I'm looking for the whatsapp key file on my phone (which should be stored in /data/data/com.whatsapp/files/key).

Therefore I:

  1. Rooted the phone Galaxy S5 (Android 4.4.2)
  2. Checked the root status with Root Checker (it's rooted!)
  3. Downloaded ES File Explorer
  4. Opened /data/ folder in order to find the key file with ES File Explorer...

but the folder is empty!

Is that folder really empty or am I missing something?

2 Answers 2


ES File Explorer does not show /data on any of my rooted devices.

Not on my S5, not on my Note 2, or HTC One M7. I've heard other people easily using ES with root, but it never asks me for root permissions, just shows blank folders, like you.

I use jrummy's Root Browser on my S5, but any "root file explorer" will do.

ES File Explorer just doesn't cut it.

Hope this solves the problem.

  • I never liked ES very much (I use Root Explorer), so suggesting another app gets a +1 from me. If you still have it installed though, check out my answer and see if it works for you. Mar 13, 2016 at 0:04
  • 1
    Yeah, that ticker works great for the /system directory on my M7. Everywhere else is spotty. ES is a great project, they really sealed the deal with the LAN features, animated GIF support, and gestures, but for root is not an ideal situation. Mar 13, 2016 at 0:17
  • I'm possibly one of the lucky people for whom ES just works. Cutting across chipsets from MTK to QC to Tegra and Android versions from 4.2 to 6.0 . Common Denominator: SuperSU. Mar 13, 2016 at 13:45
  • ..I'm also one of the lucky people for whom ES just works, and I use SuperSu. Coincidence ? ES has tons of features, but there's other, nicer file managers out there. (I like the Cyanogenmod file manager, which, although somewhat feature-bare, works well. It also does root properly). Mar 13, 2016 at 13:54
  • I get the same issue as with ES file explorer on my S7... the directory is empty. The Root Explorer option mentioned in the other answer is disabled for me so maybe that is the real solution regardless of the app used. Jul 18, 2016 at 16:01

You have to configure ES to use root.

Menu → Tools → turn Root Explorer to "ON".



  • Didnt work for me :( Mar 13, 2016 at 1:54
  • 1
    @AlbertoFontana : If you've browsed into /data/ without enabling that option and later, you enabled that option and provided root access, and then again browsed into same /data/, you wouldn't see anything. I suppose it has something to do with ES' cache. Force-stop that explorer app and then start again. If it doesn't show anything then clear its data. If it still doesn't show anything then either you're not using stable SuperSU or your device is not properly rooted. I'm giving my assurance because that app works perfectly on my rooted Android 4.2.1, 4.4.2, 5.0.2, 5.1.1 and 6.0.1.
    – Firelord
    Mar 13, 2016 at 14:20
  • Didn't work for me either, just gave me some list saying choose from this stuff, and Iv'e no idea what any of it was. All I want is to browse it the same way that I do with OI file manager, except OI can't see root so I'm going to try some of the other options suggested here.
    – shawty
    Jun 15, 2017 at 9:16

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