What is DocumentsUI

Today we are going to discuss documentsUI. We are very well aware of how data is important to us in every possible aspect of our life. When it comes to computers, data could be found in your system apps along with some specific name known as the package name i.e. ‘com.android.overlay.modules.documentsUI’. There are a lot of methods out there in the market when it comes to the storage and collection of data. The various techniques and processes by which you can store and collect your data are improving day by day. You might have noticed that your data is often stored in text, audio, documents, files, video, etc. 

The memory of your device is the most crucial place for data to get stored. In this article, we will mainly focus on smartphones and the fact that almost every file that your android device has is stored in the memory of your phone or your memory card in simple words. Merely storing the data and knowing its processes is not enough as you should also be efficient enough to be fully knowledgeable about ways to retrieve the data whenever needed. 

If you ever notice, you might have seen the ‘File Manager’ on your smartphone. In the file manager, you can go through all the folders on your phone and browse through them. Any folder could be located in the file manager such as media, documents, music, etc. Let us take an example wherein you need to add some files while sending a mail on Gmail. You might have seen an icon that says ‘Attachments’, clicking on it will pop-up a new window that allows you to choose a folder of your choice from your device. This tells us that it is nothing but a medium through which you can browse files. 


Let us take an instance where we wish to send some files through whatsapp to someone. In such a scenario too, you will notice that similar or even same steps are being followed in the process. Now, documentsUI comes into picture as it is the one that plays a very crucial role in the background. In this article, we will be discussing all about documentsUI and how to fix com.android.documentsui error. Let us now start!

What is DocumentsUI?

First let us know about the exact and in-depth meaning of the word ‘documentsUI’. DocumentsUI is a very famous modular system component in android. It is a very useful tool as it helps you to have access to some particular files. In short, it deals with the components that are crucial when it comes to documents permissions. It does not matter if you have the normal Android release cycle or not, ‘DocumentsUI’ would get updated regardless of that.

You should know that when we talk about com.android.documentsui, then you should be aware that it automatically assembles the permissions and access to storage of various applications. It also makes sure that there is 100% access to customize various features on the device. For example, to completely change the theme of the app, one can use RRO’s Runtime resource overlays. You need to make sure that all the devices come with the same documentsUI experience, else this could lead to possible issues in the near future. The module format plays an essential role here as it makes sure that all the devices come equipped with the same documentsUI experience. You might be wondering that why is this so important? Well the only reason for this is that it enables various developers to be aware about what end users see in the associated APIs. 

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One more important thing to know is that ‘UI’ stands for ‘User Interface’ so documentsUI is basically a form of interface which is said to be user-friendly. It helps the users to manage and organize their data and some other important files. UI is known to exist as a program that makes your device’s screen’s touch to perform some compulsory actions.

Displaying the File Manager Icon in the App Drawer

If you have Android 10 (Q), then the documentsUI package that it uses is called is_launcher_enabled. This is meant to make sure that whether the file manager icon is displayed in the applications drawer or not. You should know that the file manager icon is visible in the Android 11 or higher versions when the module makes use of the component-overdrive package so that the file manager is displayed in the applications drawer. By default, you will see that the icon is visible to you in the same location.

In case, you wish to remove the file manager icon from your applications drawer then you need to carry out a small process. The process is not tough instead it is very convenient for you to carry out. You need to add this XML code to /etc/sysconfi>:

<?xml version=” 1.0”
encoding = “utf-8”?>
package = “com.google.android.documentsui”>
   <component class = “com.android.documentsui.LauncherActivity” enabled = “false” />

What is com.android.documentsui?

If we come straight to the point, then com.android.documentsui is basically a package which comes along with the particular device that you own. It comes equipped with the Android OS your device has. You might wonder that what are its uses? Well, do not worry as we will discuss all about them in this article. Its main purpose is to serve as a ‘file picker’ for the respective android device that you have. It helps to manage various files and applications in this way. Also, the Android 7.0 onwards, it is known as the default file manager in every device. 

