As a follow up question, I rooted my Galaxy Nexus phone using Kingo, but when I tried to explore my phone using an application like ASTRO, I found out that the /data/data directory is empty. Why is it empty? Am I missing something? Where are application data stored?

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    Does Astro request SuperUser (root) permissions? If not, it cannot look inside those directories. You need the so-called "root explorer" feature, offered e.g. by ES File Explorer.
    – Izzy
    Commented Dec 6, 2013 at 10:10
  • @Izzy That should be it. Thank you! Please post your comment as an answer.
    – B Faley
    Commented Dec 6, 2013 at 10:14
  • Done, with some additional background information. Enjoy!
    – Izzy
    Commented Dec 6, 2013 at 10:24

1 Answer 1


To use "root powers", an app needs to explicitly request those from the system. To my knowledge, Astro File Manager does not include this feature, but e.g. ES File Explorer does.

For most of the newer/updated apps, you can tell that by their permissions: if those include android.permission.ACCESS_SUPERUSER, they request "root powers". Alas: as this permission is not "mandatory" yet, its missing does not necessarily mean an app will not request root access.

The feature you need is called "root explorer". Mentioned ES File Explorer offers this, but you may have to manually enable it in its settings. That done, it should show you everything in the file system.

  • I could also explore the /data/data directory using Terminal Emulator installed from F-Droid.
    – B Faley
    Commented Dec 6, 2013 at 10:26
  • /data/data itself is accessible to all apps, some of its sub-directories as well. But the apps' data folders below are not. Also: if the terminal emulator displayed a # as prompt, you've been in root mode, and thus have been able to access everything. You could have reached that by entering the su command, terminal emulator itself must not necessarily do that itself. If the promt showed a $ instead, you've been in "user mode", and thus should only be able to see "open things".
    – Izzy
    Commented Dec 6, 2013 at 10:31
  • You are right, before accessing the /data/data directory, I executed the su command.
    – B Faley
    Commented Dec 6, 2013 at 13:42
  • Executing su in a terminal is "equivalent" to the terminal app requesting superuser, so that explains things :)
    – Izzy
    Commented Dec 6, 2013 at 14:23

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