If you want to execute some specific commands that are difficult or impossible from the Android device itself, you can choose to install ADB on Windows, macOS or Linux and run ADB commands. In this post, NewsPivot gives you a step-by-step guide on the ADB setup.

Overview of ADB

ADB, short for Android Debug Bridge, is a command-line utility that enables developers to debug apps. However, it is not limited to just developers. If you need to access some certain features in your Android device, ADB is fairly helpful since it can be used to communicate with Android devices from a computer to execute specific commands that are hard or impossible from the device itself.

To be specific, you can move files between a PC and Android device, install APK (Android app installation packages), run shell commands, take screenshots, and more.

In order to run ADB commands, it is necessary to install ADB on your computer, whether it is Windows, macOS, Linux or Chrome OS. Next, let’s explore on how to set up ADB.

Set up Android Device

Before installing ADB on a PC, you should make some preparatory work – set up your Android device for ADB. Here we take an Android phone as an example. Note that the steps vary depending on your phone.

Step 1: Go to Settings > About phone.

Step 2: Tap on Build number 7 times continuously to enable the developer mode.

Step 3: Go back to Settings to locate Developer options and enable USB debugging.

Next, follow the instructions below as per your PC system to install ADB.

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ADB Download Windows 10/11 & Install

Step 1: Firstly, go to Android developers’ website to download SDK Platform-Tools for Windows.

download SDK platform tools for Windows

Step 2: Extract all the contents from the .zip folder to a folder like platform-tools on the desktop.

Step 3: In the folder, press Shift and right-click on the blank space, then choose Open PowerShell window here. Alternatively, you can type cmd to the address bar in the extracted folder and press Enter. Then, PowerShell or Command Prompt could open.

open CMD in ADB directory

Step 4: Connect your Android device to a computer, type adb devices to the CMD window, and press Enter.

Step 5: When prompted by a popup that asks you to allow USB debugging access, tap on Allow. You can check the box of Always allow from this computer.

Step 6: You can see your device’s serial number. If CMD doesn’t show it, run the command in Step 4 again.

Sometimes you need to install ADB driver. For example, you get the ADB device not found error although you have installed ADB on your PC. When it comes to “ADB driver install”, go to download the driver online and use the driver file to complete installation.

ADB Install Mac & Linux

Step 1: Go to download SDK Platform-Tools for Mac/Linux.

Step 2: Extract the ZIP file to an accessible location.

Step 3: Open Terminal and enter the command: cd /path/platform-tools. Replace the path with your extracted folder.

Step 4: Connect a device to the Mac, run ./adb devices and allow USB debugging.

See Also: Top 4 Ways to Uninstall PowerShell Windows 10/11

Common ADB Commands

After you download ADB for Windows/macOS/Linux and install it on the PC, you can run some ADB commands as per your needs:

adb install path_to_apk: install an app using the APK file

adb pull remote local: copy a file or directory and its sub-directories from the device

adb push local remote: copy a file or directory and its sub-directories to the device

adb kill-server: stop the adb server

adb forward tcp:6100 tcp:7100: set up forwarding of host port 6100 to device port 7100

To know more commands, refer to this help document.

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