Although designed specifically keeping the Android developers in mind, the Android platform tools (ADB and Fastboot etc.) can be immensely useful for every Android smartphone user. Through the ADB (Android Debug Bridge), you can perform system level operations in your phone from the convenience of your PC, like installing an app in the phone, uninstalling the apps, copying files from and to the SD cards, recording the Android screen into a video and more. But for all this you have to take two steps – enable the developer options in your Android device and install the ADB, Fastboot and other Android platform tools in your PC.
You can learn about how you can enable the developer options in your Android device from one of our previous article : how to enable developer options in Android. And for installing the ADB, fastboot and other things, you can follow the instructions below:
- Java JDK has to be installed for Android SDK to work. You can download and install from Oracle’s Java website : http://www.oracle.com/. The downloads are for different platforms and you have to pick the one that applied to your platform.
- Download and install Android SDK Tools from Android’s official developer site : http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html#Other. The SDK tools are available for Windows, Mac and Linux. In this article we are using the Windows version.
- After Android SDK has been installed, launch Android SDK Manager either from the Start Menu shortcut or from the programs directory (launch SDK Manager.exe).
- In the SDK Manager, uncheck everything except Android SDK Platform Tools from the list and click Install 1 Package button.
- On the next window that opens up, you have to agree to the package license and then click on the Install button. The download is around 1 MB in size so it finishes in a flash. That’s it. Now you have Android SDK ADB and fastboot tools installed in your PC.
- To test the ADB, you can connect your Android device (with developer options enabled) to your PC via a USB data cable, open a command prompt and then give the command adb devices. It should list your device’s serial number and name. Some of the generic Android devices do not have any name – for them it will show “Device” as the device name.
- Now that you have ADB and Fastboot installed on your PC, you can learn more about them from the Android’s official website : http://developer.android.com/tools/help/adb.html.
Conclusion: Installing ADB and fastboot is very easy and gives you more control over your Android device. Through these tools, you can control your Android device from your Windows PC even if you are not into Android development.