[Android] Monitor folder creation on your SD card with SDCard Watcher

Try mounting your Android phone on your computer. You’ll be amazed by how many random folders there are named after apps that you thought you uninstalled ages ago. This is due to how Android works, but with the help of the free app SDCard Watcher, you can see what for all folders created in the future which app created them, enabling you to see if they’re OK for removal.

What is it and what does it do

The SD card on my phone has almost a dozen folders on it that were at some point in time created by an app on my phone. Some of them are clearly named and shouldn’t be removed, but others are so ambiguous that it’s impossible to tell which app created them. SDCard Watcher is a free way to see which apps are creating what folders on your SD card.

Pros

  • Actively monitors SD card for folder creation
  • Based on active app, can tell which app creates which folder
  • Can report folders that can be removed
  • Background process uses virtually no resources

Cons

  • Chance for false positives (eg, if background apps create folders)
  • Background process that uses virtually no resources still uses some resources
  • Has no ability to view apps that created folders before installation

The way Android works, if you give an app permission to use your SD card–like a very large numbers of current apps require–they can spawn folders and files wherever they please. This leads to a huge mess when uninstalling, and since apps aren’t executed during removal, the apps aren’t given any time to clean up after themselves. This leads to a huge pile of folders with no associated apps. SDCard Watcher is the perfect way to curtail the messiness by keeping track of which folders were created by which apps, thus allowing you to see which folders are safe to delete.

SDCard Watcher lets you add multiple locations to watch, which is especially important for any devices with both an external SD card and internal storage. When an app creates a folder in a watched location, a small “toast”–the small grey popups at the bottom of the window–will pop up telling you what folder was created, and by what SDCard Watcher thinks created it. Its inability to figure out if it was a background app is fairly annoying, but otherwise it’s still awesome.

When it comes time to uninstall apps, you’ll still need to remove the folders yourself. However, it’s a lot easier with a list easily accessible. Just open SDCard Watcher and your favorite file browser and go down the list removing any that match apps you’ve uninstalled. It’s that simple!

Conclusion and download link

SDCard Watcher is a cool little app. It’s definitely designed to be installed as soon as possible and then forgotten about until cleaning time, as otherwise the list of apps and folders is rather sparse and useless. Still, since it uses so little system resources, there’s really no reason to not keep it installed. After just a short while, you’ll be noticing lists as long its developer did–and it’s a long list.

Price: Free!

Version reviewed: v1.1

Requires: Android 2.2+

Download size: 58KB

SDCard Watcher on Play Store

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