Accessing Localhost from Your Android Device

Accessing Localhost from Your Android Device

22 May 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

Developing and testing web applications often require accessing the local server from different devices. While accessing the localhost from an Android emulator is straightforward, doing so from a real Android device can pose challenges. This guide provides a comprehensive solution to help you access your localhost from an Android device.

Understanding the Problem

Typically, developers can access their laptop’s web server using the Android emulator by connecting to However, this method doesn’t work with a real Android device connected via USB. Here’s how to resolve this issue.

Step-by-Step Solution

Using Wi-Fi to Connect

The most straightforward method involves connecting both your laptop and Android device to the same Wi-Fi network.

  1. Ensure your laptop and Android device are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. Find your laptop’s IP address:
    • On Windows: Open the command prompt and type ipconfig.
    • On Unix/Linux: Open the terminal and type ifconfig or ip address.
  3. Identify the IPv4 address (e.g., 192.168.x.x).
  4. On your Android device, open a browser and enter the IP address followed by the port number (e.g., 192.168.x.x:port).

Using ADB Reverse Socket (Android only)

This method is useful if you face connection issues with the Wi-Fi approach.

  1. Connect your Android device to the laptop using a USB cable.
  2. Enable USB Debugging on the Android device.
  3. On the laptop, open the terminal or command prompt and run:
    adb reverse tcp:port tcp:port (replace port with your server port number).
  4. On your Android device, open a browser and navigate to http://localhost:port.

Using ngrok for Remote Access

If you need to access your localhost over the internet, ngrok provides a reliable solution.

  1. Install ngrok:
    • On macOS: brew install ngrok
    • On other systems, download ngrok from the official website.
  2. Run ngrok with the command: ngrok http port (replace port with your server port number).
  3. Copy the forwarding address provided by ngrok (e.g.,
  4. On your Android device, open a browser and navigate to the ngrok forwarding address.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Firewall Settings

Ensure that your firewall allows incoming connections on the specified port:

  • On Windows: Go to Control Panel > Windows Defender Firewall > Advanced Settings > Inbound Rules > New Rule. Create a rule allowing traffic on your server’s port.
  • On other systems, adjust firewall settings accordingly.

Network Permissions

Verify that the Android app has the necessary permissions to access the internet by including the following in the AndroidManifest.xml:

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET"/>

Integrating Repeato for Efficient Testing

While accessing your localhost from an Android device is crucial for development, ensuring that your app performs well across various scenarios is equally important. This is where Repeato, a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android, can be invaluable.

Repeato allows you to create, run, and maintain automated tests for your mobile apps quickly and efficiently. Leveraging computer vision and AI, Repeato makes it easy to edit and run tests, enabling developers to focus on creating great products. Additionally, Repeato’s user-friendly interface allows non-technical colleagues or QAs to handle test automation, freeing up developer resources.

For more details on how Repeato can streamline your testing process, visit our documentation and check out our blog.

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