Monday, June 9, 2014

All you need to know about LOST.DIR folder on Android devices


Fire up any file manager on your Android phone and explore your SD card. One folder you are sure to discover is the LOST.DIR. What is the folder for? Its quite evident that there is no application named LOST.DIR installed on your device. At times the folder's size can range in gigabytes. In such situations one may wonder about the contents of the folder and its use, and whether it is safe to delete the folder to save memory. I found a lot of confusion about the LOST.DIR directory on almost all top android forums so I decided to write this post. This post strives to clear some air.

[ See also : Top Android Forums for Users and Developers ]

The LOST.DIR directory marked in red.
What is LOST.DIR ?

The Lost.dir is a system folder. Its a place where the Android OS places files that were recovered during a system boot up (ie when you turn on your phone). It is analogous to the 'Recycle Bin' under Windows OS. The files which are stored inside this directory are often recoverable. Most of the times you won't find anything at all in LOST.DIR directory.

What files are stored in LOST.DIR ?

If you were saving files and suddenly the phone turned off, or maybe you pull the SD card out when files were being written to it - the Android system places copies of those files in LOST.DIR directory so it can try and recover them on the next boot (next time the system starts up). The files in the process of copying are also renamed. So if you find wierdely named files in the folder, don't be surprised as they are only renamed versions of erstwhile files present on your device.
    Files may end up stored in LOST.DIR folder due to following reasons :

  • Abruptly pulling out SD card from Android phone
  • Interruptions while downloading files on Android device
  • Sudden freezing of Android device operating system
  • Switching off the device while some read-write process is carrying on.
How do I recover files from LOST.DIR folder?

In order to stop permanent loss of files from LOST.DIR folder in Android, you have to quickly recover missing files before your Android smartphone memory space is overwritten by some new data. Therefore use of some pertinent LOST.DIR Android recovery tool is recommended. Yodot Android Data Recover, Recuva are a couple of examples which worked for me. 

Can I delete the contents of LOST.DIR ?



In order to save precious memory space its completely normal to delete the contents of LOST.DIR as it only acts as a recycle bin. You can also delete the LOST.DIR folder itself but it will reappear the next time the system boots up. When your Android system throws up a message saying 'Preparing external SD card' its actually checking the contents of LOST.DIR, and if it fails to locate the directory, it creates one. 

Necessary Guidelines :
  • Avoid abrupt removal of Android device's memory card while transferring data to/from the system.
  • Backup your images or other files to some other device.
  • Use authentic android antivirus software to protect yourself from virus-attack. 



62 comments:

  1. Thank you, that really helped out a lot.

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  2. Glad that it helped. Thanks for dropping in Eddie !

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  3. Glad that it helped Sanjeet. You're welcome!

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  4. I tried this and it came back saying "Deleting Failed" so I still have 61 files in my LOST.DIR ... any advice for getting rid of these files? I think they are just taking up memory space. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. 61 is pretty big number of files! I am glad you are trying to delete. You should connect your phone to a computer and then try to delete these files. Commonly, one can get rid of these files from the system's built in file manager. Good luck! :)

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    2. I have more than 100 files :(

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    3. 253 files here. Over 6.36 Gb. It's crippling my SD and killing my phone

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    4. Roberto Domecq the folder LOST.DIR and files took your 6.36 GB space. Mine is even worse, im using the 64GB Kingston SD Card and guess how much did LOST.DIR's files took up on my sd card. It took up 23.3GB of space

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  5. @Newbie: Try deleting via Android File Transfer (Mac OS) or mounted on disk.

    Great article Piyush! Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words Marcilio. :)

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  6. thank U to publish this information, which removed my confusion about lost.dir.....

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    Replies
    1. You're always welcome Santu. Thanks for commenting ;)

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  7. Thanks for sharing very helpful blog

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad that it helped you Asjad. Thanks for commenting ;)

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  8. My phone will not delete file either. There is over 900 files and it's taking up about 700MB! Please help me. I can't even view them, and I've tried the file manager.. nothing is working. :-(

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    Replies
    1. LOST.DIR is just a storage space (directory) for files that were recovered upon boot. You can safely remove it with no problems. The system keeps it just in case you want to get your recovered corrupted files back.So, if files are getting piled up inside LOST.DIR, just delete the whole LOST.DIR directory itself.

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    2. Yeah, that's not working. Every time I try, it says something like, "delete unsuccessful", or, "unable to delete file".

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    3. Download a different file manager eg ES

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  9. Great article! Thanks for clearing this up for a lot of us! :D

    The lengths we go to for that precious storage space! xD :D

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    Replies
    1. Haha Thanks for dropping in! Glad that you found this useful ! :)

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  10. I believe you are a life saver. Thank you.

