ADB and Fastboot are essential command-line tools for Android that facilitate a range of tasks including flashing factory images or custom recovery or kernel images (.img), sideload APK, etc. Using ADB and Fastboot commands, we can perform countless tasks on Android devices and even debug them. Thanks to Android SDK Platform-tools that pack together all required files to execute ADB and Fastboot commands using a command prompt. Below, you can download the latest SDK platform-tools Zip for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X directly from the Google servers.
What is SDK Platform-Tools?
Essentially, the ‘platform-tools” is a command-line tool meant for developers only. They are a part of the Android SDK Manager and Android Studio and are used to perform more complicated tasks like developing, analyzing, and debugging Android apps APK (Android Application Package file). Using them you can emulate apps, edit the visual layouts, and test them without a real Android device.
Not too long ago, we had to download a full Android SDK suite or Android Studio and get the Platform-tools. Google then decided to release the Android SDK Platform-tools separately. Now, we can download the latest version of Android SDK Platform-tools for Windows, Linux, and Mac in an easy-to-download Zip package.
Download ADB and Fastboot SDK Platform-Tools
Below you can download the Android SDK Tools for all three major operating systems for computers.
Android SDK Tools (Windows)
Having downloaded the latest version of Android SDK Platform-tools for Windows, you can follow the steps given below to set it up.
SDK Platform Tools (Mac OS X)
(Learn how to install and use ADB and Fastboot on Mac)
ADB Platform Tools (Linux & Ubuntu)
I wrote a detailed guide on installing ADB and Fastboot on Linux or Ubuntu to help you with executing commands successfully.
How to Use SDK Platform-Tools
Now that you have already downloaded the SDK Platform-tools, you need to install it or set it up on your computer. If you don’t know what to do with the zip file you just downloaded and how to execute the ADB and Fastboot commands, I am going to explain everything you need to know.
First of all, you need to unzip the “platform-tools-latest.zip“. You can extract it anywhere on your computer but I prefer saving the files to a folder created as “Android” on the C drive on my Windows PC. Having extracted the zip file, you need to launch a command prompt window before you can execute an ADB or Fastboot command.
How to Launch a Command Window?
It’s very easy to launch a command prompt window on a Windows PC. Click the Search icon next to the Windows menu icon on the taskbar and hit the Enter key. In case you need to launch the Command or CMD window from inside the Platform-tools folder, there are 2 ways to do that.
- Open the folder in which you extracted the content of the Platform-tool.zip file.
- While pressing the Shift key on the keyboard, perform a right-click on your mouse at an empty place inside the folder window.
- From the context menu pop-up, select the “Open command prompt here” option.
- You can now execute any ADB or Fastboot command.
Well, this method is far easier than the one I described above. You can simply launch a command window from inside the platform-tools folder by typing “cmd” in the Windows file explorer address bar as shown below and hitting the Enter key on your PC’s keyboard.
Note: Make sure to enable the USB debugging option on your Android device. You can find it under Settings> Developer options. In case you don’t see Developer Options listed under device Settings, open About device> Software Information and tap the Build number 7 times to unlock the hidden Developer options on your Android device.
You need to allow the debugging option so that your devices and computer can communicate and interact with each other. When you execute a command in the cmd window, you’ll get a pop-up on your Android’s screen asking you to Allow USB debugging.
Verify ADB Connection
Note: Make sure you have already installed the proper Android USB Driver from your device’s manufacturer on your computer.
- Having enabled USB Debugging from Developer options, connect your phone or tablet to the computer using a compatible USB cable.
- Now launch a command window and type the following command and click the Enter key on the keyboard.
- You’ll see the list of the IDs of attached devices in the Command Prompt window represented by a string of alphanumeric values as shown below.
Please note that to sideload and APK on your Android phone via ADB or to flash a system image (.img) file using Fastboot commands, you need to place those files inside the “platform-tools” folder first. You can also enable system-wide ADB and fastboot so that you can execute commands without navigating to the “platform-tools” directory every time. If you encounter any problem while running commands, read my tutorial on fixing ADB or Fastboot is not recognized error.
Now that you have set up SDK Platform-tools on your computer, here are a few things that you should start with.