Take control over your Android device’s media scanner

disable media scanner - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

The downside of having a device with a user accessible file system and external storage is that you get that insanely annoying media scanner going off when you least need it to. The media scanner disables a whole range of apps like photo gallery and camera in the process, so it’s not like you won’t notice it’s there either. Today it really went too far when my Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus got a low storage warning, I deleted a bunch of stuff to free up space, and the media scanner got bugged and was always running. Even after a reboot and letting it sit there for ages to try to make it finish, it kept throwing me out of the camera app that I desperately needed to use.

I don’t know why Google keeps putting in these features to automate things for the user without allowing for any sort of manual override for when stuff hits the fan, but it does. The media scanner concept is only a slight annoyance and a necessary evil when it functions properly, until it hangs to the point of disabling half the features on your device. What then, Google, buy a new tablet? Reset the entire thing? No. Luckily, there are apps that can help, assuming you’re rooted. I grabbed Rescan Media from Google Play, kicked Superuser in the butt so it would wake up to give it the root permissions it needed, and simply killed the entire scanner. Oh how that felt good. There’s just something about forcibly kicking the legs from underneath Google’s insanely badly coded mess that makes you smile from ear to ear even if you’re annoyed at your device being screwed up.

While I used it for fixing my device, the app is really meant to disable the scanner to improve boot times and just remove the annoyance completely by making it on demand. The drawback is of course that you have to manually scan media at times, so I don’t plan on having it disabled permanently, but I also understand people who want to do that. Either way a great tool, it’s just ridiculous every time an app coded in someone’s spare time has to fix the mess made by one of the biggest technology companies on the planet.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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