LOST DIR: what is the Android folder, can you delete it and restore files

The Android file system is full of directories, which are created automatically when you turn on your phone. These are folders that were created for updates, and directories with the data of installed applications, and files with recovery points in case of failure. But the “LOST.DIR” folder stands out especially among these directories. Remarkably, it is not created in the device memory, but on an external medium. Let’s find out what this folder is – “LOST.DIR” – and why it’s needed in Android.

What is this folder?

The described directory is encountered by every user whose smartphone, in addition to the internal memory, has an external carrier, such as an SD card. The main purpose of the directory is the copying of folders and files, on which at the moment there is some activity. For example, if the user copies the archive to another medium, the archive is first copied inside the “LOST.DIR” folder. Now about why this is needed.




The point is that when copying, an unexpected situation can happen for the file system. For example, the device will restart or the external medium will not be recognized. In that case there is a high risk to not only get a corrupted output, but also to corrupt the original data. And since the data gets into the intermediary folder first, nothing will happen to it. Usually the directory is filled with data in the following cases:

  • The device was physically disconnected during copying.
  • The external storage device is no longer recognized by your smartphone.
  • A glitch occurred that caused copying or moving to fail.
  • A glitch occurred while downloading from the Internet (no matter what level).

The heavy weight of the directory is a clear sign of a failed copy.


Is it possible to delete the “LOST.DIR” folder

During the next disk scan, users are often puzzled by the appearance of a folder that they did not create. Don’t worry, it’s not a virus, it’s just a security mechanism of Android. The folder does not have rights that prohibit reading or deleting data, so it is not difficult to remove it. However, before you delete it, make sure that the phone is working properly and that all recent processes of working with files have been completed successfully. That is, the risk of losing important information is minimal or there is no risk at all.

In this case it is enough to delete “LOST.DIR” as an ordinary folder. Keep in mind that after some time the directory will appear again, but already empty. It will be created permanently as long as the medium is connected to the phone. Therefore, the only reason to delete is the great weight of the folder.


Recovering files from a folder

Alas, but the automatic recovery from the directory is not provided for security and common sense reasons. Otherwise, the SD card would continue to copy files when connected to any device. However, the data can be recovered manually and it is an uncomplicated but monotonous process.

The first thing we recommend to do is to connect the phone to the PC, and then copy the folder to the PC. Inside it will be a lot of files with incomprehensible names. In fact, they also store the same information, but do not have the appropriate extension.


It must be specified manually. To determine the extension, just run it through the service https://open-file.ru/. For example, if you uploaded a file to the service and it determines that its extension is jpg (pictures, by the way, often appear there), you just have to select the file with the mouse, press “F2” and add the extension “.jpg” at the end. Notably, some programs are capable of automatically detecting the format. For example, if you suspect that the file stores video content, then open it in VLC Media Player, which will pick up the format itself.

– Between Exchange

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