Many of us communicate with our devices through touch screens using our fingers. However, there may be times when the touch screen or the entire device is unresponsive. In such instances, it’s helpful to know the basics of ADB commands to perform necessary actions like device activation, fast reboot, factory reset, and more. Learning new skills is always beneficial, so let’s begin with some fundamental ADB commands for Android smartphones.
Just a heads up, we won’t be diving into every single ADB command in great detail. However, we’ve compiled a list of essential ones that will come in handy if your device ever malfunctions. Whether your device is frozen, your data is corrupted, or you’re unable to access it for any reason, these ADB commands will be your saving grace. You can use them to revive your device or transfer files without any hassle. These tools are user-friendly and will be beneficial to you in the long run.
- Why We Need ADB and Fastboot Commands
- Basic ADB command that you should learn to become Android Pro
- How to Install and Setup ADB and Fastboot Tool?
- 1. The ADB devices command
- 2. The adb push command
- 3. The adb pull command
- adb pull <remote> [local]
- 4. The adb reboot command
- 5. The adb reboot-bootloader and adb reboot recovery commands
- 6. The fastboot devices command
- 7. The fastboot unlock command
- 8. The adb shell command
- 9. The adb install command
- 10. The adb sideload command
Why We Need ADB and Fastboot Commands
Android Debug Bridge (ADB) and Fastboot are essential command-line tools for Android developers, enthusiasts, and power users. These tools provide a way to communicate with and manage Android devices directly from a computer, offering several advantages:
- Debugging: ADB allows developers to debug their apps in real-time, helping identify and fix issues more efficiently. It provides direct access to the device’s file system, logs, and other information needed for debugging.
- Customization: ADB and Fastboot commands enable users to customize their devices by installing custom ROMs, recoveries, and other modifications. These tools offer greater control over the device, allowing for a more personalized user experience.
- Rooting: ADB and Fastboot commands are often used in rooting to grant users administrative access to their devices. Rooting enables the installation of specialized apps, removal of pre-installed bloatware, and tweaking of system settings.
- Firmware updates: Fastboot is commonly used to flash firmware updates or to unbrick a device that may not boot correctly. This tool can help users restore their device to a functional state or upgrade to a newer operating system version.
- Backup and restore: ADB can create backups of an Android device’s data, including apps, settings, and files. This is useful for users who want to ensure their data is safe before performing any modifications or updates.
- Troubleshooting: ADB and Fastboot commands can assist in diagnosing and resolving various device issues, such as boot loops, crashes, or connectivity problems. They provide a direct line of communication with the device, making identifying and fixing problems easier.
Basic ADB command that you should learn to become Android Pro
Every Android developer or Android enthusiast should know some basic ADB commands. Because why not? You can achieve a lot more using these basic ADB commands. Using basic ADB commands is just like using keyboard shortcuts. They make things easier to operate. So let us start with a few Basic ADB commands.
How to Install and Setup ADB and Fastboot Tool?
Setting up ADB and Fastboot is very easy. As ADB and Fastboot both are a part of the Android SDK package, only you to download the kit (which is over 500 MB) and then set up path variables, or the below-written methods can be used to install ADB and fastboot driver on Windows and macOS. But first, you need to remember that you have to put your device into USB debugging mode, but before that, you need to enable the developer option. If you just ignore this step, the possibility is your PC won’t recognize your device.
1. The ADB devices command
The “adb devices” is a very popular ADB command which we use to list all the devices in command prompt which are ready to take commands in for action. Nevertheless to say that it is one of the most important commands as without using adb devices you won’t be able to operate on your smartphone at all.
If you’re an android pro, then you must know this command as it will tell you whether your PC and Android device are connected via android debug bridge or not.
2. The adb push command
This command is useful when you need to move files to your android device programmatically. For this to work, you need to know a few parameters like the name of the file and the full path of the file. After that, you can push files to your device.
Upload a specified file from your computer to an emulator/device.
adb push <local> <remote>
adb push test.apk /sdcard
Copies <android-sdk-path>/platform-tools/test.apk to /sdcard directory.
adb push d:\test.apk /sdcard
In the above example, you will see how you can push a song file into the music folder on your smartphone.
3. The adb pull command
This command is used to pull stuff out of your device. In this scenario, you can pull out files and folders from your device to your computer. All you need to know is the file or folder name in order to move files. These push and pull commands are extremely useful when you want to take a backup of your device.
Download a specified file from an emulator/device to your computer.
adb pull <remote> [local]
adb pull /sdcard/demo.mp4
download /sdcard/demo.mp4 to <android-sdk-path>/platform-tools directory.
adb pull /sdcard/demo.mp4 e:\
download /sdcard/demo.mp4 to drive E.
