LOST DIR: 3 Ways To Recover Data From LOST DIR

What Is LOST DIR Folder?

LOST DIR folder is an auto-generated folder which the android operating system creates in your SD card to work as a safety collection bin for your data. 

In simple words, the LOST DIR folder is where all the corrupted or currently unusable or temporary data from your phone is stored. The folder is created automatically by the operating system every time the phone is rebooted


The LOST.DIR folder helps your phone to store all the unusable data in one separate folder. Later on, if needed the phone can directly look for the file if required in the given folder, making sure none of your data is lost due to accidental shutdowns or connectivity issues.

How LOST DIR folder created and deleted

As mentioned earlier, the LOST DIR folder is a self-created folder which the Android phone creates in the SD card on its own. Thus, if you insert an empty brand new external storage (SD card) into your phone, the Android phone will automatically create the LOST DIR folder in it.

android phone

This happens as the LOST DIR folder is an important folder for the Android OS (Operating system) to work. The LOST DIR folder is such an important folder for your phone as it works as a safety folder storing any unintentionally deleted or harmed files in it.

In basic terms, whenever the Android phone runs into a file that it can not run or a corrupted file, it moves the file into it’s LOST DIR folder.

The LOST.DIR folder should not be confused with the recycle bin as the two have completely different uses and functions in different scenarios. The Recycle Bin comes into use when a file is deliberately deleted from the phone, it is a secondary confirmation step which the phone uses.

By adding an additional step into the process of deliberately deleting the file, it ensures that you are sure the specified file is of no further use.

But on the other hand, the LOST.DIR folder comes to play when the file is unintentionally deleted or comes under foul use due to some reasons causing the file to either crash or corrupt. In such situations, the phone shifts the content into the LOST.DIR folder.

Even though the folder is a very useful tool in using your phone as it insures to work as a temporary backup for your data if anything wrong happens. There might be situations where we might not need the LOST.DIR folder at all.

In that case, you can delete the folder without any worries about harming the phone. Although the phone uses the LOST.DIR folder, not having the folder present in your phone does not obstruct the functioning of any of the actions of the phone.

You need to keep in mind that every time you delete the folder, it is re-created on every reboot or every time you reinsert the SD card into the phone. That means every time you restart your phone, the phone automatically creates the LOST.DIR folder again in your SD card.

You also noticed notification like this on your android phone when you restart your phone and if you have memory card inserted at that time android check for lost dir folder.

preparing sd card for errors

The files in the LOST.DIR folder can not be used directly by you. If you try opening any of the files you find in the folder, the phone will not be able to open any of the files. This is because every time a file is moved to the LOST.DIR folder loses its File Extension (suffix added to the file name which helps the operating system to understand what kind of a file it is and what software to use to open it).

These files if surely of no use to you can be deleted with no worries.

Note: when the phone is rebooted, the LOST.DIR folder will reappear but the files deleted will not reappear as they will be permanently deleted.

As it is a self-created folder in the Android system, it surely has a lot of uses for you. A couple of the benefits of having the LOST.DIR folder in your phone are mentioned below.

Use of LOST.DIR folder

If you are downloading a file from the internet into your phone on the external storage of your Android phone ( video, audio, photo or any type of files) and you need to stop the file download due to some reason, this is when the LOST.DIR folder will come handy to you.

When the file is still in the process of downloading and you pause the download. The phone creates a copy of the file into the LOST.DIR folder of your phone.

Now, when you  decide to continue the download, the phone first checks if there is the partially downloaded file in the LOST.DIR folder. If the phone does find the partially downloaded file in the folder, it will use that file as a resume point for the download and continue downloading from where you had paused the download before.

If you are copying a file of any format (.apk for game installers, .mp4 for videos, .mp3 for songs, .jpg for photos, etc) and due to some accident your phone shuts down (eg. battery discharge) the phone will again make a copy of the file which has been copied and save it into the LOST.DIR folder of the phone.

This way, when you restart the phone, the file which was being copied even though was abruptly stopped will not be corrupted and the file copying, when resumed, will continue from where the phone had left the previous time.

How to recover lost files from LOST.DIR  folder in android

As mentioned earlier, the files that you find inside of the LOST.DIR folder are the files that the phone has transferred or copied as it found them no usable at the moment.

But this does not mean the files can not be used at all. With the use of the following methods, you might have a chance of recovering your files out of the LOST.DIR folder and being able to use them again.

1. Adding file extension manually

Video files without regard to the quality of the video are saved in the same video formats. The file format refers to the Extensions that the file name has as a suffix. The most common video file formats that you find are .mp4 / .wmv / .3gp / .wmv / .avi

If you have a video file that you’d like to extract out of the LOST.DIR folder you can select the file and then click on the hamburger menu in the file explorer, inside which you will find the option to rename the file.

file extension

All you need to do is rename the file to any desired name with “.mp4” added after the file name. If the file can still not be opened, try using the other mentioned video file formats.

The following method can be used for any file format. All you would have to do is use the file extensions based on the file types you are working with. The most common file formats for different file types have been listed below. Try using them as a suffix (adding after the file name) one by one.

Images: .jpg / .jpeg / .png / .gif / .bmp
Songs or any audio file: .mp3 / .wav / .cda / .aac
App installing files: .apk

2. Using MiniTool Partition Wizard

As the number of files you require to recover from the SD card increases, it becomes a much more tedious job to change the file extension on all the files in the folder. In that case of time, we recommend you to use a third-party application such as MiniTool Partition Wizard.

MiniTool Partition Wizard is a software that will do the work for you and help you in the recovery of all the files from the LOST.DIR folder in just a few clicks. The software not only saves your time but will also save the hassle of figuring out the correct file extension based on the file type.

