Alright. Let's see if something revolutionary works :)

In theory, Is it possible to store app data on the cloud I.e a Dropbox account, and withdraw data from it as required? I have an amazing idea, but naturally I want to know if it could work. If so, how? I have an idea with something about using a file manager to grab an apps files, putting them on a Web cloud that does not need a pass code (so a private cloud) and having files in the original data folder to link the data In the cloud, and use that? I have root, BTW.

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    One-way-ticket. Only NSA can use that. You won't be able to – especially not if your device is not rooted (no access to the directory with the app data). And what's so revolutionary that it stops working as soon as I'm in the basement, or go mountain climbing (i.e. places with no network coverage)? Not to speak about safety of personal data (keywords: identity theft, hackers, etc.). In this context I'm a royalist: I want to stay the ruler of my data :)
    – Izzy
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 13:00
  • @Izzy fair enough. But in my devices case, they seldom leave the 200 mb/'s haven of my home. Whilst I understand your platform, I still want to look into it,. Also, what is NSA?
    – Dan Brown
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 13:17
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    Just pointing out the culprit of unavailability: your apps would stop working without network coverage. Which cannot be said for the NSA, which is a kind of all-american-cookie-monster eating all data it can get all over the world (Notorious Surveilance Abusers; they're said to live next to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory).
    – Izzy
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 13:26
  • @Izzy fair enough. But, IN THIS EXAMPLE, I will Always have network coverage (besides, I'll leave a few thing alone. I would like to play Jet pack joyride without Internet :))
    – Dan Brown
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 14:54
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    As I wrote, not possible on non-rooted devices. And sorry to tell you, but this is not a place for "speculations" – we prefer "facts" here ;)
    – Izzy
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 15:05

2 Answers 2


First, as Jared already pointed out, this is not possible without a "local copy" – i.e. without the data being present in the device's file system. Second, it won't work without root access on the device – as the directory in question (/data/data) is not accessible for a "normal user" (which includes apps: each app can only access its own sub-directory here).

Let's assume you're having root access on your device, this would still not be easy. Theoretical approaches:

  • using an app like FolderSync to synchronize your local /data/data with a counterpart in your "personal cloud". Might work somehow.
  • copying the entire /data/data to your personal cloud and remote-mounting it (e.g. using SSHFS with SSHFSAndroid or some other remote mounting). Again, might work – but if your network connection drops, apps might crash, plus you may risk data inconsistencies and data loss.

Apart from the risks named, there are more concerns:

  • privacy and data security. Might not be a concern if you're just doing that within your own (home) network, but it at least introduces another attack vector.
  • you might be tempted using such a "network share" with multiple devices simultaneously. Don't. That would be the best way to corrupt your data, have your apps crashing, and more.
  • performance: if all your app data have to be read from/written to the network each time you access them, it would slow down things noticeable. And I mean, real noticeable here – not just some digits somewhere after the decimal point.
  • file permissions and ownership must be maintained, which might prove tricky (depending on the remote storage).

If it were such an easy thing to do, it would have been done already – especially considering Google wants us to put all our data into their cloud. There are good reasons speaking against that (and I'm pretty sure this answer is far from covering them all). So while this might be technically possible, it's definitely not recommendable.


Is it possible to store app data on the cloud I.e a Dropbox account

Yes, it is possible to backup app data to the cloud (Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, etc.). The device will need to be rooted or you would have to use adb backup. There are plenty of apps on the Play Store that backup and restore both APK and app data.

and withdraw data from it as required?

No, this is not possible. Apps depend on local files.

  • "No, this is not possible" Well, I disagree. It is (ignoring security, I honestly do not give a pork for security) perfectly possible. Difficult does not equal impossible. So, I am going to ignore this post. No offence, and nothing personal, it's just to.... Negative.
    – Dan Brown
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 10:29

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