# ADB (Android Debug Bridge)

ADB (Android Debug Bridge) is a command line tool that used to communicate with an emulator instance or connected Android device.

Overview of ADB (opens new window)

A large portion of this topic was split out to adb shell (opens new window)

# Connect ADB to a device via WiFi

The standard ADB configuration involves a USB connection to a physical device.
If you prefer, you can switch over to TCP/IP mode, and connect ADB via WiFi instead.

# Not rooted device

  • **Get on the same network:**
      1. Make sure your device and your computer are on the same network.
  • **Connect the device to the host computer with a USB cable.**
  • **Connect `adb` to device over network:** While your device is connected to `adb` via USB, do the following command to listen for a TCP/IP connection on a port (default 5555):
      1. Type `adb tcpip ` (switch to TCP/IP mode). 1. Disconnect the USB cable from the target device. 1. Type `adb connect :` (port is optional; default 5555).
    For example:
    adb tcpip 5555
    adb connect

    If you don't know your device's IP you can:

    1. check the IP in the WiFi settings of your device.

    use ADB to discover IP (via USB):

    • Connect the device to the computer via USB

    • In a command line, type adb shell ifconfig and copy your device's IP address

    • Type adb tcpip <port> (switch to TCP/IP mode).

    • Disconnect the USB cable from the target device.

    • Type adb connect <ip address>:<port> (port is optional; default 5555).

    • check the IP in the WiFi settings of your device.

    • use ADB to discover IP (via USB):

    • Connect the device to the computer via USB

    • In a command line, type adb shell ifconfig and copy your device's IP address

  • To revert back to debugging via USB use the following command:

    adb usb

    You can also connect ADB via WiFi by installing a plugin to Android Studio. In order to do so, go to Settings > Plugins and Browse repositories, search for ADB WiFi, install it, and reopen Android Studio. You will see a new icon in your toolbar as shown in the following image. Connect the device to the host computer via USB and click on this AndroidWiFiADB icon. It will display a message whether your device is connected or not. Once it gets connected you can unplug your USB.

    New toolbar icon (opens new window)

    # Rooted device

    Note: Some devices which are rooted can use the ADB WiFi App from the Play Store to enable this in a simple way. Also, for certain devices (especially those with CyanogenMod ROMs) this option is present in the Developer Options among the Settings. Enabling it will give you the IP address and port number required to connect to adb by simply executing adb connect <ip address>:<port>.

    # When you have a rooted device but don't have access to a USB cable

    The process is explained in detail in the following answer: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2604727/how-can-i-connect-to-android-with-adb-over-tcp/3623727#3623727 (opens new window) The most important commands are shown below.

    Open a terminal in the device and type the following:

    setprop service.adb.tcp.port <a tcp port number>
    stop adbd
    start adbd

    For example:

    setprop service.adb.tcp.port 5555

    And on your computer:

    adb connect <ip address>:<a tcp port number>

    For example:

    adb connect

    To turn it off:

    setprop service.adb.tcp.port -1
    stop adbd
    start adbd

    # Avoid timeout

    By default adb will timeout after 5000 ms. This can happen in some cases such as slow WiFi or large APK.

    A simple change in the Gradle configuration can do the trick:

    android {
        adbOptions {
            timeOutInMs 10 * 1000

    # Direct ADB command to specific device in a multi-device setting

    1. Target a device by serial number

    Use the -s option followed by a device name to select on which device the adb command should run. The -s options should be first in line, before the command.

    adb -s <device> <command>


    adb devices
    List of devices attached
    emulator-5554       device
    02157df2d1faeb33    device
    adb -s emulator-5554 shell


    adb devices -l
    List of devices attached
    06157df65c6b2633    device usb:1-3 product:zerofltexx model:SM_G920F device:zeroflte
    LC62TB413962        device usb:1-5 product:a50mgp_dug_htc_emea model:HTC_Desire_820G_dual_sim device:htc_a50mgp_dug
    adb -s usb:1-3 shell

