How to Access Android Marshmallow Hidden File Manager

If, like me, you’re used to micromanaging your files on your computer, the lack of a built-in file manager on smartphones can be a serious problem. Why do I have to switch between applications to manage files? Why can’t I do it all from one place? Of course, you can find various file manager apps on Google Play, but Android itself never came with one. So far, anyway.

Android 6 Marshmallow includes a hidden file manager which is disabled by default, but you can enable it quickly and easily if you know where to look.

Go to the Settings app, then tap Storage and USB (it is under the Device subtitle). Scroll to the bottom, then press To explore: Just like that, you will be taken to a file manager which allows you to access just about any file on your phone.

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The Android 6 file manager.

The file manager is pretty basic, but it will look quite familiar to anyone who has used the OS X Finder or Windows Explorer: tap a folder to view its contents, tap a file to view it, tap and hold an icon. file to access additional options (Wipe off, To share, etc).

A basic search function makes it a little easier to find the file you are looking for. You can also change the sort order of the items (press the View button — the three horizontal lines in the toolbar) or switch between Grid view and List view (press the Options menu button — all three dots in the upper right corner).

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Grid view gives you larger icons and file previews than List view.

Unfortunately, the file manager is a bit difficult to access – it’s actually part of the Settings app, so you can’t add it to the Home screen, for example. Ideally, the file manager would be a separate app that you can optionally display in the app drawer, but as is, Android Marshmallow’s file manager is a welcome new addition.

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Donald E. Hollingsworth