Moving Files on Your Android Device Using Windows 10 Could Lead to Data Loss

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Jörg Wirtgen, through a Gerrman blog Heise.de, has highlighted his discovery that connecting your Android device to a Windows 10 PC then moving the files within the device’s storage through the file explorer could lead to data loss.

The problem is identified as an error with Android’s MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) connection with Windows 10. Apparently, Windows 10’s file explorer performs a “harmless cleanup operation” when your Android device is connected and this operation could lead to loss of photos and other files.

Jörg Wirtgen has listed the following devices that he tested and confirms to be suffering from the issue:

  • Nexus 6P, 5X running Android Oreo
  • HTC U11, Nokia 6, OnePlus 3, OnePlus 5, Xiaomi Mi 6, Xiaomi Mi Mix, LG K8, LG G5, Motorola Moto G3, Moto G5 running Android Nougat
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, Huawei Honor 7 running Android Marshmallow
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 running Lineage OS 7.1.1
  • Samsung Galaxy S2, Samsung Galaxy S4 mini, HTC 10, Sony Xperia Z, Xperia Z5, Huawei Mate 9 and Huawei P8 Lite.

Another person did the same test and discovered that:

  • You cannot move files between folders located on your Android device’s memory (internal memory or sd card) using Windows 10 because this will cause data loss.
  • If you want to copy files from one folder to another folder on your Android device, using Windows 10, this operation fails. The files don’t arrive in the destination folder, it just doesn’t work.

It has also been discovered that newer Samsung devices such as Galaxy A3, A5, S6, S7, S8, Tab A running on Android Nougat are not affected. The Blackberry Priv, Xperia XZ, and Honor 8 are also immune to this issue.

What has complicated the issue, even more, is the inconsistencies in the devices used. Different manufacturers, different Android version, actually, the only consistent party has been Windows 10 but then again, there have been mentions that the same happens with Linux systems OpenSUSE and ubuntu.

The best way to deal with this is to avoid using Windows 10 to manage the files on your Android device. Either use Android’s inbuilt file manager for this job or use an older version of Windows.

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