    2. Target a device, when only one device type is connected

    You can target the only running emulator with -e

    adb -e <command>

    Or you can target the only connected USB device with -d

    adb -d <command>

    # Taking a screenshot and video (for kitkat only) from a device display

    # Screen shot: Option 1 (pure adb)

    The shell adb command allows us to execute commands using a device's built-in shell. The screencap shell command captures the content currently visible on a device and saves it into a given image file, e.g. /sdcard/screen.png:

    adb shell screencap /sdcard/screen.png

    You can then use the pull command (opens new window) to download the file from the device into the current directory on you computer:

    adb pull /sdcard/screen.png

    # Screen shot:Option 2 (faster)

    Execute the following one-liner:

    (Marshmallow and earlier):

    adb shell screencap -p | perl -pe 's/\x0D\x0A/\x0A/g' > screen.png

    (Nougat and later):

    adb shell screencap -p > screen.png

    The -p flag redirects the output of the screencap command to stdout. The Perl expression this is piped into cleans up some end-of-line issues on Marshmallow and earlier. The stream is then written to a file named screen.png within the current directory. See this article (opens new window) and this article (opens new window) for more information.

    # Video

    this only work in KitKat and via ADB only. This not Working below Kitkat To start recording your device’s screen, run the following command:

    adb shell screenrecord /sdcard/example.mp4, This command will start recording your device’s screen using the default settings and save the resulting video to a file at /sdcard/example.mp4 file on your device.

    When you’re done recording, press Ctrl+C (z in Linux) in the Command Prompt window to stop the screen recording. You can then find the screen recording file at the location you specified. Note that the screen recording is saved to your device’s internal storage, not to your computer.

    The default settings are to use your device’s standard screen resolution, encode the video at a bitrate of 4Mbps, and set the maximum screen recording time to 180 seconds. For more information about the command-line options you can use, run the following command:

    adb shell screenrecord –help, This works without rooting the device. Hope this helps.

    To get a verbose list of all devices connected to adb, write the following command in your terminal:

    adb devices -l

    # Example Output

    List of devices attached
    ZX1G425DC6             device usb:336592896X product:shamu model:Nexus_6 device:shamu
    013e4e127e59a868       device usb:337641472X product:bullhead model:Nexus_5X device:bullhead
    ZX1D229KCN             device usb:335592811X product:titan_retde model:XT1068 device:titan_umtsds
    A50PL                  device usb:331592812X
    • The first column is the serial number of the device. If it starts with emulator-, this device is an emulator.
    • usb: the path of the device in the USB subsystem.
    • product: the product code of the device. This is very manufacturer-specific, and as you can see in the case of the Archos device A50PL above, it can be blank.
    • model: the device model. Like product, can be empty.
    • device: the device code. This is also very manufacturer-specific, and can be empty.

    # Pull (push) files from (to) the device

    You may pull (download) files from the device by executing the following command:

    adb pull <remote> <local>

    For example:

    adb pull /sdcard/ ~/

    You may also push (upload) files from your computer to the device:

    adb push <local> <remote>

    For example:

    adb push ~/image.jpg /sdcard/

    Example to Retrieve Database from device

    sudo adb -d shell "run-as com.example.name cat /data/da/com.example.name /databases/DATABASE_NAME  > /sdcard/file

    # View logcat

    You can run logcat as an adb command or directly in a shell prompt of your emulator or connected device. To view log output using adb, navigate to your SDK platform-tools/ directory and execute:

    $ adb logcat

    Alternatively, you can create a shell connection to a device and then execute:

    $ adb shell
    $ logcat

    One useful command is:

    adb logcat -v threadtime

    This displays the date, invocation time, priority, tag, and the PID and TID of the thread issuing the message in a long message format.


