ADB (Android Debugging Bridge) tools allows users to tweak their Android phones. Just install ADB tools and connect your phone to your PC (be it Windows, macOS, Linux or Chrome OS). After that, you can tweak and even access some hidden features of your phone.
Using ADB tools, you can install APKs, transfer files, boot into recovery or even change DPI of the screen on Android. Besides these, there are many apps that 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: Go to About Phone and Enable Developer Options
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. This will enable Developer Options in your Android phone.
Step 2: Go to Developer Options and Enable USB Debugging
After enabling “Developer options“, go to Settings > System. Here, 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.
B) Install ADB Platform Tools on Windows
After you are done with setting up your phone for USB debugging, it’s time to install ADB on your Windows computer. We have used Windows 10 PC in this tutorial, however, it should work for previous versions of Windows as well.
Step 1: Download and Extract ADB Tools for Windows
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.
Step 2: Open CMD Window in ADB Tools folder
You don’t need to run any setup file to install ADB on Windows. Simply, go to the folder where you extracted the downloaded ADB zip file.
Now, 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.
Step 3: Check Connected Devices via ADB
It’s time to connect your Android phone to your computer. After connecting your phone, run
adb devices command to see attached devices. If your ADB tool install on Windows PC was successful, you will get USB debugging pop-up in your Android phone.
Step 4: Allow USB Debugging in Android Phone
You will see “USB debugging” prompt asking for permission. Check the box next to “Always allow from this computer” 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. You ADB is now successfully installed and set up on your Windows PC.
C) Install ADB Platform Tools 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: Install Homebrew on macOS
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)"
Step 2: Install ADB Tools on macOS using Homebrew
Howmebrew will make installation of ADB tools easier for us. Run following command to install the ADB platform-tools on your Mac. (Command has been updated).
brew install –cask android-platform-tools
Step 3: Allow USB debugging on Android
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: View Connected Devices on macOS
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 Tools on Linux
After installing ADB on Windows and macOS, it’s time to check ADB tools installation process on Linux. To be honest, it’s quite easy to install ADB tools on Linux compared to other operating systems. Just, follow these steps.
Step 1: Download ADB tools and Start Terminal in Same folder
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.
Step 2: Allow USB debugging on Android Phone
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: View attached Devices via ADB terminal on Linux
Your Android device would show up on the Linux Terminal. You have now successfully set up ADB on your Linux system.
E) Install ADB Platform Tools on Chrome OS
Installing ADB tools in Chromebook is not as simple as Windows or Linux. 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: Enable ADB debugging in Chrome OS and Install ADB tools
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: Connect Android Phone to Chromebook
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.
Step 3: Check connected Devices via ADB Command in Chrome OS
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.
NOTE: 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 Tools 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.
|adb devices||To view the list of Android devices communicating with your computer|
|adb push||To move a file onto your Android device programmatically|
|adb pull||To move a file from your Android device programmatically|
|adb install||To install apps programmatically using APK files|
|adb reboot||To reboot your Android device|
|adb reboot recovery||To reboot your Android device in recovery mode|
|adb reboot bootloader||To reboot your Android device to bootloader|
|adb shell||To start a remote shell with your Android device|
Install ADB Platform Tools 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.