I'm using Android Excel and Word apps on a non-rooted Galaxy Note 8. Over the past months I've opened a couple of files from external sources (email and SD card), but was shocked to find these files could still be opened after the source was gone.

It appears the files reside "somewhere" in /data/user/0. When I launch the app, it displays a file list including the path. I tried to delete these files and get a prompt saying I don't have permission.

This is crazy! If I ever lost my phone, these sensitive files would be compromised!

  • Some apps copy the files to be displayed into their app private data folder. When and if the file will be deleted is up to the used app. Clearing the data for the affected app should delete any cached files. – Robert Apr 5 '19 at 17:24
  • I'm using android Excel and Word apps. Files came from email to myself and from Sd card. When I launch the apps, it displays a file list including the path (data user 0 ...). Phone is not rooted. – Jaketheweasle Apr 6 '19 at 7:30
  • Thank you both for these suggestions. I had tried reinstalling the Excel app, and as expected, the files were gone. I also tried clearing cache which did not work. If i cleared data, it removed the files, and everything else, which is the same as reinstalling the app. I guess when phone is out of warranty, I might try rooting. Do you have a recommendation for rooting sw for gn8? – Jaketheweasle Apr 8 '19 at 6:21

Apps store their data (including opened / downloaded / created files, databases, settings, caches etc.) in /data/data/<pkg_name>/ and /sdcard/Android/data/<pkg_name>/. It's not possible to delete files from former location without root access. So what you can do is either clear data of the app, or uninstall/reinstall the app in order to delete all files.

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