How To Install ADB On Windows, Linux, And MacOS

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This tutorial will help you  easily install ADB and run it on Windows, Linux, or macOS.

What is ADB? Android Debug Bridge is a command-line tool that has been part of the Android SDK and development tools for a long time. This tool allows the PC to communicate with the Android device and perform several actions. Some common adb commands include adb devices, adb reboot, etc. We will cover that later in this article.

Installing ADB On Windows, Linux, And MacOS

When we or most others out there say that “You need to install ADB on a PC”, it generally means all the major platform tools that are part of the Android SDK. However, we consider ADB as a fact that it is one of the very important tools, not only for developers but also for advanced users who want to tweak their Android.

So that’s what we’re here for. To help you install ADB and Fastboot, or install Android SDK tool or platform setup tool, you can call it a different way, but the process is pretty much the same.

Now, to install ADB on the computer. It is equally important to adjust the settings on the device to establish a successful connection between the PC and the device. So we will cover all of them below.

Prepare Android Device

To install ADB and use it, your device must first enable USB debugging. If you already have one or know how to do it, then you can skip this section and move on to the next. If not, please follow the method below.

1. Go to device ‘Settings’ and scroll down until you see ‘About phone’ (Up to Android 7.0 Nougat) or ‘System’ -> ‘About Phone’ (Android 8.0 Oreo or higher).

2. Find the “Build number” field and start tapping it continuously for 7 times until you see the notification “You are now a developer!” On the screen.

3. Now go back to settings and access “Developer options”. On Android Oreo and above, you will find it in ‘Settings’ -> ‘System’.

4. Scroll down until you find the “USB debugging” option and enable the toggle. When prompted, select “OK”.

5. That’s it, you just enabled USB debugging on Android. Now start to install ADB and establish connection between device and PC.

Installing ADB On Windows

1. Download the platform-tools package for Windows: Download Link

2. We will need a location on the PC where the files can remain untouched, but easily accessible. So, extract contents of the downloaded “platform-tools-latest-windows.zip ” file to  C:\adb.

3. So when viewing this folder, you will see something like in the image above.

4. Open folder where the file is located (Example: C:\adb).

5. In an empty space inside this folder, press the SHIFT key and right-click. Select “Open command window here” or “Open PowerShell window here” from the menu that appears.

6. Now, connect Android device to PC using a USB cable and enter the following command to initiate ADB connection.

adb devices

7. Just as you enter the command, your phone will be prompted by a message to allow USB debugging connection.

8. In addition, the command prompt will display serial number of device with the message “unauthorized”. Once you’ve accepted the request, you’re good to go. You can also select the “Always allow from this computer” option so you don’t have to go through this process again.

9. Finally, you have to enter the “adb devices” command again and you will have an instant ADB connection between PC and device.

You can now install ADB on Windows and also successfully establish a connection between PC and device.

Installing ADB On Linux

1. Download the platform-tools package for Linux: Download Link

2. Extract contents of the downloaded “platform-tools-latest-linux.zip” file to appropriate location of your choice. We prefer to put it on the Desktop.

3. So open Terminal and navigate to folder where ADB and other binaries are located.

cd /location/to/folder/

4. Example:

cd /Desktop/adb/

5. Now connect Android device to PC via USB cable and enter following command in window

./adb devices

6. The first time you enter this command, Terminal will return the device serial along with an “unauthorized” message.

7. You will also immediately see a message prompt on the device screen asking to allow USB debugging connection with PC. So just let it click “OK”.
8. Finally, enter the command “./adb devices” and you will be able to establish connection between PC and device via ADB.

You can now install ADB on Linux.

Installing ADB On MacOS

1. Download the platform tools package for macOS: Download Link

2. Extract contents of the downloaded “platform-tools-latest-darwin.zip” file to an easily accessible location on your PC, in a folder named “adb” (For easy access).

3. We prefer to put it on the Desktop. So now, all platform tools package content i.e. binaries will be in “/Desktop/adb/” .

4. Go to Launchpad and open Terminal.

5. You now need to point it to the location where ADB and other binary files are present. So enter the command

cd /location/to/folder/

6. Example:

cd /Desktop/adb/

7. Now that Terminal is directed to use this location, you can connect the device to PC via USB cable.

8. Enter the following command to initiate ADB connection with Android device.

./adb devices

9. As soon as you enter command, the device will be prompted with a message to allow USB debugging. The terminal will also display device serial along with an “unauthorized” message.

10. So accept message and allow connection. Then enter the command “adb devices” again to establish a successful connection between PC and device via ADB.

Here he is! You have successfully installed ADB on macOS. You can now proceed to use other commands as well. If you want to familiarize yourself with other ADB commands, please read the documentation. That’s it, you have successfully installed ADB on a Windows, macOS, or Linux PC. You also have a device that is already connected to a PC via ADB.

If you have any questions please leave a comment below.

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