Troubleshooting ADB Device Detection on MacOS

Troubleshooting ADB Device Detection on MacOS

22 April 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help


When working on Android development, it’s crucial for your Mac to recognize your Android device for testing and debugging. Occasionally, developers may encounter issues where their device is not detected by the Android Debug Bridge (ADB). This guide aims to provide solutions to resolve such issues and ensure a smooth development process.

Common Solutions for Device Detection

If your device is not showing up when you run adb devices, here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue:

Check the USB Cable

  • Ensure that you are using a USB cable capable of transmitting data, not just charging.
  • If possible, use the USB cable that came with your Android device or another cable known to work with other devices.
  • Try connecting the device to a different USB port on your Mac.

Modify ADB Configuration

Add your device’s Vendor ID to the ADB configuration:

  1. Launch the System Information application on your Mac.
  2. Select “USB” from the “Hardware” section and find your device.
  3. Note the “Vendor ID” displayed in the details pane.
  4. Open Terminal and run the following command, replacing [VendorID] with your device’s Vendor ID:
    echo 0x[VendorID] >> ~/.android/adb_usb.ini
  5. Restart ADB with the following commands:
    adb kill-server; adb devices

Enable Developer Options and USB Debugging

  • On your Android device, go to “Settings” > “About” and tap repeatedly on “Build Number” to enable “Developer Options”.
  • In “Developer Options”, ensure that “USB Debugging” is enabled.
  • If you’re using a device with security settings like Xiaomi’s MIUI, you may also need to enable “USB debugging (Security settings)”.

Additional Tips

  • If using an application like EasyTether, ensure it’s not interfering with ADB by unloading its kernel extension.
  • For some devices, switching the connection mode from MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) to PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol) may help.
  • Check if Android File Transfer is installed on your Mac, as it can facilitate a proper connection.
  • If all else fails, try rebooting both your Mac and Android device.

Introducing Repeato

Once your device is successfully connected, you may want to streamline your testing process. Repeato, a No-code test automation tool for iOS and Android, can greatly enhance your testing workflow. With its ability to create, run, and maintain automated tests based on computer vision and AI, it’s a powerful ally in your development arsenal. Repeato is compatible with various app frameworks and supports executing ADB commands via “script steps”, making it a versatile choice for developers.

For more insights on ADB and Android development, explore our articles on troubleshooting ADB unauthorized issues and launching Android applications via ADB.

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