How to Set and Fix File Permissions on Android Devices – [Guide]


It is impossible to get the best out of your Android device having Ice Cream, Sandwich, Cupcake, Jelly Beans, Gingerbread, Marshmallow or Nougat firmware installed on them unless you have the root access enable on your mobile or tablet. Rooted devices give you unrestricted access to every administrative function of the device including to those features that have been blocked by manufacturer. Rooted access gives you full control over your device so that you don’t have to worry about lifeless and broken firmware updates. Here see how to fix file permissions on Android devices to get complete access to every customization feature of your device and give it a personalized look with tools not available on Google Play Store or other official Google support apps and platforms. Set File Permissions on Android devices makes it easier for you to install custom ROMs, root the device, install modded apk apps, flash firmware files and much more.

Your device’s performance sees a remarkable jump in performance if you have root access to it. Root on Android devices is similar to jailbreak on Apple products. You become a super users by rooting your Android devices which means you are free to make any change to like to the device’s firmware or programming.

With rooted device you install large variety of Custom ROMs, kernels, mods, custom themes, wallpapers, ports, patches and lots more on your Android device. Android is an open-source firmware that enables users from all around the world to create different things for different Android devices. Your get to use apps, tools, and software that are not normally supported or available on Android platform.

Therefore, knowing how to fix file permission is essential for every Android user to be able to install modded and ported apps to work perfectly on any Android firmware. See below how you can set file permissions on Android devices and fix file permissions on them.

Before you Start:

In order to fix file permissions on Android device you must first have root access to the device, meaning your device must be rooted. If your device is rooted them well and good other see our guide to root any Android device.

After that, your device should have a top quality files manager on it. Check out Root Browser, Root File Explorer and Busy Box apps and install one of these file manager apps on your device. Root File Explorer app is the best for this method, i recommend that you go with that one, otherwise there is no compulsion, you can install whatever you feel comfortable with.

What Are File Permissions?

On Linus or UNIX based file systems, every file on hard drive has a set of permissions linked to it. These permissions are also known as Attributes, which set the level of accessibility to a users or group of users.

One of these permissions is the Read-Write-Execute attributes that prompt the system about who is allowed to access particular files. Every file has its Owner, Group and Others linked to it. When you change permissions, it means you have made changes to rules about who can access what on the device.

Android is Linux-based platform for mobile phones which also has file permissions structure that might require occasional modification from time to time on part of the users. I explained this complex process in simple layman terms so that everyone could grasp the inherent logic of Android file permissions.

Let’s get back to the main topic, shall we?

How to Set or Fix File Permissions on Android Devices

Guide for Non-Experts:

Non-experts or beginners can see detailed set of instructions below to fix file permissions on Android devices.

Note: Making unnecessary changes to the firmware file system could damage the normal functioning on of the device, so follow steps at your own risk.

1 – Copy the file that you want permission of or its apk on device’s internal memory or external SD card.

2 – Open File Explorer app from device’s app drawer.

3 – In File explorer app, you will see a list of directories and files.

4 – If you saved the file/Apk on the device’s internal memory then open it from sdcard directory. Files saved on external SD card can be found by tapping storage/extSdcard.

5 – Copy File or its Apk to the root directory to set or fix Read-Write-Execute (r-w-e) file permissions. Files permission cannot be set while the file is saved in the internal memory or external SD card.

6 – Here’s how to copy the file to the root directory: Tap on the file and hold it until you see a list of options. Select Copy option and then tap on the Home or Up icon from the toolbar at the bottom to open the target directory location.


7 – Go to the directory location where you wish to save the file and tap on the Paste button.

8 – From the destination file location you can change file permissions easily. Press and hold the File or its Apk file and select Permissions from the pop-up option box.

9 – In Data window you will see Read, Write, Execute columns and Owner, Group, Others rows. Select the combination that you want for the file and hit the OK button.

Edit permissions by checking and unchecking options. Most widely used permission on Android devices is rw-r- (Owner > read + write | Group > read | Others > read).


All done. If a developer requires different set of permissions then set them accordingly using instructions above as a guide.

Guide for Experts:

Above guide was a bit lengthy because it was for non-experts so had to explain every step in detail. Guide below is for experts and presumes that they are well clued up with file permissions methods on Android.

1 – Copy the file that you want permission of or its apk version on device’s internal memory or external SD card.

2 – Copy and paste the file to the locations as suggested by the developer. For apps, copy the file to system/app directory.

3 – Set rw-r-r permission, tap OK button and reboot the device.

In case you set incorrect permissions during file copying to the rooted directory, your phone might go into a bootloop and would get stuck in it. To fix that, see instructions below:

  • Take out device’s battery, if it is fixed then take it to repair shop and have it taken out.
  • Next, boot the device into TWRP Custom Recovery or CWM mode.
  • Select Advanced option in the recovery mode and tap ‘fix permissions’ from the list.


  • Now wipe out/delete ‘dalvik cache’.
  • Return to the main menu and reboot the device.

That’s All. You have successfully set and fixed file permissions on Android device. Let us know about your thoughts in the comment section below.

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