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

• Last modified: 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 TeamAndroid.com 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.

Required:

  • 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.

I – DOWNLOADING JAVA & ANDROID USB DRIVERS

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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  • http://www.facebook.com/jasonwong0 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

    TVM

    (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.

    tvm.

  • 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”
    why?

    • http://www.sizzledcore.com Haris Nadeem

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

    • http://www.sizzledcore.com 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.

    • Niemczon

      If you get

      “the specified location does not contain hardware information”

      message, try doing this:

      In my case (old HTC Wildfire S, old HP laptop with XP SP3), when I connect the phone to the computer via USB the driver is immediately installed automatically. When I uninstall it manually, the computer requires restart before I can proceed with manual installation as described in the article above. But after restart the default driver is installed automatically again – a vicious circle, and frustrating one :) Here are steps to overcome this:

      Note: this is experimental, you do this at your own risk!

      1. Connect the phone to the computer, let it install drivers. When it’s finished, right click on My Computer and choose Manage. Click on Device Manager. Find your phone on the list and right click on it and go to Properties > Details tab > choose “hardware Ids” from the dropdown list. Write down the hardware id (in my case it was “USBVid_0bb4&Pid_0cb0&MI_01″). Go to Driver tab – uninstall the driver, do not restart the computer.

      (thanks to Insta from xda-developers forum)

      2. Disabling automatic driver installation:

      Open registry editor:
      menu start > run… > regedit
      go to path:
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersion
      (click on CurrentVersion)
      From the right window right-click “Device Path” – Modify.
      Cut all value data (leave it blank) and paste it somewhere so that you can restore it later (you can also export the path using menu file>export). Now XP should not be able to auto-install drivers without you manually pointing to them.

      (many thanks to turd from overclockers forum)

      3. I removed HTC Sync from autostart (don’t know if it’s necessary but I did it just in case)

      menu start > run… > msconfig > startup > uncheck htcUPCTLoader on the list

      4. After this you can restart without unplugging the phone. Since you disabled automatic installation, the system should not install the driver after the restart.

      5. Next – to deal with the “the specified location…” error I had to manually add “hardware information” the system was looking for to the android_winusb file:

      Browse to the location of the file “android_winusb.inf”.
      In my case it was:
      C:Program FilesAndroidandroid-sdkextrasgoogleusb_driverandroid_winusb.inf

      Open the file using notepad (or other text editor) and use previously copied hardware id to create a new entry on the list of devices (in my case below the line “[Google.NTx86]”) – it should be formatted like this:

      ;
      %SingleAdbInterface% = USB_Install,
      %CompositeAdbInterface% = USB_Install, &MI_01

      (sometimes there are more than 2 lines – try to search the net for your specific model)

      In my case it looked like this:

      [Google.NTx86]

      ;HTC Wildfire S
      %SingleAdbInterface% = USB_Install, USBVid_0bb4&Pid_0cb0
      %CompositeAdbInterface% = USB_Install, USBVid_0bb4&Pid_0cb0&MI_01


      Save & close the .inf file.

      6. After this you should install the phone manually as described in the article.
      You start with the step 12, but you will not find your phone on the list of devices
      (since you disabled automatic install :P)
      Instead, in the Device Manager you should choose “Action” from the top menu and then
      “Scan for hardware changes” – is should find your phone and start manual installation
      (step 14 and so on – you use your modified android_winusb.inf file, that thanks to
      modification should not result in the “the specified location…” error).

      Remember – this is a little bit chaotic post of a first-time modder – viewer discretion is advised ;)
      Anyway, hope this helps, cheers!

      (based on:

      http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php/247559-How-can-I-stop-Windows-XP-from-automatically-installing-drivers

      http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?s=ff4e4f4841221d8d6b79e3de81361f2a&t=764944&page=2

      http://androidyou.blogspot.com/2011/03/adb-driver-for-htc-wildfire-and-t.html

      )

  • 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

  • CCR GRG

    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

      • kemmir

        yeah but if i uninstall the drivers, the moment i conect the fone to the pc it instal the drivers right away again

        • Nilerafter24

          Try uninstalling the drivers while the phone is connected and do not refresh for hardware changes. Just go ahead with manually locating the driver you wish to install.
          Connecting the phone to the pc or refreshing for hardware changes triggers the pc to search your device for the drivers you just uninstalled, and which it will most definitely find.

          • Richard

            Hi Nileafter24. Thanks for trying to help. I’m having the same trouble as Korey Fonseca with my 64 bit Windows 7 computer. I tried following your instructions and uninstalled the driver for my android phone with the phone connected. In order for it to work the device manager requires a computer restart and then of course reinstalls the driver.

          • Nilerafter24

            Is the restart required after installing the intended android adb interface driver?
            I don’t think you need to restart your pc for the driver to work, even if it tells you should.
            Try step 24. The driver may have installed properly but just doesn’t display the same way in the device manager as the author of this article’s does (my HTC phone was showing completely different stuff in DM).
            If your step 24 shows an ID no. with a device then your adb driver has been set up correctly.

          • Richard

            The restart seems to be required after uninstalling the driver because when I then try to “update driver” it just gives me a restart now or restart later message. When I clicked restart later, it cancelled the operation to update driver. It’s frustrating because I was almost at the point of being able to install the new rom.

          • Nilerafter24

            I’ve just tried with another HTC phone and a Nexus. I unfortunately don’t come up with a forced restart like in your case.
            I can only assume the forced restart is coming about because the current interface driver is still in use by another process and thus it cannot update without a restart. Try exiting all programs that could be using your phone (like sync managers) or cloud uploads or whatever. Try to make sure nothing is using your phones USB at the moment. Check in Task manager to make sure.
            If that fails, try changing your USB port. If that fails, try another PC if you can access one (to rule out the PC being the root of the problem).

          • Arif

            hi, i was having the same problem. What i found was you don’t have to uninstall the driver. Rather, enable ‘usb debugging’ from ‘developer options’ in your phone. This will show the device with the yellow sign as shown in step 12. hope it solves your problem as well. :)

  • 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).

  • amir

    My GT-S5301 is not going into fast boot mode. It instead goes to safe mode. What can i do??

  • kimera77

    all correct, but in step 24, i didn’t see any devices :'(

  • GOWRI SANKAR

    Wowsome instructions! Thanks a lot, Sir!!

  • Carlos Junior

    Thanks.

  • Zalde Paquibot

    Can I use adb in my bootloop tablet? Is it possible to edit build.prop using it? because editing build.prop is the cause of this bootloop………

  • Zalde Paquibot

    can i use this for my bootloop tablet?

  • nexus 7

    no “android 1″ in step 29 and also cmd prompt showing unauthorized device.. please suggest

  • Red_1

    I succeeded at the first try. Now I updated my Nexus 7 to Android 5. Thanks for the tutorial.

  • scorpionfirevn

    Works perfect!! many thanks !!!!