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+.

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  • Luis Vagaroso

    Sorry, one question. I have a HTC touch and is bricked… can i make a goldcard for it?
    Is this solution only for android phones? Mine is windows mobile…
    Than’s

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  • Jodie

    Hi, can anyone tell me why I get to the command prompt and get the “list of devices” but nothing is listed? I’m stumped.

    • Jodie

      Anybody? I’m frustrated!

  • David

    Hi i am having problems getting windows virtual pc to put drivers on my phone. I used sdk and updated everything. When I go into cmd and type in the command lines it just says list of devices attached. I get no serial number. I then proceeded to download drivers manually for behold 2. I went in Device Manager and behold 2 isnt listed. There are yellow question marks where it says other devices> virtual pc integration system. If i click on the setup in the drivers folder it says installed successfully but still no recognization that behold 2 is connected. Also for clarification usddeview shows no drivers or devices hooked up to delete. Please help. Is there somewhere specific I am supposed to manually save drivers?

    • David

      windows virtual pc is running xp

  • Benji

    Hi dude.

    I followed your instructions and I couldn’t get my phone’s serial number. When I typed adb devices it just said “list of devices” and there was nothing else. I used USBdeview and uninstalled and plugged my phone back in. All I got was a new driver just like the one I had before. It says HTC Android Phone USB Device. I still don’t have one that says ADB device or anything. I’ve tried over and over and it won’t work. I need to activate my phone but I don’t have a data plan. I also tried updating my driver from the usb drivers folder in the androidsdk folder, but I think that didn’t work because it said it couldn’t find a better match than the one I already had. Please help.

    Thank you,

    Benji

  • ab

    hey i did everythinq as shown, and you c at the end when it says your device is ready to use and it says usb composite ready to use and all of the other stuff mine only saids usb mass storage ready to use, does that matter, and its not giving me a serial number or nothing, can you please help me,

  • jose

    hey just to let people know so they wont make the same mistake i did. it took me a week till i figured it out. those of you who are using tethering, THIS PROCEDURE WILL NOT WORK, YOU MUST DISABLE TETHERING FIRST IN ORDER FOR YOU TO GET YOUR SERIAL NUMBER. do your downloads first then either print this page or just leave it open and dont close it for the instructions. then disable tethering, (reboot your phone if you have to, i noticed i had to with “pdanet tether”) then follow the procedure and you should get your serial number……for xp users, (i dont know about others thou), after you do the procedure your tethering wont work so on your computer press control+alt+delete at the same time, click on task manager, click on “adb” just once, then end task and your tethering will work again. (note you will have to do that everytime you use cmd for your phone in order to get either or working)

  • albert

    hi this is killing me….i still don’t get why i say’s not a registered device when i run it on cmd….please help..
    I’m using windows xp..
    this is what i did…i turn on usb debbuging on my phone then connect it to the comp.then something pops up asking me if i want to install the driver and i click yes but it cannot find the driver and i don’t know why…o and i also did what u said on the video…..

    • jose

      try rebooting your phone and make sure you aint using tethering

  • http://www.facebook.com/Overatedkiller Christian Lacosta Audigieer

    guys can u help me? i found the super user application but then i dont know how to use it

  • G-ster

    How do I enable USB debugging on my Motorola Cliq

    • http://TheUnlockr.com TheUnlockr

      Same way on all phones (listed in the procedure).

      Settings > Applications > Development > Check USB Debugging ON.