How to Install ADB Without the Full Android SDK

How to Install ADB Without the Full Android SDK

22 April 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

If you are looking to install ADB (Android Debug Bridge) on a PC and want to avoid downloading the entire Android SDK, you’re in luck. This guide will walk you through the process of installing just the ADB tool, which is a fraction of the size of the full SDK and is sufficient for tasks such as connecting to an Android device and installing APK files.

Official ADB Download

Google now provides ADB as part of its SDK Platform Tools release, which is a significantly smaller package than the full SDK. Here are the steps to download and install ADB:

  1. Visit the SDK Platform Tools page.
  2. Download the ZIP file for your operating system (Windows, Mac, or Linux).
  3. Extract the ZIP file to a folder on your computer.
  4. Open a command prompt or terminal window in the extracted folder that contains the ADB binary.
  5. Enable USB debugging on your Android device and connect it to your PC.
  6. Run the command adb devices to ensure your device is listed.

Setting Up Environment Variables (Windows)

To make ADB accessible from any command prompt in Windows, you’ll need to add it to your PATH environment variable:

  1. Right-click on ‘My Computer’ or ‘This PC’ and select ‘Properties’.
  2. Click on ‘Advanced System Settings’.
  3. Click on ‘Environment Variables’.
  4. Under ‘System Variables’, find and select the ‘Path’ variable, then click ‘Edit’.
  5. Add the path to the ‘platform-tools’ folder to the variable value. For example:
  6. Ensure each path is separated by a semicolon (;). Do not remove any existing paths.
  7. Click ‘OK’ to save your changes.

After setting up the environment variable, you can run the adb devices command from any location in the command prompt to interact with your Android device.

ADB for Specific Operating Systems

For Ubuntu users, ADB can be installed using the apt package manager with the command:

sudo apt install adb

Note that installing the android-sdk-platform-tools-common package alongside ADB is recommended, as it contains udev rules for Android devices that allow ADB and fastboot to run without requiring root permissions.

Product Feature: Repeato

When working with ADB, whether it’s for app installation, debugging, or running automated tests, having a reliable tool is essential. Repeato is a no-code test automation tool that can streamline your testing process. It supports various app frameworks like React Native, Flutter, and Unity, making it versatile for different development environments. Repeato’s integration of ADB allows you to execute ADB commands via script steps, enhancing your testing capabilities.

Repeato is designed for efficiency, with a focus on speed for editing and running tests. Its use of computer vision and AI to automate tests ensures that you can maintain high-quality apps with less manual effort. If you’re looking for a solution to complement your use of ADB and elevate your testing workflow, Repeato might be the tool you need.

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