By sheraz amin

2011-11-30 17:28:19 8 Comments

I want to create a file in external storage sdCard and write to it.I have searched through internet and try but not getting the result,I have added permission in Android Manifest file as well,I am doing this on Emulator,I am trying the following code and getting a ERRR", "Could not create file".

btnWriteSDFile = (Button) findViewById(;
btnWriteSDFile.setOnClickListener(new OnClickListener() {
    //private Throwable e;

    public void onClick(View v) {
        // write on SD card file data from the text box
        try {
            File myFile = new File("/sdcard/mysdfile.txt");
            FileOutputStream fOut = new FileOutputStream(myFile);
            OutputStreamWriter myOutWriter = new OutputStreamWriter(fOut);

        } catch (Exception e) {
              Log.e("ERRR", "Could not create file",e);
    }// onClick
}); // btnWriteSDFile


@Nguyen Tan Dat 2018-05-08 10:46:12

Even though above answers are correct, I wanna add a notice to distinguish types of storage:

  • Internal storage: It should say 'private storage' because it belongs to the app and cannot be shared. Where it's saved is based on where the app installed. If the app was installed on a SD card (I mean the external storage card you put more into a cell phone for more space to store images, videos, ...), your file will belong to the app means your file will be in a SD card. And if the app was installed on an Internal card (I mean the onboard storage card coming with your cell phone), your file will be in an Internal card.
  • External storage: It should say 'public storage' because it can be shared. And this mode divides into 2 groups: private external storage and public external storage. Basically, they are nearly the same, you can consult more from this site:
  • A real SD card (I mean the external storage card you put more into a cell phone for more space to store images, videos, ...): this was not stated clearly on Android docs, so many people might be confused with how to save files in this card.

Here is the link to a source code for cases I mentioned above:

@rmanalo 2019-04-08 03:02:54

From what I've been researching for weeks, Internal storage is the built-in device storage. External storage is a storage that is not internal but most of the time present on the device which is the SD card. And external storage is not equal to removable storage so good luck (for me) trying to pass something to like a flash drive.

@buckau 2014-08-20 20:05:52

The code below creates a Documents directory and then a sub-directory for the application and saved the files to it.

public class loadDataTooDisk extends AsyncTask<String, Integer, String> {
    String sdCardFileTxt;
    protected String doInBackground(String... params)

        //check to see if external storage is avalibel
        if(canW == canR == true)
            //get the path to sdcard 
            File pathToExternalStorage = Environment.getExternalStorageDirectory();
            //to this path add a new directory path and create new App dir (InstroList) in /documents Dir
            File appDirectory = new File(pathToExternalStorage.getAbsolutePath()  + "/documents/InstroList");
            // have the object build the directory structure, if needed.
            //test to see if it is a Text file
            if ( myNewFileName.endsWith(".txt") )

                //Create a File for the output file data
                File saveFilePath = new File (appDirectory, myNewFileName);
                //Adds the textbox data to the file
                    String newline = "\r\n";
                    FileOutputStream fos = new FileOutputStream (saveFilePath);
                    OutputStreamWriter OutDataWriter  = new OutputStreamWriter(fos);

                    OutDataWriter.write(equipNo.getText() + newline);
                    // OutDataWriter.append(equipNo.getText() + newline);
                    OutDataWriter.append(equip_Type.getText() + newline);
                    OutDataWriter.append(equip_Make.getText()+ newline);
                    OutDataWriter.append(equipModel_No.getText()+ newline);
                    OutDataWriter.append(equip_Password.getText()+ newline);
                    OutDataWriter.append(equipWeb_Site.getText()+ newline);


                }catch(Exception e){
        return null;

This one builds the file name

   private String BuildNewFileName()
    { // creates a new filr name
        Time today = new Time(Time.getCurrentTimezone());

        StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();

        sb.append(today.year + "");                // Year)
        sb.append(today.monthDay + "");          // Day of the month (1-31)
        sb.append(today.month + "");              // Month (0-11))
        sb.append(today.format("%k:%M:%S"));      // Current time
        sb.append(".txt");                      //Completed file name

        myNewFileName = sb.toString();
        //Replace (:) with (_)
        myNewFileName = myNewFileName.replaceAll(":", "_");

        return myNewFileName;

Hope this helps! It took me a long time to get it working.

