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android – How to show more providers with ACTION_OPEN_DOCUMENT

Posted by: admin May 14, 2020 Leave a comment


I want to use the android system dialog provided as part of the Storage Access Framework to open a file. I do this with

Intent intent = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_OPEN_DOCUMENT);
startActivityForResult(intent, EDIT_REQUEST);

and then handle the returned URI in onActivityResult().

The problem is that, in the resulting menu, I get far less content providers than I expected. Only Google Drive and Downloads (see left screen shot below). Others, like Dropbox, Solid Explorer,… are not show.

I suspect the reason is that these apps simply don’t set the necessary intent filter to show up in this list.

However, other apps, for example Kaiten Mail or Chrome, somehow manage to show the system dialog with fully implemented content providers at the top of the list and then others, like Dropbox and Solid Explorer, below, separated by a thin bar (see the right screen shot).

How can I get this behavior?

Comparison of the behavior I get (left) and the one I want (right)

How to&Answers:


Intent intent = new Intent(Intent. ACTION_GET_CONTENT);
startActivityForResult(intent, EDIT_REQUEST);


We also had this issue. It seems there are multiple ways to get a chooser.

Here’s what we did:

object ThirdPartyIntentsUtil {
        //    https://medium.com/@louis993546/how-to-ask-system-to-open-intent-to-select-jpg-and-png-only-on-android-i-e-no-gif-e0491af240bf
        //example usage: mainType= "*/*"  extraMimeTypes= arrayOf("image/*", "video/*") - choose all images and videos
        //example usage: mainType= "*/image"  extraMimeTypes= arrayOf("image/jpeg", "image/png") - choose all images of png and jpeg types
        /**note that this only requests to choose the files, but it's not guaranteed that this is what you will get*/
        fun getPickFileIntent(context: Context, mainType: String = "*/*", extraMimeTypes: Array<String>? = null): Intent? {
            if (Build.VERSION.SDK_INT < Build.VERSION_CODES.KITKAT)
                return null
            val intent = Intent(Intent.ACTION_OPEN_DOCUMENT)
            intent.type = mainType
            if (!extraMimeTypes.isNullOrEmpty())
                intent.putExtra(Intent.EXTRA_MIME_TYPES, extraMimeTypes)
            if (context.packageManager.queryIntentActivities(intent, 0).isNullOrEmpty())
                return null
            return intent

        //    https://github.com/linchaolong/ImagePicker/blob/master/library/src/main/java/com/linchaolong/android/imagepicker/cropper/CropImage.java
        fun getPickFileChooserIntent(
                context: Context, title: CharSequence?, preferDocuments: Boolean = true,includeCameraIntents:Boolean, mainType: String
                , extraMimeTypes: Array<String>? = null, extraIntents: ArrayList<Intent>? = null
        ): Intent? {
            val packageManager = context.packageManager
            var allIntents =
                    getGalleryIntents(packageManager, Intent.ACTION_GET_CONTENT, mainType, extraMimeTypes)
            if (allIntents.isEmpty()) {
                // if no intents found for get-content try pick intent action (Huawei P9).
                allIntents =
                        getGalleryIntents(packageManager, Intent.ACTION_PICK, mainType, extraMimeTypes)
            val cameraIntents = getCameraIntents(packageManager)
            allIntents.addAll(0, cameraIntents)
    //        Log.d("AppLog", "got ${allIntents.size} intents")
            if (allIntents.isEmpty())
                return null
            if (preferDocuments)
                for (intent in allIntents)
                    if (intent.component!!.packageName == "com.android.documentsui")
                        return intent
            if (allIntents.size == 1)
                return allIntents[0]
            var target: Intent? = null
            for ((index, intent) in allIntents.withIndex()) {
                if (intent.component!!.packageName == "com.android.documentsui") {
                    target = intent
            if (target == null)
                target = allIntents[allIntents.size - 1]
            allIntents.removeAt(allIntents.size - 1)
            // Create a chooser from the main  intent
            val chooserIntent = Intent.createChooser(target, title)
            if (extraIntents != null && extraIntents.isNotEmpty())
            // Add all other intents
            chooserIntent.putExtra(Intent.EXTRA_INITIAL_INTENTS, allIntents.toTypedArray<Parcelable>())
            return chooserIntent

