How to install ADB and Fastboot on Windows for use with Android [Guide]

Anyone that has ever tried to mod their Android phone has come across users telling other users to run various different ADB and/or Fastboot commands. The only problem is the average Joe has no idea what ADB and Fastboot are because, well, they aren’t your run-of-the-mill applications. I was completely lost myself when I first ventured into the world of Android. While yes, developer hubs like XDA-Developers do provide instructions on how to get ADB/Fastboot installed, there are so many convoluted guides out there, it is easy to throw one’s hands up in defeat. Hopefully this guide makes it simple and straightforward to get ADB and Fastboot installed on your computer.

What are ADB and Fastboot and why do I need them

ADB stands for Android Debug Bridge, while Fastboot stands for, well, Fastboot. Without going into too many technical details (trust me you don’t want technical details), let’s just say they are two command-line tools used when modding/hacking Android phones.

You need ADB and Fastboot if you are one of those people that like to mod/hack your Android phone. While many mods/hacks are now becoming more main-stream-user friendly with GUIs (i.e. they no longer require users to use ADB or Fastboot), there are still times when users need to use ADB and/or Fastboot. (Anyone with a Google Nexus One or Nexus S knows what I mean.) While you may not necessarily ever use ADB or Fastboot (depends on what phone you have, and the type of developer support it gets), it is always nice to have them installed when the time comes that you do need them.

BEFORE WE BEGIN

In this guide, we will show you two methods on how to install ADB and Fastboot. The first method is the semi-automated method while the second method is the manual method. The first method is a easier to do and recommended for most everyone. If, however, you can’t get the first method to work or you prefer more control, then method 2 is for you.

How to Install ADB and Fastboot: Method 1

To quickly and easily install ADB and Fastboot on your Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8/8.1 computer (32-bit and 64-bit), do the following:

  • Download the latest ADB Installer file (adb-setup-1.3.exe).
  • Right-click the file adb-setup-1.3.exe and choose “Run as Administrator“.
  • Type “Y” and press Enter to install ADB and Fastboot, and set the environment variables. Enter “N” if you don’t want to do the same and want to just install the drivers.
  • In the next step, enter “Y” to install the drivers for your device. Enter “N” to skip this step.
  • Wait till the driver installation finishes up. That would take only some seconds.
  • To verify that you have successfully setup ADB and fastboot, open up a command prompt (press Windows key + R -> type in cmd -> OK) and enter “adb version” (without quotes). If it returns something like “Android Debug Bridge version x.x.xx“, then your ADB and Fastboot are all-ready.
  • Congrats! You are ready to rock!

ADB Install Drivers

How to Install ADB and Fastboot: Method 2

To manually install ADB and Fastboot on your Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8/8.1 computer (32-bit and 64-bit), do the following:

The following guide is for Windows PCs only, but ADB/Fastboot can be installed on Linux and Mac OS X also. (You just do it differently for Linux/Mac OS X.) Also note that this guide was written on a Windows 7 computer. However, the guide will work on Windows 8/XP/Vista the same way; I don’t know about earlier versions of Windows.

  • Download (11 MB) ADB, Fastboot, and other tools.
    • Note: The tools found in the download are provided by Google, found in Android SDK. I have simply extracted the tools and uploaded them for easy access, instead of telling everyone to download the whole SDK. You can get the same tools if you download the Android SDK directly from Google.
  • Extract the contents directly into your C:\ partition. You should now have a folder C:\Android that looks something like this:

  • Press Win + R on your keyboard to bring up the Run dialog.
  • Once the Run box is open, type in sysdm.cpl and hit OK:

  • Once you hit OK, the System Properties panel should open; click on the Advanced tab:

  • From the Advanced tab click on Environment Variables:

  • At the Environment Variables window find where it says Path under System variables, click on it, and click the Edit button:

  • When the Edit System Variable window pops up, type in ;C:\Android at the very end and hit OK:

Make sure you type in exactly ;C:\Android (be sure to include the semi-colon at the beginning).

  • After clicking OK, close out all windows. You are done!

Using ADB and Fastboot

Once you have them installed, using ADB or Fastboot is as easy as opening command prompt, typing in adb xxx or fastboot xxx (with xxx being the command you want to run)…

…and hitting Enter on your keyboard to execute the command.

Take note, however, installing ADB and Fastboot is not enough to start using it with your phones. You need to install the relevant drivers on your computer – so your PC recognizes your phone – before ADB or Fastboot will be able to work with it. If you don’t have any drivers installed, you will get an error similar to the following:

If you don’t have the proper drivers installed, read dotTech’s article on downloads links for USB (adb and fastboot) drivers for Windows for all Android phones.

