Starting from Android 11, there are 2 levels of file access permission, i.e., "files, media, and everything" permission and "media only" permission.

What is the difference between the two, and what is excluded from the "media only" permission?

  • Dupe of Difference between "manage all files" and "access media only"? (but not yet answered properly).
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 6:14
  • @AndrewT. I have already seen that post, but it doesn't have a good answer, that's why I posted another question Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 6:19
  • Understood, that's why this hasn't been closed as a duplicate yet. It's just no one has posted an answer while the info/references/sources are already there in the comments.
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 6:22

1 Answer 1


Let's try to answer this question, may be with the combined experience of the community we can verify if the following is correct:

According to media store documentation there are four different media categories:

  • Images, including photographs and screenshots, which are stored in the DCIM/ and Pictures/ directories. The system adds these files to the MediaStore.Images table.
  • Videos, which are stored in the DCIM/, Movies/, and Pictures/ directories.
  • Audio files, which are stored in the Alarms/, Audiobooks/, Music/, Notifications/, Podcasts/, and Ringtones/ directories. Additionally, the system recognizes audio playlists that are in the Music/ or Movies/ directories, as well as voice recordings that are in the Recordings/ directory.
  • Downloaded files, which are stored in the Download/ directory.

To my understanding the first three media types should be included in "media only" category. Not sure about the Downloade files type.

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