Create a simple File Chooser in Android

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1- Android File Chooser?

In the Windows operating system, you are very familiar with File Chooser. It helps you to choose the files that are available in your computer. A question in your mind is whether or not there is something similar in Android?
Unfortunately, File Chooser is not available in Android. But  don't worry, in this article, I am going to guide you to create a FileChooserFragment that simulates a File Chooser, that you can reuse it in your projects.

2- Example of Android File Chooser

Example preview:
First, create a new project on  Android Studio:
  • File > New > New Project > Empty Activity
    • Name: FileChooserExample
    • Package name: org.o7planning.filechooserexample
    • Language: Java
Second, add the following code to AndroidManifest.xml in order to tell  Android that, "Please permit this application to get access to the external storage of the device."
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE"/>
AndroidManifest.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<manifest xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    package="org.o7planning.filechooserexample">

    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE"/>

    <application
        android:allowBackup="true"
        android:icon="@mipmap/ic_launcher"
        android:label="@string/app_name"
        android:roundIcon="@mipmap/ic_launcher_round"
        android:supportsRtl="true"
        android:theme="@style/AppTheme">
        <activity android:name=".MainActivity">
            <intent-filter>
                <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />

                <category android:name="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" />
            </intent-filter>
        </activity>
    </application>

</manifest>
Note: Android 6.0+ (API Level 23+) requires a higher level of security, so your application needs to ask the user for permission to be accessible to the external storage of the device (See how to handle in the code example).

FileChooserFragment

Next, create a FileChooserFragment, then you can use this Fragment in many other places in your project.
Right click on the project, then select:
  • File > New > Fragment > Fragment (Blank)
After that, open fragment_file_chooser.xml to design FileChooserFragment.
Then set ID and Text for the components in the interface:
fragment_file_chooser.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    xmlns:tools="http://schemas.android.com/tools"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent"
    android:dividerPadding="5sp"
    tools:context=".FileChooserFragment">

    <EditText
        android:id="@+id/editText_path"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_weight="1"
        android:ems="10"
        android:inputType="textUri" />

    <Button
        android:id="@+id/button_browse"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_weight="0"
        android:text="Browse" />
</LinearLayout>
FileChooserFragment.java
package org.o7planning.filechooserexample;

import android.Manifest;
import android.app.Activity;
import android.content.Intent;
import android.content.pm.PackageManager;
import android.net.Uri;
import android.os.Bundle;

import androidx.core.app.ActivityCompat;
import androidx.fragment.app.Fragment;

import android.util.Log;
import android.view.LayoutInflater;
import android.view.View;
import android.view.ViewGroup;
import android.widget.Button;
import android.widget.EditText;
import android.widget.Toast;

public class FileChooserFragment extends Fragment {

    private static final int MY_REQUEST_CODE_PERMISSION = 1000;
    private static final int MY_RESULT_CODE_FILECHOOSER = 2000;

    private Button buttonBrowse;
    private EditText editTextPath;

    private static final String LOG_TAG = "AndroidExample";

    @Override
    public View onCreateView(final LayoutInflater inflater, final ViewGroup container, final Bundle savedInstanceState) {

        View rootView = inflater.inflate(R.layout.fragment_file_chooser, container, false);

        this.editTextPath = (EditText) rootView.findViewById(R.id.editText_path);
        this.buttonBrowse = (Button) rootView.findViewById(R.id.button_browse);

        this.buttonBrowse.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {

            @Override
            public void onClick(View view) {
                askPermissionAndBrowseFile();
            }

        });
        return rootView;
    }

    private void askPermissionAndBrowseFile()  {
        // With Android Level >= 23, you have to ask the user
        // for permission to access External Storage.
        if (android.os.Build.VERSION.SDK_INT >= android.os.Build.VERSION_CODES.M) { // Level 23

