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I just deleted the directory /Android from the external card. It gave me 20GB memory back. So far I haven't seen any bad effects. At least not during the first 5 min of testing including restart.

I have a similar /Android on resident phone memory. Can I wipe that one too without any bad effects?

What is the function of /Android?
My device is Android 5.0, Galaxy Note 3.

Edit:

After 10 min running, the extSdCard/Android has reappeared and is now size 95 MB. (I asked one dictionary-app to expand compressed files there. But right now it stays around 95 MB.)

My "maintenance" has been run by Avast since long time. It regularly claims to delete "unnecessary" files.

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  • That directory stores your apps' external data. By taking Lucky Patcher as an example, its directory under /Android/data will contain its custom patches.
    – Grimoire
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 11:14
  • But I see no difference in function after restart and 15 min testing. Maps, login to email, YouTube, cloud services, Facebook, Stack Exchange ... work the same. (Knock on wood ;) )
    – cvr
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 11:18
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    Yes, they'll work without hassle. However, since this data could as well be downloaded by the Web (hence, again, the custom patches), cleaning these folders will make your apps download the data once more, thus increasing your data plan consumption.
    – Grimoire
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 11:21
  • 1
    Browsing and logins wouldn't be affected, since that kind of data cannot be touched wo/ root privileges, or wo/ deleting the app's dara via system settings. Still, you should be careful if you have any app that requires a license. If the license is in the form of an .obb file, you'll lose it, if you delete the /Android/obb folder. As per your original question, you can delete /Android/data safely.
    – Grimoire
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 11:35
  • 2
    Additionally, to delete things to see what kind of difference they make, is usually how people screw their phones up. If you are not rooted you can't create big damage, but still, backup things before deleting them if you don't know what they are for.
    – SarpSTA
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 11:43

1 Answer 1

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I try to reply myself based on the little I have found out from experience and comments to this question.

DO NOT TAKE THIS INFORMATION FOR GRANTED AND ALWAYS KEEP BACKUP IF YOU MANIPULATE THIS DIRECTORY.

This has not been thoroughly tested yet.

  • It can be useful to delete files in the /Android directory. You can save a lot of space.

  • The obb directory was small in my case and I did not delete it on phone resident memory. It contains APK expansion files. Among other data it may contain licenses for the apps.

  • Ad. But even if you delete obb directory and .obb files, it is still possible that licenses and necessary data will be downloaded again from Google Play, as long as the phone is signed in to the same account/email address. So you may lose nothing.

  • If you have asked Android to install apps on the external SD card and you delete /Android on the external card, the apps must be downloaded again.

  • If you delete /Android on resident phone memory (Sd0), apps will not have to be downloaded in complete again.

  • "Important" app data, like log-in passwords etc are not stored in /Android. (They are stored in /data/data.) So you will PROBABLY not lose this kind of information.

  • Data for apps can be stored in the /Android directories. But the data seems to be "less important" than passwords etc. When I wiped the /Android directories, I only seem to have lost few, easily replaceable data, see below.

  • If you delete the entire /Android directories or subdirectories, the system will recreate them.

  • If you plan to delete /Android on the external card, you can get an idea of the effects by testing the phone after unmounting/removing the external card (use the Android command under general>storage).

  • Before I wiped the /Android directory on Sd0, I backed it up (under another name) on the external card. I have now deleted the backup.

When I wiped /Android on both Sd0 and external card I regained 21 GB space. After restarting and using the phone for about less than a day I have only noted small changes: The recycle basket Dumpster was emptied. I had to download datafiles for two dictionaries again. I.e. only very small changes that were easily corrected.

After almost one day usage the /Android directories now occupy about 2G on my phone compared to 21G before wiping them.

If you try deleting /Android directory, it is definitely recommended to be on line so you can download missing components.

With my setup and usage, wiping the /Android directories seems like a good idea, to save space.

PLEASE NOTE! THIS INFORMATION IS ONLY BASED ON WHAT I FOUND BY TRYING ONCE! BE CAREFUL AND KEEP BACKUPS!

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  • About .obb files, they are APK expansion files. They don't contain necessarily only licenses, but could be anything that are needed for the app to run functionally.
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 11:28
  • Thanks, Andrew T. I'll try to update my answer accordingly.
    – cvr
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 11:32

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