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I recently activated an old device with Android Lollipop. In Lollipop write access to external SD card is limited unless one can Enable Write Access using the document picker. Some applications do not have this option implemented, thus the application is unable to write to the external SD card.

There is always a work around, and in this case a rather simple one.


  • Android Device:
    • OS Lollipop1
    • Root access
  • Either:
    • File manager with root access or
    • ADB


  1. Mount system partition as read/write

  2. Open the following file:

  3. Find <permission name=”android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE” >

  4. Add the following attribute:

    <group gid=”media_rw” />
  5. It should now look like the following:

    <permission name="android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" >
        <group gid="sdcard_r" />
        <group gid="sdcard_rw" />
        <group gid="media_rw" />
  6. Save file

  7. Reboot device

  1. This should also work on Android 4.4 KitKat, but is untested as of writing. [return]
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