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When I was searching with the "File Manager" app (com.alphainventor.filemanager) for some files in the root-folder, it generated hundreds (almost a thousand) folders in the proc-folder. [I don't have root-access btw., but still can see some files there.]

They're named just 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. Each folder has about ~40 files in it.

I already found out, that those are virtual files, that eat like no space. However I would still like to clean those up.

Is there any smart way to do this? I was hoping, they would be removed by restarting the system or deinstalling the app, but so far nothing worked. :/

I am on an LG G7 with Android 8. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • When talking about a specific app you should always name it including PlayStore link (or a different app "store"). – Robert Feb 11 at 19:27
  • On all operating system based on Linux kernel, procfs is a virtual filesystem. /proc/1 is the PID of init, the very first process that starts all other services and processes. /proc/2 is kthreadd, the kernel thread daemon that (along with its children) coordinates between kernel and userspace processes. And so are hundreds of other directories in /proc, each number denoting a process ID. /proc is managed by kernel, and an app can't create directories in /proc under normal circumstances even with root. Where are these directories exactly located in /proc? – Irfan Latif Feb 12 at 17:31
  • They are all directly in /proc. I also remember, that it when I was doing the search (search-term "APK" in the root folder) the Filemanager showed me everything multiple hundret times and the list with results was growing and growing. (Probably it was showing me some results from this proc folder, but I can't remember anymore.) And as I said, all those new folders in /proc were generated at exactly that time. – Owl Town Feb 13 at 10:29
  • @OwlTown so you think that app created directories /proc/1, /proc/2 and others? And those created directories have files named mounts, cmdline, status among many others? – Irfan Latif Feb 13 at 19:18
  • No, the subfolders in there are: attr, fd, fdinfo, map_files, net, ns, task - Not sure, if the app created it. Probably they were created by the system, but because of something the app was doing. Maybe a bug in Android or the LG-version of it. In any case they are still there. – Owl Town Feb 14 at 21:17
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/proc is very special in that it is also a virtual filesystem. It's sometimes referred to as a process information pseudo-file system. It doesn't contain 'real' files but runtime system information (e.g. system memory, devices mounted, hardware configuration, etc). source

Therefore the directories and folders you observe just represent the processes started by the app. If you see them that the app has still running processes. Some apps contain ant-reverse-engineering technologies by using multiple processes for monitoring each other. Also the Android system may start multiple smaller processes for one app e.g. for background service(s).

Conclusion: The proc file system is nothing you should worry about. Just ignore it.

  • I know, what it is. But the processes are definetly not running anymore. I deleted the app, deleted its data, and restarted my phone. Also I looked at the processes with another app. There is no app connected to those dead ghost processes. Also I am just not sure, if it's good for the system, if there are like 40 000 more files on it. Files, which are not needed by anything. – Owl Town Feb 11 at 21:34
  • @Owl: If you already know that much you should write it in your question. You should also name the app and post more data like the process list with the processes you are talking about. May be the app is malware and has persistently installed itself on your phone? – Robert Feb 12 at 8:29
  • Ok, the App is called "Dateimanager +" from "Flashlight + Clock". In english it might be called "Filemanager+". About the folders: There were generated in exactly that moment, when I was searching in the root-folder. The other app I have to see ... already deinstalled it. Will look for it later. However I made a screenshot. Those dead processes have their PID, but no UID and GID. And there's also no process linked to them. They have package names like: /init, kthreadd, ksoftirqd/0, kworker/u16:0 and many more. – Owl Town Feb 12 at 10:46
  • @Owl Just post the Google Play Link, based on your description it should be this app: play.google.com/store/apps/… – Robert Feb 12 at 12:47
  • Yes, that's it! – Owl Town Feb 12 at 15:02

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