Emily from Columbus asks:
I’m having trouble finding files that I know are stored on my Android phone, since they can found by searching the phone when it’s plugged into my computer. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can access them through the phone?
Thanks for the question Emily. My recent excursion into the Android smartphone world has largely been an enjoyable experience, but that same problem continually flummoxed me. While there’s very likely something native to Android that makes such file access possible, I decided to take the easy way–as I’ve always done with Windows–and search for freeware that would do the work, thus saving me the trouble of actually learning anything. The Astro File Manager, which provides file and folder access similar to that found in Windows Explorer, offers a solution to that problem.
Note: Just as with Windows Explorer, mistakes can cause files to be deleted accidentally, or a careless blunder can create an even more serious problem. Since Android phones don’t include a recycle bin from which files can be recovered, please be careful.
Astro includes several other features, but this article only looks at file management, which allows you to find, copy, delete, move, and rename pictures, music, or any other files or folders on both the device and the SD card.
You can find Astro here .
Following the license agreement, the launch screen is displayed. There, you’ll find several options, including Manage My Files. Getting Started includes much more detailed information on all the features than can be covered here, which makes that a great place to start learning the app.
File Manager–which opens by default to the SD card–is where files can be accessed, moved, copied, deleted, etc. It was files saved to the Download folder in the SD card by the Dolphin browser  that led me to install this app (those were the files I couldn’t find).
Tap any folder to reveal the files inside.
Long press a file or folder and tap a selection from the menu. Rename is shown below.
In the Rename File dialog box, add a name and tap OK.
While taking the screenshot above, I accidentally hit Delete, rather than Rename (an example of the potential problems mentioned earlier). Fortunately, confirmation is necessary to delete a file or folder. Again, be careful. If this happens, just tap Cancel.
Tap the device menu button to create a new folder, search the device, set preferences, etc.
The function buttons found at the top of the screen offer the options displayed below. Just slide the menu to reveal them (only five are visible at a time).
To select multiple files or folders, tap the Multi button and choose files–which will then become highlighted with orange lettering. From there, a long press will once again offer menu options.
Tap the New button to create a new folder (Directory).
Below, I deleted the just formed directory (this time delete was intentional).
Astro File Manager offers many more features than were previewed here. Future articles will cover some of these in more detail. Thanks for the question Emily.