            // Check if we have Call permission
            int permisson = ActivityCompat.checkSelfPermission(this.getContext(),
                    Manifest.permission.READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE);

            if (permisson != PackageManager.PERMISSION_GRANTED) {
                // If don't have permission so prompt the user.
                this.requestPermissions(
                        new String[]{Manifest.permission.READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE},
                        MY_REQUEST_CODE_PERMISSION
                );
                return;
            }
        }
        this.doBrowseFile();
    }

    private void doBrowseFile()  {
        Intent chooseFileIntent = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_GET_CONTENT);
        chooseFileIntent.setType("*/*");
        // Only return URIs that can be opened with ContentResolver
        chooseFileIntent.addCategory(Intent.CATEGORY_OPENABLE);

        chooseFileIntent = Intent.createChooser(chooseFileIntent, "Choose a file");
        startActivityForResult(chooseFileIntent, MY_RESULT_CODE_FILECHOOSER);
    }

    // When you have the request results
    @Override
    public void onRequestPermissionsResult(int requestCode,
                                           String permissions[], int[] grantResults) {

        super.onRequestPermissionsResult(requestCode, permissions, grantResults);
        //
        switch (requestCode) {
            case MY_REQUEST_CODE_PERMISSION: {

                // Note: If request is cancelled, the result arrays are empty.
                // Permissions granted (CALL_PHONE).
                if (grantResults.length > 0
                        && grantResults[0] == PackageManager.PERMISSION_GRANTED) {

                    Log.i( LOG_TAG,"Permission granted!");
                    Toast.makeText(this.getContext(), "Permission granted!", Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();

                    this.doBrowseFile();
                }
                // Cancelled or denied.
                else {
                    Log.i(LOG_TAG,"Permission denied!");
                    Toast.makeText(this.getContext(), "Permission denied!", Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();
                }
                break;
            }
        }
    }


    @Override
    public void onActivityResult(int requestCode, int resultCode, Intent data) {
        switch (requestCode) {
            case MY_RESULT_CODE_FILECHOOSER:
                if (resultCode == Activity.RESULT_OK ) {
                    if(data != null)  {
                        Uri fileUri = data.getData();
                        Log.i(LOG_TAG, "Uri: " + fileUri);

                        String filePath = null;
                        try {
                            filePath = FileUtils.getPath(this.getContext(),fileUri);
                        } catch (Exception e) {
                            Log.e(LOG_TAG,"Error: " + e);
                            Toast.makeText(this.getContext(), "Error: " + e, Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();
                        }
                        this.editTextPath.setText(filePath);
                    }
                }
                break;
        }
        super.onActivityResult(requestCode, resultCode, data);
    }

    public String getPath()  {
        return this.editTextPath.getText().toString();
    }
}
Once you have the  FileChooserFragment, you can use it anywhere in the project.
Set ID and Text for the components in the interface:
activity_main.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<androidx.constraintlayout.widget.ConstraintLayout
    xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    xmlns:app="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res-auto"
    xmlns:tools="http://schemas.android.com/tools"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent"
    android:paddingLeft="5sp"
    android:paddingTop="5sp"
    android:paddingRight="5sp"
    android:paddingBottom="5sp"
    tools:context=".MainActivity" >

    <fragment
        android:id="@+id/fragment_fileChooser"
        android:name="org.o7planning.filechooserexample.FileChooserFragment"
        android:layout_width="0dp"
        android:layout_height="45dp"
        android:layout_marginStart="16dp"
        android:layout_marginLeft="16dp"
        android:layout_marginTop="16dp"
        android:layout_marginEnd="16dp"
        android:layout_marginRight="16dp"
        app:layout_constraintEnd_toEndOf="parent"
        app:layout_constraintStart_toStartOf="parent"
        app:layout_constraintTop_toTopOf="parent" />

    <Button
        android:id="@+id/button_showInfo"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_marginTop="16dp"
        android:text="Show Info"
        app:layout_constraintEnd_toEndOf="parent"
        app:layout_constraintStart_toStartOf="parent"
        app:layout_constraintTop_toBottomOf="@+id/fragment_fileChooser" />
</androidx.constraintlayout.widget.ConstraintLayout>
MainActivity.java
package org.o7planning.filechooserexample;

import androidx.appcompat.app.AppCompatActivity;
import androidx.fragment.app.FragmentManager;

import android.os.Bundle;
import android.view.View;
import android.widget.Button;
import android.widget.Toast;

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity {

    private FileChooserFragment fragment;
    private Button buttonShowInfo;

    @Override
    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);

