Resolving ADB Server Version Mismatch Issues

Resolving ADB Server Version Mismatch Issues

5 April 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

When developing and testing Android applications, using the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) is a common practice. However, users may occasionally encounter an error that states: adb server version (xx) doesn't match this client (yy); killing.... This error indicates a mismatch between the ADB server and client versions. This guide will walk you through the steps to resolve this issue, ensuring a smooth development process with your Android applications.

Understanding the ADB Version Mismatch Error

The error message typically arises when there is a version conflict between the ADB server that’s running and the ADB client that’s attempting to communicate with it. This can happen when multiple ADB instances are installed on the system, or when third-party tools bundle their own versions of ADB.

Method 1: Synchronizing ADB Versions

If you’re working with an Ubuntu-based OS, the following steps can help synchronize the ADB versions:

  1. Terminate the current ADB server with the command: adb kill-server.
  2. Copy the ADB executable from your Android SDK’s platform-tools directory to /usr/bin/adb using the command: sudo cp ~/Android/Sdk/platform-tools/adb /usr/bin/adb.
  3. Make the ADB executable a runnable binary: sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/adb.
  4. Restart the ADB server: adb start-server.

By doing this, you ensure that the system uses the ADB version from your Android SDK.

Method 2: Configuring Genymotion to Use Custom SDK Tools

If you are using Genymotion as your emulator, follow these steps to resolve the version conflict:

  1. Open Genymotion settings and navigate to the ADB tab.
  2. Select ‘Use custom Android SDK tools’.
  3. Browse to the location of your installed Android SDK.

This forces Genymotion to use the ADB tools from your Android SDK, which should match the version of the ADB client you’re using.

Method 3: Ensuring a Single ADB Version

Sometimes, having multiple ADB versions on your system can cause conflicts. To resolve this:

  1. Disconnect any connected devices or emulators.
  2. Locate all instances of ADB on your system and remove any versions that are not in your Android SDK’s platform-tools directory.
  3. After cleaning up unnecessary ADB instances, restart the ADB server with the commands: adb kill-server followed by adb start-server.

Ensure that your system’s PATH environment variable points to the correct platform-tools directory.

Method 4: Checking for Conflicting Processes (Windows)

On Windows systems, conflicting ADB processes can cause this error. To check for and resolve this issue:

  1. Open Task Manager and look for any ADB processes.
  2. If found, check the properties to see where the ADB executable is running from.
  3. If the path is different from your Android SDK’s platform-tools directory, terminate the process.
  4. Run the ADB executable from the correct path, which is typically something like: C:\Users\%user%\AppData\Local\Android\sdk\platform-tools.

This should resolve any conflicts by ensuring that the system uses the ADB version from the Android SDK.


The “ADB server version doesn’t match this client” error can be a hurdle in your development and testing workflow. By following the methods outlined above, you can quickly resolve version conflicts and continue working with your Android applications seamlessly. Remember to keep your development tools updated and consistent across your system to prevent such issues from arising in the future.

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