What is ADB and Fastboot tools, How to Install and Use it in Windows/Mac/Linux


If you are using Android smartphones and want to customize your Android phone then you might hear about ADB(Android Debug Bridge Utility) and Fastboot tools. ADB and Fastboot are must-have tools to install custom ROM, install Root, and install a custom recovery, etc using the PC.

ADB is required to communicate your Android device through a USB cable from your personal computers. PC sends the commands from your PC to Android through the ADB command line. Similarly, the Fastboot tool is used for updating the Android filesystem. We generally use both ADB(Android Debug Bridge Utility) and Fastboot tools to flash Stock ROM or custom recovery on your Android devices. In this tutorial, we will first coverWhat is ADB and Fastboot toolsand after this, we will deep dive into ADB-Fastboot tools installation.

Related Article: How to Unlock Bootloader of any Motorola Device using Fastboot

What is ADB(Android Debug Bridge Utility)?

ADB(Android Debug Bridge Utility) is a command-line development tool that is used to communicate with your Android device with a PC. ADB helps you to control your Android smartphones using a command-line prompt. You can send files, install and uninstall applications on your Android phone using ADB( Android Debug Bridge Utility).

What is Fastboot?

Fastboot is generally are a diagnostic tool that is required to modify the Android system file system in Bootloader mode. The tool only works if your Android phone is in the fastboot/bootloader mode. They send the command to the bootloader to install or modify the firmware in the Android file system. So to install the Latest custom or stock firmware or to install custom recovery you need to first install the ADB-Fastboot tool. The Fastboot tool is not for all devices so check your device compatibility with the Fastboot tool.

Both of these tools (ADB and Fastboot) comes with the Android SDK(Software DevelopmentKit). But SDK contains a large number of files along with Fastboot and ADB so Google made it an easy way to get it as Android SDK platform-tools. Now it’s time to install and use ADB and Fastboot.

Download Section

SDK-Platform tool

Setup ADB on your Android Device

To connect your Android phone with your computer using ADB then you need to enable the USB debugging in your Android device. To enable the USB debugging follow the below steps.

  1. Goto the Android setting and scroll down to about device.

  2. Next, tap on the build number 7 times to enable the developer option setting.

  3. Go back, you will see the developer option setting. Click on the developer option setting and search for USB debugging.

  4. Now enable the USB debugging setting.

usb debugging

If you know more about how to Enable USB debugging on an Android device then click here

Note: If your device is not shown then you have to install your Android mobile drivers.

Install theADB-Fastboot tool using SDK-Platform

  1. To install the ADB-Fastboot tool in your system, the first is to download the SDK-Platform tool according to your operating system from the download section.

  2. Once the SDK-Platform zip is downloaded, just extract the SDK-platform zip into some folder like C:\Android\platform-tools\.
    sdk-platform tool folder

  3. Now inside the platform-tools folder, open the command line. This can be done by holding the shift key and right-click on empty space inside the folder.

  4. Typeadbcommand on the command-line tool to check whether you can access the ADB tool or not. If this command will print the information about the ADB if installed successfully.
    command line

Edit Your System PATH/Environment Variable

Now you can access the ADB and Fastboot commands from inside the platform-tool folder.This is not the required step but if you set the path variable then you can access the ADB and Fastboot commands from every location in the command prompt.

Path or Environment variables are the lists of keys where the command prompt starts finding for commands. So setting the path variables will make things easier for you. There are different ways to set the path variable on the different operating systems. So we will show you how to set the path variable on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

Set Path Variable on Windows

  1. The first step is to copy the path of the platform-folder.

  2. Next, right-click on the My Comnputer icon and click on the Properties

  3. A pop-up of System Properties will appear. Now click on the Advanced tab.

  4. In the Advanced tab, click on the Environment variables button.

  5. Under System variables,select the path and click on the edit button.

  6. Now you have to add the platform-tool path according to your Windows version.

    • Windows 8/7:For windows 8/7 users, Append the platform-path at the end of the existing path and end with a semicolon.

    • Windows 10:For Windows 10 users, click on the new button and add the platform-tools path.
      Environment variable

  7. Restart your system and open the command prompt and run adb command.

Set Environment variables on Mac or Linux

  1. Suppose the extracted folder is ~/platform-tool in Mac/Linux file system.

  2. Next, you need to add the platform-tool address in the ~/.bash_profilefile. To do so add the below lines of code in to the ~/.bash_profile file.

    if [ -d "$HOME/platform-tools" ]; then
                export PATH="$HOME/platform-tools:$PATH"

  3. Runsource ~/.bash_profileto reflect the changes in the~/.bash_profilefile.

For more detail explanation, watch out the below video on How to install ADB and FASTBOOT driver on Windows 10/8/7 PC

Happy debugging…

About The Author

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Gulfam Ansari

A code lover, who also love to write about gadgets and new technologies.