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I've been through several threads on Stack Exchange / XDA to find a solution that yet eludes me for the following task :

As we all know, when we create an email account with our Android device and use the default email app, in my case Samsung Email, the synchronized emails are stored on our phone, in my case (rooted Samsung Galaxy S7 edge - Android 7.0), in this location: /data/data/com.samsung.android.email.provider/ with folders : App Cache App Databases

The idea, from what I have read, is to back up all those folders and the databases stored within them with ADB and then use SQLite tools to convert the databases into usable/readable information.

The problems I have encountered until now:

  • when I use ADB backup function, the stored backup is less than 1kb size, meaning the backup didn't work, this can be the result of the wrong app name or no Allow_Backup Flag on that app (system app)
  • I have used several tools to get the exact name of the app, in my case com.samsung.android.email.provider or com.samsung.android.email.provider-1 but still no result
  • I have tried to use the backup -all command, and that's how I realized some apps were not backed up in the resulting file, including the email app for my device.
  • I have read that in order to backup an app, it needs to have the ALLOW_BACKUP flag, and the app (system app) does not have that flag

What do you think? what should I do from here? (Important: the idea is to extract/backup the whole mailboxes and be able to access the contents of these mailboxes on a Windows/Mac mail client. I have no use for the 'export email to file (.eml)' available in the Samsung app, as that would require to do it for each email one by one).

Sources:

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  • Why don't you copy those files & folders to another folder of your choice, then use sqlite to open the databases? Jan 25, 2019 at 22:59

1 Answer 1

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What you want to do is simply impossible. The app Samsung Email (com.samsung.android.email.provider) contains the entry android:allowBackup="false" in its AndroidManifest.xml.

This entry totally disables ADB backup for all of its app data. Whatever you do, the adb backup will therefore never contain the email data.

If the app has no integrated bulk backup/export function for the whole mailbox, you can not gain access to its app data unless you have a rooted device or you use a root exploit.

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  • Please view Source N_1 = it can be done. If not done that way, maybe the solutions are : 1- Edit the app flag to allow Backup. I know this can be done in general, but can it be done with system apps ? Since Samsung Email is not a default android app, maybe this can be done? 2- work with the files in Cache and Database and reverse / decode them (reverse java) back to emails ?
    – At0mX
    Jan 25, 2019 at 20:53
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    @At0mX The article is 4 years old. May be at that time Samsung Mail did not not yet had the allowBackup="false" entry. According to the versions available on apkpure.com Samsung Mail from 2017 already had this entry.
    – Robert
    Jan 26, 2019 at 12:29

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