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Nomedia not hiding recent files

Android has long had the ability to hide entire folders from the gallery, simply by including an empty text file named '.nomedia' in the folder. The dot in front should put it at the top of the alphanumeric list, and it tells the gallery that there is nothing in the folder to display. I've used it for years.

A year ago the Darling Bride had surgery, so I've been keeping a photographic record of her recovery, taking photos each month and saving them in a folder hidden with the .nomedia file.

I'm suddenly having a problem with the photos, that I expect to be hidden, showing up in the gallery! Not good! When I look at the details of the photos, the file location confirms that it's in the folder that I want hidden. It's not ALL the photos in the folder, just recent ones.

Any ideas on why the .nomedia file is letting these sneak through?

BTW yes, I know I have a Note8 and could move those pictures to my Secure Folder. I don't want to do that. Every time I upgrade phones, I have to move everything out of the Secure Folder, change phones and move them all back in. Too much work!


#1 The_Chief, Jun 11, 2018
Not sure why it's it's doing that, I'd have to give it more thought.

But in the meantime you can store them on Google Drive, so viewing them on your mobile device is just as quick, and accessible for you from any device, just a thought.
#2 DonB, Jun 11, 2018
It's strange because all the older photos in the nomedia folder are hidden and not in the gallery - it's just the recent ones. It's as if a new update killed the nomedia function and it won't work for any photos taken AFTER the update. Yep, that's a stretch... but I'm not exactly wealthy with ideas here...
#3 The_Chief, Jun 13, 2018 at 10:37 AM
Is it possible an update has the photos stored in multiple locations?
#4 Unforgiven, Jun 13, 2018 at 11:12 AM
Maybe it might help to re-adjust your thinking to address the problem from a different direction?. A .nomedia file doesn't actively do anything, it has no functionality as a file. It's a matter where apps detect it's presence in a directory, so by conventional standards that directory should be excluded from being scanned and indexed by whatever media app.
So instead of focusing on the .nomedia file, I'd be looking at the Gallery app (or whichever photo manager app you're using) as the culprit. Wipe it's cache, maybe even do a 'Clear data', reconfigure its settings, and just force it to re-index everything again.

P.S. Hope your significant other is healed up and all is well. Lighting some incense and beaming random, good thoughts out your way.
#5 svim, Jun 13, 2018 at 11:32 AM
That's kind of what I was thinking. Maybe there's a cloud backup going on and the gallery is displaying the cloud version and not the local copy?
#6 lunatic59, Jun 13, 2018 at 11:42 AM
No, because when I call up the details of the photo, its location is listed as the local folder, on my SD card, that the gallery is not supposed to see. When I use a file explorer to look at that folder, .nomedia is listed as a file (but it's not first... which is odd).

I'm going to try a workaround that involves copying the image to my PC, deleting the photo on the phone, and then moving the file from the PC directly into the hidden folder. That way, there should be no trace of the image being moved from the gallery.

If that works, then it means that there is now a residual connection between the DCIM/camera folder and my 'other' folder, where no connection existed before. I'll keep you posted.
#7 The_Chief, Jun 13, 2018 at 3:32 PM Last edited: Jun 13, 2018 at 4:24 PM
Is it possibly indexing it when it originally gets taken and put in the gallery, and then that index entry is simply updated to reflect the new location. In which case, it wouldn't be indexing the .nomedia folder, it would be updating an existing entry. I think you could test this by moving a photo from the gallery to the folder at the same time as copying a photo externally to the same folder. If the photo moved from the gallery is indexed and the file moved from external (never in the gallery) isn't, then that may point to an updated index entry being the case.
#8 Unforgiven, Jun 13, 2018 at 3:44 PM
Are they photo files or database ones? Some thumbnails might not be hidden.
#9 zuben el genub, Jun 13, 2018 at 6:47 PM
All photos. Some are in a subfolder which also has the .nomedia file. It's odd because photos from, say, a month ago and earlier don't show up in the gallery. Just the more recent ones.
#10 The_Chief, Jun 14, 2018 at 1:57 PM
Same EXIF info as the earlier ones? The file format identical to the photos that show up?

If you have changed your EXIF files to keep location or other info, it could trigger the photo not being posted as having too much info.

I'm wondering if you are somehow being affected by the EU privacy laws. Some US companies will keep the same laws here. If your photo contains your phone's info, that info might have to be stripped out to post pic.
#11 zuben el genub, Jun 14, 2018 at 4:58 PM
Have you tried hiding the folder itself? Rename the folder with ".myfoldername" and it should disappear. A refresh of the gallery app should make the photos disappear.

You will need a file browser that enables viewing hidden files/folders tho.
#12 JAy3001, Jun 14, 2018 at 5:21 PM
It might be prudent to look into that issue you referred to where that .nomedia file is no longer first. Is the view sort set for alphabetical or something else? Typically when alphabetical any file with a proceeding . in the file name should be first. If the file manager is set for alphabetical, if you view that same directory using a terminal app and enter a 'ls -l' command, is that .nomedia file at top?
#13 svim, Jun 14, 2018 at 5:41 PM
I use Solid Explorer, so that shouldn't be an issue. Thanks for the suggestion... I have always had the .nomedia file in the main "hidden" folder PLUS all the subfolders. I renamed my folder with a dot on the front as suggested - but the images were still in the gallery. I went into Settings --> Apps and cleared the Gallery's cache, then rebooted the phone. Upon opening the Gallery, I found that all the photos were GONE... except for one that I had forgotten to move. I use Solid Explorer to move it, and it was STILL in the Gallery with the new location, dot and all, in the details! I have no idea why.

Yes, I had the contents sorted by date, not filename. Shouldn't matter how the file explorer app is sorting them, since the Gallery is a completely different app. The Gallery has an option in the menu to hide/unhide certain folders - but since my "hidden" folder has the .nomedia file in it, that folder doesn't show up at all. Just certain recent photos from it.

#14 The_Chief, Jun 15, 2018 at 7:09 PM
This sounds like an issue with the galley app itself. Have you tried other gallery apps @The_Chief ? Maybe also look for reviews of the gallery app on the store to see if any others are having the same issues?

I'll assume your using the default Samsung "Gallery" with your Notes 8. If so have you tried the built-in Hide Album option? Just select the Albums tab and then hit the options to find the Hide/Unhide options.
#15 JAy3001, Jun 16, 2018 at 2:45 AM
Has Samsung broken a standard feature of Android, i.e. it's ignoring .nomedia files?
#16 mikedt, Jun 16, 2018 at 5:48 AM
Haha, it's fine on my Samsung S8+ with the latest OS update and updated gallery.
#17 JAy3001, Jun 16, 2018 at 6:44 AM
I'm impressed your post question has pulled out the Big Dogs in this forum. Me personally I just create a .nomedia file on my device or SD card under backup/.nomedia and then tick the file manager hide system files and they magically disappear. But note paste and copy to that location.
#18 KBU2, Jun 16, 2018 at 6:55 AM
I was just wondering. Because Chinese manufacturers will often ignore Google and do their own things, sometimes to the detriment of the users. I know that Samsung likes to customize Android in their own way as well, which can sometimes cause problems, like there's been a lot of people howling about Oreo, and individual SMS sounds not working.
#19 mikedt, Jun 16, 2018 at 8:22 AM