How to Ask Android to Skip My Media Folders


StudioKUMA nomedia Manager iconnomediaIf you've ever used an Android phone extensively, you might have come across times when you have pictures, videos, or music in your library that you never remember putting there yourself. Chances are, you probably didn't. What probably happened is that an app developer didn't properly flag a certain folder with a ".nomedia" file.

So what exactly is that? To understand it properly, let's first get into how "media scanning" works on Android - and what it even is. When you put music, pictures, or video on your phone, it gets scanned and added to your library. That way, you can just drag and drop whatever media you want onto your phone, and you don't have to tell your phone "hey, I just put some media there" - instead, your phone finds it automatically and adds it to your library. The library is used by many different apps - which means that if you add a music file, you will be able to play it on just about any third-party music player.

So far, so good. But what if an app wants to store an in-game soundtrack on your phone's storage, for example? In most cases, you won't want that soundtrack appearing in your music library. That's where ".nomedia" files come into play. Ideally, when an app wants to store that soundtrack on your phone in "user-accessible storage" (basically whatever you can access during normal use - this is almost always where you have your music, pictures, and videos), it will put it in a folder, and add a .nomedia file to that folder. A .nomedia file is quite literally an empty file named ".nomedia". Then, when Android is scanning for media, and it sees a .nomedia file in a folder, it ignores any media in that folder. Normally this whole process works behind the scenes. Normally.

Of course, developers being developers, apps don't always follow best practices (true confession, though: I am a developer). So, sometimes, you will have things like that popping up in your music library - or also your photo library. This is where the StudioKUMA .nomedia Manager steps in.

With the StudioKUMA .nomedia Manager, you can easily put .nomedia files into folders with one click, and have an overview of which folders have .nomedia files. And for those who aren't very tech-savvy: don't worry, you won't even have to be dealing with files - you just have to mark the folders that you want Android's media scanner to ignore, and this app will handle the rest.

A word of warning, though: this app, for some reason, doesn't work with Android 4.2. It works with everything below, and depending on your configuration, everything above. But then, we run into the issue of access restrictions on Android 4.4 (KitKat). This is because Google has restricted apps' access to SD cards - and is a whole new can of worms. Basically, if you're on Android 4.1 or below, it will work. If you're on Android 4.3, it will work. And if you're on Android 4.4, you can give it a try - although this isn't the developers', but Google's fault if it's not working.

If you've ever run into media files you don't want in your library, and you're not using Android 4.2, then you can head over and download the StudioKUMA .nomedia Manager from the Google Play Store.


StudioKUMA .nomedia Manager — Free Mobile App of the Week

For Android
Size: 146 KB


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Thanks for the article, great insight. However, I just need to understand something here, I recently downloaded an Android email app called MyMail that comes with in-app ringtones, where do I find the file in which these ringtone files are saved in on my internal memory? I'm using the Samsung Galaxy S5 mobile phone.


If you don't know where they are on your storage but found the sounds in your music library, you should be able to use your music player to find where those sounds are. Rocket Player ( ) can do this. If you're using Rocket Player, long-press the sound in your library, and click "Edit Tag". (You can read more about Rocket Player at .) That will open the Tag editor, and near the top of the tag editor, you will find the location of the sound. Then, you can go into the .nomedia manager, and mark the folder the sound is in. Once you've done that, the sound shouldn't be in your music library anymore after you restart your device.

That might explain how I got rude pictures without even seeing them the first time. Actually, I have no idea where they were from, except a local scenery. They were uploaded automatically to G+. Fortunately, I have that set to private only.