How to Copy a Database File from Android Device with ADB Pull

How to Copy a Database File from Android Device with ADB Pull

22 April 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

Accessing database files directly from an Android device can be a bit tricky due to permission restrictions. This guide aims to help you overcome the ‘permission denied’ error when trying to use the ADB pull command to copy a database file from your device.

Understanding the Problem

When attempting to pull a database file using ADB, the following command might result in a permission denied error:

    adb pull /data/data/ /sdcard/test

This error usually occurs because the data you’re trying to access is in a private directory of the app.

Effective Solution

To copy the database without changing the file permissions, you can use the run-as command, which allows you to execute commands as the package’s user. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Open your terminal or command prompt.
  2. Run the following command, replacing com.example.test with your package name and data.db with your database name:
    adb -d shell "run-as com.example.test cat /data/data/com.example.test/databases/data.db" > data.db

This command uses run-as to access the app’s data directory and then uses the cat command to output the contents of the database file. The output is then redirected to a file on your local machine.

Linking to Repeato

While the above method is a manual way to access app files, automating such processes can save valuable time and resources. This is where Repeato, our no-code test automation tool, shines. Repeato can help you automate tests for your apps, regardless of the framework used to develop them. By integrating ADB commands through script steps, Repeato allows you to streamline your testing process, ensuring that you can repeatedly access and test app data without manual intervention.

Moreover, Repeato’s use of computer vision and AI makes it fast to edit and run tests, providing a reliable and efficient way to maintain automated tests across different app versions and devices.


By following the steps outlined in this guide, you should be able to successfully pull database files from your Android device, bypassing the ‘permission denied’ error. Remember to replace the package and database names with those specific to your project. For a more efficient and automated approach, consider leveraging the capabilities of Repeato to streamline your testing process.

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