Uninstalling ADB and Fastboot

Uninstalling ADB, Fastboot, and the other tools is as easy and undoing what you did when you installed. In other words, delete C:\Android and all the files in it and remove the environmental variable you added earlier.

Conclusion

You have installed ADB and Fastboot – now what? Now go look for guides on modding/hacking your phone. A good place to start is reading dotTech’s how to root guides. Another good place to look for Android hacking and slashing is XDA-Developers. If you are lucky, the guides you find won’t require you to use ADB or Fastboot; but if they do, you are now prepared because you just installed them.

Originally posted Jun 18, 2012. Updated Nov 16, 2012 to include newer version of ADB and Fastboot. Updated Feb 3, 2014 to include semi-automated method of installing ADB and Fastboot.

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83 comments

  1. Yattaro

    If you have a Debian (such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, or Debian itself) based Linux OS, installation is pretty straightforward. Just open a terminal and type:

    sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb
    sudo apt-get install android-tools-fastboot

    After those two are done, you can readily use adb and fastboot commands, but keep in mind that you have to run the commands with root permissions (by either typing “sudo” before every command to run it with elevated permissions or typing “sudo su” once to log in to the terminal as Root).

  2. Max

    Hi! Who know what is the purpose of executing this step – “When the Edit System Variable window pops up, type in ;C:\Android at the very end and hit OK:” ?

    Just curiosity, as I found other tutorials where “Extract the contents directly into your C:\ partition. You should now have a folder C:\Android that looks something like this” was the last step.

  3. Azeez

    Sorry for the digression. I rooted my Nokia X using SuperUser SU but after almost a month of usage, it doesnt look like my phone is rooted anymore because all root privileges are not granted as before. Whenever I opened SuoerUser app to check what could have gone wrong, a message will pop out that “there is no SU binary installed, and SuperSU cant install it.” It will then close immediately. Even trying to reroot the phone with the KingRoot file on the computer didnt work. It said the phone need/cant be rooted. Please help me out. Tanx.

  4. transkov

    I tried all kind of driver, adb and fastboot installing for my kindle fire hd 8.9 on Windows 8 but now im still at the beginning. I have a Runme.bat error after choosing 1 for root; Please connect device with enabled USB-debugging to your computer. I installed all proper drivers etc and i tried many things about debugging. Do you think this problem about Win8?? What should i do for this problem and for rooting my kindle on Windows 8??? I need help, thank you.

  5. Tom

    Another bad thing:

    ” [...] open up a command prompt (Windows key + R) and enter “adb version” (without quotes) [...] ”

    If anybody try to open command prompt with Win key + R and enter adb version will not see anything.
    Command Prompt (cmd) can be open by Win key + R key and enter word: cmd .
    That you can enter: adb version and see result.

  6. Tom

    Please check what you wrote:

    “[...] latest ADB Installer file [...]
    Right-click the file adb-setup-1.1.exe”

    and remember for the future:
    Never write versions and please change or edit your first picture and upgrade or delete program’s version number.
    Some people can’t find file called adb-setup-1.1.exe on their hard drive.

  7. Azeez

    [@BeloSolo]
    Hi BeloSolo, pls help me out. When I try to do anything on the command line interface, it always says ‘device not found’. The USB cable is working well, because I can view and open files that I’ve stored on it.. What do you think is the problem? pls help out. Tanx.

  8. BeloSolo

    [@suraj] No expert here, but still subscribed to the thread. You have a few words missing here and there but let me give it my best guess: you are trying to ‘install’ adb/fastboot as if they were MS Windows programs? They are not Windows programs — they don’t install, you just put them into a directory, and then you run them directly, from the Command Line. They will be seen running in the Windows command-window, only — don’t expect to see them appear as separate tasks, on the Windows Taskbar.

  9. suraj

    sir i have a downlod adb softwer but this is so krapt ican not install my pc i have 5 time downlod this softwer but not working file help me any solution fast how install adb softwer my pc

  10. Azeez Saheed

    Hi. I got up to the point where am supposed to edit the system environment variables and mistakenly deleted the PATH and now I cant remember what was there before. Please what can I do to restore it so that I will be able to input the correct thing. Tanx.

  11. wildfire s user

    hello.

    so i’m trying to put cyanogen mod on my HTC wildfire s. to do this i have to root it first.
    to do this i downloaded&installed the SDK (with the needed java) and i also got the HTC drivers and android_winusb.inf
    now i’m at the point where i use device manager.
    when i use it my computer still see’s my phone as HTC instead of ADB (even tho when i use command prompt and give the command “adb devices” i get a serial number).
    i tried to update the drivers anyway but that doesn’t work.

    my question:
    do you have any idea what i could try to fix this problem?

