Android Tips

Everything You Need to Know about DCIM Folder on Android

by Sophie Green   Updated on 2021-07-02 / Update for  Android Tips

You have probably seen a folder called DCIM in your phone’s file manager, and you have likely wondered what does DCIM stand for. This is actually a special folder that comes preloaded with your device, and there is a reason why it is there.

This post tells you what this folder is for, how it works, what it contains, and what are some of the things you can do with it.

1. What Does DCIM Stand For?

DCIM stands for Digital Camera Images and it is one of the preloaded folders on your Android device. This folder saves all of the photos that you capture using your phone’s camera. It also contains the screenshots that you have taken on your device.

Basically, the Gallery app on your phone fetches all your photos from this folder. This is the folder responsible for storing almost all types of images on your device.

You will find various subfolders inside this main folder. These subfolders are mostly Camera where your camera’s photos are saved, Screenshots where your screen captures are saved, album names where your various album photos are stored, and Thumbnails.

Depending on your phone’s structure, the DCIM folder can either be on your internal storage or on your external storage.

That should tell you what does DCIM folder stand for.

2. Where Do I Find the DCIM Folder on Android?

In case you have not found the folder yet, do not worry as it is pretty easy to locate this folder on your device’s storage. As long as you have a file manager app installed on your phone, you can find this folder in a few seconds.

  • Launch the File Manager app on your Android device.
  • Head into internal storage and you should see various folders.
  • Scroll down and you will find the DCIM folder. Tap on this folder to view various photo categories.

    what does dcim stand for

You can now view all your photos using this folder.

3. The DCIM folder is Empty, How to Recover Lost Photos?

The DCIM folder is supposed to have all your photos, however, if you find it empty, it is highly likely that your photos are deleted from your Android device. In this case, you will need to use a data recovery tool to recover the photos that have been deleted from the DCIM folder on your phone.

Tenorshare UltData for Android is a fantastic program you can use to recover deleted DCIM folder Android. This tool will even let you preview your photos before you recover them to ensure that only the photos you actually need are recovered. You can use the tool as follows to restore deleted photos on an Android device.

  • Download, install, and open the software on your computer.
  • On the main interface, click on the option that reads Recover Lost Data.

    what does dcim folder stand for
  • Connect your Android phone to your computer using a USB cable. Turn on USB debugging on your phone using the on-screen instructions.

    what does dcim stand for camera
  • Check the box before Photos and click Start to scan your device for deleted photos.

    recover deleted dcim folder android
  • You will see your photos on your screen. Select the ones you want to recover and click Recover at the bottom. Your photos will be restored to your Android device.

    how to recover deleted dcim folder android

Your DCIM folder will no longer be empty.

4. What is the DCIM Thumbnails Folder?

Inside the DCIM folder, you will find a folder called thumbnails. You will probably wonder what this folder is for, as it is part of the main DCIM folder.

Thumbnails is a hidden folder that is used to store the small thumbnails of your actual images. These thumbnails are used in your Gallery app to let you view your photos at a glance. It is only when you tap a photo that the full version of your photo loads.

5. Can I Delete DCIM Thumbnails on Android?

You can delete the thumbnails folder without causing any issues on your device. These thumbnails often use a huge amount of your space, and it is a good idea to clean them once in a while.

  • Open the File Manager app on your Android device.
  • Go to the DCIM folder on your storage.
  • You will find a folder that says .thumbnails. Tap on this folder and it will open.

    dcim thumbnails folder on android
  • Select all of the thumbnails in the list and tap the delete icon.

Your thumbnails should be deleted, and you have reclaimed your precious memory space.


If you are not sure what the DCIM folder is for on your device, the above guide should tell you what does DCIM stand for camera and how you can access it. It also helps you reveal a hidden folder that uses too much of your memory space, and lets you delete it to free-up space.