@buckau 2014-08-20 22:13:23

you can look up the file in "My Files" on your phone etc and open it to see the text.

@Andrew S 2020-04-30 15:42:23

Environment.getExternalStorageDirectory() is deprecated, that is the core issue with solution like this that someday will just stop working.

@Rajneesh Shukla 2018-10-31 09:33:47

You can find these method usefull in reading and writing data in android.

 public void saveData(View view) {
    String text = "This is the text in the file, this is the part of the issue of the name and also called the name od the college ";
    FileOutputStream fos = null;
    try {
        fos = openFileOutput("FILE_NAME", MODE_PRIVATE);
        Toast.makeText(this, "Data is saved "+ getFilesDir(), Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();
    } catch (FileNotFoundException e) {
    } catch (IOException e) {
    }finally {
        if (fos!= null){
            try {
            } catch (IOException e) {


public void logData(View view) {
    FileInputStream fis = null;

    try {
        fis = openFileInput("FILE_NAME");
        InputStreamReader isr = new InputStreamReader(fis);
        BufferedReader br = new BufferedReader(isr);
        StringBuilder sb=  new StringBuilder();
        String text;
        while((text = br.readLine()) != null){
            Log.e("TAG", text

    } catch (FileNotFoundException e) {
    } catch (IOException e) {
    }finally {
        if(fis != null){
            try {
            } catch (IOException e) {


@Suragch 2017-09-09 12:09:33

Supplemental Answer

After writing to external storage, some file managers don't see the file right away. This can be confusing if a user thinks they copied something to the SD card, but then can't find it there. So after you copy the file, run the following code to notify file managers of its presence.

        new String[]{myFile.getAbsolutePath()},

See the documentation and this answer for more.

@goRGon 2016-05-10 23:34:12

To write into external storage in Lollipop+ devices we need:

  1. Add the following permission into Manifest:

           <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" />
  2. Request an approval from the user:

           public static final int REQUEST_WRITE_STORAGE = 112; 
           private requestPermission(Activity context) {
               boolean hasPermission = (ContextCompat.checkSelfPermission(context, Manifest.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE) == PackageManager.PERMISSION_GRANTED);
               if (!hasPermission) {
                     new String[]{Manifest.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE},
               } else {
                 // You are allowed to write external storage:
                 String path = Environment.getExternalStorageDirectory().getAbsolutePath() + "/new_folder";
                 File storageDir = new File(path);
                 if (!storageDir.exists() && !storageDir.mkdirs()) {
                   // This should never happen - log handled exception!
  3. Handle the user response inside Activity:

    public void onRequestPermissionsResult(int requestCode, String[] permissions, int[] grantResults) {
         super.onRequestPermissionsResult(requestCode, permissions, grantResults);
         switch (requestCode)
          case Preferences.REQUEST_WRITE_STORAGE: {
             if (grantResults.length > 0 && grantResults[0] ==  PackageManager.PERMISSION_GRANTED) {
               Toast.makeText(this, "The app was allowed to write to your storage!", Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show();
               // Reload the activity with permission granted or use the features what required the permission
             } else {
               Toast.makeText(this, "The app was not allowed to write to your storage. Hence, it cannot function properly. Please consider granting it this permission", Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show();

@Andrew S 2020-04-30 15:48:50

Yes, but you still do not state how to access the external /emulated/0/ storage.

@mH16 2011-11-30 17:58:22

You can do this with this code also.

 public class WriteSDCard extends Activity {

 private static final String TAG = "MEDIA";
 private TextView tv;

  /** Called when the activity is first created. */
 public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    tv = (TextView) findViewById(;

/** Method to check whether external media available and writable. This is adapted from */

 private void checkExternalMedia(){
      boolean mExternalStorageAvailable = false;
    boolean mExternalStorageWriteable = false;
    String state = Environment.getExternalStorageState();

    if (Environment.MEDIA_MOUNTED.equals(state)) {
        // Can read and write the media
        mExternalStorageAvailable = mExternalStorageWriteable = true;
    } else if (Environment.MEDIA_MOUNTED_READ_ONLY.equals(state)) {
        // Can only read the media
        mExternalStorageAvailable = true;
        mExternalStorageWriteable = false;
    } else {
        // Can't read or write
        mExternalStorageAvailable = mExternalStorageWriteable = false;
    tv.append("\n\nExternal Media: readable="
            +mExternalStorageAvailable+" writable="+mExternalStorageWriteable);

