I know this might seem like a very common question, but when I have searched for a solution it seems almost no one has this same problem, all that is discussed is how to hide pictures that no one should see, which is not my case.

I need to stop the media scanner from scanning several folders and subfolders for pictures, but still scan them for audio media. My case is that I have a lot of music albums in folders with album art in the same folder. So in the stock gallery app I get all this album art which is meaningless.

The following found 'solutions' would not work in my case:

  1. to create a file named .nomedia, since that would stop the music from being scanned.

  2. to use the privacy mode (I have a Galaxy S5), since that would still display all this album art when I am in the privacy mode

  3. to use some kind of file vault, since that would hide everything in the folder from every app (I guess)

  4. to use another gallery app, since KitKat doesn't allow non-stock apps to modify the external SD card

I might consider rooting if that would enable non-stock app to modify the SD card, since I use ES File Explorer anyways.

1 Answer 1


I wanted to do this and the .nomedia file approach is the way to go as it is used by certain apps to hide images that they don't want indexed (such as pics of birds in the birds of Britain app).

However it's a bit of a devil to do. Firstly you must create this .nomedia file in every directory that you don't want indexed, not just the top level one.

The main difficulty is trying to get the gallery app to forget the indexed images. It goes without saying that the next step involves clearing the app's data and cache to force a reindexing (this will also possibly require a reboot of the phone if the gallery app refuses to work afterwards - this happened to me and I had to reboot the phone to get it to work again - sometimes it just worked after clearing it's data, sometimes it didn't - random pot luck). I had to repeat this a couple of times to get it to work. Go to settings -> apps -> all apps -> gallery and tap on stop app, clear cache, clear data.

If you decide to create a new folder and create the .nomedia file inside that and then move the images you don't want indexed into that directory then that should just work as it does for other apps. The difficulty comes when you try and get the gallery app to honour the .nomedia file on directories that it has already indexed.

This worked for me on a Nexus 4.

  • As I stated, .nomedia would make the music files in these folders invisible for the media-scanner, which I don't want. Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 21:56

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