4. The adb reboot command
This is an extremely useful command for custom ROM makers and Android developers in general. There are times when developers need to reboot the android devices. So its easier to type the command rather than physically pressing the button. Also, this can also be automated using a script while installing a custom kernel or a custom ROM. In short- it is very useful command even for day to day Android users.
5. The adb reboot-bootloader and adb reboot recovery commands
The previous command we just discussed can be used to reboot a device. However, there are other basic ADB commands which you can use to reboot your device in a certain mode.
adb reboot recovery
Herewith the “adb reboot recovery” command, you can reboot your device into bootloader mode. Doing it is easy, just type adb reboot-bootloader and hit the enter key.
adb reboot bootloader
This command will boot your device into bootloader where you can unlock your bootloader, reboot into fastboot and recovery mode, and do some other tasks.
6. The fastboot devices command
When you are in bootloader mode, none of your so-called ADB commands will work. This is because the android is not booted up and the USB debugging bridge is not activated to communicate with. So in such scenarios, we use the “fastboot” command to communicate with the device.
Fastboot is one of the best and lifesaving adb commands available to Android users. You can pass files, communicate, revive deal smartphones, and much more. But make sure that you have adequate fastboot drivers for your android device because adb drivers won’t work here.
adb reboot fastboot
You can use the above command to boot your device directly to fastboot mode.
This command will check if the device is connected to a PC.
7. The fastboot unlock command
If you want to unlock the bootloader for your android device, then this command will help you get through it. However unlocking bootloader is not supported on every device, but if it does. You can do it via the fastboot command. This is the beauty of the android open system as Google and smartphone manufacturers don’t care what the users do with their devices. They are open to doing any kind of experiment.
Here is few bootloader unlock command:
fastboot flashing unlock
fastboot oem unlock
To check whether your device bootloader unlocked or not
fastboot oem device-info
8. The adb shell command
This is one of the confusing ones, but it is a very useful command folks. You can use this to send commands to your device to run its own scripts and commands. How cool is that? Also, you can actually see what your device command shell is doing on your screen.
In the image above, you can see inside the device shell. Just type “adb shell” and enter. You will enter into device shell mode.
9. The adb install command
We already talked about adb push and pull commands. But did you know that you can actually install apps on your device with a simple command? Wow, sounds great, right? You just need the path where you have saves the .apk file of the app. After that you need to enter the command like this:
adb install TheAppName.apk
If you’re planning to update an existing app, then you need to write it like this
adb install -r TheAppName.apk
10. The adb sideload command
Do you want to update your device with an unofficial OTS (over the air) update? We gotcha fam! You can download an unofficial/official OTA update and install it via the adb sideload command. All you need to do is boot into recovery and use up/down keys to navigate to “Apply update from ADB”. After that, type in this command and you’re good to go:
adb sideload Full-Path-to-the-file.zip
|Shows attached devices
|To jump from windows command prompt to android device shell:
|adb reboot bootloader
|To boot into bootloader mode
|adb reboot recovery
|To boot into recovery
|adb get-serial no
|Get Serial Number of your connected device
|To install apps over adb
|adb install -r
|To update the existing apps with new version
|adb uninstall package_name.here
|To uninstall any apps or packages from the connected device
|adb uninstall -package_name.here
|Keep the data and cache directories after uninstalling apps
|adb push <local> <remote>
|Upload a specified file from your computer to device
|Download a specified file from your device to your computer.
|Take backup from your device to PC
|Restore the backup to your phone
|To sideload apps or flashable zip file to your device
|Take the real-time log from your phone
|start adb servers processes
|stop adb server processes
|adb reboot fastboot
|reboot your device into fastboot mode
|shows all devices connected to your computer via a USB cable.
|adb devices //show devices attached
|It will display the list of all devices attached to your PC.
|adb connect ip_address_of_device
|connect the IP address of your Android device to your computer.
|Shows connected devices on your PC/Laptop
|To reboot your device
|fastboot reboot recovery
|To boot your device into recovery mode
|fastboot oem device-info
|To check the bootloader unlock status:
|fastboot oem unlock
|If the above command returns fall, run the following to unlock the bootloader
|fastboot flashing unlock
|Few OEM may use this command to unlock the bootloader
|fastboot flashing unlock_critical
|Allow flashing of bootloader related partitions too:
|fastboot oem device-info
|check bootloader lock/ unlock status
|fastboot flash recovery [recovery.img]
|To flash recovery on your device
|fastboot boot [boot.img]
|To test the recovery without permanently flashing
|fastboot format:ext4 userdata
|To format data partition
|fastboot flash boot [boot img name]
|flash flashable boot.img from fastboot mode
|fastboot getvar cid
|To display the CID of your device
|Flashing ROM via Fastboot ROM zip package
|To wipe your device and then to flash.zip
Well, guys, these are all the basic ADB commands which you need to know if you’re an Android fan. I’m sure you learned a lot of new things today. Let us know which command you liked the most in the comment section below.