/** Method to write ascii text characters to file on SD card. Note that you must add a 
   WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission to the manifest file or this method will throw
   a FileNotFound Exception because you won't have write permission. */

private void writeToSDFile(){

    // Find the root of the external storage.
    // See  storage.html#filesExternal

    File root = android.os.Environment.getExternalStorageDirectory(); 
    tv.append("\nExternal file system root: "+root);

    // See

    File dir = new File (root.getAbsolutePath() + "/download");
    File file = new File(dir, "myData.txt");

    try {
        FileOutputStream f = new FileOutputStream(file);
        PrintWriter pw = new PrintWriter(f);
        pw.println("Hi , How are you");
    } catch (FileNotFoundException e) {
        Log.i(TAG, "******* File not found. Did you" +
                " add a WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission to the   manifest?");
    } catch (IOException e) {
    tv.append("\n\nFile written to "+file);

/** Method to read in a text file placed in the res/raw directory of the application. The
  method reads in all lines of the file sequentially. */

private void readRaw(){
    tv.append("\nData read from res/raw/textfile.txt:");
    InputStream is = this.getResources().openRawResource(R.raw.textfile);
    InputStreamReader isr = new InputStreamReader(is);
    BufferedReader br = new BufferedReader(isr, 8192);    // 2nd arg is buffer size

    // More efficient (less readable) implementation of above is the composite expression
    /*BufferedReader br = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(
            this.getResources().openRawResource(R.raw.textfile)), 8192);*/

    try {
        String test;    
        while (true){               
            test = br.readLine();   
            // readLine() returns null if no more lines in the file
            if(test == null) break;
            tv.append("\n"+"    "+test);
    } catch (IOException e) {
    tv.append("\n\nThat is all");

@VSB 2012-09-08 18:08:26

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE"/> also must be added to manifest.

@earlcasper 2013-04-13 02:34:17

Works before Level 8 and after Level 7 unlike some others

@Hamzeh Soboh 2018-10-01 20:36:41

What if I told you that I got a status mounted but canWrite() = false?! I was testing on sd card

@Irfan Latif 2020-04-16 12:09:23

getExternalStorageDirectory is deprecated in Android 10 in favor of Scoped Storage.

@Amir Hossein Ghasemi 2020-05-01 11:45:36

for android 10 you should set android:requestLegacyExternalStorage="true" to application scope to work

@sandhu 2014-12-22 12:19:03

 ContextWrapper contextWrapper = new ContextWrapper(getApplicationContext()); //getappcontext for just this activity context get
 File file = contextWrapper.getDir(file_path, Context.MODE_PRIVATE);  
 if (!isExternalStorageAvailable() || isExternalStorageReadOnly()) 
  External_File = new File(getExternalFilesDir(file_path), file_name);//if ready then create a file for external 

   FileInputStream fis = new FileInputStream(External_File);
   DataInputStream in = new DataInputStream(fis);
   BufferedReader br =new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(in));
   String strLine;
   while ((strLine = br.readLine()) != null) 
    myData = myData + strLine;
  catch (IOException e) 
  InputText.setText("Save data of External file::::  "+myData);

private static boolean isExternalStorageReadOnly() 
 String extStorageState = Environment.getExternalStorageState(); 
 if (Environment.MEDIA_MOUNTED_READ_ONLY.equals(extStorageState))
  return true; 
 return false; 

private static boolean isExternalStorageAvailable()
 String extStorageState = Environment.getExternalStorageState(); 
 if (Environment.MEDIA_MOUNTED.equals(extStorageState))
  return true; 
 return false; 

@Andrew S 2020-04-30 15:47:33

Where does this code go that you have access to a saveToExternalStorage object?

@Kurtis Nusbaum 2011-11-30 17:52:28

You should read the documentation on storing stuff externally on Android. There's a multitude of problems that could exist with your current code, and I think going over the documentation might help you iron them out.

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