How to Install, Setup and use ADB for Android devices

adbWith day by day increase in the number of Android phones and the need for the customizations requires the setting up of adb. Now, for all those don’t know what am talking about, adb is actually a short form of Android Debug Bridge which is an integral part of the standard Android SDK and provides the terminal interface access so that you can easily interact with your phone’s file system. Since the Android is made on an open source platform as it’s a Linux based system which is useful for doing advanced operations on the device so that you can root your device as the ADB provides access between the machine as well as the computer. So, let’s proceed how you can install the adb. There are some of the procedures which you need to follow only after which you will be able to install the adb. So, let’s proceed and have a look at what are those.

Step 1: First of all you will have to download and install the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) from here on your computer, preferably on the desktop so that you can easily locate the same.

Step 2: As you have downloaded and installed the SDK in the last step in the computer, you will now have to browse for the SDK folder and launch SDK Manager. Please note that here that if you are launching this for the first time then you will see a window wherein you will be asked to choose for the packages as shown in the below screen shot. Also, you can check as well as un check any of the package just by clicking on the name after which you just need to select the Accept/Reject the radio button.

choose packages

Now, after this you just need to click on the “Install” button and need to wait for some time till the platform tools are installed. Now, as soon as the process is done, you will find that there is a “platform-tools” folder inside your SDK folder. That folder will now include ADB and all its functionalities.

Step 3: Now, next up after you have installed the ADB in your computer, you will now be required to use the complete path for the ADB command which is “C:\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools\adb” or alternatively you can change the directory to the platform-tools sub folder of the SDK folder each time which is not a recommended one as you need to do this more regularly. To make ADB along with other Android SDK tools and platform tools easily accessible from anywhere at the command line, we shall add their paths to the PATH environment variable. This method will apply to Windows users only. If you are a Linux or Mac user, add the ‘tools’ and ‘platform-tools’ sub-folders of the Android SDK to your system’s PATH variable using the standard method for your operating system.

Now, please note that if you don’t have prior experience of this environmental editing then it’s better to create the system restore point so that you can revert back to it just in case if anything goes wrong in an unlikely event. Also, additionally if you are a Windows 7 user then you need to right click on the “My Computer” icon > “Properties” tab > “Advanced system settings” from the left pane of options and then bring the same to the “System Properties” window while the Windows XP users can directly go to this option by My Computer and then directly to Properties.

Environment VariablesIn the system properties window you will have to click on the Environment variables button on the advanced tab. Now, you will have to find the ‘Path’ in the ‘System variables’ section and need to double-click it to edit it. Make sure NOT to delete the existing entry in ‘Variable value’ or it will mess up things on your computer. Just add the following string to the end of it, including both the semi-colons:

;c:\android-sdk-windows\tools;c:\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools

Now after this if you have extracted the SDK’s contents to another directory then you need to make sure to use that one for your PATH variable and after adding the string, this is what my Path variable, the code will look like as shown below,

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live;C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live;%SystemRoot%\system32;%SystemRoot%;%SystemRoot%\System32\Wbem;%SYSTEMROOT%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\;C:\Program Files (x86)\ATI Technologies\ATI.ACE\Core-Static;C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Live\Shared;C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_23\bin;C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.6.0_23\bin;C:\android-sdk-windows\tools;C:\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools

Not to worry if you have made any mistakes in the above process or in the above pasting of the code then you can re follow the procedure so that you can easily reconfigure the same as the restore point is created earlier. “Third party Add-ons” followed by “Google Inc. add-ons” and check “Google Usb Driver package” as shown in the below snapshot,

Android SDK driver Manager

Step 4: Now, you need to make sure that you have downloaded and installed all the necessary USB drivers for your device. All you need to do is to just launch SDK Manager from the SDK folder and click on “Available packages” in the left pane. After this you will have to expand all the “third party add ons” followed by the Google Inc add ons” and then you need to check the “Google USB driver package” as you can see in the below snapshot and click on the “Install selected” to install the same and need to wait till the installation gets finished. Please note that the drivers are present for both the 32 bit as well as the 64 bit systems which will be there in the SDK folder under the options, “usb_driver\x86” and “usb_driver\x64” sub-folders.

