Third party file managers such as ES File Manager and RhythmSoft File Manager HD (others will be tested) do not show an USB OTG device.

It does not even get listed. Only Android's pre-installed file manager does.

Is USB OTG deliberately hidden in Android ≥7?


1 Answer 1


As explained here How app can access files on USB OTG storages in Android 6.0 (API level 23) without root?, the accepted answer says about the change introduced from Marshamllow

In Android 6.0, any device that is not adopted is considered portable. […] Third-party apps must go through the Storage Access Framework to interact with files on portable storage; direct access is explicitly blocked for privacy and security reasons.

(Emphasis added)

Which means that the File explorer needs to use Storage Access Framework (requires root as indicated in the question on SO). This XDA post Files by Google adds support for browsing files on USB OTG drives says Files by Google has been updated with this capability (not tested by me).

  • 1
    Glad it helped you :). But yes ES was very good before it started carrying dirty payload !
    – beeshyams
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 13:45
  • 1
    See how many times ES is mentioned here What is this lock screen with ads and how do I remove it?. I read that they have improved but I am not taking chances
    – beeshyams
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 13:51
  • 2
    MiXplorer by Hootan Parsa is a very appreciable replacement to ES and Solid explorers. Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 21:38
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    Can you clarify? Your answer seems to say that using Storage Access Framework requires root "as indicated in the question on SO" but I read the question as saying you need root to access USB storage directly while the answer says you need Storage Access Framework but nothing about needing root.
    – Michael
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 3:31
  • 1
    Please try the explorer linked. I am unable to reply in detail. If that doesn't help, ping a moderator to reopen question
    – beeshyams
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 7:39

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