What Is /storage/emulated/0/? [Complete Guide]

Have you ever tried copying the path of some file on your phone? Whenever you copy the file path, it will be copied with /storage/emulated/0/ at the beginning of the path.

For instance, you are trying to copy a path of the file xyz.png from the Downloads folder. Then it will be copied as /storage/emulated/0/Downloads/xyz.png

So what is this /storage/emulated/0/ and why is it appearing before the path of the file? Is it a thing to be worried about and if not then how can it be accessed?

If the same question pops up in your mind then you are at the right place. In this article, we will be discussing what /storage/emulated/0/ is and how you can access it. 

What Is /storage/emulated/0/ On Android?

What is storage emulated 0
What is storage emulated 0

Android supports multiple types of storage including portable storage. This portal storage is called emulated storage.

You can get portable or emulated storage on your device by inserting the SD card on your device.

However, an emulation layer is added on top of the internal storage on the device to get emulated storage. 

The emulated storage shows the reference to the original path of the file (also called the symlink).

The symlink is interpreted by the OS (in this case Android) as the path to the target file. This means that every file will have a reference path to its original path. 

As we discussed above, when you try to copy a file from the Downloads folder, it will come as /storage/emulated/0/Downloads/xyz.png.

This is the reference or you can say symlink to the actual file path, i.e., Downloads/xyz.png. You will see the same with all the files on your device. 

What Is The Benefit Of Having Emulated Storage?

Android phones and tablets come with emulated storage or with an emulation layer on top of the internal storage. So what’s the point of having it?

As we discussed the emulated storage provides the reference to the original path. This provides a layer of security to the files on your device. 

So what does this means? Emulation prevents unauthorized access to your files by any third-party applications that you install on your device or by any other person.

Your original file will be rendered traversable; it means third-party apps cannot read and write it without the user’s permission. 

How To Access /storage/emulated/0/ On Android?

If you want to access the emulated storage on your Android phone then you can use a third-party file explorer app like ES File Explorer.

To do so, follow the steps given below:

  • Download and install the ES File Explorer app on your phone/tablet. You can install it from the Google Play Store
  • Now, open the ES File Explorer on your device. 
  • On the home page, tap on Local.
  • Here, you will see a folder named Emulated.
  • Tap on this folder and you will be in the Emulated storage. 

The folder will be empty of course. It is because /storage/emulated/0/ is a root directory and you cannot access it.

However, if want to access the contents of this emulated storage then head to your internal storage and that will be the same as accessing the emulated storage. 

What Does It Mean By /storage/emulated/1/?

Just like there’s /storage/emulated/0/ there is also /storage/emulated/1/ on the phone. /storage/emulated/0/ is for the emulation of the internal storage of the device.

Similarly, /storage/emulated/1/ is for the emulation on the external storage connected to your Android phone like an SD card.

If you trying to copy Folder 1 from internal storage, then its path will be /storage/emulated/0/Folder 1, and if you are trying to copy the same folder from an SD card on your phone, then its path will be /storage/emulated/1/Folder 1.

In simple words, /storage/emulated/1/ is the reference to the path of the file/folder present in the external storage you are using with your phone. 


That’s all about the/storage/emulated/0/ on Android phone. We hope this article gave you enough information about the /storage/emulated/0/ and how you can access it.

We hope this article helped you with what you were looking for and if it did help you then do let us know in the comment section down below.


Can I Delete Files From The Emulated Folder On Android Phone?

You cannot delete the files from the emulated folder as the emulated folder is only traversable and not readable and writeable.

However, deleting the files from the original folder will also delete the file from the emulated folder on your device.

Why Am I Getting /storage/emulated/0/XYZfile Missing or Unreadable When An App Tries To Read A File?

If the file is shown missing or unreadable it is because the file is not present on your device. For instance, if you have a video player or a music player on your device and you have given File access to it to play the video/audio.

If you get this issue while the app searches for the file then it might be because there’s no file present in the location.

What Is Emulation?

Emulation is done on the storage for providing extra security, or say abstraction. Emulated storage is the reference path to the original path to the file on the internal storage.

Files in the emulated storage are traversable but not readable and writeable by the third-party apps until permission is given. 

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