SemiSolution for writing to external SD on Android

I’ve looked through the support cases on this and have only found that SyncThing cannot use an external/portable SD card as a target.

On Android 10 (LG Journey phone), the “/storage/emulated/0/whatever” is indeed the internal(non SD storage). “/storage/emulated/1/whatever” doesn’t work as a way to address the SD card. When a directory is shared by another device, Android 10 is unable to create anything.

However, if a directory is created by SyncThing, an external app (the native file manager?) is called and you are told that SyncThing will get access to the directory you are creating. While the directory gets created, SyncThing can only read the contents. Good for pushing out photos, but if you want your phone to have a backup of other devices, it doesn’t work. For this I would like a further workaround.

In Android 11 (Samsung A11), I was able to create directories that read and write. They had to be created on the phone and shared to the other devices. I couldn’t get directories created on those devices to work on the phone. However, if you have only 1 Android device and many non-Android devices, this is fine.

Perhaps this will help others as it’s a report on somewhat recent versions of Android.

What cases do you mean specifically? For a few versions now, Syncthing is able to sync to the external SD card with no problem, at least on Android 10+ and newer. The problem of being unable to use the external SD may still affect Android between 5 and 9 though. The only real workaround there is to run Syncthing as root.

Theoretically, in Android 6-9 you could format the SD card as internal storage and use it that way, but it’s usually not the best idea, as the SD card is normally much slower than the built-in storage, so device performance will suffer.

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