The documentsUI package has the role of implementing the GET_CONTENT action that makes applications request access to data from the end user’s side. This package is delivered in the form of an APK file. The devices running on Android 10 (Q) or with higher Android OS, support this package and are compatible. An important thing to note is that documentsUI is not an independent tool, it is dependent on the MANAGE_DOCUMENTS permission which provides the signature permission needed to secure all the data and documents. This permission is added with the help of a special permission class. 

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Android N Dev Preview 2 in 2016 got Downloads and File Manager merged

When you see the Android N Dev Preview 1, the Downloads app already consists of the name of the package. The package name is labeled as ‘com.android.providers.downloads.ui’. Also, the ‘File Manager’ app already consists of the package name within it, as com.android.documentsui.

You should also know that in Android N Dev Preview 2 in 2016, both the apps consisted of the same package names. It was quite astonishing for everyone at that time. The package name was ‘com.android.documentsui’ for both apps. So what should we conclude from this? Well, this could only mean that they are basically the same type of apps or exactly the same. The apps being nearly identical could pose some problems as well as some advantages. We will now discuss the pros and cons below. 

The advantages

One of the most crucial advantage that came out when the apps were found to be nearly identical, was that the APKs could be installed from the File Manager only. Back in time, the downloads were called as the’semi-capable file explorer’. But with time this merge of the apps turned the tables around as the section of downloads got a lot of new and advanced features in them with time. If we talk about an example then we can take the multiple windows features that was just added to the downloads section. This features allows the users to open and work on more than one window at a time without any hassle. A side menu was also added in order to make it easier for the users to browse through other tools while working on some particular window or multiple windows.

The disadvantages

There were surely some disadvantages too as every coin has two sides. If we talk about one such issue then we can talk about that whenever a user used to tap on a file in order to move it or copy it in the File explorer app on N2 then the user could only see the ‘Recents’ option visible to them on the side menu. There were times when the download section did pop up but there were no documents to be seen by the user. The recents option was not designed in a way that it could list the recent folders that the user has been browsing through or browsed in the near past. There was absolutely no loophole of any sort when we talked about browsing through the data. 

The end result was that the user could not actually copy or move a file anywhere except the downloads folder. Now, this looks problematic as it really was. You would always have needed the file manager app in case you wanted to move or copy any file on your device.

How to fix com.android.documentsui?

This problem is faced by almost every user out there and now we are going to discuss the crux of this problem. We will also be discussing various ways by which you can fix this problem. There are times that you may come across this error which is said to be caused by some possible bugs in some doubtful apps. You would generally see a pop-up saying ‘Files has stopped’ or ‘com.android.documentsui’. Let us see how to fix these issues in-depth.

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Using a third-party app

You can make use of a third-party app in order to fix this issue. There are many third-party apps of File explorer in the market. You can download any such app according to the suitability and compatibility of your device. After downloading the app, see if it works and in case it does not then you should either wait for the update or perform a factory reset. A good suggestion would be to not go for a factory reset as it holds a great risk of losing all your data from your device at once.

Perform a factory reset 

In case the above solution did not work for you then you can surely perform a factory reset but with a lot of attention. A factory reset is something that removes all the unnecessary files and apps from your device but before performing a factory reset, you should definitely take a complete backup in some other device of all your files, pictures, videos, and other confidential documents. In case, you do not do so then you will end up losing all the important files forever.

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In this article, we discussed all about documentsUI and com.android.documentsui. We discussed various ways to fix this issue and also what are the possible disadvantages and advantages. We have tried our best to deliver the most informative content to you so as to help you to understand everything you need to about documentsUI.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does ‘UI’ stands for?

UI stands for ‘User Interface’. It is a form of interface which is extremely user-friendly and can be used with many conveniences and zero issues. You can read more about documentsUI in the article above. We have discussed all about its advantages and disadvantages too.

What is meant by ‘Files has stopped’ error?

The ‘files has stopped’ error is a very common one and is faced by a lot of people out there. When you see a pop-up saying ‘Files has stopped’ that means that your device is having troubling in opening the file manager. You can refer to the solutions that we have describes in this article in order to fix this issue with ease.

Is performing a factory reset safe?

Performing a factory reset can prove to be a nightmare only if you forget to take a backup of all your important documents beforehand. In case, you have done so then you can perform a factory reset with no tension.

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