Android File Management: Tips, tools, and best practices

Wayne Thompson

Mar 16, 2023

10 min read


Android is one of the most popular operating systems for mobile devices, with millions of users worldwide. Managing files on Android can be challenging, especially when dealing with a large number of files and limited storage space. This blog covers the fundamentals of managing files on Android, encompassing both the pre-installed and third-party file management tools, strategies for handling files in a business setting, advanced file management approaches, as well as recommended methods for arranging files on your Android device.

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Importance of file management on Android

File management is an essential aspect of using any device, and Android is no exception. Proper file management on Android can help you stay organized, free up storage space, and keep your device running smoothly. Android file management allows you to access, view, copy, move, delete, and edit files on your device. It also enables you to share files with others and backup important files to protect them from loss.

Built-in File Manager in Android

Overview of the default file manager in Android

Android devices come with a built-in file manager that provides basic file management features. The default file manager allows you to browse and manage files and folders on your device’s internal storage and SD card. You can access the file manager from the app drawer or through the Settings menu.

Basic features of the built-in file manager

The built-in file manager on Android provides essential features for file management. You can view, copy, move, delete, and rename files and folders. Furthermore, you can also create new folders, sort files and folders by name, size, and date, and search for files using keywords. Additionally, the file manager also allows you to access files stored in cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox.

Third-Party File Managers for Android

Introduction to third-party file managers

Third-party file managers provide advanced features beyond those offered by the default file manager. They are designed to simplify file management tasks, provide a more intuitive user interface, and enhance the user experience. There are numerous third-party file managers available for Android, each with its unique set of features.

Benefits of using a third-party file manager

Third-party file managers offer several advantages over the default file manager, including:

  • Better user interface: Third-party file managers often have a more intuitive user interface, making it easier to manage files on your device.
  • Advanced features: Third-party file managers offer advanced features like cloud storage integration, compression and extraction, encryption, and media playback.
  • Customization: Third-party file managers allow users to customize the app’s appearance, layout, and behaviour to suit their preferences.

Popular third-party file managers for Android

There are several third-party file managers available for Android, including:

  • Files (by Google): Files by Google is an Android app that helps users free up space on their device by identifying and deleting unnecessary files, while also providing tools for file management, sharing, backup, and device optimization.
  • Solid Explorer: Solid Explorer is a premium file manager that offers a modern and intuitive user interface, cloud storage integration, and advanced features like compression and encryption.
  • Total Commander: Total Commander is a file manager that offers a dual-pane interface, support for various file types, and advanced features like FTP and LAN access.

Why manage files in an organization?

  • Managing files ensures that only important and relevant files are kept, freeing up space for more essential data.
  • Well-managed files are easy to locate and access, saving time and increasing productivity.
  • Managing files ensures that sensitive information is protected and accessible only to authorized personnel, reducing the risk of data breaches.
  • Organizations may be required to adhere to specific regulations regarding data storage and management. Proper file management can help ensure compliance with these regulations.
  • Managing files allows for seamless collaboration between team members, enabling easy sharing and editing of documents.
  • Proper file management includes backing up important files, which is crucial in the event of a system failure or data loss.
  • File management can also help reduce costs associated with data storage, as well as mitigate risks associated with data breaches and system failures.

Android File management using Hexnode UEM

When it comes to Android file management for devices used for work with Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solutions, there are several additional features and benefits available. UEM solutions allow for centralized management of devices and their associated files, making it easier for IT administrators to enforce policies and maintain security. They also typically offer advanced file management capabilities, such as file sharing and collaboration, as well as access control and auditing. This makes it easier for employees to work together on documents and other files, while also ensuring that sensitive information is only accessible to authorized users. In addition, UEM solutions often integrate with cloud storage services, allowing for seamless access to files across multiple devices and platforms.

Hexnode UEM offers two distinctive features for file management on Android devices. They are:


Android Enterprise containerization is a security feature that creates a separate, secure container on an Android device for corporate data and applications. The container can be managed by Hexnode UEM, which allows IT administrators to control access to the container and its contents. IT admins can push apps and updates to the container, set policies for data sharing, and wipe the container remotely if necessary.

The 3 management profiles are:

  • Device owner: Company has full control over the entire device.
  • Profile owner: Android Enterprise creates a dedicated work profile that isolates and protects work data.
  • Fully managed devices with a work profile: Company has full management control over the entire device, but the device workspace is segmented into personal and business regions (containers).

