If you want to root your Android, install a custom rom, etc., it is imperative to install the ADB and Fastboot drivers on Windows. Below is how to do this and a list of the most common errors.
What should you know before you start?
ADB, what is it?
ADB (Android Debug Bridge) is composed of a client part and a server part, which communicate with each other. For us, it is a communication between the smartphone and the computer.
It is accessed via the terminal on Mac and Linux, the command prompt on Windows. It is used to send commands to your Android from a PC. In practice, ADB is very useful for the Android community to root, flash new roms or simply troubleshoot a broken smartphone.
What is Fastboot?
Fastboot is basically a diagnostic tool used to modify the Android file system from a computer, when the smartphone must be in bootloader mode. The commands used are basic, and are used for example to “flash” (install) a boot image, a bootloader, a recovery or even a system.
What are pilots?
A driver, or “pilot” in French, is quite simply a small program which allows an operating system (for example Windows) to recognize a device and to interact with it, or use it. Whether it’s a hard drive, a mouse, or any type of hardware, it needs its own driver. Our smartphones are no exception.
ADB modes and fastboot mode also, because the interface is not the same. To sum up roughly, Windows needs a driver for the smartphone, one for fastboot and one for ADB.
Install ADB, Fastboot and Android drivers on Windows
ADB Driver Installer
Up to Windows 7, it could be difficult to connect smartphones and computers using adb, but things have changed with Windows 10. If you don’t have the right ADB driver, communication is not possible.
luckily ADB Driver Installer solves the problem for good. Go to this website, you will find ADB Driver Installer there. Open the ZIP file and launch the .exe file. Once the installation is complete, the drivers will be installed.
The Android SDK
Typically, we install ADB, Fastboot and the drivers with the Android SDK. The SDK is the package for developers. It therefore logically includes all this little world. Note, the Android SDK is available on Windows, Linux and Mac.
You can download the Android SDK. The advantage is that you are sure to have updated drivers and the latest stable versions of fastboot and ADB. Once the SDK is installed, there are ADB and Fastboot in / sdk / platform-tools . We install the drivers by launching SDK Manager, which is in / sdk .
ADB, Fastboot, Drivers Android Installer
Some XDA developers have put online very handy little programs that allow you to install the ADB and Fastboot drivers in the blink of an eye, without having to install the entire Android SDK.
You can find Minimal ADB and Fastboot which will allow you to quickly install both ADB and Fastboot. The operation works on both 32-bit and 64-bit, so you don’t have to wonder about this. Remember to connect your device beforehand and activate the USB debugging option. Download this file and follow the instructions on the screen.
Another method that also comes from XDA: the ADB Installer from Snoop05. You can download it at this address: 15 seconds ADB Installer v1.4.2 . At the bottom of the first post, after Downloads: Version 1.4.2.
Then, you just have to launch the executable file on a Windows PC in administrator mode. To do this, right-click while holding down the SHIFT key and choose Run as administrator . You must then confirm and answer the questions by pressing Y and pressing enter each time:
Do you want to install ADB and Fastboot? (Y / N)
- Press Y to install ADB and Fastboot, confirm with the enter key.
Install ADB system-wide? (Y / N)
- Press Y to install ADB for all Windows users or N for your user account only.
Do you want to install device drivers? (Y / N)
- Press Y to install the drivers.
Once the procedure is completed, the ADB and Fastboot drivers are installed. You will find the executables in the / YOURUSERNAME / adb folder or in the / adb folder on the root of your hard disk if you have chosen the installation for all Windows users.
Install ADB, Fastboot and Android drivers on Linux and Mac OS
Things are much easier here. On Linux, you just need to download the drivers from the repositories, they should normally be there. If you use Debian or one of its forks you will find what you need with ‘apt-get install android-tools’, or even ‘apt-get install android-platform-tools’ which is more complete and necessary for installation from SDK. If you are using Arch, you will find all of this on the AUR.
I remember having some problems with the installation of SDK because the application was automatically launched in root (because of the automatic installation directory), this can be easily adjusted. You can find more information on the Arch wiki.
With a Mac OS computer, you just need to install Homebrew and then enter ‘brew install android-platform-tools’. Simple and efficient.
This may be necessary to allow communication between your smartphone and your computer. Go to the settings of your smartphone, you will find “About the phone” at the bottom. Press the “Build number” box 7 times. Once done, you will receive a confirmation that the developer options are now enabled. You will find them in the settings menu, you will only have to activate USB debugging.
The main commands of ADB
- adb backup -f FullBackup.ab -apk -all
This will allow you to make a full backup of your application data. Please note, not all applications allow this command.
- adb devices
With this command, you have an overview of all the devices connected to your computer using ADB. You will find both the device name and the status. Unauthorized means that you must validate the connection between the two devices.
- adb reboot
This command will restart your smartphone. There are several variants:
adb reboot recovery : the smartphone restarts in Recovery mode
adb reboot bootloader : the smartphone / tablet restarts on the bootloader. In this mode, you can communicate with fastboot commands.
- adb pull [directory on the smartphone / nomduficher.format] [directory on the pc]
This command transfers a file from the smartphone to the PC.
- adb push [directory on the PC / nomduficher.format] [directory on the smartphone]
This command transfers a file from the PC to the smartphone.
- adb help
This command displays help on ADB commands.
- adb sideload update.zip
This command allows you to install files and updates on your smartphone. Custom ROMs installations tend to go through fastboot.
- adb install android-app.apk
This allows you to install an application via its APK.
The most frequent errors of ADB … and their solutions
- Command Not Found
You entered the command incorrectly, or it is not compatible with your version of ADB.
- No Device
Your USB cable is not properly connected or your computer cannot see the smartphone. Trying another USB port or cable, enabling USB debugging, checking the driver, and restarting the smartphone / PC could fix the problem.
- Server is out of date
The ADB version used on your computer is not compatible with your smartphone. You just need to update your version of ADB-Tools.
- Waiting for device
This error is the same as No Device. Your computer does not recognize your smartphone and therefore cannot connect them. You will find possible solutions in No Device.
If you encounter a problem during the installation of the Android drivers, let us know here or on the forum.