Forgive my newness... I've installed Android Studio/Android SDK in Windows 7, enabled debugging on my Droid Turbo 2 with Android 7.0, system version 25.216.2.kinzie_verizon.verizon.en.US, and successfully attached my device. I've successfully made a backup (haven't tried restoring it), but of course it's a compressed file. So now I want to browse my phone's directory structure. So I opened a shell and tried to navigate around with ls and cd, but I see a lot of directories are giving me Permission denied.

Is there anything I can do about this?

Edited to add: I was particularly interested in having a non-cloud method of backing up my contacts, sms history, and call history. Normally, I periodically connect the phone to my PC via USB and just copy everything in Windows Explorer. But, as I discovered when I moved to another phone yesterday that already had some of my contacts on it, the contacts file is not accessible to this method of backing up. Verizon made a hodgpodge out of old and new contacts information which is going to take me another hour or two to sort through. It would have been easier if I could have just restored this file.

I'd rather not root my phone if I don't have to, and from everything I've read, there is no root discovered for the Droid Turbo 2 anyway.

  • 1
    So you are using adb shell right? In Android the adb user has limited permissions therefore you can't access certain directories. Only on rooted devices you can get access to every directory. – Robert May 3 '19 at 17:01
  • Thanks. So I would have to root my phone, then. Sigh. – Rebeccah May 3 '19 at 17:06
  • 1
    Rooting is the fastest way to access everything. However for some files there are workarounds known. You should explicitly write what you want to access. – Robert May 3 '19 at 17:08
  • 1
    You can make use of some apps (like SMS Backup & Restore, Termux etc.) which can backup contacts, messages and call history by getting data through Android API's (instead of directly reading files from filesystem what you are trying to do) in some kind of text format (json, xml etc.). Then you can copy the backed up files wherever you want (also by automating the backup by scheduling tasks). Restoring the data would also be easy this way (e.g. you can merge or append files) as compared to if you backup the contacts / messages / call history in SQLite database file (not accessible without root) – Irfan Latif May 3 '19 at 18:45
  • Thanks, Irfan - I'll take a look at those. – Rebeccah May 3 '19 at 20:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.