Android – Read text file from SD-card

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Problem: How to read simple text file from SD-card?

First of all, let me give you a link: Environment class and getExternalStorageDirectory() method, through this method we gets the root directory of sd-card, because if we write only “/sdcard” as a static value then there may be a chance of problem because there may be having /mnt/sdcard as a root directory in some of android devices.

Now, we use this method as below:

File dir = Environment.getExternalStorageDirectory();

And the rest of the procedure I have given and described by making comments in the example so now go through the full solutions provided below with the output snap.

Android - Read text file from SD-Card

Android – Read text file from SD-Card


package com.paresh.readfilesdcard;

package com.paresh.readfilesdcard;


import android.os.Bundle;
import android.os.Environment;
import android.widget.TextView;

 * @author Paresh N. Mayani
 * @Website

public class ReadFileSDCardActivity extends Activity {
    /** Called when the activity is first created. */
    public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {

        //Find the view by its id
        TextView tv = (TextView)findViewById(;

        File dir = Environment.getExternalStorageDirectory();
        //File yourFile = new File(dir, "path/to/the/file/inside/the/sdcard.ext");

        //Get the text file
        File file = new File(dir,"text.txt");
        // i have kept text.txt in the sd-card

        if(file.exists())   // check if file exist
        	  //Read text from file
            StringBuilder text = new StringBuilder();

            try {
                BufferedReader br = new BufferedReader(new FileReader(file));
                String line;

                while ((line = br.readLine()) != null) {
            catch (IOException e) {
                //You'll need to add proper error handling here
            //Set the text
        	tv.setText("Sorry file doesn't exist!!");

Download Full source code from here: Android – Read text file from SD-Card.

Paresh Mayani

Paresh Mayani is a lead android developer from India. Currently, He is Sr. Software engineer at InfoStretch Solutions Pvt. Ltd. He has been developing android apps since very 1st version i.e. Android 1.5, he says he has seen days and nights of Android history. He is the Head/Organizer of Google Developers Group (GDG), Ahmedabad

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