I want to see the files from /root/data/data folder. Is there any application/trick which can do this?

  • Did you try the suggestion? – Sid Jan 12 '13 at 2:38
  • You will definitely need to root the phone first of all. Then you will need a competent file manager app you can use. ASTRO file manager is popular but it has no root access support so it's useless for power users. You should be able to use ES File Explorer or File Expert. I have recently had problems viewing /data/data or other protected folders with ES File Explorer and have pretty much abandoned it, and I am now using File Expert. They both require that you go into settings and enable root explorer option (and sometimes also mount the file system as writable). So you need to do that first. – Samir Jul 5 '13 at 10:34
  • @sammyg : adb run-as allow to do it without root. – user2284570 Feb 8 '15 at 22:15

Short answer

You cannot do that without having your device rooted, as the file permissions won't allow you to list contents there. You will be able to change into /data/data, but you will not see a single thing there.

Longer explanation

While one might be able to access /data/data without root (i.e. change into that directory), permissions are set to forbid listing its contents:

shell@android:/ $ ls /data/data
opendir failed, Permission denied
1|shell@android:/ $ cd /data/data
shell@android:/data/data $ 
shell@android:/data/data $ ls -l /data
opendir failed, Permission denied

This is what happens on a device without root (output created just now on my Cat Stargate 2 running Android 4.1.1). Repeating the same on my HTC Wildfire running CM9 (Android 4.0.4) and having root access enabled looks a little different, and should give us the wanted details (output cut to the necessary stuff):

adb shell
root@android:/ # ls -l /data
drwxrwx--x system   system            2013-02-27 02:01 data

As it is clearly shown, /data/data is owned by the user system group system, with this user and group being the only having full read/write/execute access. Everybody else only has execute permission, enabling all processes to change into that directory. This is necessary for the apps to access their data: They know their package names, and such an app named com.foo.bar can directly jump to /data/data/com.foo.bar which it owns and has full access to.

  • Er, this is incorrect. I do not have a rooted device, and can view /data/data just fine from File Explorer... – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Jul 26 '15 at 21:35
  • @BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft I doubt you see any contents in that folder. Doing an ls /data will show the /data/data folder, but an ls /data/data shows nothing if not done with root (same way, File Explorer will show you the /data/data folder is there, but not what's in it). Everything else would be a rare exception I've never heard of: in that case, please name your device and Android version, as I'm curious what strange thing that is :) – Izzy Jul 26 '15 at 21:51
  • It's a Motorola pay-as-you-go Moto G, running Android 4.4.4. Yes, in File Explorer /data/data lists every folder. – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Jul 26 '15 at 23:36
  • Can anyone confirm this? That would undermine the entire security concept. The idea here is that every app can only access its own folder, and not even see the others. Permissions on /data/data are usually 771 (with ownership by system:system), so no user app can list contents here. @BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft is that File Explorer a system app that shipped with your device? Can you try with a terminal app or adb shell to do a ls -l /data, and do you still see what's in there? – Izzy Jul 26 '15 at 23:47
  • It's not an app, it's on the PC. It's part of the Android SDK. I keep reading everywhere online that it can only read /data/data if the device is rooted, but mine isn't rooted and can read all of that folder. I thought that's what you were talking about, lol – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Jul 27 '15 at 4:28

You can do it with ES File Explorer(Only if your device is rooted)

Step 1:
press menu button --> select Root explorer
Step 2:
(A prompt will popup for giving super User permission) Allow permission
Step 3:
(Another pop-up) Click on Mount R/W ,by default there is Read permission(do this only if you need to write something,else leave it)

Step 4: Access any system folder


Simply use a file manager app like AndroZip File Manager

Keep in mind that you cannot edit the files if you do not have root access. It is not harmful only to read the files though.

  • I'm not able to access the folder with androzip file manager :( – Jaguar Jan 19 '13 at 18:04
  • What happens? Try pressing the home button on the app (at your top left corner) and then hit the up arrow right next to the home button. – Sid Jan 20 '13 at 1:07

You can view Android internal storage files without having root access to your device, using adb shell.

In your case directory/files will be different.

  1. Add path to environment variable:

    C:\Users\Mohammad\AppData\Local\Android\sdk\platform-tools  # otherwise cd to that directory
  2. Open terminal command prompt (Run → cmd)
  3. Run command:

    adb shell
  4. To obtain permission to file system:

    run-as com.scu.healthcare
  5. You can take backup of entire package:

    adb backup -noapk com.scu.healthcare
  6. Change to internal storage:

    cd /data/data/com.scu.healthcare/files
  7. View your file:

    cat ErrorLog.txt
  8. You can change your file permission:

    chmod 777 /data/data/com.scu.healthcare/files/ErrorLog.txt
  9. You can view shared preference xml files:


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