        FragmentManager fragmentManager = this.getSupportFragmentManager();
        this.fragment = (FileChooserFragment) fragmentManager.findFragmentById(R.id.fragment_fileChooser);

        this.buttonShowInfo = this.findViewById(R.id.button_showInfo);

        this.buttonShowInfo.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
            @Override
            public void onClick(View v) {
                showInfo();
            }
        });
    }

    private void showInfo()  {
        String path = this.fragment.getPath();
        Toast.makeText(this, "Path: " + path, Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show();
    }
}
FileUtils.java
package org.o7planning.filechooserexample;

import android.annotation.SuppressLint;
import android.content.ContentResolver;
import android.content.ContentUris;
import android.content.Context;
import android.database.Cursor;
import android.net.Uri;
import android.os.Build;
import android.os.Environment;
import android.provider.DocumentsContract;
import android.provider.MediaStore;
import android.provider.OpenableColumns;
import android.text.TextUtils;
import android.util.Log;
import java.io.File;
import java.io.FileOutputStream;
import java.io.InputStream;

public class FileUtils {

    private static final String LOG_TAG = "FileUtils";

    private static Uri contentUri = null;

    /**
     * Get a file path from a Uri. This will get the the path for Storage Access
     * Framework Documents, as well as the _data field for the MediaStore and
     * other file-based ContentProviders.<br>
     * <br>
     * Callers should check whether the path is local before assuming it
     * represents a local file.
     *
     * @param context The context.
     * @param uri     The Uri to query.
     */
    @SuppressLint("NewApi")
    public static String getPath(final Context context, final Uri uri) {
        // Check here to KITKAT or new version
        final boolean isKitKat = Build.VERSION.SDK_INT >= Build.VERSION_CODES.KITKAT;
        String selection = null;
        String[] selectionArgs = null;
        // DocumentProvider
        if (isKitKat && DocumentsContract.isDocumentUri(context, uri)) {
            // ExternalStorageProvider
            if (isExternalStorageDocument(uri)) {
                final String docId = DocumentsContract.getDocumentId(uri);
                final String[] split = docId.split(":");
                final String type = split[0];

                String fullPath = getPathFromExtSD(split);
                if (fullPath != "") {
                    return fullPath;
                } else {
                    return null;
                }
            }

            // DownloadsProvider
            else if (isDownloadsDocument(uri)) {
                if (Build.VERSION.SDK_INT >= Build.VERSION_CODES.M) {
                    final String id;
                    Cursor cursor = null;
                    try {
                        cursor = context.getContentResolver().query(uri, new String[]{MediaStore.MediaColumns.DISPLAY_NAME}, null, null, null);
                        if (cursor != null && cursor.moveToFirst()) {
                            String fileName = cursor.getString(0);
                            String path = Environment.getExternalStorageDirectory().toString() + "/Download/" + fileName;
                            if (!TextUtils.isEmpty(path)) {
                                return path;
                            }
                        }
                    } finally {
                        if (cursor != null) {
                            cursor.close();
                        }
                    }
                    id = DocumentsContract.getDocumentId(uri);
                    if (!TextUtils.isEmpty(id)) {
                        if (id.startsWith("raw:")) {
                            return id.replaceFirst("raw:", "");
                        }
                        String[] contentUriPrefixesToTry = new String[] {
                                "content://downloads/public_downloads",
                                "content://downloads/my_downloads"
                        };
                        for (String contentUriPrefix : contentUriPrefixesToTry) {
                            try {
                                final Uri contentUri = ContentUris.withAppendedId(Uri.parse(contentUriPrefix), Long.valueOf(id));

                                // final Uri contentUri = ContentUris.withAppendedId(
                                //        Uri.parse("content://downloads/public_downloads"), Long.valueOf(id));

                                return getDataColumn(context, contentUri, null, null);
                            } catch (NumberFormatException e) {
                                // In Android 8 and Android P the id is not a number
                                return uri.getPath().replaceFirst("^/document/raw:", "").replaceFirst("^raw:", "");
                            }
                        }
                    }
                } else {
                    final String id = DocumentsContract.getDocumentId(uri);
                    final boolean isOreo = Build.VERSION.SDK_INT >= Build.VERSION_CODES.O;
                    if (id.startsWith("raw:")) {
                        return id.replaceFirst("raw:", "");
                    }
                    try {
                        contentUri = ContentUris.withAppendedId(
                                Uri.parse("content://downloads/public_downloads"), Long.valueOf(id));

