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Wipe a folder from Android menu

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:39 am UTC
by Jorpho
Let's say I copy a file to a folder on my Android phone (over USB). I want to be able to wipe that folder later with as few taps as possible – preferably just one, from the Android main menu. How would I go about doing this?

I suppose I could try to find an appropriate Android file manager, but that seems crude – plus I'd have to fumble around, browsing to the folder and carefully deleting it without accidentally deleting something else. It seems to me something like this must surely have been done before, but I can't quite seem to hit upon the right Google search.

I did find Tasker, which looks like it might come close, but that costs money, and surely there is a way to do this for free? I don't need an ultra-secure wipe, nor would I want one as that would pose the danger of additional wear on the SD card – an ordinary file-delete would be fine, even if the file is ostensibly recoverable afterwards with the right utility.

Re: Wipe a folder from Android menu

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:44 pm UTC
by Sizik
The file manager I've been using ("File Manager (File transfer)" by CM_Filemanager) lets you create a widget that opens up directly to a folder.

Re: Wipe a folder from Android menu

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:34 pm UTC
by speising
For doing operations on the file system, a file manager is not "crude"; it's in fact the tool of choice.
It is unfortunate that mobile OS designers do their best to rob us of that level of access.

Re: Wipe a folder from Android menu

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:19 am UTC
by Soupspoon
Unfortunately, for giving "User friendliness" to the masses, they're designing it in such a way that is no more non-understandable than the more 'open' design of poke-and-prodable OSs (i.e. failure messages may confound the non-techy, still, but the tech-friendly error response would be worse) but they seem scared to give access to a "Professional" interface that dyed-in-the-wool tech-guys can fiddle with without resorting to 3rd-party 'magical' unlocking tools. They therefore stuff the UI with cotton-wool. And a completely proprietey skill-set is needed to not just go along with the setup that Acer/Lenovo/Samsung/etc has deemed is how their brand of Android is going to work (and, also, this particular generation of their brand, if not more finely delineated) regardless of being built up off the same Android baseline.

My own example is that the inbuilt file manager on this tablet (where I haven't had reason to find any other on the Play Store) seems to alias files, in some strange way, instead of renaming them. Renaming a screenshot (as the most recent example) still gives me the original date-timed file when selecting it for file-upload or other "pick a file" option within an App that is not the file-manager. (Conversely, I suppose it could be overzealous caching of file system names attached to all possible file-handles, but that sounds at least as cockamany way of doing it as the aliasing-within-file-manager method).

That and the odd file-system abstraction method. But as I'm drifting further from the question that is prompting this disquiet of mine, let the rest of the rant sit within a…
Spoiler:
Among other weirdnesses, the internal "sdcard" works well with (micro/regular)USB storage plugged in as secondary, for transfer of files, and it works well with an actual sdcard in its sdcard slot. But things go weird when, with the extra sdcard storage (which, incidentally, many apps that would benefit from the space do not want to be transfered over to, or can be and even suggest there's plenty of storage but still can only store data on the fixed internal store :roll:) I try to use the USB thumbdrive to transfer files.

"sdcard" (the add-in, set to default storage, all kinds of other "let system decide" options also tried) co-exists with "internal storage" (built in space) and the USB storage in the appropriate settings tab, but inevitably only the add-in sd or the plugged-in USB is visible for transfer, so I need to put the transfer stuff onto the internal to have a hope of getting it off, that way, or start by copying from USB to internal anything I actually want on the sdcard. Yet using the Gallery search function, I can find (for example) the avatar picture that I'm trying to upload, even if no other app is directly acknowledging the existence of the device it is on.

And then it plays merry-hell with the app icons on the homescreen, them sometimes disappearing, randomly, during one of the next several reboots (with situation long since back to no-USB and otherwise normal), regardless of the app concerned being installed "internally" or on the SDcard.

Likely something to do with User/Application Access protections, most of this. One of the "I know what's best for you" things about the Android OS (but not solely Android, obviously) that I put up with only because I have a sensible OS with far less symbolic linkaging inherently built into the user-file parts od its fs for real work (none of these Galleries and tag-based storage systems).

And it's also annoying that an App seems to need 500MB of spare space on the Internal storage (often difficult to keep clear, due to the above "won't use expanded sdcard space" issues) to install/update even very small app. What's it doing? Rebuilding the kernel just to accommodate a slightly twerked update of GMail (6Mb)?

(Not looking for answers to my own 'problems', just giving example bugbears. Like as not, I'll hae entirely different idiosynchrasies with the next tablet I get, as I discovered wss the case with all of the last several 'upgrades'.)

Re: Wipe a folder from Android menu

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:33 pm UTC
by Jorpho
speising wrote:It is unfortunate that mobile OS designers do their best to rob us of that level of access.
The irony is that everything is sitting there exposed if you just plug the phone into any PC, leaving the unsuspecting user to merrily delete vital application components at whim. ("I need more space for photos! I might as well delete whatever this is; I have no idea what it does, but it's probably not important.")

I suppose I'll have a gander at that File Manager.

Re: Wipe a folder from Android menu

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:22 pm UTC
by hotaru
Jorpho wrote:
speising wrote:It is unfortunate that mobile OS designers do their best to rob us of that level of access.
The irony is that everything is sitting there exposed if you just plug the phone into any PC, leaving the unsuspecting user to merrily delete vital application components at whim. ("I need more space for photos! I might as well delete whatever this is; I have no idea what it does, but it's probably not important.")

If you actually look, it's not "sitting there exposed". what you get access to when you plug it into a PC is a folder specifically for files that the user is intended to have full access to, which shouldn't contain any vital application components.

Re: Wipe a folder from Android menu

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:25 pm UTC
by Jorpho
I suppose, but folders with intimating names like "com.motorola.motocit" or "com.google.android.gm" don't seem like the sort of thing a user ought to be messing with.

Re: Wipe a folder from Android menu

Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:06 am UTC
by Soupspoon
Those are just C:\Program Files\FooBar equivalents. The equivalent of the actual C:\Windows directory (and stuff like the … \System and \System32 subdirs) will be much more locked down and inaccessible by such trivial means.

Re: Wipe a folder from Android menu

Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:25 am UTC
by speising
No, they are actually only c:\programdata equivalents. and only a part of that. It's only the "sdcard" you have access to without root file managers.

Re: Wipe a folder from Android menu

Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:19 am UTC
by Soupspoon
Ah yes, I was forgetting that modern twist applied to the Win platform. (Actually useful, in a more efficient migration of data situation, I'll give them that.)

Re: Wipe a folder from Android menu

Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:27 am UTC
by phlip
This is the Help Desk, remember... please, less debates about filesystems, more actually answering the OP's question.

If you want to have a discussion about the finer points of phone filesystems, take that to RW.