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Terminal Commands of Android Debug Bridge

Android Debug Bridge is an extremely helpful, efficient and highly reliable tool when your Android device is working abnormally. Basically it is a client-server program used in Android application development. The Android Debug-Bridge is a part of the Android SDK. It is made up of three components: a client, a daemon, and a server. It is used to manage either an emulator instance or an actual Android device.
  • Client – Sends commands. The client runs on your development machine. You can invoke a client from a command-line terminal by issuing an adb command.
  • Daemon – Runs commands on a device. The daemon runs as a background process on each device.
  • Server – Manages communication between the client and the daemon. The server runs as a background process on your development machine.
ADB is included in the Android SDK Platform-Tools package. You can download this package with the SDK Manager, which installs it at android_sdk/platform-tools/.

Installing ADB On Windows System

For installation, you have to download the standalone ADB zip file and extract it. Open command prompt and use the command to navigate through ADB: cd c:\ADB. Hit enter and connect your device with the help of USB so that you can start working.

Initiate or kill functioning of ADB server

  • To start use command: ADB start-server
  • And to stop it, use: ADB kill-server

How To know if your Android device is connected

You need to enter the following Android terminal command: ADB devices -l In response, adb prints this information for each device:
  • Serial number: adb creates this string to uniquely identify the device by its port number. Here’s an example serial number: emulator-5554
  • State: The connection state of the device can be one of the following:
    • offline: No device connection with adb or is not responding.
    • device: There is a device connection with the adb server.
    • no device: There is no device connected.
  • Description: If you include the -l option, the devices command tells you what the device is. This information is usefulwhen you have multiple devices connected.

Copy Files from PC to Phone and Vice Versa

You can move your files from PC to Phone using the following commands:
  • From computer to PC: ADB push [source] [destination]
  • From phone to PC: ADB pull [source] [destination]

Install or Uninstall applications

If you wish to install or uninstall any apk file, you can do it with single line Android terminal command:
  • Install: ADB install “path/to/file.apk”
  • Uninstall: ADB uninstall <package-name>

Creating backup

Type the command to create back up: ADB backup -all

Reboot Android phone

As we know that there are three ways of rebooting an Android device – recovery mode, bootloader mode and fastboot mode. You can use these commands: ADB reboot-recovery, ADB reboot-bootloader and ADB fastboot.

Know the serial number of the device connected

You can determine the serial number of the device by entering the Android terminal command: ADB get-serialno


In the following command , the adb devices command starts the adb server, but the list of devices does not appear. Stop the adb server and enter the following commands in the order shown. For the avd name, provide a valid avd name . To get a list of avd names, type emulator -list-avds. The emulator command is in the android_sdk/tools directory. In the following command sequence, adb devices displays the list of devices due to starting of adb server at the beginning. To see the emulator in the adb devices output, stop the adb server, and then start it again after using the emulator command. The table below lists all of the supported adb commands along with their usage. Android Reference:

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