How To Set Up ADB/USB Drivers for Android Devices (Updated 12/13/11)

So most people won’t have to use ADB (Android Debug Bridge) ever, but if you want to learn how or want to get a little more technical with your Android phone, here’s how to get it set up.

I. Setting Up The SDK

1. Download the Latest Android SDK from Google

Android SDK (Select the exe version)

2. Once downloaded, double click the exe file to open it. (MAKE SURE you change the directory that it is installing everything to to c:\android-sdk\)

3. Click on the SDK Manager and it will ask you to install packages. Select the following and leave all others unchecked:

Android SDK Tools
Android SDK Platform Tools
Google USB Driver Package, Revision XX (XX being the highest number available)

4. Then click continue and follow the on screen prompts until all of the packages are installed and it finishes.

5a. On your phone, click Settings > Applications > Development and make sure USB Debugging is on.

5b. If using Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0), click on Settings > Developer Options and make sure USB Debugging is on.

6. Plug your phone into your computer via USB cable (it needs to be on). It should say installing drivers if using Windows.

7. Open Windows File Explorer and look for the android-sdk folder inside of the C drive. Then open the platform-tools folder inside that. Now, hold the shift key down on your keyboard and right click in any blank area inside that folder. This will give you the option to open a command window here. Select that and a command prompt will open saying c:\android-sdk\platform-tools\      *if using windows XP, this won’t work. So instead open command prompt first by going to Start > Run > then typing in cmd and hitting enter. Then type cd c:\android-sdk\platform-tools\ and hit enter, then continue.

8. Type the following into the command prompt window (hitting enter at the end of every line):

adb devices

You should see a serial number pop up, it’s the serial number of your phone. This means you are all set!

If you do NOT see a serial number, then we need to reinstall the drivers manually in Section II below.

II. IF DRIVERS JUST WON’T AUTOMATICALLY INSTALL, DO IT MANUALLY HERE

1. A program called PDANet (used normally to allow you to wired tether your phone’s internet to your computer) can be used to install the ADB drivers for a lot of phones. Download it and follow it’s instructions to install it then go back to step 8 in Section I above and see if that gets you the serial number (if you do, you are all done). If not, then use one of the device specific programs below in step 2.

PDANet

2. Download your phone’s driver’s below then goto your Device Manager on your computer, look for the phone and click on it. Then click Properties > Update Driver > Browse > Let me pick > Computer > Have Disk > Browse > Then select the driver you downloaded below:

Universal Motorola Drivers (unzip the file once you download it, and run the program inside to install the drivers)(Updated 09.27.10)

Motorola Droid Drivers (unzip the file once you download it).

Motorola Milestone Drivers (follow the instructions on the page).

Motorola CLIQ Drivers (follow the instructions on the page).

Samsung Behold 2 Drivers (unzip the file, run the setup.exe) (If you have Windows 64Bit, you CANNOT install the Behold Drivers. Find someone with a 32Bit system to to any Behold 2 procedures involving ADB).

Samsung Galaxy Drivers (unzip the file, do NOT run setup.exe. Instead follow step 1 in Section II and install manually.)

If using a Samsung device, try downloading Samsung Kies and installing that then plugging in your device and trying again.

III. (Optional) Reinstall Drivers (If they did not install properly in Section I or II)

1. Download USBDeview

USBDeview

2. While the phone is still plugged in, open USBDeview and sort by manufacturer. Find all the HTC drivers and delete them all.

3. Once all have been deleted, unplug the phone from the USB cable and plug it back in.

4. The correct drivers should reinstall automatically (check the drivers as they are installing, one should say ADB Device driver).

5. To check, goto Devices (or Device Manager for older versions of Windows) in your Start menu then click on the “Android Phone”. Click on the Hardware tab, and check the list of drivers for ADB Interface under Type.

IV. (Optional) Install Fastboot

1. Download fastboot.exe and save it to your computer.

Fastboot (UPDATED 03.23.13)

2. Unzip it, then copy the fastboot.exe file into the platform-tools folder of your Android SDK.

3. Now, you can type fastboot commands in command prompt in the same place you typed adb commands.

V. Some Common ADB/Fastboot Commands

ADB Commands

adb devices – lists which devices are currently attached to your computer
adb install <packagename.apk> – lets you install an Android application on your phone
adb remount – Remounts your system in write mode – this lets you alter system files on your phone using ADB
adb push <localfile> <location on your phone> – lets you upload files to your phones filesystem
adb pull <location on your phone> <localfile> – lets you download files off your phones filesystem
adb logcat – starts dumping debugging information from your handset to the console – useful for debugging your apps
adb shell <command> – drops you into a basic linux command shell on your phone with no parameters, or lets you run commands directly

adb devices – lists which devices are currently attached to your computer

adb install <packagename.apk> – lets you install an Android application on your phone

adb remount – Remounts your system in write mode – this lets you alter system files on your phone using ADB

adb push <localfile> <location on your phone> – lets you upload files to your phones filesystem

adb pull <location on your phone> <localfile> – lets you download files off your phones filesystem

adb logcat – starts dumping debugging information from your handset to the console – useful for debugging your apps

adb shell <command> – drops you into a basic linux command shell on your phone with no parameters, or lets you run commands directly

Fastboot Commands

fastboot devices – lists which devices in fastboot mode are currently attached to your computer

fastboot boot <filename> – boots a rom stored on your pc specified by the filename

fastboot flash <partition> <filename> – flashes a rom stored on your pc, partition can be one of {boot, recovery, system, userdata}

 

If this procedure helped you, please consider donating to the original developer or at least sending them a thank you.

