find hidden files android phone

Mobile phones are really powerful nowadays. Their specifications can rival mid-tier laptops and have great cameras to take high definition photos.

Sometimes we take lots and lots of these pictures and they get lost throughout the clutter or the size of a phone’s internal storage.

The result, we end up scrolling through our galleries only to not find what we’re looking for.

This happens when some files or photos get hidden while saving. Other times, photos are intentionally hidden especially when there’s a chance that people may go through the phone’s gallery.

Hidden files on computers are distinct because they use transparent icons. For phones, the hidden files usually start with a dot or period in their filename.

For whatever the reason, photos and files can get hidden on Android phones and I decided to make this guide when I was having a difficult time looking for the photos I took during our last family vacation.

Here are two main ways on how to find hidden photos on your Android phone.

Using a File Explorer App

The first method I’ll show you is to find hidden files using a File Explorer App. In this guide, I’ll be using ES File Explorer.

ES file explorer

  1. Find and open ES File Explorer. This will open up the app. You’ll see it load and the display will show you collective icons (Music, Movies, App, Images).recycle bin
  2. Click the recycle bin in the file explorer. This will allow you to see if the images you’re looking for was accidentally deleted. If you didn’t find the images you were looking for in the recycle bin, you can proceed to the next steps.
  3. Tap the Menu Icon to bring out the menu options. This is the upper left-hand side of the home interface.show hidden files
  4. Swipe up and find the “Show Hidden Files” option. Tap it to turn it on. This will show the hidden or invisible files on the directory of the mobile phone.reveal hidden photos
  5. Tap the images icon in the home screen to see all the images on your phone.

File explorer apps really do what they say because they consolidate all the files, including the images, in the device and shows them in their corresponding folder here.

If you still haven’t found the images:

local directory

  1. Go to the home screen and swipe left to the local directory tab. This will show you the file folders inside the Android phone.
  2. Find and tap on potential folders where your photos might’ve been saved. I suggest looking inside DCIM first. Inside the DCIM folder, you’ll see other subfolders.reveal hidden photos
  3. Tap on Camera to see if the images you’re looking for is there.

Another directory that’s worth checking is the SD Card or removable storage. Some files could have been saved there and your gallery app wasn’t able to detect these files.

Using the Root Explorer App

The second method to find hidden files on your phone is using the Root Explorer App.

root explorer

  1. Find the Root Explorer App. This will be in your selection of available apps after you’ve downloaded and installed it.preferences
  2. Tap on the upper left icon to reveal the menu options.show hidden files
  3. Tap on preferences and check the “Show Hidden Files” radio box. After that, find your way back to the main app screen. The main app screen will show you two tabs labeled “Root” and “Storage.”storage
  4. Tap on “Storage”. After you’ve accessed this, you’ll see the directory folders of the Android phone.camera DCIM
  5. Find DCIM which will contain all of your photos. For the purposes of this guide, I tapped on Camera.reveal hidden photos
  6. Restore the hidden photos found in the folder. This also includes files which are inside your phone.

Bottom Line

For whichever method you choose, the bottom line is that it can be easy to find hidden photos on your android phone.

The most important thing to remember is to use the right tools and apps available.

It’s better to use appropriate apps to reveal hidden files on your phone’s directory because most of the time, using a computer would make it hard to look for these hidden files.

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