How can I force media-scanner to index a particular folder?

I use an app that takes photos and stores them in a sub-folder of it's own data folder. The data folder has a .nomedia file, so the photos sub-folder is ignored by Gallery etc. Is there an opposite of .nomedia file?

The data folder has a lot of other files an folders which should be ignored by media-scanner.

The ultimate aim is to have these photos backed up to my Google Photos account.

The target folder is not listed under Google Photos >> Settings >> Backup & Sync >> Device Folders.

I tried creating a symlink from (...)/sdcard/DCIM/foobaz to the (...)/foobaz/data/photos folder but get a message that the operation is not permitted.

Android 7.0, not rooted. (Samsung S6)


1 Answer 1

  • Delete the .nomedia file to force media scanning ( restart the phone. It is then that media scanner database is re indexed ) and it should appear in Google photos folder list for sync.

  • If you don't want that folder to be scanned by media folder at all, create a new folder in gallery ( use a third party file explorer from Play store , if your built in explorer can't do this ) and copy those photos into this folder manually. Verify, it's showing up in Gallery options to sync

  • Obviously, you wouldn't want to manually do this every time you use that app, so automate it. Macrodroid app implement it this way

Trigger: Application Launched / Closed → Closed → Select your app

Action: File operation → Select paths and move / copy options

This ensures that everytime you close your app, pictures are moved / copied into gallery sub folder and available for sync

  • I deleted the nomedia file but it doesn't appear in folder list. I tried forcing a re-index by installing and running "SD Scanner" app by Jeremy Erickson but that hasn't changed things. I'll let it sit for a day to see if it just needs more time Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 7:38
  • Restarted phone but Photos still doesn't see it. ... Then discovered the nomedia file keeps being recreated. Looks like I have no choice but to copy the files as suggested for option 2.(might run out of room for that) Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 1:05
  • Instead of copy, there is a move option also, which will prevent duplication
    – beeshyams
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 2:02
  • You can experiment with file operation V2 Actions also if it helps
    – beeshyams
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 4:50
  • Moving isn't an option because the app still needs the photos. For now I manually copied the photos using ES File Explorer, let them back up, then used 'delete from device' Commented Jul 29, 2017 at 6:22

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