I plug in the USB cable to my computer. I click on Open Device to view files, I get to the root of my SDCard. The problem is that there is a directory missing.

I can see it with my file manager on android but not on the computer.

Any ideas why? I created this folder with an app I am developing.

  • Is the directory hidden, one that starts with a dot? If it is, you would need to tell Explorer to show hidden files/folders.
    – t0mm13b
    Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 13:16
  • 1
    If t0mm13b's suggestion does not fit, you can also use a terminal app (e.g. Android Terminal Emulator) and do a ls -al /, and copy/paste the line of that directory to your above question, so we can have a closer look.
    – Izzy
    Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 13:48

2 Answers 2


You could try installing the Rescan SD Card! app and running it. You don't mention what phone you have sometimes you need to tell Android to scan the sd card to pick up changes.

This answer over at StackOverflow appears to suggest that sometimes the MTP cache gets out of date until a reboot of the phone or an app such as Rescan SD Card! is used. This no longer works as of Android 5.0.2, and a reboot of the device is the only fix.

  • SDCard rescanners just rebuild/update the media database used by e.g. music and video players or the gallery app. They have nothing to do with what files are shown via the USB connection :)
    – Izzy
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 6:23
  • Do they not affect the files/folders that are visible when using a MTP connection? If it's using mass storage then you're correct but I'm pretty sure I've seen issues where using an app such as this has made files/folders show up.
    – bmdixon
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 7:57
  • As they affect the media scanner I doubt they affect any non-media files. What those do is refreshing the media database (photos, music, videos). Never heard that e.g. ZIP files or documents are indexed that way. So they might affect PTP, but despite of the "M" in MTP I'd be surprised that "lost directories" are part of it. I might be wrong, though I don't think so ;)
    – Izzy
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 9:19
  • 1
    This answer appears to suggest that the MTP cache gets out of date and apps such as the one in my answer can refresh it. I've not seen this issue for several years now so it's likely that the issue has been fixed in an Android update.
    – bmdixon
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 10:42
  • Strange as it sounds to me, but I stand corrected then! Maybe you could edit your answer and include a little background – especially the hint from the linked answer that it seems to no longer work with Lollipop?
    – Izzy
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 11:18

What OS do you have? If using Windows, then go to "folder option" >> "view". Then change these two settings:

  1. Tick to "show hidden files".

  2. Untick "hide protected os files"

Click apply.

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