Folder Player and Google's war on local file storage (Android 11+)

JUST UPGRADED TO ANDROID 13 ? Some users reported empty file system. Two ways to fix this:
  • Reinstall the app OR
  • Go to your phone setting, apps, Folder Player (Pro). You'll notice that access to media files has been disabled. Re-assign the permission.
If nothing helped, keep reading...

Google hates when you avoid their online services. Starting Android 11, Google (via Google Play store only) eliminated native access to Android file system for most 3rd party apps, including this one.

  • Access to your media files is done indirectly via "search" index, meaning that file visibility is NOT guaranteed. Placing a file on your phone is not (technically) enough - it should be "indexed" by Android, which does not happen immediately, and may not happen at all in some special cases.
  • File operations performance may worsen
  • Some directories are more "accessible" than others¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • External USB drives may not work

While most users are not affected by this - If you see anomalies, here are the things you can try:


  • Keep your audio files inside "standard" locations (such as /sdcard/Music)
  • Try locating your media files with file apps like Total Commander. Some users reported this triggers reindexing, which makes Folder Player seeing these files too.
  • Try rebooting your phone - it may restart re-indexing
  • Make sure you dont have .nomedia files inside your folders
  • Try deleting your files, and then re-add them. Ideally, under a new folder name.
    Please note: these files still require reindexing by Android! Files may not appear immediately, it may take seconds, minutes, sometimes hours before they get registered on your device.


Another solution you may want to try (suggested by other users, use at your own risk)
1. Download ADB to your computer. Make sure Developer mode is activated on your phone.
2. run "adb shell"
In the command line, For Free version type this:

    appops set com.folderplayer NO_ISOLATED_STORAGE allow
Or for Pro version type:

    appops set com.folderplayerpro NO_ISOLATED_STORAGE allow


You can download a new, separate unrestricted version of the app called Folder Player Direct from this site. This is NOT going to replace your existing app, but it will be installed a whole new app. Please be prepared that it may not be updated as frequently as Google Play version and you need to check this page to see if there are any updates.

Download instructions:

Folder Player Free Direct

Download version 4.21.272 here.
List of changes for Google Play version is here

Folder Player Pro Direct

To install, this requires presence of Folder Player Pro installed from Google Play. After installation you may delete regular Pro version if you want.
Download version 4.21.272 here.
List of changes for Google Play version is here

"OK, BUT... ?"

1. ... but I had Android 11 for a long time - why problems started after I updated the app in Google Play?

Google Play blocks new updates having "MANAGE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" permission, which allows direct access to the file system. I had to remove this permission to remain in Google Play. Technically, this is not an issue with Android 11+, it is an issue with Google Play policies..

2. ... but I have internal music players and even file managers which do not have this problem.

Built-in apps do not have limitations, and Google *does* make exceptions for some popular file managers, specialized media and security apps. They ignore pretty much everybody else. They refuse to make an exception for Folder Player no matter how many times I ask.

I will keep updating this page, contact me in case you have ideas to share or concerns.

Thank you for your support.

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