    Logcat logs got so called log levels:

    **V** — Verbose, **D** — Debug, **I** — Info, **W** — Warning, **E** — Error, **F** — Fatal, **S** — Silent

    You can filter logcat by log level as well. For instance if you want only to output Debug level:

    adb logcat *:D

    Logcat can be filtered by a package name, of course you can combine it with the log level filter:

    adb logcat <package-name>:<log level>

    You can also filter the log using grep (more on filtering logcat output here (opens new window)):

    adb logcat | grep <some text>

    In Windows, filter can be used using findstr, for example:

    adb logcat | findstr <some text>

    To view alternative log buffer [main|events|radio], run the logcat with the -b option:

    adb logcat -b radio

    Save output in file :

    adb logcat > logcat.txt

    Save output in file while also watching it:

    adb logcat | tee logcat.txt

    Cleaning the logs:

    adb logcat -c

    # Clear application data

    One can clear the user data of a specific app using adb:

    adb shell pm clear <package>

    This is the same as to browse the settings on the phone, select the app and press on the clear data button.

    • pm invokes the package manager on the device
    • clear deletes all data associated with a package

    # View and pull cache files of an app

    You may use this command for listing the files for your own debuggable apk:

    adb shell run-as <sample.package.id> ls /data/data/sample.package.id/cache

    And this script for pulling from cache, this copy the content to sdcard first, pull and then remove it at the end:

    adb shell "run-as <sample.package.id> cat '/data/data/<sample.package.id>/$1' > '/sdcard/$1'"
    adb pull "/sdcard/$1"
    adb shell "rm '/sdcard/$1'"

    Then you can pull a file from cache like this:

    ./pull.sh cache/someCachedData.txt

    Get Database file via ADB

    sudo adb -d shell "run-as com.example.name cat /data/da/com.example.name /databases/STUDENT_DATABASE  > /sdcard/file

    # View available devices


    adb devices

    Result example:

    List of devices attached
    emulator-5554  device
    PhoneRT45Fr54  offline
    123.454.67.45  no device

    First column - device serial number

    Second column - connection status

    Android documentation (opens new window)

    # Connect device by IP

    Enter these commands in Android device Terminal (opens new window)

    setprop service.adb.tcp.port 5555
    stop adbd
    start adbd

    After this, you can use CMD and ADB to connect using the following command

    adb connect

    And you can disable it and return ADB to listening on USB with

    setprop service.adb.tcp.port -1
    stop adbd
    start adbd

    From a computer, if you have USB access already (no root required)

    It is even easier to switch to using Wi-Fi, if you already have USB. From a command line on the computer that has the device connected via USB, issue the commands

    adb tcpip 5555
    adb connect

    Replace with device IP

    # Sending broadcast

    It's possible to send broadcast to BroadcastReceiver with adb.

    In this example we are sending broadcast with action com.test.app.ACTION and string extra in bundle 'foo'='bar':

    adb shell am broadcast -a action com.test.app.ACTION --es foo "bar"

    You can put any other supported type to bundle, not only strings:

    --ez  - boolean
    --ei  - integer
    --el  - long
    --ef  - float
    --eu  - uri
    --eia - int array (separated by ',')
    --ela - long array (separated by ',')
    --efa - float array (separated by ',')
    --esa - string array (separated by ',')

    To send intent to specific package/class -n or -p parameter can be used.
    Sending to package:

    -p com.test.app

    Sending to a specific component (SomeReceiver class in com.test.app package):

    -n com.test.app/.SomeReceiver

    Useful examples:

    # Install and run an application

    To install an APK file, use the following command:

    adb install path/to/apk/file.apk

    or if the app is existing and we want to reinstall

    adb install -r path/to/apk/file.apk 

    To uninstall an application, we have to specify its package

    adb uninstall application.package.name

    Use the following command to start an app with a provided package name (or a specific activity in an app):

    adb shell am start -n adb shell am start <package>/<activity>

    For example, to start Waze:

    adb shell am start -n adb shell am start com.waze/com.waze.FreeMapAppActivity

    # Backup

    You can use the adb backup command to backup your device.

