What is /storage/emulated/0/? How to Access it?

Did it happen at any point in time that you tried to find out your images’ file path and came across this: What is /storage/emulated/0/?DCIM/Camera/IMG_202020430_197267.jpg.

The avid users know well about the file path of images, Camera, DCIM, and image name. But it might be difficult for them to understand that what is /storage/emulated/0/?

If you’re thinking, why it is too puzzling as if someone wants to trace the path of this “emulated” folder in the File Explorer, you’ll be disappointed.

Because there will be no folder there. So, if you are eager to know what is /storage/emulated/0/? How to access it? Be glad, this article is all about this issue and we will discuss everything in detail here. 

/storage/emulated/0/

What is /storage/emulated/0/?

Android upholds an assortment of storage devices, the significant storage is the ones being known as portable and emulated.

Media like an SD Card or USB can provide portable storage, while emulated storage is made a part of the Android device which permits the exposure to inner storage by a layer of emulation. 

Emulated storage shows an item’s file location against the symlink it has on the external storage or device. If you don’t know what a symlink is, let’s explain it.

Symlink, soft link, or Symbolic link is in fact a file that refers to the other directory or file which is called “Target”. The OS interprets the symlink as the file which is a direct link to the ‘target’.

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For example, if you want to trace the file path of any of your images in the DCIM, it will appear as /storage/emulated/0/DCIM/Camera. That link is basically a symlink directing you towards the “Target”. 

Let us explain this term with another example. If you are going through the music items that are present in your downloads, you may see the file path of a song as /storage/emulated/0/Downloads/Music/(name of the song).mp3.

This happens even when you are trying to open an emulated folder. But just browsing the downloads in your music collection. The file path that appears in front of you is basically the symlink of the real target or directory that is Downloads/Music. 

In short, any directory’s emulated storage refers to the same directory or what we call target.   

What is /storage/emulated/0/?

Reason of the /storage/emulated/0/ Existence:

Whether it seems or not on your Android device, it depends on the technology of your device.  But every file of the File Folder comes with emulation. What makes the difference is the symlink which some devices show while others don’t. 

But what’s the reason emulation exists on Android devices? It provides an emulation or abstraction layer on the actual file system preventing the third-party applications to access the user’s private data.

So, all your data lying on different storage areas like SD cards will be totally saved from misuse. This means that emulation keeps your original data safe and just traversable.

But not accessible by any other party without your consent. So, /storage/emulated/0/ is a means of improving the privacy and security of your Android device’s personal data.

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For instance, DCIM can be seen in both the memory of your device and in the external storage. If DCIM has emulation both in the internal and external storage then it differentiates it by 0 and 1.

It shows /storage/emulated/0/DCIM for every item that is present in the internal storage of DCIM. While/storage/emulated/1/DCIM is for every item that is stored externally in DCIM. 1 is essentially used for the external storage of any Android device while 0 refers to internal storage. 

Can We Access /storage/emulated/0/ on Android Devices?

After plugging your device, just run the ADB shell. It will provide your device with a command shell. You are not allowed to read it, on other hand, as it is present in the subdirectory 0, you can just access cd /storage/emulated/0. Only then can you interact and look around conveniently. 

If you want to access your Android device’s /storage/emulated/0/, just download File Explorer from a third party. 

But let us explain before, you will only be allowed to examine the folder and that’s it. The thing that may bother you is, if you want to see the path of the emulated folder, and keep on tapping it, you’ll get the “empty folder”.

It is clear that /storage/emulated/0/ cannot be approached as it is the root directory that doesn’t offer direct access. The problem is that either you want to access it internally or externally, it is quite impossible. But a better solution for accessing /storage/emulated/0/ is the only one that we discussed above.

Can We Access /storage/emulated/0/ on Android Devices?

Can /storage/emulated/0/ be Unreadable or Missing?

It may happen that you use an app for looking into a particular folder or file to find an item but it has been deleted from there. When you’ll search for the desired folder and it is not there, it will respond as /storage/emulated/0/XYZ as missing or unreadable. 

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For solving the issue discussed above, you have to do a very simple task. For example, you have Poweramp which detected some music before that has been wiped out now.

You can solve this issue very conveniently. Just add some music in the downloads so that the /storage/emulated/0/ can search this directory. 

FAQS?

The emulated folders are totally like the original folders of your Android device. You save data on the original folders which could be downloads, apps, music, pictures, and any other files.

If you want to delete the emulated folder, it could be done by deleting the original data. The reason is that the emulated directory cannot be writable or changeable but it is just traversable. When you delete the original folders on your Android device, only then the emulated data can be deleted. 

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