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  11. I bought a 64GB SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDXC card to go into my new Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5" tablet. When I booted the tablet, there was this mysterious LOST.DIR. My first thought was there was a problem with the memory card, so I formatted it. Up popped the LOST.DIR again!!! After a quick Google search, I found your webpage and have now stopped freaking out. Many thanks for sharing your insightful knowledge with us lowly mortals.It is much appreciated. :)

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    1. Thanks for this valuable feedback. I am glad I could be of help to you :)

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  12. that's a very clear and useful information

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading and the comment :) I will be posting more useful info here :)

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. Hi Piyush!This information was excellent. I am easily confused when try to search for information for my android. I can't understand all the technical ways they explain things. I found this so clear and easy to understand.THANK YOU!!!I am hoping you could help me.I am certain I have a virus of some sort on my Samsung Galaxy S2. I am currently using the AVG AntiVirus FREE app. Is this any good? Or could you please recommend an authentic android antivirus software/app?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kym ! Thanks for dropping in and leaving your valuable feedback! The best solution prima facie to your problem seems to me that of connecting your phone to your computer and scanning the drive. You may use any good anti virus software. You may also go with free options like Avast ! Hope this helps :)

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  15. Hello , and thank you in advance ! I want to tell you that this was helpful post ! Also , there is a problem with my new SD card 32gb ! Phone supports 32gb max ! But , sometimes , when I connect the whole phone to PC , I normally copy paste files ! When I finish copying files to my SD card , I press safely remove , and I disconnect the phone from PC ! BUT , when I enter the file manager all these files disappears , and I guess that these files goes to lost.dir for some reason ! For example,I copy 50files to SD card , then 50 appears at lost.dir , and they disappear !

    I really want help please ! If you know a solution ! Thanks !

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  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  17. Hello , and thank you in advance ! I want to tell you that this was helpful post ! Also , there is a problem with my new SD card 32gb ! Phone supports 32gb max ! But , sometimes , when I connect the whole phone to PC , I normally copy paste files ! When I finish copying files to my SD card , I press safely remove , and I disconnect the phone from PC ! BUT , when I enter the file manager all these files disappears , and I guess that these files goes to lost.dir for some reason ! For example,I copy 50files to SD card , then 50 appears at lost.dir , and they disappear !

    I really want help please ! If you know a solution ! Thanks !

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  18. Thank you piyush, the easy narrative really helped me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am very glad that you liked it. Thanks for dropping by :)

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  19. Thanks your blog is awesome.
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  22. Nice article but I want to ask, all of my files in lost.dir named by numbers and under it, mentioned the capacity differently but (I guess the dates & times) are same! Example: A. 7033 4.3MB 01-01-1980 00:00. B. 8075 5.9MB 01-01-1980 00. All dates in year 1980!? *-*

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    1. They are photo or video files that were corrupted. Move them to a computer and add a .jpg extension and you might be surprised!

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    2. They are photo or video files that were corrupted. Move them to a computer and add a .jpg extension and you might be surprised!

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  23. In.my lost.dir folder one file is occupied so much memory is like 1.5 gb. So it's occupies lot of memory, so what should i do...

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  24. your article is good information. i very like it, keep it up..

    Samsung

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  25. Thank you so much for this. I deleted the whole LOST.DIR using wifi file transfer downloaded on phone and then access it thru' my comp. I got back 8.02 / 11.5 GB on my old phone which was slowing down and max out. Thanks alot and great article!

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  26. i got some idea about this..thank you very much

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  27. I had 124 files in this directory. I copied them all to my computer and added a .jpg or in some instances a .mp4 extension and they all were recovered from blank looking file to their original photo or video.

    It might help to try this before you go deleting all of your photos and videos in there!

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  28. I had 124 files in this directory. I copied them all to my computer and added a .jpg or in some instances a .mp4 extension and they all were recovered from blank looking file to their original photo or video.

    It might help to try this before you go deleting all of your photos and videos in there!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Really mahnnn....helped a lot. I retrieved 7.5/8 GB. Which I thought I will ne'er get back. I recommend 'Recuva'. It's more faster & takes li'l time. You can even just download the set up on your phone and send it your computer. Really cooool it is!!!!:*

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  30. RECUVA......Good job. The setup's just 4.42mb on ur phone. Retrieves........#how much do u want:D

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  31. I Hope someone can Help Me, I installed a new rom since my SD card, all is ok, but on the SD card is saved a LOST.dir File, I maked a format to the SD card, but when my devices boot with the SD inserted, it break my SO, and try to install a new rom.
    Help ME Please

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  33. Hi
    I am using note 4 . And i am facing an issue can u help

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  34. When i attch my usb with note 4 via otg cable ,some of my files sometime vanish some time went in lost.dir what is this ..?

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  35. When i attch my usb with note 4 via otg cable ,some of my files sometime vanish some time went in lost.dir what is this ..?

    ReplyDelete
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  37. Thanks. its works after removal.

    ReplyDelete