    adb backup [-f <file>] [-apk|-noapk] [-obb|-noobb] [-shared|-noshared] [-all] 
               [-system|nosystem] [<packages...>]

    -f <filename> specify filename default: creates backup.ab in the current directory

    -apk|noapk enable/disable backup of .apks themself default: -noapk

    -obb|noobb enable/disable backup of additional files default: -noobb

    -shared|noshared backup device's shared storage / SD card contents default: -noshared

    -all backup all installed apllications

    -system|nosystem include system applications default: -system

    <packages> a list of packages to be backed up (e.g. com.example.android.myapp) (not needed if -all is specified)

    For a full device backup, including everything, use

    adb backup -apk -obb -shared -all -system -f fullbackup.ab

    Note: Doing a full backup can take a long time.

    In order to restore a backup, use

    adb restore backup.ab

    # View an app's internal data (data/data/<sample.package.id>) on a device

    First, make sure your app can be backed up in AndroidManifest.xml, i.e. android:allowBackup is not false.

    Backup command:

    adb -s <device_id> backup -noapk <sample.package.id>

    Create a tar with dd command:

    dd if=backup.ab bs=1 skip=24 | python -c "import zlib,sys;sys.stdout.write(zlib.decompress(sys.stdin.read()))" > backup.tar

    Extract the tar:

    tar -xvf backup.tar

    You may then view the extracted content.

    # Install ADB on Linux system

    How to install the Android Debugging Bridge (ADB) to a Linux system with the terminal using your distro's repositories.

    Install to Ubuntu/Debian system via apt:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install adb

    Install to Fedora/CentOS system via yum:

    sudo yum check-update
    sudo yum install android-tools

    Install to Gentoo system with portage:

    sudo emerge --ask dev-util/android-tools

    Install to openSUSE system with zypper:

    sudo zypper refresh
    sudo zypper install android-tools 

    Install to Arch system with pacman:

    sudo pacman -Syyu
    sudo pacman -S android-tools

    # Read device information

    Write the following command in your terminal:

    adb shell getprop

    This will print all available information in the form of key/value pairs.

    You can just read specific information by appending the name of a specific key to the command. For example:

    adb shell getprop ro.product.model

    Here are a few interesting pieces of information that you cat get:

    • ro.product.model: Model name of the device (e.g. Nexus 6P)
    • ro.build.version.sdk: API Level of the device (e.g. 23)
    • ro.product.brand: Branding of the device (e.g. Samsung)

