How to Install ADB on Windows, macOS, and Linux

What is Android Debug Bridge (ADB)?

The internal structure of the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) is based on the classic client-server architecture. The whole process consists of three parts.

The client, i.e. the PC or Mac you have connected to your Android device. We are sending commands to our device from this coomputer through the USB cable (and wirelessly as well in some cases).
A daemon (adbd), which runs commands on a device. The daemon runs as a background process on each device.
A server, which manages communication between the client and the daemon. The server runs as a background process on the PC/Mac.

 

How to Setup ADB

1.Launch the Settings application on your phone.

2.Tap the About Phone option generally near the bottom of the list.

3.Then tap the Build Number option 7 times to enable Developer Mode. You will see a toast message when it is done.

4.Now go back to the main Settings screen and you should see a new Developer Options menu you can access.

5.Go in there and enable the USB Debugging mode option.

6.You are partially done with the phone setup process. Next up, you will need to scroll below and follow the rest of the instructions for your particular operating system.

Follow along for the operating system on your computer.

 

How to setup ADB on Microsoft Windows

1.Download the Android SDK Platform Tools ZIP file for Windows.

2.Extract the contents of this ZIP file into an easily accessible folder (such as C:\platform-tools).

3.Open Windows explorer and browse to where you extracted the contents of this ZIP file.

4.Then open up a Command Prompt from the same directory as this ADB binary. This can be done by holding Shift and Right-clicking within the folder then click the “Open command window here” option. (Some Windows 10 users may see “PowerShell” instead of “command window”.)

5.Connect your smartphone or tablet to your computer with a USB cable. Change the USB mode to “file transfer (MTP)” mode. Some OEMs may or may not require this, but it’s best to just leave it in this mode for general compatibility.

6.In the Command Prompt window, enter the following command to launch the ADB daemon: adb devices

7.On your phone’s screen, you should see a prompt to allow or deny USB Debugging access. Naturally, you will want to grant USB Debugging access when prompted (and tap the always allow check box if you never want to see that prompt again).

8.Finally, re-enter the command from step #6. If everything was successful, you should now see your device’s serial number in the command prompt (or the PowerShell window).

Yay! You can now run any ADB command on your device! Now go forth and start modding your phone by following our extensive list of tutorials!

 

How to setup ADB on macOS

1.Download the Android SDK Platform Tools ZIP file for macOS.

2.Extract the ZIP to an easily-accessible location (like the Desktop for example).

3.Open Terminal.

4.To browse to the folder you extracted ADB into, enter the following command: cd /path/to/extracted/folder/

5.For example, on my Mac it was this: cd /Users/Doug/Desktop/platform-tools/

6.Connect your device to your Mac with a compatible USB cable. Change the USB connection mode to “file transfer (MTP)” mode. This is not always required for every device, but it’s best to just leave it in this mode so you don’t run into any issues.

7.Once the Terminal is in the same folder your ADB tools are in, you can execute the following command to launch the ADB daemon: ./adb devices

8.On your device, you’ll see an “Allow USB debugging” prompt. Allow the connection.

9.Finally, re-enter the command from step #7. If everything was successful, you should now see your device’s serial number in macOS’s Terminal window.

Congratulations! You can now run any ADB command on your device! Now go forth and start modding your phone by following our extensive list of tutorials!

While the guide above will certainly work, some seasoned macOS users should be aware that there can be an easier way to install ADB on their Macs using an unofficial package manager such as Homebrew or MacPorts.

 

How to setup ADB on Linux

1.Download the Android SDK Platform Tools ZIP file for Linux.

2.Extract the ZIP to an easily-accessible location (like the Desktop for example).

3.Open a Terminal window.

4.Enter the following command: cd /path/to/extracted/folder/

5.This will change the directory to where you extracted the ADB files.

6.So for example: cd /Users/Doug/Desktop/platform-tools/

7.Connect your device to your Linux machine with your USB cable. Change the connection mode to “file transfer (MTP)” mode. This is not always necessary for every device, but it’s recommended so you don’t run into any issues.

8.Once the Terminal is in the same folder your ADB tools are in, you can execute the following command to launch the ADB daemon: ./adb devices

9.Back on your smartphone or tablet device, you’ll see a prompt asking you to allow USB debugging. Go ahead and grant it.

10.Finally, re-enter the command from step #8. If everything was successful, you should now see your device’s serial number in the Terminal window output.

Congrats! You can now run any ADB command on your device! Now go forth and start modding your phone by following our extensive list of tutorials!

Some Linux users should be aware that there can be an easier way to install ADB on their computer. The guide above will certainly work for you, but those own a Debian or Fedora/SUSE-based distro of Linux can skip steps 1 and 2 of the guide above and use one of the following commands:

Debian-based Linux users can type the following command to install ADB:

sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb

Fedora/SUSE-based Linux users can type the following command to install ADB:

sudo yum install android-tools

However, it is always better to opt for the latest binary from the Android SDK Platform Tools release, since the distro-specific packages often contain outdated builds.

Just to cover all of our bases here, users may need to put a ./ in front of the ADB commands we list in future tutorials, especially when they are using the extracted binaries directly from the Platform Tools ZIP. This is something that is likely known by any *nix user (or Windows user running PowerShell) already, but again, we want as many people as possible to understand how to do these tweaks for Android no matter how much of your operating system you know.

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