How to Set Up ADB and Fastboot with Android SDK on Windows 7 & Windows 8

• Last modified: Android Tips

Android SDK brings with itself the two most important tools needed for tweaking your Android phone, ADB (Android Debug Bridge) and Fastboot. Why do we need them? ADB and fastboot helps us install a custom recovery, which allows us to root our Android devices, install custom ROMs and perform many other system tweaks which are not otherwise possible.

We do so many tutorials daily on about how to root devices, install custom firmware etc. and we always recommend you should have your USB drivers properly installed and your Android phone should be working perfectly fine with ADB and Fastboot.

Let’s get on with the tutorial on how to set up ADB and Fastboot for your Android phone so that you never have to go through USB drivers issues again when trying out a custom firmware.

UPDATE: You can also try Android Wear on your computer. How? Tutorial: How to Install Android Wear SDK and Try Android Wear on Computer.

How to Set Up ADB and Fastboot with Android SDK

Here are the step-by-step instructions to set up ADB / Fastboot on your computer. Follow the steps carefully and make  sure you read the tutorial once before actually performing it.


  • An Android phone. We will be using a Galaxy Nexus.
  • microUSB cable
  • A computer

Jump To Pages:

If you already have downloaded and install Android SDK, you can jump to the following pages to set up ADB or Fastboot. Or just follow all the steps as given below.


First, we need to get Java Platform installed and then download the Android USB drivers (and some other tools) using Android SDK Manager. This is how it is to be done:

Step 1 - Download and Install Java Platform (JDK) from Java SE Software Development Kit (SDK) downloads. Once installed, proceed to the next step.

Step 2 - Download Android SDK (installer_rXX.X-windows.exe) from the Android Developers website. Preferably: Click on Other platforms and download the ZIP package file for Windows.

Step 3 - Extract the zip file anywhere in your computer. We extracted in D:\ drive. So now we have, D:\android-sdk-windows.

Step 4 - Open SDK Manager and wait till it loads (fetches) all the packages.

Step 5 - Now only select two pakcages. Check Android SDK Platform-tools and Google USB Driver options. Uncheck everything else as shown below. Then click on the “Install 2 packages…” button.

Step 6 - Confirm the packages that you selected. Select Accept All and click the “Install” button.

Step 7 - Wait till the downloading finishes.

Step 8 - Once you get the following screen, this means all the packages have been successfully installed.

Step 9 - If you again go to the Android SDK folder (D:\android-sdk-windows), you will see the following directories now. extras and platform-tools are the most important ones that we need.

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  • Thiago

    Windows XP shows “wrong driver error”. Is there other place to get this fastboot driver?

    • AdelinBW

      i’m french, and at step 28, no driver install :/ have you skype ? add me : blaster885

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  • Jason Wong

    The folder you specify doesn’t exist in the android sdk anymore!

    • Kasimodo

      About which Directories are you talking?

  • symphony63

    where do I find this “Google USB Driver”

    • Eddy

      Use Android SDK and then install the Google USB Driver from the options given…

  • Barry Kirkman


    (I had downloaded the latest ADT (which says it includes the sdk, but it looks like the usb drivers are missing) so I separately downloaded the sdk and instaled the drivers as above, working now.


  • Teck

    i dont see a device name as in the screenshot.. is it connected properly?

  • ole frank

    cant find the google folder in sdk

  • Anous

    Very Nice!!! Thanks TeamAndroid!

  • bolle

    when i type ‘adb devices’ in the Command Prompt window and press Enter, there is “offline” next to the number instead of “devices”

    • Haris Nadeem

      And are you sure all your USB drivers are properly installed?

    • Haris Nadeem

      Are your ports all free? There is something trying to stop ADB from starting.

    • TH

      I know this is a bit late (but in case you’re still having the issue). I had the same problem and I believe it is because I’m running 4.2.2, which has an added security feature. I fixed it by unplugging and then replugging the usb cord that connected my phone to the computer. After doing so, a notification popped up on my phone. I selected ‘always allow from this computer’ and gave the permission it needed.

  • Tatuu

    At step 17 once i select the .inf file its telling me that “the specified location does not contain hardware information” (translation may be a little rough since its on spanish)
    This is happening on windows xp sp3 with my chinese android tablet (absoluteley 0 info about it, box says nothing)
    thank you

    • Tatuu

      At device manager/ Other devices, all i get is “usb device”, could that be the issue?

  • Tal

    I got stuck at step 17 too. And the same error “the specified location does not contain hardware information” after I picked the android_winusb.inf. What is an alternative to this. I’m on XP sp3 too.

  • YourPalAl

    At the command prompt, it tells me that the device is unauthorized, can someone help please?

  • YourPalAl

    At the command prompt, t says the devices is unauthorized, could anyone help tell me what this means and how to fix it?

    • happy

      disconnect your usb cable and reconnect it. Security RSA feature will allow you to accept your PC. Then run adb devices in the command prompt again and the unauthorized indication should change to device.

      • PDow

        Just to clarify this — the “security RSA feature” is a popup window on your Android device (not your PC) that asks if you want to allow USB debugging, and shows the computer’s RSA key.

  • RPR

    at step 4 when I try to open sdk manager, it does not feth anything. a small screen like of command prompt flashes for a second only. and that’s it. it is not fethching any pakages

  • RPR

    at step 12 i do not see my device. please anyone help me


    Hi. I have Huawei Ascend P1. I get stuck in step 27. My phone won’t go to the Bootloader screen. It shows Huawei screen for some time and shuts back down. any help? thanks.

  • Васил Кьосев

    I’m afraid I can’t find my device in ‘Device Manager’ at step 12… Can anyone help me resolve this problem?

  • janaltus

    Brilliant instructions. I followed it to the letter and it worked like a dream. Thank you!

  • Korey Fonseca

    I am also stuck on step 17. My issue is as follows after I choose android_winusb.inf..

    “The folder you specified doesn’t contain a compatible software driver for your device. If the folder contains a driver, make sure it is designed to work with Windows for x64-based systems.”

    I have tried every windows download option from the website provided and yet the issue prevails.

    I am using:
    Windows 7 Home Premium
    64-bit OS
    Service Pack 1

    • Nilerafter24

      if you installed drivers for your phone first before going through this whole process, then first uninstall them such that in Device Manager, you either see Android USB device or unknown device or your device name with the yellow warning sign.
      Don’t worry about uninstalling your present drivers, you can always get them back (roll back).
      After uninstalling, try going through the process again. This is what worked for me

  • Nick BW

    As a “User”account, you cannot open Device Manager in Windows 7 and install “anything”, yet nowhere in this account does it warn you will need to setup ADB or indeed SDK as Administrator! I have read through many different accounts of installing ADB for Samsung smartphones and they are all frustratingly sparse as to detailed instructions! One of the worst areas is there is no advice about which of the many variants of SDK to download. Even SDK Manager, which has many possible options for downloading copious files, is given diddle squat detailed explanation. I have used Odin and CyanogenMod’s own Installer, both of which work like a dream. I mostly have Mac’s and almost given up on Windows after 35 years experience. This is just a waste of time when it is so poorly explained!

  • Jon

    it says my folder does not have compatible folder for my driver when on step 21. it says i need one that works on a windows 32 bit system

  • yun

    i can’t open sdk manager. what do i have to do? please help me

  • disqus_dh5kM6Hyu5

    Im stuck in 28, it doesnt install device

  • Mohammad Aarif Athar

    Thanks for this detailed post, it worked for Me. Can you let Me know how to transfer files between Laptop and OnePlus One android device now. (connected OPO to Laptop using an USB).