Android local files outside of data folder


New to nc. Sorry if this has been discussed somewhere else already, but I had no luck finding it.

When using the android app, configuring some local folder to auto upload, it would be nice to have nc app recognise that files exist locally without having to set the files to be moved to data folder. It doesn’t make sense in my head that I either have to have duplicate files or move my folder structure inside nc data folder.

I found some discussions about being able to move the data folder to a custom location, but this is not it.


Hello an welcome to the club “everybody helps everyone” :wink:

Usually NC Android App does exactly that… recognizing new files in every folder you setup on your mobile. It works flawlessly for me.

So it seems there might be some obstacles on your setup. Pls post more info about all involved systems

Hi @jonybat

The Nextcloud Android App It’s not primarily a sync client for existing folders on your phone, it’s meant to make the files on your Nextcloud available on the smartphone. By default, only the files you are gonna download/open through the app are being downloaded.

As an addition to that there is the AutoUpload function, which is only a one way sync with an option to delete the local file after it was uploaded. Also the Auto Upload does not duplicate any files on your phone unless you download/open them again through the Nextcloud app.

you think THAT’s what they meant?

I am not quite sure to be honest, but I think in this context the term “data folder” refers to the local storage of the Android phone respective the local storage of the app. So I thought I’d just try to explain the basic concept of how the the Android app works…

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@jonybat Or do you mean by saying: “recognise that files exist locally without having to set the files to be moved to data folder” that you can use the Nextcloud app for managing local files on your phone without uploading / adding them to your Nextcloud, as a replacement for the Android File Manager so to speak? Then I’m afraid that is not possible. But at least on Vanilla Android you can do it the other way arround, by using the Android File Manager to browse the files on your Nextcloud.

Yes, I meant recognise that the files that I just uploaded from the nc app are local and don’t need to be downloaded (the green check icon).

I don’t mean to have nc as a replacement of file explorer, but I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect the app to know which files are local and which ones aren’t (for the folders that it is monitoring). Google photos is a good example of what I mean. It behaves similar to nc in the way that it uploads files and shows you previews of what is on the server (and not on device), but it also shows you the local files in full resolution.

Also, to clarify my op, by data folder I meant nc data storage folder (the one that you can change in nc app settings)

By duplicate files I meant if I want to preserve the files in the original android folder (say for example /storage/emulated/0/DCIM) and at the same time being able to see them in full resolution from nc app.

And to be clear, I am not asking for a file sync feature, as I could use the perfectly good syncthing for that.

Unfortunately the Nextcloud app cannot do that. Maybe someone should develop a dedicated Nextcloud Photos app that works like the Google Photos app. Or maybe you could open a feature request for a similiar feature in the Nextcloud app. GitHub - nextcloud/android: 📱 Nextcloud Android app

Yes downloading photos, that are still available locally on the phone, is of course less than ideal. And yes, this will lead to duplicates on your phone. Beside of that it also causes unnecessary traffic, slowdowns and freezes of the app with large folders (at least on my phone) , and it’s cumbersome to handle because you have to download each file individually. My workaround is using the Android Gallery app for browsing local photos.

That’s quite a shame. I consider this to be basic functionality, so I really hoped that I was missing something

Thanks for the replies.

Well Nextcloud simply doesn’t have an exact counterpart to the Google Photos app. The Nextcloud Mobile App is the counterpart to the Google Drive app with an additional automatic upload / backup function for multiple user defined folders. However, for me the advantages of having my data on my own “cloud” outweighs such rather small disadvantages. But of course I wouldn’t mind if someone would develop a Google Photos counterpart for Nextcloud. :slight_smile:

for photos maybe look to ditch google photos and look into photprism and setup webdav sync from nextcloud
its beautiful and so quick (i self host on docker) only downside for me is it doesnt support (yet) multiple users/accounts

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Yep, same here.

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