Files with a .nomedia extension are often found on internal or external storage of Android smartphones or tablets. The reason? An Android app or the operating system renamed original files to “.nomedia” (no prefix) to signal to other apps they don’t contain any media. As such, they won’t be recognized, scanned, or indexed by multimedia players, yet still contain the necessary data to be renamed to the original file extension and played normally. It’s exactly the lack of extension that makes searching for them harder. Thankfully, you have us to demonstrate how to recover .nomedia files. So, let’s start.
1. Recover .nomedia files on Android
Have you tried to search for “nomedia” using your default Files or File Manager application for Android? You would’ve found nothing anyway – .nomedia files are hidden from view by default. What’s more, default Android storage manager apps only recently allowed showing hidden files, and some still don’t. If that’s your case, open Google Play Store and search for a third-party file manager app that allows showing/hiding files and folders. You can also look for an application package (.apk) file and install it that way. Here’s how it worked for us:
- Open the File Manager app for Android One.
- Tap on the hamburger menu in the top left corner.
- Go to Settings.
- Toggle the Show hidden files option to on.
- Go to the home screen and start searching for “nomedia” after tapping on the magnifying glass icon.
- Tip. You might find them scattered throughout storage or inside the folder named .nomedia.
2. Restore .nomedia files on your computer
Want to speed up the search or can’t find an app to display hidden files? Use your Windows or Mac computer after connecting your Android phone via USB cable. Then, do this:
- Windows. Follow the steps under the first headline in our “recover hidden files from Pendrive” guide on Windows.
- Mac. Follow the steps under method 3, submethod 2 in our guide on restoring .bak files.
3. Use data recovery software
Can’t find .nomedia files with a direct search? The app that generated them might have deleted them. Also, you might have erased a folder they were in. The solution for Windows or Mac is to use any of the 3 methods under the How to recover deleted files from a Pendrive headline in the Pendrive guide mentioned above. For Android, follow the steps under method 4 in our guide on WhatsApp video recovery. Don’t focus on the Contacts & Messages category – look through them all.