    # Full Example Output

    [dalvik.vm.dex2oat-Xms]: [64m]
    [dalvik.vm.dex2oat-Xmx]: [512m]
    [dalvik.vm.heapsize]: [384m]
    [dalvik.vm.image-dex2oat-Xms]: [64m]
    [dalvik.vm.image-dex2oat-Xmx]: [64m]
    [dalvik.vm.isa.x86.variant]: [dalvik.vm.isa.x86.features=default]
    [dalvik.vm.isa.x86_64.features]: [default]
    [dalvik.vm.isa.x86_64.variant]: [x86_64]
    [dalvik.vm.lockprof.threshold]: [500]
    [dalvik.vm.stack-trace-file]: [/data/anr/traces.txt]
    [debug.atrace.tags.enableflags]: [0]
    [debug.force_rtl]: [0]
    [dev.bootcomplete]: [1]
    [gsm.current.phone-type]: [1]
    [gsm.defaultpdpcontext.active]: [true]
    [gsm.network.type]: [UMTS]
    [gsm.nitz.time]: [1469106902492]
    [gsm.operator.alpha]: [Android]
    [gsm.operator.iso-country]: [us]
    [gsm.operator.isroaming]: [false]
    [gsm.operator.numeric]: [310260]
    [gsm.sim.operator.alpha]: [Android]
    [gsm.sim.operator.iso-country]: [us]
    [gsm.sim.operator.numeric]: [310260]
    [gsm.sim.state]: [READY]
    [gsm.version.ril-impl]: [android reference-ril 1.0]
    [init.svc.adbd]: [running]
    [init.svc.bootanim]: [stopped]
    [init.svc.console]: [running]
    [init.svc.debuggerd]: [running]
    [init.svc.debuggerd64]: [running]
    [init.svc.drm]: [running]
    [init.svc.fingerprintd]: [running]
    [init.svc.gatekeeperd]: [running]
    [init.svc.goldfish-logcat]: [stopped]
    [init.svc.goldfish-setup]: [stopped]
    [init.svc.healthd]: [running]
    [init.svc.installd]: [running]
    [init.svc.keystore]: [running]
    [init.svc.lmkd]: [running]
    [init.svc.logd]: [running]
    [init.svc.logd-reinit]: [stopped]
    [init.svc.media]: [running]
    [init.svc.netd]: [running]
    [init.svc.perfprofd]: [running]
    [init.svc.qemu-props]: [stopped]
    [init.svc.ril-daemon]: [running]
    [init.svc.servicemanager]: [running]
    [init.svc.surfaceflinger]: [running]
    [init.svc.ueventd]: [running]
    [init.svc.vold]: [running]
    [init.svc.zygote]: [running]
    [init.svc.zygote_secondary]: [running]
    [net.bt.name]: [Android]
    [net.change]: [net.dns2]
    [net.dns1]: []
    [net.dns2]: []
    [net.eth0.dns1]: []
    [net.eth0.dns2]: []
    [net.eth0.gw]: []
    [net.gprs.local-ip]: []
    [net.hostname]: [android-5e1af924d72dc578]
    [net.qtaguid_enabled]: [1]
    [net.tcp.default_init_rwnd]: [60]
    [persist.sys.dalvik.vm.lib.2]: [libart.so]
    [persist.sys.profiler_ms]: [0]
    [persist.sys.timezone]: [Europe/Vienna]
    [persist.sys.usb.config]: [adb]
    [qemu.gles]: [1]
    [qemu.hw.mainkeys]: [0]
    [qemu.sf.fake_camera]: [none]
    [qemu.sf.lcd_density]: [560]
    [rild.libargs]: [-d /dev/ttyS0]
    [rild.libpath]: [/system/lib/libreference-ril.so]
    [ro.allow.mock.location]: [0]
    [ro.baseband]: [unknown]
    [ro.board.platform]: []
    [ro.boot.hardware]: [ranchu]
    [ro.bootimage.build.date]: [Thu Jul 7 15:56:30 UTC 2016]
    [ro.bootimage.build.date.utc]: [1467906990]
    [ro.bootimage.build.fingerprint]: [Android/sdk_google_phone_x86_64/generic_x86_64:6.0/MASTER/3038907:userdebug/test-keys]
    [ro.bootloader]: [unknown]
    [ro.bootmode]: [unknown]
    [ro.build.characteristics]: [emulator]
    [ro.build.date]: [Thu Jul  7 15:55:30 UTC 2016]
    [ro.build.date.utc]: [1467906930]
    [ro.build.description]: [sdk_google_phone_x86_64-userdebug 6.0 MASTER 3038907 test-keys]
    [ro.build.display.id]: [sdk_google_phone_x86_64-userdebug 6.0 MASTER 3038907 test-keys]
