Primarily, ADB (Android Debug Bridge) is used for ‘development-mode’ tasks when running applications on your Device. Android Debug Bridge can control your device over USB from a computer, install and uninstall stuff, copy files back and forth, and more. You’ll also need ADB to do the following.
- Backup and restore your Android Device (tablet or Smartphone)
- Install Android apps to your SD card by default.
ADB also comes in extremely handy whenever you want to issue a command to Push files to the Phone and then execute those files just to root the handset.
Android Debug Bridge vs Android SDK
Google has just released Android Debug Bridge as a standalone download which is good because you don’t have to download a developer kit just to mod your handset. And Google refers to it as a Platform Tool Package.
Trying to root your Smartphone? Well, ADB is just the tool to go for.
How to setup ADB on Android
Back in the days, you needed to download the entire Android SDK (Software Development Kit) to get ADB to work on your device. Thanks to some brilliant developers though, you only need to download a few selected files now.
- Download the 15 second ADB Installer at the XDA forum here. This package will install three of the most needed Android tools (namely ADB, Fastboot and Drivers) to your Windows PC.
- Once the download is complete, right click on the .exe and ‘Run as Administrator’.
- When it opens, click y and press enter for each of the queries as it guides you through the installation process. This downloads and installs ADB system and other utilities.
- Restart your PC when installed.
- On your Android handset, go to Settings>About Phone and progressively tap on the Build Number till you are a developer.
- Tap back then enable USB Debugging from the Developer Options.
- Connect your device to PC via USB cable and wait as it installs drivers.
- Launch File Explorer on your PC, go to C: then adb Press shift on the keyboard and right-click on an empty spot somewhere inside the ADB folder. Select ‘Open Command Window Here’.
- Once the command prompt screen opens, type adb devices and hit enter.
- If you’re using a newer Android handset, a popup will show asking to allow the RSA keys. Check ‘Always Allow’ and accept.
- Your phone’s serial number should pop up now, and that means you’re all good. If you can’t see the serial number, then something might have gone wrong and you’ll need to manually reinstall the drivers.
To know whether Android Debugging Bridge is working, you need to connect your Smartphone to your computer using a USB cable. Right click on “my computer” then “manager” and “Device manager”. If ADB driver is installed properly it will be listed under “Android USB Device” or “ADB interface”. But if a yellow exclamation icon appears in front of it, then the ADB driver is not working.