.
     
    ocnbrze and MrJavi like this.
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