Install adb on windows mac and linux

ADB (Android Debugging Bridge) and Fastboot are used to perform useful and critical functions on Android phone via terminal commands. Both tools are super handy in the development of the Android operating system. It also allows you to access and modify the underlying architecture of the Android operating system. ADB is usually used to send developer commands to your phone. Can be used to flash updates. Whereas, Fastboot can be used to send commands to the bootloader. Allowing you to flash custom firmware, factory images and custom recoveries. In this guide, we will guide you on how to install ADB on Windows, Mac or Linux operating system along with Fastboot.

So what’s the need to install ADB and Fastboot on your computer in order to perform different features on your Android phones. Well, without ADB and fastboot, you would need the whole Android SDK that takes about 2 GBs on your computer.

Now let’s move on to the guide on how to install ADB on Windows Mac or Linux. Each operating system has different commands. So I will cover each of them.

Prerequisites:

First of all, you need to download the zip files of ADB and fastboot utilities. According to your operating system download the zip file on your computer:

Once downloaded, extract the zip file where you want to use ADB and fastboot services.

Install ADB on Windows PC:

  1. First of all, download SDK platform tools for windows from above.
  2. Extract them somewhere easy to access.
  3. Now in order to test if ADB services are working properly, we will have to connect the phone with the computer and run a command.
  4. On your phone enable the USB Debugging Mode: Go to Settings > About Phone > Tap Build Number seven times to enable Developer Options, and then navigate to Settings > Developer Options > Enable USB Debugging. 
  5. Now on your computer open the command prompt in the same folder where you extracted the contents of the zip file. In order to open the command prompt:
    • Press ALT + D
    • Write CMD
    • Press Enter
  6. Make sure your phone is connected to the computer using a data cable. Also, the USB mode should be “File Transfer (MTP)“.
  7. Now enter the following command in the terminal on your computer:
    • adb devices
  8. On your phone, allow USB debugging when a prompt comes.
  9. Now you will see your phone is connected via the terminal.

If it does not work, you might have to set Environment Variable

Follow the steps below to set the environment variable:

  1. Go to the Control Panel of your computer and click on System and Security.
  2. Then click on System and select Advanced System Settings.
  3. Click on Environment Variables.
  4. Under System Variables, highlight path, then click edit
  5. Click on new and add the destination location directory (Link to the directory where you installed ADB and fastboot. For example: c:\desktop\adb
  6. Click OK.

Install ADB and Fastboot on macOS:

  1. First of all, download the SDK toolkit from above.
  2. While extracting the files from zip file manually indicate you want the files extracted to the directory ~/adb
  3. Now in the ADB folder, edit the file ~/.bash_profile
  4. Add this to the end of the file: export PATH=$PATH:~/adb
  5. Make sure the ADB and fastboot files in ~/adb have execute permissions.

You can test if the ADB connection is working by connecting your Android phone to your computer via data cable. Enabling USB debugging mode on your phone as mentioned in the first guide. Once your phone is connected and USB debugging is enabled. Open terminal in the folder where you have extracted the contents of the ZIP file and enter the following command

adb devices

Install fastboot and ADB on Linux:

  1. For the Linux operating system, the process is the same. Download the ADB and fastboot utilities from above for Linux.
  2. While extracting the files from zip file manually indicate you want the files extracted to the directory ~/adb
  3. open the folder where you have extracted the zip file.
  4. In the folder find and edit the file ~/.bash_profile
  5. Add this to the end of the file: export PATH=$PATH:~/adb
  6. Moreover, be sure that the ADB and fastboot files in ~/adb have execute permissions

Once you are done with the installation and extraction of ADB files. You can now connect your phone to your computer, test if the ADB connection is working with ADB commands. Once the connection is established. You can now use ADB and fastboot to install custom recoveries, flash firmware, flash factory images or OTAs on your Android smartphones like Google Pixel and Samsung.

If you have any questions regarding, how to install ADB on Windows, Mac or Linux operating system. You can drop your questions in the comments below.

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