Android Debug Bridge, abbreviated as ADB, is a command-line tool that enables users to perform a plethora of app-level and system-level tweaks on Android devices using a Windows PC. As the very name implies, the ADB driver acts as a bridge to establish a connection between a computer and an Android smartphone/tablet over a USB cable. It allows you to sideload apps, system updates, flash custom ROMs and recoveries, upgrade firmware, modify hidden settings, and more. These are the sophisticated changes we are talking about that are off-limits to users and cannot take place without the ADB driver.
How to Install the ADB driver on Windows 11?
We have broken down the whole process into 4 steps to make it easy for you to get the job done.
Step 1: Download ADB Driver
To get started, first of all, head over to the Android SDK Platform Tools official website. Click on “Download SDK Platform-tools for Windows,” and you will be presented with the terms & conditions page. Simply scroll down to the bottom, check the box, and hit the download button.
Once the file is downloaded, navigate to the download location. Right-click on the file and select “Extract here.” This will require extracting software, so make sure you have one installed on your PC.
Now, open the extracted folder, press CTRL+A to select all, and “Cut” it. Next, go to your C: drive, create a new folder named “ADB,” and paste all the contents there.
Step 2: Enable USB Debugging on Your Phone
To use ADB with your Android device, there is a feature called USB debugging that you must enable first. So grab your smartphone quickly, and open the “Settings.” Scroll down to the “About phone” option and select “Software information.”
Now, tap the “Build number” 7 times to enable the developer’s option for your device. You will be asked to enter your PIN or draw the pattern, so do the needful.
Now go back to the “Settings,” scroll to the bottom, and click on “Developer options.” Look for the “USB debugging option” and toggle it on.
Step 3: Run a Test
Once you have successfully downloaded the SDK Platform tools and enabled USB debugging on your device, it’s time to conduct a test to ensure that everything is working fine.
Connect your Android device with your PC using a USB cable. In the beginning, you may get asked to authorize USB debugging, click on the “Allow” button.
Now, with the help of the Command prompt, you can ensure the Android device is getting recognized by the ADB driver and working properly. To do that, click on the Start button and search for “cmd.” Tap on “Run as administrator” and allow the authorization when asked. Type the following command and hit Enter. It will take you to the ADB folder you have created in the C drive.
Next, execute the following command, and as an output, you should see your Android device listed there.
That’s all. Now you are all set to play with various ADB commands and make significant changes on your Android phone.
NOTE: In some cases, you may get the “unauthorized” label next to the device name. It means that you haven’t authorized the USB connection between your PC and smartphone. But as soon as you hit the above command, you should get a notification on your mobile device to grant the necessary permission. So do what’s required, and you’ll be good to go.
Step 4: Setup Windows PATH Environment Variables for ADB Driver
In order to run ADB commands, you will be required to access the ADB folder located on your PC. But if you want to skip this step, you can utilize the Windows feature called PATH Environment Variables. It allows you to set up a default path for the ADB driver, so you don’t have to access the folder, particularly every time you want to run ADB commands. Although this is an optional method, if you are a regular user, you might want to use it.
- First of all, head over to the “platform-tools” folder you have pasted on C drive and copy its path.
- Search for “This PC” and select “Properties.
- Now, scroll down to the bottom and click on “Advanced system settings.”
- Tap on “Environment Variables” and double-click on “Path.”
- Click on New and paste the directory path you’ve copied.
- Lastly, hit the OK button to save the changes.
To check, open Command Prompt and type “adb devices” (excluding quotations), and hit Enter. If the output reverts your device name, that means the feature is working fine, and you have successfully installed and configured the ADB driver on your Windows 11.
Even if you use different Windows versions, you can implement the same method we mentioned in this article. So that is it for this brief guide on how to install the ADB driver on Windows. If you face any issues with the steps involved in the process, feel free to shoot up your question by writing them down in the comment box.