Fixing External SD Card write issue on Android 4.4 KitKat

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EXTERNAL SD CARD write issues

External SD Card write issue on Android 4.4 KitKat

With the release of Android v4.4 KitKat, it bought a lot of changes as compared to the previous version v4.3 Jellybean. One of the most significant changes among them was how it manages the storage data security.

In Android KitKat, apps have the permission to access the files and folders stored on the external SD Card. Apps have the permission to read and write in the removable storage device, i.e. SD Card including the system folders viz. Alarms, Ringtones, DCIM, etc. That has all that is changed.

Apart from this, the applications that you download from Google Play Store or anywhere else have the permission only to save the files in the specified folder and not anywhere else. The files will be created and saved only in the folders the app has ownership of. It won’t save in any other folder or path.

EXTERNAL SD CARD write issues

The third party applications do not have the automatic permissions to access the files present on your external micro SD Card. Instead, all such files go in that folder that has its ownership, no matter it is internal storage or the external micro SD Card.

Let us understand as an example, consider the photo viewer app. This app would not be able to copy, move, create or save any kind of file in the folder other than what it owns and has the permission of. It would be merely able to save the thumbnails of the images in the system to show to the viewer.

But all this is not admitted by all. There a lot of users who face this problem because of the changes in the new configuration. The new configuration has changed the way of the function of the apps. Many apps now do not work properly as they lack the permission to function properly. Also, if you uninstall some then the app it has designated also gets deleted along with its content.

It has some advantages as well. The malware is no longer able to read or write the data of the apps through its file system in order to steal or hack the data. But in case you are angry or annoyed with this new configuration then we have got a few methods for you with which you can have full access to the micro SD Card.

Restore Full Access to the External Micro SD Card

We have researched and studied the problems faced by the users. And finally, we came across some methods that you try to have full access to the data of micro SD Card. Read all the methods along with the prerequisites and try the one appropriate for you.

Method no. 1 – Editing the Permission Files Manually

Prerequisites:

  • Your device should be rooted.
  • Some root explorer like ES File Explorer must be installed.

Full Tutorial:

  1. Using the root-enabled file explorer (ES file explorer or Solid File Explorer), navigate to /system /etc /permissions
  2. Find the file named as platform.xml and tap on it to open it up.
  3. Now search for the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission.
  4. Copy paste this:  <group gid=”media_rw” /> under this code:  <group gid=”sdcard_rw” />.
  5. Save the file to save the changes.
  6. Restart your device to save the changes effectively and permanently.
  7. This will now allow the permissions to access full data on the external SD Card.

Credits for this method go to the xda developers and team; read more here on this thread.

ES File explorer link: Click Here

Solid file explorer link: Click Here

Thread link: Click Here

Method No. 2 – Using Next App SD Fix

Prerequisites:

  • Rooted and Non-rooted devices, both will work.
  • Next App SD Fix: Download it from here.

Full Tutorial:

  1. Download the Next App SD Fix, from the link provided, on your device.
  2. Tap on the apk file in the download folder to install it.
  3. You will see a warning that you need to allow the access to install apps from unknown sources.
  4. Click on Settings and it will take you to security settings of your device.
  5. Tick mark on the option of Install Apps from Unknown Sources to allow for the permission.
  6. As soon as you are done, again tap on the apk file to install it.
  7. Now open the app and it will show you some instructions.
  8. First of all tap on Continue.
  9. Then check the box and again tap on Continue and wait for a couple of seconds.
  10. Now it will ask you to reboot your device, so do as directed.
  11. Voila! You are done and now can access the data on external micro SD Card in Android KitKat.

Credits for this method go to the senior developer, tileback from xda developers and team. Read more about this app on this thread.

Forum thread link: Click Here

App link:

Method No. 3 – Using the Xposed Module

In case the previous two methods do not work for you then don’t worry, try the following method to solve your problem.

Prerequisites:

  • Xposed Framework installed on your device.
  • Handle External Storage module should be installed. Download it from here.

Tutorial:

  1. Download and install the Handle External Storage Xposed module and install it up.
  2. This app does not have any kind of user interface.
  3. Just enable the app in the Xposed framework app and reboot your device.
  4. Voila! You are done!

Method No. 4 – Using the B1 File Manager App

As I have already told you that the third party apps are able to write and read files on the SD Card on their own but only with the designated folders. And the B1 File Manager app is not an exception, it also does the same but you can do the whole process in a specified folder. In other words, you can extract, archive and move files in a specified folder in the SD Card after you have installed the app on your phone.

Prerequisites:

  • B1 File Manager App: Download it here.

Tutorial:

  1. Download and install the apk file of B1 File Manager app.
  2. Once you tap on the apk file, a warning will pop up saying that the installation of files from unknown sources is not allowed.
  3. Click on Settings and it will take you to security settings of your device.
  4. Tick mark on the option of Install Apps from Unknown Sources to allow for the permission.
  5. As soon as you are done, again tap on the B1 File Manager apk file to install it.
  6. Once the app is installed on your device, open it up.
  7. Now use the app as a normal File Manager app and copy the files to your SD Card using its folders.
  8. Voila! You have just passed the limit of writing files and folders on the external SD Card in Android KitKat.

Note that in case this app is deleted or uninstalled all its data will be deleted as well, so make sure you copy the contents of its folders like photos and music files in your internal storage as well.

This is however not the permanent solution but in case the three ways mentioned above do not work, you try this method. Otherwise, you can try the most reliable and best method to pass this configuration, i.e. the method no. 5.

Method No. 5 – Using a Custom ROM

If none of the above methods work for you then we are really sorry for you as you cannot bypass the external SD Card write issue in Android KitKat. You need to change the custom ROM and again try these methods in the new ROM. Maybe it will work, but in the case still, it does work there is no other way you could have full access to the files and folders of the external micro SD card on your device.

I would suggest you try the Lineage OS, AOKP, Hydrogen OS, Nitrogen OS or the Carbon Rom. If the higher version of Android is available with Custom ROM for your device, it will be awesome so that you would be out of the trouble of this new configuration.

Or why not try the Custom ROMs of latest versions of Android and get better storage security features and options along with some cool and interesting features and customizations.

Final Verdict

With the update of Android came the new storage security configuration that is still not accepted by all. There are many users annoyed because of this new configuration and looking for a solution for their problem. And if you are one of them then I’m sure you have already gotten the solution. We have thoroughly explained 5 different methods to solve the problem of writing an issue of external micro SD Card on Android KitKat. In case you have some problems with any of these methods do let us know in the comment section below and share your thoughts on this topic.

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