Phone: Samsung Galaxy S3 Carrier: AT&T (US) Upgrade Path: v4.2 to v4.4.2

Is anyone else noticing SD card file deleting issues after the upgrade to Android v4.4.2?

I use CoolReader to view files stored to my SD card and continually delete them and add new ones. After the updgrade, CoolReader and Astro File Manager are unable to delete files. In fact, with Astro, the system popup appears with "Deleting..." and stays up until I cancel it.

Only connecting to a PC with USB and opening the folders there has allowed me to delete files.

Any suggestions on settings or anything else to correct this?

Thanks! Bill


Pretty normal. With Android 4.4, Google decided apps shall no longer have write access on the external SDCard – unless they are system apps (or have root privileges). They call that "security" (while others call it "crippling", and doubt "security" being the real reason behind – rather suspecting "cloudy interests").

While apps still can store their own data in their own dedicated directories (i.e. <sdcard>/Android/<package_name>/), the entire concept of a "shared media storage", where you can use any app of your choice to organize your own media and documents, has been abandoned. So (without root access) it's e.g. no longer possible

  • for a media player to download covers into the music folder
  • for a media player to (re-)write ID3 tags im .mp3 files it did not create itself
  • to edit a document created with another app or copied from your PC

All this can only be done when you stored those files in the cloud, as with most cloud apps all cloud-stored data is available to all apps you give access to your cloud account (the same way they had access to the SDCard before 4.4).

  • Technically, apps do have access to external SD cards, but only within their own designated folders. I also subscribe to the "cloud all the things" conspiracy theory, but in this case the security reason really does make sense. Seeing how many (badly written) apps love to store personal info in clear text on SD cards, it's certainly nice not having to worry about other apps having a blank check to read those anymore. – Chahk Jun 27 '14 at 16:33
  • 1
    @Chahk, that's known and was already mentioned here multiple times, which is why I initially omitted that in my answer (updated now). As for your "badly written apps", they now can (or have to) do that in the cloud, which I feel much more dangerous: I can wipe my card, but I cannot wipe the cloud (nor can I know for sure who else has access to it). // But don't we discuss that here; the facts are named, so everyone can make up his own mind about it. Thanks for pointing out the missing ones ;) – Izzy Jun 27 '14 at 19:04

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