1. AC Question's Avatar
    Hello Android Central!

    So here's my issue...

    I opened my gallery a few days ago to find that it was cluttered up with a lot of advertisements in the form of videos and pictures. There where about 10 - 20 of these and I had no idea how they got there.

    I don't download many apps at all, when I do I try be very careful to make sure they aren't harmful for my phone.

    Before these ads had appeared though, I had installed two games. Knowing about how some apps will abuse permissions to do unwanted things and I assumed the culprit to be the most recent game I had downloaded, because I thought that I saw one of the same ads saved that had popped up in the game and the timing of this happening after a new app installed indicated it was this game.

    I was annoyed that my phone had been exploited and deleted these pictures/videos, uninstalled the app and left a bad review explaining it saves ads on your phone.

    Well I thought that was the end of it. Today I open my gallery and what do I see? Yep. More damn ads saved! Not so many this time though, there's about 4. So I realized that it wasn't the game at all, it is uninstalled and gone but the ads are still being saved. You could say I promptly made some "minor adjustments" to my review. :P

    I decided to do a scan with AVG thinking that will find whats doing this but it didn't find any threats. So now I am seriously wondering how these ads are being downloaded onto my phone without my consent, using my data, storage space and cluttering my gallery up.

    My next idea was a google search for this problem but surprisingly no results could be found in regards to ads being saved to gallery like this. So here I am to ask you guys what do you think? Does anyone have any advice, input or comments in regards to this.

    I need to figure out how to stop this happening but I don't know how it is happening. Any idea to how I could find out what's causing it? I am happy to provide any additional details if needed.

    Thanks! I hope I can get this sorted out as it's pretty annoying.
    09-17-2015 01:05 AM
  2. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central! What you're seeing is probably cached images from one of those apps. Apps that aren't very well written won't add a ".nomedia" file to the directory where those images are cached--".nomedia" instructs the system to ignore that directory when looking for photos to add to the Gallery database. This kind of thing is fairly common, even among legitimate apps--it's generally not malware, and isn't necessarily adware either.

    Select one of those images in the Gallery app, tap Menu, and select Information. See if it tells you the actual directory that image is in. You can then use a file manager app to go to that directory and create a blank file called ".nomedia" (without the quotation marks). The images should disappear from your Gallery.
    JetForceGemini likes this.
    09-17-2015 01:17 AM
  3. JetForceGemini's Avatar
    Thanks for your quick reply B. Diddy! I am the original poster, I decided I'll make an account when I couldn't reply as a guest.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to explain all this to me. It seems you are absolutely correct!

    I did what you said and I found the location of the files. I went and checked it out and sure enough, no .nomedia file present. While I was in there looking I also looked at some other ad data directories that I noticed in my phones storage and they did have the .nomedia file. Which was good because I couldn't create a file on my phones file explorer so I copied one of them and pasted it in the problematic directory and SUCESS! Just like that, they are no longer present in the gallery and my phone has been returned to it's organised state.

    The app the directory belongs to is an app that allows you to record your phone calls, named "Call Recorder - ACR".

    I can't stand crude and unsophisticated programming like this. Developer "Hmm, I am saving media files that the phone will recognize as the users media. The phone shows all media stored on it in the Gallery. Hey! You know? That wouldn't be freakin stupid or anything! I won't bother to add something to prevent that happening. I'ts not like I can just easily add some kind of simple code so the phone will differentiate the data my application stores from user media. I make apps, I'm not superman..!"

    I say to myself, maybe the developers are just unaware of it. Then I think, if they don't know about something basic like this then what else do they leave out? What else happens due to their bad coding or in this case lack of any coding!? haha

    I really appreciate your help with this though anyway, thanks so much! And thank you for the welcome! I'll be sure to enjoy myself . Shouldn't be hard if even a fraction of the users are as cool as you seem.
    09-17-2015 03:17 AM
  4. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Glad you figured it out, and that was a creative way of getting the .nomedia file to the right place! Not all file managers allow you to create files. I think ES File Explorer can do it. You can also configure Total Commander to do it.
    JetForceGemini likes this.
    09-17-2015 12:37 PM
  5. Carleigh 1's Avatar

    I have a Samsung A5 (2017). My problem is similar. Though the ads do not appear in my gallery. They appear when I attempt to download my photos via USb to my computer. I only want about 20 photos but have to manually deselect 200 ads to do it. I can't find their location on my phone.

    Any solutions?

    02-01-2018 10:31 PM
  6. CherryMM's Avatar

    I am having a similar problem to the person above, except for a Samsung J1. Beforehand I would simply upload the pictures and OneDrive would automatically ask how to store the photos and if I wanted to delete them from my phone afterward.

    However, recently it no longer automatically asks that, nor selects the newest photos. I have to do that manually and without that option I cannot erase or access the unwanted ad photos (since they don't show in my gallery). I recently accidentally agreed to allowing the J1 to update, so I'm not sure if that is the reason or simply something on OneDrive's part. The J1 already gives me space issues as it is, so I would rather not have storage taken up by all these ads.

    Any advice is appreciated
    03-05-2018 05:01 PM

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