Android Debug Bridge (ADB) is a useful command-line tool Google created for developers who want to access the hidden settings of different Android devices.
It has three components that work together to establish communication between your computer and a device: a client, a daemon (adbd), and a server. The client represents your PC that you will connect to your handheld device, and this is the component that sends commands using a USB cable. Meanwhile, a daemon runs commands on a device, while the server is the one that manages communication between the client and the daemon. Unlike the daemon that runs as a background process on a device, the server runs as a background process on the computer.
ADB can be used on different computer systems, such as Windows, macOS, and even Linux. But in this case, we will highlight its use on Windows 11. It is important to note, however, that ADB is not a tool readily installed on your computer. You need to initiate its download, but the good news is that Google provides direct links to where you can download the ADB for Windows 11.
Nonetheless, understanding the tool’s use is crucial before you download it. Google created ADB for developers, which means it will give you high-level tweaks for your phone or other Android devices. Specifically, it establishes communication between the device and the computer, allowing you to debug the former’s system and its apps, access a Unix shell, and perform other commands.
Here is a step-by-step process to install the ADB drivers on your Windows 11 PC.
Downloading the ADB drivers is not just the only thing you should do in order to run ADB commands on Android devices. You also have to prepare your phone or tablet for the communication between the ADB components to work. Here’s how you can enable ADB debugging on your device.
Once everything is set (ADB driver is installed, the Developer Options of handheld Android device is activated, and the device itself is connected to PC via USB cable), you can verify if your device is successfully connected to the PC. Just execute on the Command Prompt window of your PC the commands “cmd” and “adb devices.” Doing so will show you the “List of devices attached.”
Using a USB cable when performing ADB debugging is commonly used by developers, but it can also be done wirelessly on specific devices connected over Wi-Fi. Setting up the devices require more work, but it removes common USB connection issues like driver installation.
ADB can be used on devices running different Android operating system versions. However, note that the instructions for wireless debugging differ on devices running Android 11 or higher and Android 10 and lower. Here’s how you can do it.
There are instances that you could encounter problems establishing the connection between the Windows 11 PC and your Android device, and the reasons might differ depending on the type of debugging you are using. For instance, wireless debugging can be problematic if the PC and device are separately connected to two different networks. It could also happen if no ADB drivers are installed on the PC or when they are outdated. For wired debugging, a faulty USB can also lead to problems.
Once everything is fixed, using the ADB can give you a lot of things to explore on your Android devices. It can deliver a wide variety of commands, from copying files to customizing the OEM features or user interfaces and many more. In the Android Studio Users Guide document, Google provides a list you can try to run commands to set up port forwarding, stop the ADB server, issue shell commands, and more.
Using them, you can get more control over the Android device and make relevant tweaks. Nonetheless, while ADB is not generally harmful (it doesn’t make changes to PC), inappropriately using it can lead to some problems. With this, you might want to assess your reasons for using it and your skills and knowledge before installing ADB drivers and executing ADB commands.
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