Now that you are rooted, head here to learn some of the fun things you can do!

For all the devices we have rooting procedures for, head here.


Something Wrong? If you notice an issue with the procedure (broken link, steps out of date, etc.), use this form to let us know! Otherwise, if you just are having trouble with the procedure, reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.

  • Pingback: Your Homescreen? - Android Forums

  • Pingback: Adb Setup Help - Android Forums

  • Pingback: Rootguide

  • danny54

    how do i download a driver for the my touch 3g there is no link and it wont automatically do it please reply and help!!!!

  • Pingback: Splash Screen - Android Forums

  • _MCCARD

    Hi Unlockr,

    Great site, keep up the good work!

    I’m having problems loading the adb drivers on an XP machine. I have tried everything above, including USBDeview. Is there anywhere that I could get the INF driver file directly? I am using an HTC Legend.

    thanks
    _mccard

  • theTrashcanMan

    Ok, I’m trying to activate my HTC G1 without a data plan. I’m stuck with the drivers, I know I’ve done everything else right becuase I tried it with a HTC Evo and was able to get the serial number so I know what I’m doing is right. However when I plug my G1 into the computer it always just shows up as a mass storage device. I have tried the usb dev thing, and have even tried to manually install the drivers but, honestly, I don’t really know what to look for, when I use the manual method it says that the driver isn’t the right driver. Any help you can provide would be really appreciated as I am at my wits end. Thanks

    • theTrashcanMan

      p.s. I also used the SDK update tool to fully update the package and usb drivers.

  • Pingback: Acer Liquid E Phone Guide: Information, Firmware Upgrades, Bugs, Tips & More! [UPDATED: 9/1/10] - Android Forums

  • Neo
    • scorror

      i tried your steps but still get adb server killing,…list of devices, no serial. Curiously, when i used the device manager checking drivers on my HTC desire, it says drivers installed by HTC and the version number of it. The question i want to ask is if the HTC drivers and adb drivers are the same or not.

  • Pingback: Rooting FRG22D without rsd lite - Android Forums

  • Pingback: How To: Root the Motorola CLIQ XT / Quench | TheUnlockr

  • Dormentor

    hi unlocker, a quick question from a newbie here, you might have answered this already but it’s kinda hard to
    browse and read the post one by one, so heres my dilemma,

    i already followed the steps but i can’t install apps in my phone, i mean 8s saying error on adb composite, and i followed to check for the adb in the cmd prompt, and there were no serial numbers, so i tried to install it manually now, heres the thing, i’m still using WinXP and everytime i click on update drivers it’s prompting me to a choice, and after i downloaded the drivers which should be installed (btw my phone is samsung galaxy spica gt-5700 android v2.1) i has 2 folders, now im not sure what to install or update..

    my supposidly smart phone is as dumb our neighbor and i really really would appreciate it if you help me go through this… heheheh tnx lots….

  • darkan9el

    Just unpacked the latest android sdk by right clicking on the zip file and choosing Extract Files… then typing the name AndroidSDK and it creates an additional folder so, to get to the tools folder the correct address would now be:

    C:\AndroidSDK\android-sdk-windows\tools

    or you can just move all the files and folders in the android-sdk-windows folder iinto the AndroidSDK folder to follow this tut verbatim.

  • gearhead3585

    behold 2 (firmware 1.6)
    vista basic (32-bit OS)
    C:\AndroidSDK <–it is renamed

    ok this has turned out to be an EPIC FAIL!!!
    like i said i have a behold 2. i owned it for a while now and had it loaded with apps. and i decided to do a "master rest" on the phone so it would be all original for all of this…….. basically i seen the videos on youtube of the behold 2 running on galaxy s ROM thanks to BH_Man. and u (theunlocker.com) give a vidoe of uploading this ROM. to do so the behold 2 must be ROOTED. in order to do so…. and in order to ROOT the behold 2 u need to do THIS "adb/usb BULLSHIT!!! i lost count of how many times i have tried to do this!!! i have downloaded ALL the files provided above ( in regards to behold 2) and i follow ALL the instructions exactly as instructed, and when i have the the files extrated to there proper locations: i downloaded "Android SDK" for windows, from the above link. the files were extracted to the Cdrive, and renamed AndroidSDK Ex. C:\ AndroidSDK. my behold 2's USB debugging was enabled.the samsung/android decive drivers were already installed, but were also uninstalled and reinstalled several times, using all metheds from above:manual and with ur drive pack. i tried using all three: samsung pc studio, mass storage, and jus charging. and when i go to the cmd and enter in all the commands i NEVER get a serial number at the end!!!!!

  • noeeBEAST

    behold 2 drivers say that it can harm my computer, do i still install it?

  • Pingback: Lots of questions (first thread) - Android Forums

  • Pingback: How to access your ADB shell. | Android Phone Headline

  • Pingback: Rooting Froyo on DX - Android Forums

  • Pingback: How To: Root the Motorola Backflip | TheUnlockr

  • Pingback: How To: Set Up ADB/USB Drivers for Android Devices