Why do I get access denied to data folder when using adb?

I connected to my live device using the adb and the following commands:

C:>adb -s HT829GZ52000 shell
$ ls
ls
sqlite_stmt_journals
cache
sdcard
etc
system
sys
sbin
proc
logo.rle
init.trout.rc
init.rc
init.goldfish.rc
init
default.prop
data
root
dev
$ cd data
cd data
$ ls
ls
opendir failed, Permission denied

I was surprised to see that I have access denied. How come I can’t browse around the directories using the commandline like this?

How do I get root access on my phone?

Answer

There are two things to remember if you want to browse everything on your device.

  1. You need to have a phone with root access in order to browse the data folder on an Android phone. That means either you have a developer device (ADP1 or an ION from Google I/O) or you’ve found a way to ‘root’ your phone some other way.
  2. You need to be running ADB in root mode, do this by executing: adb root