Gary from Rhode Island writes:

How do I find out the names of the files on my tablet? And then access a given file?

If you have been using a computer for any length of time, you will probably have become accustomed to accessing your files with a traditional folder management system in Windows or OS X. You create, or download files, and then store them on your desktop or in a folder somewhere so that you can get to them when you need them. However things are not quite as simple on an Android tablet. At least, not at first.

Where are the Files Stored on my Android Tablet?

1. The Downloads App – Most, if not all, Android tablets have a native Downloads app. You will find this app in your app drawer and it will most likely be called Downloads.

Downloads app

Any time you tap a link to a file online, it will download to the Downloads app. If you open this app, you may find a selection of PDFs, Word docs, or PowerPoints that you have previously downloaded while browsing the Internet. You can tap on any of these files to open them.

List of downloaded files

2. The Files App – This will depend on your particular flavor of Android, but many Android tablets also have a Files app. On Samsung devices, for instance, this is called My Files. Other manufacturers may have a similar or identical name. In this app, you will find a collection of all the files on your device.

My Files app

Don’t worry if you don’t have this app or simply can’t find it. There are numerous file managers available for free in the Play Store. If you need a recommendation, take a look at the free ES File Explorer app. With this app installed, you can access and manage all your Android files quickly and easily.

ES File Explorer App

3. SD Card – Some apps may store the files that you create on an SD card, instead of on the device itself. You can access these files using the native Files app or with a file manager app like we discussed above. Simply select the SD Card option to view files that are stored on the SD card.

SD Card Files

You can also access the files on your device by plugging your Android tablet into your computer. It acts much like a USB flash drive, and you will be able to access all your files the same way you would if you plugged in a camera or a USB flash drive.

Accessing and managing files on tablet devices is not as easy as it might by on a Mac or a PC, but once you get used to the ecosystem you are working with, it is still perfectly possible to find the files you need without too much effort. 

 ~ Jonathan