How To Install And Setup ADB For Mac

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ADB (Android Debugging Bridge) and Fastboot are some of the important tools you need to bridge between your Android phone and your PC. You can reboot your phone in another mode or perform bootloader unlock using the Fastboot ADB driver. So what makes ADB for Mac worth?

The ADB command can only be used when your device is on. They can be used to boot your device into the recovery menu/bootloader, install APKs, etc. On the other hand, Fastboot commands only work when your device is in bootloader mode. These types of commands are mainly used to flash IMG or zip files, format system partition, and other similar operations.

ADB and Fastboot work on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. Here we will show you how to install ADB on Mac.

What is ADB for Mac?


The full form of ADB driver is the Android Debug Bridge, which, as mentioned above, contains a set of binaries that allow you to establish communication between your PC and your Android phone. Credit goes to XDA Developers for developing this tool. You can use the ADB setup download protocol when your Android phone is booted into the main OS.

Download for Mac

ADB Setup on macOS

Setting up ADB for Mac download is pretty straightforward. Since both ADB and Fastboot are part of the Android SDK package, you only need to download the toolkit and then configure the path variables. Or use the instructions below to install ADB Mac and fastboot drivers on macOS. But first, you need to remember that you need to put your device in USB debugging mode but before that, you need to enable developer options. If you just skip this step, your PC may not recognize your device.

How to install ADB on Mac?

Users may think that install ADB on Mac can be more complicated on Mac than on Windows, but once you get used to it, everything becomes easy. There are two ways to Mac install ADB. Using the Homebrew method is the easiest and will provide automatic updates. Another manual way is the easiest way to manually how to run ADB on Mac.

How to install ADB Manually?

So first, let's see how to do it manually, just with the platform tool.

  1. Download the ADB ZIP file for macOS.
  2. Extract the ZIP to a location that is easily accessible (such as a desktop).
  3. Open Terminal.
  4. Enter the command to navigate to the folder in which you extracted ADB: cd /path/to/extracted/folder/
  5. For instance, this was on my Mac: cd /Users/Doug/Desktop/platform-tools/
  6. Connect a compatible USB cable to your device on your Mac. Switch to "file transfer (MTP)" mode to the USB connection mode. Not always necessary for each device, but it's best to keep it in this mode so that you don't have problems.
  7. Once the terminal is located in the same folder as your ADB on Mac tools, you can start the ADB daemon with the following command: ADB devices.
  8. A prompt "Allow USB debugging" will appear on your device. Allow the link.
  9. Finally, enter the step # 7 command again. If all was successful, you should now see the serial number of your device in the Terminal window of macOS.

How to install ADB Mac Using Homebrew?

Here, we will take a slightly different path to install ADB on Mac. We will need to install Homebrew on macOS first, then we can easily install the Android platform tools. Homebrew is an open-source package manager that installs missing packages. So with all that said, here we start.

  • First, open a terminal on your Mac and run the command below. It will install Homebrew on your Mac. During the installation process, it may ask you to enter a password. The whole installation process will take about 10 minutes.
  • Then install ADB Mac platform tools from the below command.
  • Now connect your Android device to your Mac and run the ADB device command. You will get a prompt on your Android device to enable USB debugging. So just enable the checkbox and tap on "Allow".
  • You should now see your device's serial number on your Mac. This means ADB has been successfully installed on your Mac.
  • Feel free! Free words! On your device, you can run any ADB command! Now, go ahead and change your phone with our extensive tutorials! ADB for Mac is ready to serve!

    Examples of ADB Commands

    To check if you have successfully install ADB drivers, connect your device to your PC/Mac using a USB cable and run the ADB device command as described above. It will show your device listed in the Command Prompt/PowerShell/Terminal window. If you get different output, we recommend repeating the steps.

    As mentioned above, you can use the Google ADB driver to do everything on an Android device. Some of these commands are built right into the ADB binary and will work on all devices. You can also open what is called the ADB shell, which will allow you to run commands directly on the device. Commands that run directly on the device may vary from device to device (since the OEM may remove access to some and also change ADB operations) and may also vary from version to Android version to other Android versions.

    Here is a list of sample commands that you can run on your device:

    • Print a list of connected devices: adb devices
    • Kill the ADB server: adb kill-server
    • Install an application: adb install <path_to_the_APK_file>
    • Set up port forwarding: adb forward tcp:6100 tcp:7100
    • Copy a file/directory from the device: adb pull <path_to_the_remote_object> <path_to_the_local_destination>
    • Copy a file/directory to the device: adb push <path_to_the_local_object> <path_to_the_remote_destination>
    • Initiate an ADB shell: adb shell

    ADB for Mac Review

    ADB is a very useful utility for all Android programmers. If you haven't used it yourself, you now understand how to download ADB on your Mac and use it with your Android device. And if you're new to this, we've listed some of the common ADB commands above. This allows you to experience Android like never before.