Now next up you will have to install the drivers to your computer as for this first up you will have to go to the home screen of your device, press menu > Application > Development > enable USB debugging.After this all you need to do is to just connect the phone to the PC via the USB and after which you will see that the hardware installation will begin automatically and once the drivers are installed your phone will be showing up the “ADB interface”

Device Manager

Step 5: Now, finally in the adb interface now all you need to know is how you gonna make use of this one. You can easily ensure that whether the adb has been successfully configured or not as all you need to do is to just run the command prompt and need to type in the “adb devices” as shown in the below snap shot and need to hit on the enter key. Now, you will see that the device will be showing up the serial number.

adb prompt

You can also check out the full list of adb commands so that you can configure and check the same. Now, this is it you have now learnt on what is adb and how it can be used and configured. Do let us know if you face any problems and this can be performed in any of the android devices.

32 comments

  1. i did all the loading adb interface stuff and got the device to show up at an adb connection. but then i unplugged it. when i plugged it back in i can’t get it to show up as an adb device again. think i may be having issues with the driver locations? it says the drivers are up to date but not connecting as adb. any advice?

  2. Not getting this! HELP! :(
    im stuck at “connect the phone to the PC via the USB and after which you will see that the hardware installation will begin automatically”.
    it doesnt go automatically for me

  3. When i typed “adb devices” , i did not get any device as connevted.( I have a galaxy ace,cm7).
    i followed this perfectly . donno what is wrong??can someone help

  4. fuck android devices

  5. “connect the phone to the PC via the USB and after which you will see that the hardware installation will begin automatically”, my HTC incredible S after connected and said windows could not find driver software for your device

  6. Excelent post!!! :) it helped a lot!!!

  7. when i connect my phone to my computer nothing happens…. im using an HTC wildfire, rooted, and on cyanogenmod 7. help??

  8. Rightio,

    I have an HTC incredible S, i’ve installed all of the appropiate above, adb, I get to checking to see if my phone is showing under adb devices and I get; “List of devices attached” BLANK.
    For whatever reason the HTC incredible S won’t automatically install ADB drivers from that google usb drivers package, again windows 7 x64, HOWEVER I have installed everything as x86, the sdk is under x86 thus running 32bit.

    A bit of help Neal?

  9. I got it…I’ve did it. Also when i wants I can install .apk’s from my PC… and many more.. Thank you.

  10. what this noob didn’t overtly put down for noobs is that the installation directory for the android sdk should be in c:/ instead of the program default in program files

    Also if you are getting the “android relies on java” error make sure to download the most recent version of java+you install that first (or reinstall) then the same with the JDK java package THEN the android SDK to the C: drive

    Fuckin curry

  11. After this all you need to do is to just connect the phone to the PC via the USB and after which you will see that the hardware installation will begin automatically and once the drivers are installed your phone will be showing up the “ADB interface”

    When I connect my phone, nothing happens.. Followed the tutorial very carefully! Please help…..
    SAME HERE… My device is HTC Incredible S…

    YES I did change the location. But to make sure, which location you mean?

  12. Nunca vi tutorial mais confuso!!!

  13. After this all you need to do is to just connect the phone to the PC via the USB and after which you will see that the hardware installation will begin automatically and once the drivers are installed your phone will be showing up the “ADB interface”

    When I connect my phone, nothing happens.. Followed the tutorial very carefully! Please help…..
    SAME HERE… My device is HTC Incredible S….device manager shows that “other device>android phone” help…

  14. After this all you need to do is to just connect the phone to the PC via the USB and after which you will see that the hardware installation will begin automatically and once the drivers are installed your phone will be showing up the “ADB interface”

    When I connect my phone, nothing happens.. Followed the tutorial very carefully! Please help.

  15. Step 3 is the hell…shit

  16. I
    I have a question on step 4 :
    “home screen of your device, press menu > Application > Development > enable USB debugging” I don’t know what menu is this can you help me, thanks

  17. hello, i followed your guide but i couldn’t continue. “Failed to fetch URL https://dl-ssl.google.com/android/repository/repository.xml, reason: Server returned HTTP response code: 502 for URL: https://dl-ssl.google.com/android/repository/repository.xml” is come up and i moved all folders and files to “C:\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools\adb” but there’s no file in the folder of platform-tools in spite of finish installation…i’m not sure either completion of adb installation or not..is it really necessary to install “adb” to upgrade samsung galaxy s firmware? it’s so difficult and take too much time to keep going this process….