        private fun getCameraIntents(packageManager: PackageManager): ArrayList<Intent> {
            val cameraIntent = Intent(MediaStore.ACTION_VIDEO_CAPTURE)
            val listCamera = packageManager.queryIntentActivities(cameraIntent, 0)
            val intents = ArrayList<Intent>()
            for (res in listCamera) {
                val intent = Intent(cameraIntent)
                intent.component = ComponentName(res.activityInfo.packageName, res.activityInfo.name)
                intent.`package` = res.activityInfo.packageName
            return intents

         * Get all Gallery intents for getting image from one of the apps of the device that handle
         * images. Intent.ACTION_GET_CONTENT and then Intent.ACTION_PICK
        private fun getGalleryIntents(
                packageManager: PackageManager, action: String,
                mainType: String , extraMimeTypes: Array<String>? = null
        ): ArrayList<Intent> {
            val galleryIntent = if (action == Intent.ACTION_GET_CONTENT)
                Intent(action, MediaStore.Images.Media.EXTERNAL_CONTENT_URI)
            galleryIntent.type = mainType
            if (!extraMimeTypes.isNullOrEmpty()) {
                galleryIntent.putExtra(Intent.EXTRA_MIME_TYPES, extraMimeTypes)
            val listGallery = packageManager.queryIntentActivities(galleryIntent, 0)
            val intents = ArrayList<Intent>()
            for (res in listGallery) {
                val intent = Intent(galleryIntent)
                intent.component = ComponentName(res.activityInfo.packageName, res.activityInfo.name)
                intent.`package` = res.activityInfo.packageName
            return intents

        fun getMimeType(context: Context, uri: Uri): String? {
            val mimeType: String? = if (ContentResolver.SCHEME_CONTENT == uri.scheme) {
                val cr = context.contentResolver
            } else {
                val fileExtension = MimeTypeMap.getFileExtensionFromUrl(uri.toString())
            return mimeType


So, suppose you wish to choose a video file, you can do as such:

private val mimeTypeMap = MimeTypeMap.getSingleton()
private val videosMimeTypes = arrayOf(mimeTypeMap.getMimeTypeFromExtension("mkv"), mimeTypeMap.getMimeTypeFromExtension("mp4"), mimeTypeMap.getMimeTypeFromExtension("3gp"))

val intentForChoosingVideos = ThirdPartyIntentsUtil .getPickFileChooserIntent(this,null,
            true, "videos/*", videosMimeTypes)
            ?: getPickFileIntent(this, "video/*,", videosMimeTypes)

You can change it to handle other file types of course. Here’s for image files:

private val mimeTypeMap = MimeTypeMap.getSingleton()
private val imagesMimeTypes = arrayOf(mimeTypeMap.getMimeTypeFromExtension("png"), mimeTypeMap.getMimeTypeFromExtension("jpg"), mimeTypeMap.getMimeTypeFromExtension("webp"))

val intentForChoosingImages = ThirdPartyIntentsUtil .getPickFileChooserIntent(this, null,
            true, "image/*", imagesMimeTypes)
            ?: getPickFileIntent(this, "image/*,", imagesMimeTypes)

It will try to have the extended one, and if it fails, it will try to get a chooser of which app to use. If that fails, it will return null.

Note that for some reason, “Google Photos” app doesn’t allow to choose just videos, so if you want to include it, use a more generic form:

    val intentForChoosingVideos = ThirdPartyIntentsUtil.getPickFileChooserIntent(this, null,
            false, true,"*/*", videosMimeTypes)
            ?: ThirdPartyIntentsUtil.getPickFileIntent(this, "video/*,", videosMimeTypes)