                    } catch (NumberFormatException e) {
                        e.printStackTrace();
                    }
                    if (contentUri != null) {
                        return getDataColumn(context, contentUri, null, null);
                    }
                }
            }
            // MediaProvider
            else if (isMediaDocument(uri)) {
                final String docId = DocumentsContract.getDocumentId(uri);
                final String[] split = docId.split(":");
                final String type = split[0];

                Uri contentUri = null;

                if ("image".equals(type)) {
                    contentUri = MediaStore.Images.Media.EXTERNAL_CONTENT_URI;
                } else if ("video".equals(type)) {
                    contentUri = MediaStore.Video.Media.EXTERNAL_CONTENT_URI;
                } else if ("audio".equals(type)) {
                    contentUri = MediaStore.Audio.Media.EXTERNAL_CONTENT_URI;
                }
                selection = "_id=?";
                selectionArgs = new String[]{split[1]};

                return getDataColumn(context, contentUri, selection,
                        selectionArgs);
            } else if (isGoogleDriveUri(uri)) {
                return getDriveFilePath(uri, context);
            }
        }


        // MediaStore (and general)
        else if ("content".equalsIgnoreCase(uri.getScheme())) {

            if (isGooglePhotosUri(uri)) {
                return uri.getLastPathSegment();
            }

            if (isGoogleDriveUri(uri)) {
                return getDriveFilePath(uri, context);
            }
            if( Build.VERSION.SDK_INT == Build.VERSION_CODES.N) {
                // return getFilePathFromURI(context,uri);
                return getMediaFilePathForN(uri, context);
                // return getRealPathFromURI(context,uri);
            } else {
                return getDataColumn(context, uri, null, null);
            }
        }
        // File
        else if ("file".equalsIgnoreCase(uri.getScheme())) {
            return uri.getPath();
        }
        return null;
    }

    /**
     * Check if a file exists on device
     *
     * @param filePath The absolute file path
     */
    private static boolean fileExists(String filePath) {
        File file = new File(filePath);

        return file.exists();
    }


    /**
     * Get full file path from external storage
     *
     * @param pathData The storage type and the relative path
     */
    private static String getPathFromExtSD(String[] pathData) {
        final String type = pathData[0];
        final String relativePath = "/" + pathData[1];
        String fullPath = "";

        // on my Sony devices (4.4.4 & 5.1.1), `type` is a dynamic string
        // something like "71F8-2C0A", some kind of unique id per storage
        // don't know any API that can get the root path of that storage based on its id.
        //
        // so no "primary" type, but let the check here for other devices
        if ("primary".equalsIgnoreCase(type)) {
            fullPath = Environment.getExternalStorageDirectory() + relativePath;
            if (fileExists(fullPath)) {
                return fullPath;
            }
        }

        // Environment.isExternalStorageRemovable() is `true` for external and internal storage
        // so we cannot relay on it.
        //
        // instead, for each possible path, check if file exists
        // we'll start with secondary storage as this could be our (physically) removable sd card
        fullPath = System.getenv("SECONDARY_STORAGE") + relativePath;
        if (fileExists(fullPath)) {
            return fullPath;
        }

        fullPath = System.getenv("EXTERNAL_STORAGE") + relativePath;
        if (fileExists(fullPath)) {
            return fullPath;
        }

        return fullPath;
    }

    private static String getDriveFilePath(Uri uri, Context context) {
        Uri returnUri = uri;
        ContentResolver contentResolver = context.getContentResolver();
        Cursor returnCursor = contentResolver.query(returnUri, null, null, null, null);

        // Get the column indexes of the data in the Cursor,
        // move to the first row in the Cursor, get the data,
        // and display it.

        int nameIndex = returnCursor.getColumnIndex(OpenableColumns.DISPLAY_NAME);
        int sizeIndex = returnCursor.getColumnIndex(OpenableColumns.SIZE);
        returnCursor.moveToFirst();
        String name = (returnCursor.getString(nameIndex));
        String size = (Long.toString(returnCursor.getLong(sizeIndex)));
        File file = new File(context.getCacheDir(), name);
        try {
            InputStream inputStream = context.getContentResolver().openInputStream(uri);
            FileOutputStream outputStream = new FileOutputStream(file);
            int read = 0;
            int maxBufferSize = 1 * 1024 * 1024;
            int bytesAvailable = inputStream.available();