  12. chris

    I have a PendoPad 10.1 inch, model PNDPP410GP, Dual Core Processor : 1.2Ghz, Cortex A9′ RAM 1GB, with Android 4.2.2 kernel 3.0.36.
    i would like to to update this Tablet to the latest Android version KITKAT 4.4

    I’m totally new to updating Android versions. I’ve only just done some reading on this updating android topic.So far I understand that I need RUU file and that I need adb and fastboot,

    One web site suggests that this particular file is needed: RUU-DoDo Pendo Pad_One_GE-4.4-3.58.1700.5.zip

    So I have done a web search and used Mac OS to download this file: RUU Zip M7 Google Edition 4.4 3.58.1700.5

    I have a Mac computer with OS X, 10.7 of which I could use to help update this android tablet.
    Can you help me with step by step instructions with a Mac system ?

  13. Joseph Dalla Tezza

    Hello, I just wanted to let you know that the direction involving the Environment Variable edit is missing the ending colon. At least it did when attempting on XP — adb/fastboot commands wouldn’t register until after I added a colon after C:\Android as well as before.

  14. RonCam

    [@RonCam] I spoke too soon … more searching … I just found this:
    http://nookdevs.com/NookColor_USB_ADB#Linux_.28New.29
    under the heading,
    Linux (New)
    Some Android tools (fastboot and adb) are available in distributions’ repositories and can be installed without downloading the entire Android SDK.*

    Haven’t tried it yet, hope it’s current, hope it works. Bodhi is an Ubuntu variant, so it may be promising. But Ashraf is the expert here, so any comments pro or con would be welcomed.
    _____________________________________________________________
    *Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

  15. RonCam

    Hi Ashraf,
    I would like to get adb and fastboot working on my 701SD netbook, running Bodhi Linux.

    I am hoping you have a similar article to this one, showing your simplified installation method for folks who just want to run these utilities on their GNU/Linux systems, and and don’t have to, or want to, work with the full Oracle JDK.

    So far, everything I’ve read on other Linux boards tells the user to install the ‘full monty’ and I’d rather keep things ‘light’. Any ideas, or links to other sources?

  16. sl0j0n

    Hello, all.
    Ashraf, I googled adb & found this page.
    First, thanks bunches for a good job.
    Second, Thanks for keeping tabs on this page, & for trying to help all w/ their ‘droid problems.
    I haven’t visited lately, but I check out your posts on giveawayoftheday from time to time, & posted a reply to a dummy that didn’t know the great Ashraf.
    Keep up the good work!

    Have a GREAT day, neighbors!

  17. RonCam

    [@RonCam]
    “— and also added adb_usb.ini to the directory with adb.exe, with an ID of 0x5D04 as its only line.”
    Hi Ashraf, on another forum, I posted similar information and the mod picked up on the location of the .ini file — he told me to move it to the .android directory, below ‘users’. As soon as I did that, the command adb devices detected and displayed the phone.

    Your simplified method of installing adb and fastboot worked great, after that. So far as I can tell, right now, PROBLEM SOLVED.

  18. RonCam

    Hi ashraf, sorry for posting in an old thread, but I need help.

    I have followed your directions — and also added adb_usb.ini to the directory with adb.exe, with an ID of 0x5D04 as its only line.

    But at the Windows Command Line, typing:
    adb devices
    … is giving me only a blank line.

    I have installed the drivers from
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/j9a06k9elqh4qyt/SCI-android-usb-driver-jungo-v4.7z
    … and now there are no yellow [!] symbols anywhere (before there were lots!). For the reference of others who read this, it is working for a M-Horse 9500mini, with a SC1820 chip.

    Any ideas, or other links, will be welcome — thank you in advance. Can anyone tell me,
    ?? Why does adb show no devices ??

  19. Claus

    Can somebody help:
    Want to root, and did all accordimng to instructions.
    tried to run adb reboot recovery
    but phone opens as usual.
    What is: adb xxx or fastboot xxx (with xxx being the command you want to run)
    I only wanna root. Thanks….

  20. Ved

    I was trying to use fastboot to get CyanogenMod. I followed all the instructions above, but when I use “fastboot -i 0x0fce getvar version” in the terminal, with my phone in fastboot mode (I have an Xperia Arc), it says “waiting for device”. Some forums said this is because fastboot is not installed properly, and I should try running as admin. I did that, but it still says waiting for device. Please help!

