How to Install ADB on Windows, macOS, Linux and Chrome OS

Android Debugging Bridge or ADB, is a command-line utility that allows developers to debug their Android applications. Not only developers, general users can also use ADB to tweak their Android phones. You can use ADB to access certain features of the Android which are not generally accessible. You just need to install ADB on your computer.

After installing ADB, you can do several cool things on your Android device. Besides that, there are many apps which need ADB permissions to work. So, in this tutorial, we are going to show you how to install and use ADB on Windows, macOS, Linux or Chrome OS.

A) Setup Android Device for ADB (Enable USB Debugging)

Only installing ADB on your computer won’t be of any use unless you set up your Android device to work with ADB first. So, if you are not sure how to do that, just follow these steps.

Step 1

Open Settings on your Android phone. Scroll down and tap on About Phone. Here, you can see details about your phone. Tap on Build number 7 times consecutively.

enable developer options

Step 2

After you have tapped 7 times or more on Build number, “Developer options” will be enabled on your Android device. Now, go to System and scroll down and open Developer Options and enable USB debugging.

Now, every time you will connect your Android phone to computer, you will see a message to allow USB debugging from this computer. Simply allow the permission and you are done.

in developer options, enable usb debugging

B) Install ADB on Windows

After you are done with setting up your phone for USB debugging, it’s time to install ADB on your computer. Let’s start with Windows computer.

Step 1

First of all, download the ADB Platform Tools for Windows from Google’s official page. After downloading, extract the downloaded zip file on your computer.

download and install adb platform tools

Step 2

Now, go to the folder where you extracted downloaded file. Open command prompt in same folder. You can do so by typing “cmd” in address bar and pressing Enter. A command prompt window will open in the same folder.

after installing adb run in cmd

Step 3

It’s time to connect your Android phone to your computer. After connecting your phone, run adb devices command to see attached devices.

run adb devices command after installing adb

Step 4

You will see “USB debugging” prompt asking for permission. Check the box next to “Always allow” and then tap on Allow.

After you allowed USB debugging in your phone, you should see your phone’s serial number in the Command Prompt window. Run adb devices command again if it doesn’t detect your device in first time. ADB is now successfully installed and set up on your Windows PC.

list of attached devices

C) Install ADB on macOS

Installing ADB on macOS is not as simple as on Windows. We will have to take different approach here. First, we will install Homebrew on macOS and then we will install ADB tools on macOS. “Homebrew is an open-source package manager that installs the missing packages.” Let’s start with the process.

Step 1

First of all, we will install Homebrew on macOS. Open terminal and run the command given below to install Homebrew on your Mac. It might prompt for your password, enter your password to continue. Installation takes approximately 10 mins.

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
install adb tools in linux

Step 2

Howmebrew will make installation of ADB tools easier for us. Run following command to install the ADB platform-tools on your Mac.

brew cask install android-platform-tools

Step 3

After successful installation of ADB tools, connect your Android device to your Mac. Now, execute adb devices command. You will see a prompt on your Android phone to allow USB debugging. Just tick the checkbox next to “Always allow from this computer” and tap on Allow.


Step 4

You would see the serial number of your device in terminal. This indicates that ADB has been installed successfully on your Mac.


D) Install ADB on Linux

Step 1

First, download the ADB Platform Tools for Linux from Google’s official page. After downloading, unzip the file to your home directory.

Now, open terminal in Linux and change directory to the extracted folder location. For that run following command in terminal. Change “username” with your actual Linux username.

cd /home/username/platform-tools

Step 2

Now, connect your Android device to your Linux PC. Run adb devices command on the Linux terminal. On your Android phone, when prompted, tick the checkbox next to “Always allow from this computer” and tap on the OK button.


Step 3

Your Android device would show up on the Linux Terminal. You have now successfully set up ADB on your Linux system.


E) Install ADB on Chrome OS

Installation of ADB tools is not easy on Chromebook. Your Chromebook should have Play Store support and Chrome OS should be on the Developer Channel. Plus, you need to enable Linux on your Chromebook. You can move to Developer Channel on Chromebook by going to Settings > About Chrome OS > Additional Details > Change Channel to Dev. After doing all this, let’s see how to install ADB on Chrome OS.

Step 1

First of all, open Settings in Chromebook and go to Linux -> Develop Android Apps. Here enable to toggle for ADB Debugging. Now, restart your Chromebook and ADB prompt will show up after the reboot. Simply, click on Allow.

Now, open the Linux Terminal from the app drawer and run following command to install the ADB platform tools on Chrome OS. You may need to press Y to continue the installation.

sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb

Step 2

After successful installation of ADB tools, connect your Android device to Chromebook. Click on CONNECT TO LINUX when you get prompt after USB device detection.

SEE ALSO: How to Sideload Android apps on Chromebook without Developer options?


Step 3

Go back to Linux Terminal. Run the adb devices command. When prompt appears on your Android device, tick the checkbox for “Always allow from this computer” and then tap on Allow. Your device will appear in terminal. You have now successfully set up ADB on Chrome OS.

If you see “Permission Denied” in Terminal or “Command Not Found” error, then run adb start-server command. After that try the adb devices command again.


How to Use ADB on Windows, Mac, Linux and Chromebook

After successful installation of ADB on Windows, Mac, Linux system or Chromebook, you can simply execute desired ADB commands. Connect your Android phone to your computer after enabling USB debugging.

Here are a few of the most commonly used ADB commands to help you get started.

CommandDescription
adb devicesTo view the list of Android devices communicating with your computer
adb pushTo move a file onto your Android device programmatically
adb pullTo move a file from your Android device programmatically
adb installTo install apps programmatically using APK files
adb rebootTo reboot your Android device
adb reboot recoveryTo reboot your Android device in recovery mode
adb reboot bootloaderTo reboot your Android device to bootloader
adb shellTo start a remote shell with your Android device

Install ADB on Windows, macOS, Linux and Chrome OS

Above tutorial explained how you can install and setup ADB on various platforms. ADB is a very useful utility for playing with Android OS. We have already listed some of the common ADB commands above. Hope you liked this tutorial. Feel free to share it with your friends. Also if you have any queries or suggestions, feel free to write them in comment section down below.

Editorial Staff

Hi there, we are the editorial staff at HELLPC Tutorials. We are a team of funny and technical people. Feel free to get in touch with us via Contact-Us page.

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