For some reason, the folder that once allowed me to access all my recordings using the default Sound Recorder app appears empty in windows even though the files are still there according to ES File Explorer. My phone is not rooted.

(Similarly, some files in my Downloads folder are not visible from Windows.)

I've also begun having an issue where deleting folders in the "Music" directory gives an error "cannot delete _____ the storage is write-protected.", but I don't know if this is related. I really need these recordings without having to "share" every single one of them individually in ES File Explorer.

What is going on?

  • I don't know what's going on causing your issue, but may have a work-around to offer: you could still pull the files from the device using ADB tools (and there are even graphical file managers available). Another option might be using "helpers" like Airdroid, which let you manage your files via WiFi remotely from your PC. If you're interested in details on the one or other, let me know, and I'll make it an answer.
    – Izzy
    May 10, 2014 at 12:02
  • So I did manage to install adb and the drivers for my phone. But now whenever I try to grab files from my phone in dos like such: "adb push /sdcard/Sounds/ E:\audio\phone" I get "cannot stat '/sdcard/Sounds/': No such file or directory" I know this is unrelated to the original question, but what is going on? I can access /sdcard/Sounds/ just fine from shell, but trying "push" in shell gives me "/system/bin/sh: push: not found"!
    – Alkanshel
    May 28, 2014 at 5:56
  • Well, first to grab files, "push" is the wrong approach: you want to pull them: adb pull /sdcard/Sounds E:\audio\phone would be the correct command for that. Sure push "cannot stat '/sdcard/Sounds/'", as the first parameter for push is the local file/folder, i.e. on your PC :)
    – Izzy
    May 28, 2014 at 6:34
  • Haha, switched the terms and it worked like magic. I guess it really is a matter of perspective.. it says pull, I say push, etc. :p
    – Alkanshel
    Jun 1, 2014 at 7:07
  • If you put as an answer "just man up and use adb", I'll accept it, though the underlying issue of why the KitKat update would make files in that folder invisible to Windows is still a mystery. (Feels like every major update for the last year has been regrettable.)
    – Alkanshel
    Jun 1, 2014 at 19:39

2 Answers 2


Being aware it is not a full-fledged solution but rather a workaround (it's still unclear what's causing the underlying issue), this answer sums up what we figured being a work-around at least:

As the files/directories don't show up the usual way via "sharing the SDCard", they can still be accessed by other means. One example is using ADB: using adb pull files can be transferred from the device to the computer, and with adb push in the other direction. Examples:

  • adb pull /sdcard/Sounds/ E:\audio\phone would take the entire folder /sdcard/Sounds and save it as E:\audio\phone on the computer
  • adb push E:\audio\phone /sdcard/Sounds/ for the opposite

The culprit: types of "source" and "target" must match. If "source" is a file, "target" must be a file as well: adb pull /sdcard/Sounds/some.mp3 E:\audio\phone would fail as the source is a file and the target a directory.

Other draw-backs can be worked around as well: if you prefer a graphical solution over tinkering with the command line, there are several good GUIs available, e.g.

And several more. As a side-effect of installing ADB, you've got a powerful tool ready which will certainly help you with many other things!

For getting ADB to work without installing the full SDK, please refer to Is there a minimal installation of ADB? More ADB related information can be found via our tag and its tag-wiki.

Alternatives include several "WiFi file managers", which are too many to be listed here. So if you rather want a "simple app installed" on your Android device, and then do everything with your browser, you might wish to take a look at the following lists:


An alternative I found after the fact is to use ES File Explorer or something of the like to move the files into a different folder. They're visible to windows in the new folder.

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