How to use Android Oreo’s built-in file manager

Did you know that Android Oreo has a hidden and built-in file manager? Jack Wallen shows you where to find it and how to use it.

Image: Google

Android Oreo has arrived with a significant amount of features and improvements. From picture-in-picture and better battery life to smart Wi-Fi and everything in between, Oreo has made some serious (albeit slight) changes to the platform. However, some of the improvements weren’t exactly coming from the office of “business failure and obvious”. But even the lesser-known and the less impressive have helped make Android more efficient. One of these features is the built-in file manager.

Funny thing about it, if you go into the app drawer of an Oreo powered device, you won’t find a file manager. Which give? The truth is that the file manager is not obvious. In fact, it’s hidden in another app.

Let’s see where it is and how to use it.

Get out, get out …

Where is this file manager? Here’s a hint: Open the Downloads app. With this app open, tap the menu button in the top right corner. In the drop-down menu (Figure A), tap Show internal storage.

Figure A

Figure A

The Oreo Download Manager.

Where are your files?

You have now enabled the download manager for internal storage. But where are your files? You can scroll up and down the list only to see files saved in your Downloads folder. The key is in the sidebar. Swipe right from the left edge to show the sidebar (Number B).

Number B

Number B

The download manager sidebar.

In this sidebar, you will now see your device’s internal storage. Tap this entry (for my example it is listed as ONEPLUSA3000) to access all files and folders found in (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C

Internal storage of a OnePlus 3.

At this point, you can use the file manager just like you would any other. Tap to browse a folder, find a file, long press the file, and then tap the menu button (upper right corner of the window) to act on the file (Number D).

Number D

Number D

And that, my friends, is all there is to using the built-in Oreo file manager. It might not be the sexiest app on the market, it might not be a deal maker or a breaker, but it’s definitely better to have to install a third party app just to move, copy , open, rename and delete files.

Adding this file manager (hidden or not) was a smart move for Android developers. It’s a small addition, but it makes Android even more user-friendly and complete.

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Donald E. Hollingsworth