Fix: ADB Sideload Not Working, Showing Error Cannot Read File

ADB sideload is one of the modern modes of Android debugging. It has been with the OS since the release of Android Jellybean, and it acts as a bridge between Android and Windows PC. If you’re looking to enhance the performance of your android device or just want to install any mod application, you just need to take the help of ADB. However, many users are facing ADB Sideload not working problems. To be more precise, users are dealing with ADB sideload not working, showing errors that cannot read files.

So, is there any effective way to fix the problem? Fortunately, there is, and this post is all about that. Here, we are going to share different ways by which you can fix ADB sideload not working; showing cannot read file error. So, without any further delay, let’s get fit into the topic.

ADB Sideload

Fix: ADB Sideload Not Working, Showing Error Cannot Read File

At the time of writing this article, there isn’t any official workaround available for the mentioned problem. Thus, you might have to go through all the below-mentioned fixes and stick with the one that does the job for you.

Plus, always remember the first rule of sideloading, i.e., depending on the firmware installed on your device, all the data my ticket deleted due to some unavoidable reasons. Therefore, make sure you have backed up all your files before getting into the process. Nevertheless, below are the steps you need to follow to get rid of ADB Sideload not working, showing cannot read file error.

Fix 1: Try Google’s ADB Drivers

At moment, there are a wide variety of ADB and Fastboot drivers rotating in the market. However, very few live up to the hype they create and users are always facing different errors while executing their commands. Therefore, it’s strictly commendation at you only go with the Google drivers to get the work done.

First off, download Android SDK from its official website. For your convenience, here’s the direct download link to it. Extract the zip file on your system desktop and name it “platform-tools”. That’s it. Now try continuing your sideloading process and check if you are still facing the problem. If not, you are good to go. However, in case the problem persists, move on to the next workaround.

Fix 2: Cross-Check ADB Connection

If you are still facing the problem, the next workaround you can try is to make sure that there isn’t any interference in the ADB connection between your smartphone and Windows PC. You can check it by following the below-mentioned steps.

First off, you will have to enable the USB debugging from your Android smartphone. In order to do that, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Head over to the “Settings” menu of your Android smartphone.
  2. Navigate to the “About Phone” section.
  3. In the About Section, tap on the “Version” option.
  4. Now, tap on the “Build number” to enter the developer mode.
  5. Now, come back to the settings menu again.
  6. Tap on “Additional Settings” > “Developer Option”.
  7. In the developer menu, scroll down and enable the USB debugging option.

Now that you have enabled the USB debugging option on your device, connect it to the PC using a USB cable. And follow the below-mentioned steps.

  1. Navigate to the place where you have extracted the “platform-tools” folder.
  2. Open the folder, right-click on the blank space and select “Open with command prompt” or “Open with PowerShell option”.
  3. Depending on your choice, the PowerShell or the Command Prompt window will pop up.
  4. In the space provided type the below-mentioned command and present enter.
    adb devices

After the execution of the command, if you get an alphanumeric ID followed by the “device” keyword, then it indicates that the connection between your smartphone and the PC has been established successfully. But in case, instead of the device keyword, you get the “unauthorized” keyword, then it indicates that there is some problem between the connection. To fix this you will have to approve the connection by allowing the pop-up that pops on your Android smartphone.

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Fix 3: Give Proper Name and Location

Another main reason because of which you are facing ADB sideload not working, showing cannot read file error can be the wrong file name and its location. If you have given an incorrect file name or saved it in any inappropriate directory, then you are most likely to face the mentioned problem. To avoid the situation, rename the file with a simple name. For instance, you can name it “sideload”, i.e., “”.

And for avoiding the wrong directory mistake make sure that the “” is stored inside the platform-tools folder. Once you have fulfilled both these requirements, continue with the sideloading process and check if you are still facing the mentioned problem. If yes, move to the next workaround.

Fix 4: Use Original USB Cable for Sideloading

This is something very basic, still, make sure you are using the original USB cable for the sideloading process. If not, use only the one that has come along with your smartphone. Further, there’s no need to describe how good the relationship is between custom ROMs and USB 3.0 ports.

Thus, make sure you are going with the USB 2.0 port to avoid the ADB sideload not working, showing a cannot read file error.

Fix 5: Use Full Firmware

Smartphone manufacturers release the device updates in two forms. To be more precise, the update is released in an incremental and full ROM form. So, if your Android smartphone features the stock firmware, then you will have to go with the incremental update to fix the problem.

But how to recognize which one is incremental and which one is the full ROM? It’s quite easy, the firmware which has the larger file size is the full ROM. Furthermore, first, go with the incremental file and check if the problem is solved or not. If not, continue with sideloading the full firmware to fix the problem. Once completed, check if you are still facing ADB sideload not working, showing cannot read file error. If yes, continue the next workaround.

Fix 6: Make Windows Compatible With Large ADB Address

By default, Windows is not designed in such a way to accept large ADB addresses. So, in case you are trying to perform ADB sideload on a comparatively larger file, thus being unaware of the situation, Windows will fail to appoint the required memory to the file. Thus, in order to fix the problem, make the Windows PC compatible with the large ADB address.

Fix 7: Use TWRP Recovery

In case you have already unlocked the Android smartphone bootlocker, then instead of going through any of the above-mentioned steps, you can solve the problem using the TWRP recovery. But make sure your device is compatible with custom recovery. So, here are the steps you need to follow to get rid of ADB sideload not working, showing cannot read file error using TWRP recovery.

  1. To begin with, download TWRP recovery on your Android smartphone. For your convenience here’s the direct download link. You can also visit Xda-developers to download the file.
  2. Now, paste the downloaded file, i.e., twrp.img in the platform-tools folder. And also paste the file to the platform-tools folder.
  3. In the platform-tools folder, right-click on the blank space and select open with Command Prompt/ PowerShell option.
  4. The command prompt/ PowerShell window will pop up.
  5. In the space provided, type the below-mentioned code and press the enter key to execute it. This code will activate fast boot mode on your Android smartphone.
    adb reboot bootloader
  6. Now, enter the below-mentioned command in the CMD window. It will boot the Android smartphone to TWRP recovery.
    fastboot boot twrp.img
  7. In the TWRP window, head towards the “Advanced” option, followed by selecting ADB to sideload.
  8. Now, right swipe on the screen to begin the sideloading process.
  9. In the Command Prompt window, enter the below-mentioned command to flash the firmware using the sideloading process.
    adb sideload

That’s it. Once the flashing process is completed, you will notice that you are no longer facing ADB sideload not working, showing a cannot read file error.

Final Words

This was how to fix ADB sideload not working, showing cannot read file error. Let us know in the comments whether the problem was fixed or not. Moreover, feel free to check out our other ADB sideload guides.

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