            // int bufferSize = 1024;
            int bufferSize = Math.min(bytesAvailable, maxBufferSize);

            final byte[] buffers = new byte[bufferSize];
            while ((read = inputStream.read(buffers)) != -1) {
                outputStream.write(buffers, 0, read);
            }
            Log.e("File Size", "Size " + file.length());
            inputStream.close();
            outputStream.close();
            Log.e("File Path", "Path " + file.getPath());
            Log.e("File Size", "Size " + file.length());
        } catch (Exception e) {
            Log.e(LOG_TAG, e.getMessage());
        }
        return file.getPath();
    }

    private static String getMediaFilePathForN(Uri uri, Context context) {
        Uri returnUri = uri;
        Cursor returnCursor = context.getContentResolver().query(returnUri, null, null, null, null);

        // Get the column indexes of the data in the Cursor,
        // move to the first row in the Cursor, get the data,
        // and display it.

        int nameIndex = returnCursor.getColumnIndex(OpenableColumns.DISPLAY_NAME);
        int sizeIndex = returnCursor.getColumnIndex(OpenableColumns.SIZE);
        returnCursor.moveToFirst();
        String name = (returnCursor.getString(nameIndex));
        String size = (Long.toString(returnCursor.getLong(sizeIndex)));
        File file = new File(context.getFilesDir(), name);
        try {
            InputStream inputStream = context.getContentResolver().openInputStream(uri);
            FileOutputStream outputStream = new FileOutputStream(file);
            int read = 0;
            int maxBufferSize = 1 * 1024 * 1024;
            int bytesAvailable = inputStream.available();

            //int bufferSize = 1024;
            int bufferSize = Math.min(bytesAvailable, maxBufferSize);

            final byte[] buffers = new byte[bufferSize];
            while ((read = inputStream.read(buffers)) != -1) {
                outputStream.write(buffers, 0, read);
            }
            Log.e("File Size", "Size " + file.length());
            inputStream.close();
            outputStream.close();
            Log.e("File Path", "Path " + file.getPath());
            Log.e("File Size", "Size " + file.length());
        } catch (Exception e) {
            Log.e(LOG_TAG, e.getMessage());
        }
        return file.getPath();
    }


    private static String getDataColumn(Context context, Uri uri,
                                        String selection, String[] selectionArgs) {
        Cursor cursor = null;
        final String column = "_data";
        final String[] projection = {column};

        try {
            cursor = context.getContentResolver().query(uri, projection,
                    selection, selectionArgs, null);

            if (cursor != null && cursor.moveToFirst()) {
                final int index = cursor.getColumnIndexOrThrow(column);
                return cursor.getString(index);
            }
        } finally {
            if (cursor != null) {
                cursor.close();
            }
        }
        return null;
    }

    /**
     * @param uri - The Uri to check.
     * @return - Whether the Uri authority is ExternalStorageProvider.
     */
    private static boolean isExternalStorageDocument(Uri uri) {
        return "com.android.externalstorage.documents".equals(uri.getAuthority());
    }

    /**
     * @param uri - The Uri to check.
     * @return - Whether the Uri authority is DownloadsProvider.
     */
    private static boolean isDownloadsDocument(Uri uri) {
        return "com.android.providers.downloads.documents".equals(uri.getAuthority());
    }

    /**
     * @param uri - The Uri to check.
     * @return - Whether the Uri authority is MediaProvider.
     */
    private static boolean isMediaDocument(Uri uri) {
        return "com.android.providers.media.documents".equals(uri.getAuthority());
    }

    /**
     * @param uri - The Uri to check.
     * @return - Whether the Uri authority is Google Photos.
     */
    private static boolean isGooglePhotosUri(Uri uri) {
        return "com.google.android.apps.photos.content".equals(uri.getAuthority());
    }


    /**
     * @param uri The Uri to check.
     * @return Whether the Uri authority is Google Drive.
     */
    private static boolean isGoogleDriveUri(Uri uri) {
        return "com.google.android.apps.docs.storage".equals(uri.getAuthority()) //
                || "com.google.android.apps.docs.storage.legacy".equals(uri.getAuthority());
    }


}

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