There are other questions on this same topic, but I'm finding that on 4.0.4 with my HTC One, I can open file:/// URLs just fine with Firefox, but not with Chrome or the Android browser. Those two simply report a security error and show no content.

Is this something that changed since the 2.x era when it was apparently possible? (edit well I realize there was no Chrome for 2.x but ...)

edit — sorry; false alarm. It works fine.

All the visible directories on the phone - those you browse through with a file explorer, or when you mount the device as mass storage - are under a top-level directory called "sdcard". Thus, if you create a folder at (apparently) the top level, then a file in it must be accessed as:


Probably most people know that already :-)

  • On 4.2.1 the URLs work fine on Chrome and Chrome Beta, but not the builtin browser.
    – onik
    Mar 4 '13 at 19:28
  • Hmm let me try my Nexus 7 - thanks for the info.
    – Pointy
    Mar 4 '13 at 19:35
  • Possibly it is disallowed to prevent hijacking?
    – t0mm13b
    Mar 4 '13 at 19:39
  • Actually I'm just dumb; I'll provide the "answer".
    – Pointy
    Mar 4 '13 at 21:18
  • 1
    @Pointy You should write the solution as an answer and accept it as soon as the time period for accepting your own answer is allows it.
    – onik
    Mar 5 '13 at 13:19

As I wrote in an addendum to my question, the issue was user error stemming from the less-than-obvious way the Android OS file system works. Everything visible in the file system is under a top-level (the real top) directory called "sdcard". Thus, file:/// URLs only work for paths like file:///sdcard/foo/bar.

I'll add with questionable relevance that if you haven't installed the app "AirDroid", you should. I found it while looking around for answers to a related problem.

  • I get: "Access to the file was denied" for the extSdCard. Feb 12 '16 at 18:20
  • what path must one use for internal storage?? Feb 3 '17 at 10:58
  • @FedorSteeman it's in the answer above.
    – Pointy
    Feb 3 '17 at 13:28
  • thanks. I was getting confused over the fact that my unit didn't have an sd card, so it didn't make sense to me to go to the "sdcard". Feb 3 '17 at 14:24

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