After the setup of the software has been completed you need to go through the following steps to recover all the possibly recoverable data present in the LOST DIR folder of the SD card.

Step 1:
Insert the SD card into an SD card reader and connect it to your PC on which you have MiniTool Partition Wizard installed.

mini tool partition wizard

MiniTool Partition Wizard works only on external storage and thus will not work if the file recovery needs to be done on the internal storage of the phone.

Step 2:
Find which partition of the storage is the LOST DIR folder present in.
(The partitions are different sections made into the SD card which can be opened one by one using the MiniTool Partition Wizard)

You can use the Explore option found in the right-click menu of every partition folder

Step 3:
Once you have found the partition containing the LOST DIR folder, click on the Data Recovery option. It can be found in the topmost toolbar 

data recovery

Step 4:
The Data Recovery Window would open in which you need to choose the SD card partition containing the LOST DIR folder and click on scan.

selecting drive to recover data

Step 5:
The last and final stage of recovering files is to find the files that need to be recovered.

This can also be done using the MiniTool Partition Wizard and the different file search options it provides.
Based on your circumstances you can choose the most suitable file sorting option.

recovering data

Show Lost Files: If you have some deleted LOST.DIR files that you want to find, you would find those files under this window.

Find: This is the file search option that MiniTool Partition Wizard provides you with. You can find the desired file by searching for its name in the window.

Filter: If you are facing a lot of data, you can use different filters to filter out the required files out of all the other files from the SD card. Some filters that MiniTool Partition Wizard lets you use are file size, file creation date, deleted files, normal files, lost files, and filename or extensions.

Preview: This window helps you get a glimpse of the file that you have selected. It supports 70 different file types and thus will open the majority of the files. The files to be opened need to be smaller than 100MB in size.

Path: The files from the lost dir file recovery can be found in their folders under this dropdown menu based on their folder location following their folder paths.

Type: If all the required files are of the same file type (images, videos, etc) they can be sorted using this tab. The similar file types will be found together under this window.

Step 6:
Save the file recovered by MiniTool Recovery into a safe location. The file can now be saved in your PC or even on some other location on the same SD card.

3. Using Easeus Partition Master

The other alternative to Mini Tool Partition Wizard is Easeus Partition Master.

Step 1:
Once the SD card is connected to the PC (on which Easeus Partition Master is installed). Run Easeus Partition Master.
Look for the partition for the SD card and scan the partition.

Step 2:
Once the partition is scanned, find the files in the LOST.DIR folder. You can use the filters Easeus Partition Master provides on the top left section of the screen to make it much convenient to find the desired files. 

Step 3:
Once the files have been found, select the desired files and then click on recover. The software will then prompt you to choose a location to save the recovered files. Select the desired location to save the recovered files.

How to prevent from creating lost dir folder

  • Always close unused apps
  • clean junk files
  • shut down and restart your phone once a week

What my thought about LOST DIR  folder

In the age when all of our work takes place around our phones, the value of our data on those phones increases as well, and thus the need to keep our data safe as well.

Accidents can happen at any time and thus it is important for us to keep as many file safety nets as possible.

LOST.DIR folder works as that safety net helping us be sure that our data would have a chance to be saved even if some accidents such as phone crashing, phone shutting down or loss of connectivity occurs.

And with software such as MiniTool Partition Wizard, Easeus Partition Master the recovery of the data can be done by anyone, you don’t need to be a computer specialist for it. The LOST DIR folder is thus a very, very helpful tool for anyone who uses their mobile phone and who’s data is precious to them.

Also Read – How To Recover Data For Free


Can I delete lost dir folder?

Yes, you can delete the LOST.DIR folder from your phone as the folder works with files which can anyways not be readily be used by the phone. And so, deleting the folder will cause no harm to the working of your Android phone.
It is kept in mind that every time the phone is rebooted, it will anyways create a LOST.DIR folder in the storage on its own. So, Deleting the folder will bring no benefits. You can still delete the files which you may find inside the folder (considering there are no files you would want to recover in future)

What is lost dir folder?

LOST.DIR folder can be considered as a safety net that your phone has ready inside of it. Every time the phone undergoes a faulty process that leads to corruption or any damage to the file, the phone creates a copy of the file in the LOST.DIR folder. This can then be brought back to the working stage by recovering the data.
The phone uses its LOST.DIR folder to store “in-process” files as well, for example, files that are in-process of downloading. The system will create a copy of the downloaded data into the LOST DIR folder.

It is okay to delete lost dir folder?

Yes, it is completely fine to delete the LOST.DIR folder from your storage phone as the folder is not used by the phone for its regular working processes. As the folder is not used by the phone for its running processes, deleting the folder does not bring any obstruction to the phone’s functioning. 

How do I recover lost files from lost dir?

There are many methods of recovering your data from the LOST DIR folder of the phone. A few of them have been mentioned above in the article, you may refer to them as guides to recover the data from the LOST.DIR folder of your phone on your own.
In general short terms, to recover your lost data from the LOST DIR folder of your phone, you need to change the extensions of the file inside the folder and make it readable by the phone. 

Lost dir folder is a virus?

No, the LOST.DIR folder is not a virus on your phone. A file is considered to be a virus when it works as a malicious data harming your phone. But on the other hand, the LOST.DIR folder works to help you keep your phone data safe from accidents that may occur such as sudden shutdowns.

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Jayendra Sinh Rajput
Tech Entrepreneur & Content Creator, Founder of Technical Jayendra. I Create Tech Content That Really Helps.

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