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I cannot run my favourite MP3 player on my Redmi 11S and Android 13, because the com.google.android.documentsui is missing.

How it is possible? App author claims that is an essential system component that must exist, exists by default in Android 11+ and is only gone when user tries to debloat the phone which I personally didn't do.

Is there any other reason for com.google.android.documentsui for not existing? Has Redmi removed it intentionally from their Redmi 11S' version of Android? Can Family Link be blocking or removing this file?

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    Possibly related: How to hide or unhide app in MIUI drawer?
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 9:14
  • Thanks for all the answers and suggestions. I'll try to double check this in the evening (when I get my hands back on those two phones). I'll report findings here, if there will be anything worth to report. Thanks again for your time and trying to help.
    – trejder
    Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 10:11
  • @AndrewT. No, this is just partially related or not related at all. I don't want to add DocumentsUI to the drawer. I want to enable it and make sure that it is launched each time Android 14 restarts on my Redmi 11S. Plus, I am reluctant into believing that I will be able to use ADB on Google Family Link-guarded phone.
    – trejder
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 11:41

2 Answers 2

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The DocumentsUI module controls access to specific files for components that handle document permissions (such as attaching a file to an email). This module is updatable, meaning it can receive updates to functionality outside of the normal Android release cycle...The DocumentsUI module (com.android.documentsui) is delivered as an APK file and is available for devices running Android 10 or higher (Emphasis supplied)

Hence, it is an essential app and on Pixel 6a it is a system app as it should be with your device also.

  • There are multiple reports like yours with various versions of Redmi and suggested solutions are listed in order of priority.

  • In the apps section of your device, enable system app search and try to locate this file. If it is disabled,enable it and reboot. You should be able to use the MP3 player. Some reports say you need to enable as described after every reboot. YMMV.

  • Use any [activity launcher] 2 from Play Store and search for com.android.documentsui. Create a shortcut for com.android.documentsui.files.LauncherActivity to launch it or directly launch it. You should be good to go but, being Redmi you may be unpleasantly surprised.

  • Assuming that this app got somehow disabled for the user you can try to reinstall com.android.documentsui using the command (source)

adb shell cmd package install-existing com.android.documentsui

  • As a last resort download Files by Google and pray that it solves your problem
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    Curious. What worked?
    – beeshyams
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 6:51
  • First of all, thank you for all your effort and a fabulous answer. Second of all, as I wrote in the comment to the answer below, first of all I am puzzled, if enabling it will solve my problem with not working audiobook player, since it (the answer) clearly claims that DocumentsUI is descoped in Android 14 and as such must be disabled system-wide.
    – trejder
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 12:02
  • Third of all, so far I only managed to check your first advice and failed completely, because my app list is totally empty. I will try to work the second advice today. For the last one -- I am not sure, if I'll be able to use ADB on Google Family Link-guarded phone?
    – trejder
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 12:02
  • @trejder 1. I believe enabling it will solve your problem since (as I mentioned in my comment to the other answer a) I still have it running on my phone Pixel 6a released with 12 and now on 13. If it was descoped it should not have been there in the first release b) Documentation is strangely silent on what the alternative is, if it is descoped (Android 14 is around the corner!) c) Developers need to be told what to use in it's place, I find no reference to it. Plus your own MP3 developer who should know better insists it should be there. IMO, it is at best a statement of intention//
    – beeshyams
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 13:14
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    Thanks for all your comments. I'll do my best to perform as many tests based on your suggestions as possible. If there will be anything worth to report, I'll report here.
    – trejder
    Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 13:30
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As you can see in the DocumentsUI reference:

Important: Starting in Android 12, file browsing through DocumentsUI is disabled.

Which means that even when installed, your MP3 player won't be able to browse files with such library. The author must fix this by using a new API to browse your MP3 files in the device.

Go to know why Google decided to block file browsing with it, probably due to ill-use by developers, as they did when disabling the SMS receive API that was a serious privacy threat.

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  • I did see that but a) there is no alternative option mentioned for Android 13 so I assume it is being in use for 13 too. b) I am on Android 13, Pixel 6a and I see com.android.documentsui as a system app
    – beeshyams
    Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 15:07
  • Thank you for your answer. I must admit that I am completely puzzled right now. App's author claims that DocumentsUI is the new and mandatory way of accessing files and as long as I don't enable it, I won't be able to use that app. The beeshyams's answer above (with many valuable ideas on how to workaround the problem) also in my mind supports the idea that DocumentsUI is a must have in all modern Androids. Which leads me to a conlusion that something is wrong with my phone.
    – trejder
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 11:27
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    Now, come you and says (and has a great proof) that this is completely opposite. That Documents UI is old and descoped* was of accessing files. And that everything is fine with my phone, since it has it disabled (probably following the guide you have cited).
    – trejder
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 11:29

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