  21. Tom

    I know this is an old post looking at the date at the start of the post but is the link you give for the adb and fastboot still current? I just want to make sure I use the current version of the files on my HTC One, I love this phone and hate to mess it up. Also not sure if you know or not but I have the Developers version and I think the only difference is that mine is unlocked so I’m almost positive that I need to do this also.

  22. abi

    Hi…I’ve tried your tutorial in win 7, when I opened system variable (path) there is no power shell but nvidia/bluetooth…….etc but I still typed as your guide,after that I restarted, when I tried with my device (xperia pro) there is nothing happens, so what I have to do?

  23. madik

    hi..ashraf i was wondering if u could help me
    i lost my software on my galaxy nexus GSM (yakju) ..and im going to flash it with the factory images from google developers web site…iv never done this before..could u help me out here…my nexus is locked and unrooted. id really appreciate it if u’d reply back..

  24. Hassan

    Hey Ashraf, could you please help me with Uninstalling ADB and Fastboot? I deleted the C:\Android folder but these folders

    platform-tools
    tools

    are still there. And when I try to delete them, this comes up

    The action can’t be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program

    I tried changing the PATH Value and then delete it but still the same message comes up. Now I don’t even know the old PATH Value, now I can’t do anything.

    Your help would be appreciated.
    Thanks.

  25. Sue

    I tried this but when I got to environmental variables there was no Path: Program Files /Common Files my path said quicktime? No sure what to do. I also did not select create shortcut when I was installing Android SDK file. Was that a problem. Can I put in a new path but what should it be called.

  26. Yoriel

    Look I do not know what I truly am doing , does this work for koby kyros 1125? And if it does I have Ginger bread 2.3.3 will this allow me to update to any plateform even ice cream ? Will I be able to update
    my market anytime ? And is it alot that I need to look for to get everything needed to run my tablet well? I am brand new to this and I really want to play with my tablet with no limits. Can you help me or send me to a very helpful recommended site. Thank You and have a blessed 1.

  27. kpdx

    The bundle with the fastboot file plus the idea to insert it into the C drive made it so I finally got this done. I ended up just navigating to the file just using cmd commands. For whatever reason, the instructions I was following before didn’t specify on how to get the fastboot file into the directory. Thanks!

  28. Noliram

    Hi!

    I have a HTC G2. When i put it on, HTC screen freezes. I tried to recover thru factory reset but the image recovery is missing. Please help me if you have a remedy on this scenario.

    Thanks!

  29. Lamont Cranston

    For any users of Samsung Galax S, I installed Darky’s v9.2 Extreme Edition on mine last night, was a trial and error situation. First package I downloaded did not include his version of Odin, hence was waste of quite sometime locating and finding correct one. Not his fault, but mine, it has many of the Gingerbread features pre-installed, includes Voodoo, various root fixes, and so it goes.
    It is a real hoot, now the phone is working in a manner far better than the stock Froyo.
    I am aware this is slightly off topic, but in conjunction with Ashraf’s guide, it works a treat.
    Anyone who is interested simply Google.

  30. zugshad

    Hey Ash, was wondering your thoughts (that is if you know).. like in the post,, told you i got the Galaxy S Captivate.. right now, the only thing i can see somewhat “wrong” with it is that it is still using 2.1 , Froyo 2.2 came out last year and AT&T was “supposed” to upgrade/update to 2.2 in Sept of last year yet they have yet to do so… with 2.2, it gives me more options and is supposed to be faster and help eliminate some of the lag going between apps that 2.1 has..

    well i made an acct on the XDA site and am reading up on it.. my question that maybe you know would be, what would be my best bet you think?? Do i need to Root it?? should i look into a Custom ROM? still learing, and I am guessing that I need to at least root it with that One CLick program and then get the Kies program and update it to 2.2… does this sound about right?? or is my best bet maybe looking into a custom rom?…

    all still new to me.. though i saw some posts about peeps with a captivate (though its over on the european side on Rogers (no posts for att so far that i saw just yet)) and they are sayin gthey seem to get more lag/slower OS after the upgrade and many have went back to standard install…

    anyway.. figured ask your thoughts :) Other than upgrading to the 2.2, you know any other things i may want to do that would requiring rooting or even a custom rom?

    Zug

  31. John

    @Ashraf: Thanks mate,
    And yes I agree there are an awful lot of instructions out there which become very confusing the more you read them. I have a HTC Desire if you are looking and come across a decent set of instructions.

    John

  32. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @John: Yeah this doesnt. This article is a setup for an article on rooting because some root procedures require use of ADB and/or Fastboot. Hopefully an article on rooting will be posted within the week.