Android 10, apps deleted without deleting data

The main features of Android 10 were shown during Google I / O, while others were revealed at the official launch. Some changes compared to Android 9 Pie were instead discovered at random, such as the possibility of storing deleted app data on the device.

When you remove an app, all associated data is also deleted. With Android 10, developers were offered an option that allows users to keep them. If the app is uninstalled from the home screen or from the settings menu Android 10 shows a dialog box with a check box related to the data to maintain on your smartphone. If the app is re-installed the previous status is restored. In WhatsApp, for example, contacts and chats will be maintained. The option does not appear if the app is removed via the Google Play Store.

WhatsApp check box data

Experts at XDA Developers have discovered how this "hidden" feature works. The apps copy the data to three distinct directories, one on internal storage, inaccessible to the user without root and other apps (/ Data / data); one on external storage, accessible to the user and other apps with the right permissions (/ Data / media / {user} / Android / data); a generic one on external storage (/ Data / media / {user}) freely accessible to the user and other apps. In the case of WhatsApp, the directories are /data/data/com.whatsapp, /data/media/{user}/Android/data/com.whatsapp is / Data / media / {user} / WhatsApp.

Up to Android 9 Pie, deleting an app meant deleting the data in the first two directories. With Android 10 you can instead add the flag "hasFragileUserData"To the app poster and then show the check box to keep the data. The option is useful if the user wants restore the app on the same smartphone. But the directory / Data / data it is not accessible without root, so the only way to delete data and free up space is to install the app again and select the check box. It is clear that remembering which app the data belongs to is almost impossible.

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