The device must be enrolled in Android Enterprise as profile owner to use the containerization features. To enroll, you have to register your organization in Android Enterprise. Choose between Managed Domain or Google Domain for signing up.


Signing up with Google Domains means registering your domain directly with Google and using their domain management service. Signing up with a managed domain means registering your domain with a different registrar and using a third-party service to manage your domain’s DNS settings. Google Domains offers an easy-to-use interface, additional security features, and other tools. Using a managed domain allows you to keep your domain name and DNS management separate from Google.

Now you must enroll the device in Profile owner mode via the Hexnode for Work app. For this you’ll need a Samsung Knox device running 6.0 or later or a standard Android device running 5.0 or later.

File management

With Hexnode UEM’s File Management feature, enterprises can easily distribute various types of content to their enrolled Android/Android TV devices. This feature ensures that corporate files remain secure, even if they are scattered across multiple endpoints.

Enterprises can use this feature to send files, such as documents, apps, and videos, to any enrolled Android device and specify the storage location. The feature automatically downloads the files to the device from the server without any user intervention. Additionally, if necessary, the distributed files can be remotely deleted from the device via Hexnode UEM, even if the device has been compromised. This added security measure ensures that the files remain protected even in the event of device loss or theft. When the policy is removed from the UEM portal, the transferred file is deleted from the device.

Additionally, with Hexnode Kiosk mode, the device is restricted to a limited number of work-related applications. Here, you have the ability to generate shortcuts for video and pdf files on Android devices. These files can be included as kiosk file shortcuts through the Content tab of the Hexnode UEM portal. Furthermore, you can enhance the kiosk experience by incorporating the media into the kiosk policy as a file shortcut.


Hexnode UEM app needs ‘Manage All Files’ permission to access device storage on Android 11+ devices.

Click to explore the Android Enterprise features

Advanced File Management on Android

Advanced file management techniques on Android can help users manage their files more efficiently and effectively. Here are some of the techniques:

Using cloud storage services

Cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive offer users the ability to store files online and access them from anywhere with an internet connection. Using cloud storage services can help free up storage space on your Android device and provide an additional layer of backup protection for your files.

Compressing and extracting files

Compressing files can help reduce the file size, making it easier to share or transfer them. Android devices support various file compression formats, including ZIP and RAR. Users can also extract compressed files on their Android device using third-party file managers.

Sharing files and folders

Android devices offer various options for sharing files and folders, including email, messaging apps, and social media. Users can also share files over Bluetooth or through Wi-Fi Direct.

Encrypting files and folders

Encrypting files and folders can help protect them from unauthorized access. Android devices offer encryption features, including the ability to encrypt the device’s storage, encrypt individual files and folders, and encrypt files stored on external SD cards.

Best Practices for Android File Management

Tips for organizing files and folders

Here are some tips for organizing files and folders on your Android device:

  • Use meaningful file names: Use descriptive names for files that reflect their contents.
  • Create a folder structure: Create a logical folder structure to organize files based on their type, purpose, or date.
  • Delete unnecessary files: Regularly delete files that you no longer need to free up storage space.

How to free up storage space on Android

Here are some ways to free up storage space on your Android device:

  • Delete unused apps: Uninstall apps that you no longer use or need.
  • Clear app cache: Clearing the cache of apps can help free up storage space.
  • Move files to the cloud: Move files to cloud storage services to free up local storage space.

Backing up important files

Backing up important files is critical to protect them from loss due to device failure, theft, or accidental deletion.

Backup important files in Dropbox
Backup important files in Dropbox

Users can back up their files using various methods, including cloud storage, USB drives, or external hard drives.


Proper management of files is crucial when utilizing Android devices. It can help users stay organized, free up storage space, and protect their files from loss. Users can use built-in or third-party file managers to manage their files efficiently. Advanced file management techniques like cloud storage, compression, and encryption can help users manage their files more effectively. By adhering to recommended guidelines such as arranging files and directories, creating more storage capacity, and regularly creating backups of crucial data, individuals can guarantee the security and availability of their files at all times.

Wayne Thompson

Product Evangelist @ Hexnode. Busy doing what looks like fun to me and work to others.

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