What Is Emulated Storage on Android

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You’re an Android user and just saw emulated storage folder in your internal storage? And now you are wondering what emulated storage is and what it stores on your mobile? If you want to know these things, you have come to the right place. 

Quick Answer

Emulated storage is the standard storage location in an Android device to store a user’s data. It is used by Android applications to store apps’ sensitive data to keep it safe from accidental deletes by the user. 

Now you must be wondering what kind of data emulated storage stores and whether you can delete that data or not. I will answer these questions to help you understand everything about emulated storage on Android. 

So, let’s get started. 

What is Emulated Storage on Android?

Emulated storage is a type of storage that appears on your device as a separate partition from internal storage.

It’s built into the Android operating system and allows you to create virtual SD cards to expand your device’s storage. You can also use it to store files from apps or take advantage of a feature called adoptable storage, which makes an SD card or USB drive act like internal storage.

Every Android device has internal storage, where apps are stored by default. If you want to use extra space on your device for music, videos, or other files, you can either move these files onto your SD card and increase your internal storage or use emulated storage.

If you have an older Android device, there are strong chances that you will not see an emulated storage option. This doesn’t mean that there is no emulated storage, but the user hides it. 

How Does It Work?

Emulated storage aims to protect apps on your device and your internal storage. Because apps can only access their folders in emulated storage, they can’t get access to any other app’s data. 

Additionally, if an app is deleted, all of its files are removed from emulated storage.

To make it easier for users to view, manage, and share their photos and videos, each Android device will include a particular directory called DCIM/Camera that you can use as part of your emulated storage.

By default, this folder will be shared with the media scanner so that other apps (such as Gallery) will be able to store their images and videos in it.

Apps can store their files on Emulated Storage using either a standard directory (like /sdcard) or a private directory (/data/data/package-name). 

The data in a private directory is visible to the app and other apps that the user has granted the same permission. The data in a standard directory is visible to all devices’ apps.

Benefits of Emulated Storage

There are several benefits to emulated storage, and some of them are mentioned below:

  • It allows the system to easily share files between apps because it’s all stored in one place instead of being split up into separate locations.
  • Emulated storage allows you to share apps to your SD card without rooting the device. This makes it possible for those who have phones with limited internal memory space. 
  • It makes your Android phone fast by storing data in a dedicated location instead of internally, where there might not be as much room left.
  • This allows for more free space when installing new apps or updating existing ones because of the dedicated internal memory.
  • It’s a great way to boost your phone’s performance, as it frees up space and allows you to store more data.


I have discussed what emulated storage is in Android, how it works, and its benefits. I hope you understood the science behind emulated storage on an Android device. If you still have any questions, you can ask me by writing in the comment section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I see emulated storage data?

Unfortunately, there is no direct way to access emulated storage on Android. You will have to install third-party software or apps to access it, but it may be dangerous for your data as these apps might steal the data.

The safest option for you would be to use ES File Explorer to view emulated storage data but remember, don’t try to make any changes as it might corrupt your devices.

Can I delete emulated storage data?

You can’t access emulated storage on your Android, so you can’t delete it. But, if you have access to emulated storage through ES File Explorer, you can technically delete the storage, but it will make your system corrupt, and you will lose your mobile. 

Can I delete empty folders in emulated storage?

You should not delete an empty folder in your device’s emulated storage because it may delete an app from the device. Because the apps create all the data in emulated storage, deleting the data may also delete the app. 

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