    [ro.build.fingerprint]: [Android/sdk_google_phone_x86_64/generic_x86_64:6.0/MASTER/3038907:userdebug/test-keys]
    [ro.build.flavor]: [sdk_google_phone_x86_64-userdebug]
    [ro.build.host]: [vpak15.mtv.corp.google.com]
    [ro.build.id]: [MASTER]
    [ro.build.product]: [generic_x86_64]
    [ro.build.tags]: [test-keys]
    [ro.build.type]: [userdebug]
    [ro.build.user]: [android-build]
    [ro.build.version.all_codenames]: [REL]
    [ro.build.version.base_os]: []
    [ro.build.version.codename]: [REL]
    [ro.build.version.incremental]: [3038907]
    [ro.build.version.preview_sdk]: [0]
    [ro.build.version.release]: [6.0]
    [ro.build.version.sdk]: [23]
    [ro.build.version.security_patch]: [2015-10-01]
    [ro.com.google.locationfeatures]: [1]
    [ro.config.alarm_alert]: [Alarm_Classic.ogg]
    [ro.config.nocheckin]: [yes]
    [ro.config.notification_sound]: [OnTheHunt.ogg]
    [ro.crypto.state]: [unencrypted]
    [ro.dalvik.vm.native.bridge]: [0]
    [ro.debuggable]: [1]
    [ro.hardware]: [ranchu]
    [ro.hardware.audio.primary]: [goldfish]
    [ro.kernel.android.checkjni]: [1]
    [ro.kernel.android.qemud]: [1]
    [ro.kernel.androidboot.hardware]: [ranchu]
    [ro.kernel.clocksource]: [pit]
    [ro.kernel.console]: [0]
    [ro.kernel.ndns]: [2]
    [ro.kernel.qemu]: [1]
    [ro.kernel.qemu.gles]: [1]
    [ro.opengles.version]: [131072]
    [ro.product.board]: []
    [ro.product.brand]: [Android]
    [ro.product.cpu.abi]: [x86_64]
    [ro.product.cpu.abilist]: [x86_64,x86]
    [ro.product.cpu.abilist32]: [x86]
    [ro.product.cpu.abilist64]: [x86_64]
    [ro.product.device]: [generic_x86_64]
    [ro.product.locale]: [en-US]
    [ro.product.manufacturer]: [unknown]
    [ro.product.model]: [Android SDK built for x86_64]
    [ro.product.name]: [sdk_google_phone_x86_64]
    [ro.radio.use-ppp]: [no]
    [ro.revision]: [0]
    [ro.runtime.firstboot]: [1469106908722]
    [ro.secure]: [1]
    [ro.serialno]: []
    [ro.wifi.channels]: []
    [ro.zygote]: [zygote64_32]
    [selinux.reload_policy]: [1]
    [service.bootanim.exit]: [1]
    [status.battery.level]: [5]
    [status.battery.level_raw]: [50]
    [status.battery.level_scale]: [9]
    [status.battery.state]: [Slow]
    [sys.boot_completed]: [1]
    [sys.sysctl.extra_free_kbytes]: [43200]
    [sys.sysctl.tcp_def_init_rwnd]: [60]
    [sys.usb.config]: [adb]
    [sys.usb.state]: [adb]
    [vold.has_adoptable]: [1]
    [wlan.driver.status]: [unloaded]
    [xmpp.auto-presence]: [true]

    # Reboot device

    You can reboot your device by executing the following command:

    adb reboot

    Perform this command to reboot into bootloader:

    adb reboot bootloader

    Reboot to recovery mode:

    adb reboot recovery

    Be aware that the device won't shutdown first!

    # Turn on/off Wifi

    Turn on:

    adb shell svc wifi enable

    Turn off:

    adb shell svc wifi disable

    # Start/stop adb

    Start ADB:

    adb kill-server

    Stop ADB:

    adb start-server

    # List all permissions that require runtime grant from users on Android 6.0

    adb shell pm list permissions -g -d 

    # View activity stack

    adb -s <serialNumber> shell dumpsys activity activities

    Very useful when used together with the watch unix command:

    watch -n 5 "adb -s <serialNumber> shell dumpsys activity activities | sed -En -e '/Stack #/p' -e '/Running activities/,/Run #0/p'"

    # Remarks

    List of examples moved to adb shell (opens new window):