ADB Commands List – A Detailed ADB Cheat Sheet

If you are an Android enthusiast, you must be one who loves to tinker with your phone’s settings and try something new. Using the ADB and Fastboot commands, you can do more than what you think of. ADB is a command-line tool that works like a bridge between your computer and Android devices and emulators. I have compiled a huge list of ADB cheat sheet with almost all ADB commands with detailed explanations. Using these commands you can explore the true potential of your Android device and perform some really complicated tasks easily.

Most users make use of just a small set of commands such as adb devices, fastboot oem unlock, fastboot flash recovery.img and so on. Check out the following ADB and Fastboot commands list directory with a simplified explanation for each of them. ADB or Android Debug Bridge consists of 3 components:

  1. Client: the computer your Android device or emulator is connected to.
  2. Daemon: also known as ‘adbd’ is the service that runs on your computer and Android device both to facilitate command execution and acceptance between the devices.
  3. Server: this is the very software that handles the communication between the Client and the Daemon.

Please note that you must download and install the appropriate USB driver from your OEM and the latest SDK Platform-tools on your computer. You’ll also need to Allow USB debugging on your Android device.

ADB Commands List Directory

Below is a list of some really useful ADB commands you should try to debug your Android phone, reboot it, sideload APKs, flashable ZIPs, push and pull files, uninstall apps and various other things. I’ll be mentioning all ADB commands and explain their function briefly. You should also check out our detailed guide on all Fastboot commands for Android devices.

adb

This is a nude command that can be used to get the ADB version and all possible commands associated with ADB.

all adb commands

adb devices

This is one of the most used ADB commands as it is used to see the list of the Android devices connected to your computer. We generally use this command to check if our device is properly connected to the computer or not.adb devices

 

adb devices -l

You can use the above command to list of devices by model or product number.

adb devices //show devices attached

This is similar to the ‘adb devices’ command that shows you the list of connected Android devices and emulators to your computer.

adb connect ip_address_of_device

If you want to find out and connect the IP address of your Android device to your PC.

adb help

You can use the ‘adb help’ command to display the help documentation on all ADB commands.

adb version

Use this command to find out the version of ADB driver installed on your computer.

command to check adb version

adb reboot

As this very ADB command suggests, ‘adb reboot’ command can help reboot your Android phone or tablet into the bootloader, fastboot or recovery mode in case the hardware keys of your device do not function properly.

adb reboot bootloader

You can use this command to reboot your Android device into the Fastboot or Bootloader Mode. The command is often used when you want to flash the factory images or a custom recovery.

adb reboot recovery

This is one of the most used ADB commands. You can execute it to reboot your device into the Android Recovery mode.

adb install

Usually, we transfer an APK file to our Android device and install it via File Manager. Thanks to the ‘adb install’ command that it makes it easy to install APK files on Android devices directly from your computer. To be able to do so, copy the APK file to the SDK platform-tools folder first. There are are some variations of this command for different conditions.

adb install com.facebook.katana.apk

While you can install an APK on your Android devices using the above command, you can use the command given below to update or reinstall an app without deleting its data.

adb install -r com.facebook.katana.apk

Some apps support installation on the SD card. By using the following ADB commands, move an app to the SD storage.

adb install -s com.facebook.katana.apk
adb install –k <add the path of the .APK file on your computer>

adb uninstall

Using this command in the ADB terminal windows, you can uninstall an app from your phone or tablet.

adb uninstall com.facebook.katana

If you want to uninstall an app but keep its data and cache files, you can use the ‘adb uninstall’ command with ‘-k‘ parameter as shown below.

adb uninstall -k com.facebook.katana

adb usb

If you want to find out the Android device or emulators currently connected to your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, you can use the ‘adb usb’ command.

adb logcat

By executing the ‘adb logcat’ command, you can see the log data of your Android device on your computer. There are a few variations of this command with ‘-c‘ and ‘-d‘ parameters.

adb logcat -c // clear //

While using the above command you can clear all existing logs on your Android phone or tablet, you can save the logcat data on your PC with the following command.

adb logcat -d > [path_to_file] //

adb start-server

This is a useful command that lets you start the adb server in case it stopped responding. It’s often used after killing the adb server as described below.

adb kill-server

If the ADB terminal is not functioning properly by killing the adb server. It’s similar to turning off our Android devices to fix small issues.

adb sideload

It’s one of the most popular ADB commands as it can be used to sideload software update.zip files using your computer. If you have downloaded a flashable update.zip, just copy it to the ‘platform-tools‘ folder and execute the following command. If the zip file you download has a different name, rename it to”update.zip” for the sake of convenience.

adb sideload update.zip

Alternatively, you can sideload or flash update zip packages using Android stock recovery or TWRP recovery as well. For that, you will have to transfer the update.zip file your device, reboot your Android into the recovery mode, and select the “Apply update from sdcard” option.

adb pull

You can download or pull files stored on your Android device to your computer using the following ADB command.

This command can be used to pull any files from your device and save it to the ‘platform-tools’ folder on your computer.

adb pull /sdcard/video-01.mp4

In case you want to pull the file to a specific location or drive (D drive, for instance) on your PC, you issue the following command mentioning the path of the storage location as shown below.

adb pull /sdcard/video-01.mp4 d:\

adb push

Similarly, this command can be used to push a file from your computer to your device. Please note that you’ll have to transfer the file you want to push tp the ‘platform-tools’ directory first. To push a file to your Android device’s SD card, for example, use the following code.

adb push com.whatsapp_2.19.368-453132.apk /sdcard

In case you want to send a file to your device stored on a specific location, you can use the below command instead.

adb push d:\com.whatsapp_2.19.368-453132.apk /sdcard

adb backup //

You create or take a full backup of your Android to your computer, try this command.

adb restore //

You can also restore the backup you have already created using this command.

adb bugreport

This command is best suited if you want to diagnose any issue on Android devices. Its execution can show you log data, dumpstate, and dumpsys from your Android device on your computer.

adb jdwp

JDWP means Java Debug Wire Protocol. By using this ADB command, you can see the list of JDWP processes on your PC.

adb get-serialno

If you want to find out ADB instance serial number, you can use this command.

adb get-state

Shows the ADB status of a connected device or emulator.

adb wait-for-device

This program tells ADB that it has to wait and keep the connection on hold until the next command is issued.

That’s all for now. ADB Shell commands are more useful than the commands mentioned above. Don’t forget to check them out.

Download ADB Commands List PDF

I’ll keep updating this list of ADB commands regularly. You can also download this list of ADB commands as a PDF file for future reference.

If you want more explanation about any of the commands listed above, let me know via comments.

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