Take the 2-minute tour ×
Android Enthusiasts Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for enthusiasts and power users of the Android operating system. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have installed a few Android applications both with the adb install MyApplication.apk command and via a webserver (like an alternative to Android Market).

But where in the Android file system on my phone is the MyApplication.apk file placed? Are applications installed with adb install not placed in the same directory as applications downloaded from the Market?

I found some applications on /system/app but I can't recognize them as some downloaded from Android Market or the one I have installed with adb install.

Where on the system is applications that I have installed located?

My phone is not rooted, and I am running Nexus One with Android 2.2.1.

share|improve this question
1  
Definitely not a StackOverflow question (I don't see any programming elements to it); this is something a hardcore, non-developer Android zealot would probably ask. Reading the FAQ, I don't see why this question would be outside the scope of something Android "enthusiasts" & "power users" would want to know about. Oh well, some moderators want to push their personal opinions on everyone. I was a StackOverflow beta user just over 2 years ago, and there were some pretty nice arguments that would happen there, too, about just what was and what was not okay. It's better to err on mercy's side. –  Jason Bunting Nov 25 '10 at 7:08
    
By the way, the use of ADB is not limited to developers - it is a really good tool for probing the depths of the device. Perhaps Al would think that anyone shelling-in to the device is a developer, but that's just not the case. –  Jason Bunting Nov 25 '10 at 7:10
4  
The community says it's not off-topic, so it's not off-topic. Re-opened. –  Al E. Nov 25 '10 at 13:31
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Where an app is stored very much depends on several criteria:

  • System apps / pre-installed-bloatware-apps are stored in /system/app
    (which is mounted read-only to prevent any changes)
  • normal apps in internal memory go to /data/app
  • some apps (encrypted on internal storage?) go to /data/app-private
  • Apps stored on external memory go to an encrypted container in /mnt/sdcard/.android_secure. As at runtime Android needs them to be decrypted, it will decrypt them and store a decrypted copy on tmpfs (so it's gone on a reboot) in /mnt/asec
    (you cannot simply look into /mnt/sdcard/.android_secure directly from the device; but if you use a card reader and attach the card to your PC, you will see the files there have the extension .asec instead of .apk -- from which you will get the connection to the name /mnt/asec).
  • the apps data are stored below /data/data/<package_name> (internal storage) or on external storage, if the developer sticks to the rules, below /mnt/sdcard/Android/data/<package_name>.
share|improve this answer
add comment

On my Android 4.0.4 (ICS) Xperia ray, they are stored in /mnt/asec/XXX-1/pkg.apk. XXX is the Google Play ID of the application.
For example, Firefox is found at /mnt/asec/org.mozilla.firefox-1/pkg.apk and Skype is found at /mnt/asec/com.skype.raider-1/pkg.apk.

Following zuul's comment I took these screenshots from my phone to confirm my answer.


Firefox

Firefox


Stopwatch & Countdown Timer

Stopwatch



And these are my phone's details:

My Xperia Ray details

share|improve this answer
    
Do you have any official link to substantiate this, as to provide more information about this change? –  Zuul Aug 23 '12 at 20:11
    
no, I don't have any link and I cannot take screenshots on my unrooted Xperia Ray. If you're using an app like X-plore or Solid Explorer, you can navigate to that directory to verify it. –  Alex Essilfie Aug 24 '12 at 7:12
    
@Zuul: I still haven't got any link but I've managed to take screenshots from my phone to substantiate the claim. And... if you've got any link to prove otherwise, post it here so I also get informed. –  Alex Essilfie Aug 24 '12 at 8:47
    
No links mentioning otherwise, I asked if you had any link for me to read about the "why" that lead to their decision on changing the directory structure. Later on, I'll look into Google's Documentation and get back to you with the link for you to place on your answer. Thank you for the trouble with the screenshots, +1 from me. –  Zuul Aug 24 '12 at 8:59
1  
Though it just applies to the de-crypted copy of apps installed on external storage (check with the mount command and wonder: /mnt/asec uses tmpfs, a temporary filesystem created in RAM -- and thus gone on reboot, together with all the apps =:-0) –  Izzy Aug 24 '12 at 14:52
show 1 more comment

They are stored in /data/app/ but unless your phone is rooted all you will see is an empty folder.

share|improve this answer
    
My Droid Bionic is rooted, but the data folder is still displaying empty in DDMS! –  Igor G. Apr 20 '12 at 15:37
    
@IgorG. I've never used DDMS and I have barely any experience with eclipse so I don't think I can help. I'd ask this as a new question. –  Matt Apr 30 '12 at 22:39
    
If you're using DDMS, it is not querying the device as a 'root' user would so the /data folder is empty. You can either use adb shell and then su to root, or chmod 777 /data and chmod 777 /data/app to allow DDMS to list the contents. Just make sure you set the permissions of these folders back to 771 when you're done. –  AWT May 7 '13 at 17:04
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.