What is /storage/emulated/0/? How to Access it? 2023

Did it happen at any point in time that you tried to find out your images’ file path and came across this: What is /storage/emulated/0/?DCIM/Camera/IMG_202020430_197267.jpg. The avid users know the file path of images, Camera, DCIM, and image name. But they might need help understanding what is /storage/emulated/0/?

You’ll be disappointed if you think why it is too puzzling as if someone wants to trace the path of this “emulated” folder in the File Explorer.

Because there will be no folder there if you are eager to know what is /storage/emulated/0/? How to access it? Be glad this article is about this issue; we will discuss everything in detail here.

What is /storage/emulated/0/?

Android upholds an assortment of storage devices; the significant storage is the ones known as portable and emulated. 

Media like an SD Card or USB can provide portable storage. In contrast, emulated storage is part of the Android device, which permits exposure to internal storage by a layer of emulation. 

Emulated storage shows an item’s file location against its symlink on the external storage or device. If you need to learn a symlink, let’s explain it.

 Symlink, soft link, or Symbolic link is a file that refers to the other directory or file called “Target.” The OS interprets the symlink as the file directly linked to the ‘target.’

For example, if you want to trace the file path of any of your images in the DCIM, it will appear as /storage/emulated/0/DCIM/Camera. That link is a symlink directing you towards the “Target.” 

Let us explain this term with another example. If you are going through the music items in your downloads, you may see the file path of a song as /storage/emulated/0/Downloads/Music/(name of the song).mp3.

 This happens even when you are trying to open an emulated folder. But just browsing the downloads in your music collection. The file path in front of you is basically the symlink of the real target or directory, Downloads/Music. 

In short, any emulated storage of any directory refers to the same or target.   

Reason of the /storage/emulated/0/ Existence:

Whether it seems on your Android device depends on your device’s technology. But every file of the File Folder comes with emulation. What makes the difference is the symlink which some devices show while others don’t. 

But what’s the reason emulation exists on Android devices? It provides an emulation or abstraction layer on the file system preventing third-party applications from accessing the user’s private data. 

So, all your data lying in different storage areas, like SD cards, will be saved from misuse. This means that emulation keeps your original data safe and just traversable.

 But not accessible by any other party without your consent. So, /storage/emulated/0/ is a means of improving the privacy and security of your Android device’s data.

For instance, DCIM can be seen in both your device’s memory and external storage. If DCIM has emulation both in the internal and external storage, then it differentiates it by 0 and 1.

 It shows /storage/emulated/0/DCIM for every item present in the internal storage of DCIM. While/storage/emulated/1/DCIM is for every item stored externally in DCIM. 1 is used for the external storage of any Android device, while 0 refers to internal storage. 

Can We Access /storage/emulated/0/ on Android Devices?

After plugging in your device, just run the ADB shell. It will provide your device with a command shell. You are not allowed to read it; on the other hand, as it is present in the subdirectory 0, you can access cd /storage/emulated/0. Only then can you interact and look around conveniently. 

If you want to access your Android device’s/storage/emulated/0/, download File Explorer from a third party. 

But let us explain before, you will only be allowed to examine the folder, and that’s it. What may bother you is that if you want to see the path of the emulated folder and keep tapping it, you’ll get the “empty folder.”

It is clear that /storage/emulated/0/ cannot be approached as the root directory doesn’t offer direct access. The problem is that whether you want to access it internally or externally, it is quite impossible. But a better solution for accessing /storage/emulated/0/ is the only one we discussed above.

Can /storage/emulated/0/ be Unreadable or Missing?

You may use an app to look into a particular folder or file to find an item, but it has been deleted. When you search for the desired folder that is not there, it will respond as /storage/emulated/0/XYZ as missing or unreadable.

You have to do a very simple task to solve the abovementioned issue. For example, you have Poweramp, which detected some music before that has been wiped out now.

You can solve this issue very conveniently. Just add some music in the downloads so that the /storage/emulated/0/ can search this directory.


Q: Is It Possible to Delete Emulated Folder?

The emulated folders are totally like the original folders of your Android device. You save data on the original folders, such as downloads, apps, music, pictures, and other files.

If you want to delete the emulated folder, it could be done by deleting the original data. The reason is that the emulated directory cannot be writable or changeable, but it is just traversable. When you delete the original folders on your Android device, only then the emulated data can be deleted.

Hi... I am Junaid Khan (Telecom Engineer) and professional blogger. I have 8 years experience in tech department and publishing lot of technology based articles on different top websites. Here I will solve your tech related issues and will share my experience with research based content.

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