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How to Install ADB Commands to Install APK Files

Install ADB Commands
Written by Kelly Houstan

Hello folks, how can you install an app on your Android-powered device? Most of my pals answered this question along with the most common answers. Such as installing from the Google Play Store app on their Android devices or installing apps via logging into their Play Store on the PC and also installing Standalone apps from the SD card through enabling the Unknown Sources option in the device settings. Most Android users actually fall into one of these categories as that’s the simple way in order to install apps. However, what if the UI of your device collapsed and you can’t access any apps on your device? Just read this article to know all about How to Install ADB Commands to Install APK Files.

Whenever you’re playing with some random app, then your device may sometimes collapse because of that app interfering with your device UI. This most possible scenario is that the device’s launcher is hang and actually we cannot actually access that. As you know without even the launcher app. You guys cannot access anything on your device. Hence, if you have to install any third-party launcher app to get into your device. You guys have to download the launcher app APK on your PC. If the Google Play Services basically has collapsed (this mostly happens whenever you try to mod your device), then you cannot install the app from Play Store at all.

In that case, the ADB also comes to your rescue. ADB is the acronym for Android Device Bridge. That acts as a bridge between your PC and Android device as well. You can install apps via this ADB tool, however, it is not limited to it, the scope of the ADB tool is far higher. And also even if you know little about Android development then you will understand its importance. However, for the sake of the topic, we will show you how you can install android apps from ADB. So let’s get on along with the guide.

How to Install ADB Commands to Install APK Files

What is ADB?

ADB basically stands for Android Debug Bridge. It is actually a command-line tool that is a part of the Android SDK (Software Development Kit). It permits you to control your Android smartphone via a PC provided that your device is connected to the computer through a USB cable. You guys can use it to install or uninstall apps, just transfer files, get information about network or Wi-Fi connection as well. Now just check battery status, take screenshots or screen recording and so much more. It also has a set of codes that allow you in order to perform a lot of operations on your device.

As a matter of fact, ADB is a really powerful tool that is capable of performing advanced operations that a really good amount of practice and training to master. The more you guys explore the world of coding, the more useful ADB will it become for you. But, for the sake of keeping things simple, we are just going to cover some basics and mainly teach you how you can install an APK using ADB.

How does it work?

ADB basically uses USB debugging to take control of your device. Whenever connected to a computer via a USB cable, the ADB client is able to detect the connected device as well. It also uses a command line or command prompt as the medium in order to relay the commands and information between the computer and also the Android device. There are special codes or commands that allow you in order to control the processes and operations on your Android device.

Pre-requisites for using ADB?

Now, just before you can install APK using ADB commands, then you have to make sure the following pre-requisites are met.

  • The first thing that you guys need is just to make sure that the device’s driver is installed on your PC. Every Android smartphone comes along with its own device driver. That automatically gets installed whenever you connect your phone to your PC as well. If your device does not have one then you have to download the driver separately. For Google devices such as Nexus, you guys can find just install Google USB Driver that is a part of SDK (we will discuss this later). Many other companies such as Samsung, HTC, Motorola, etc. give drivers on their respective sites.
  • The next thing that you have is to enable USB debugging on your Android smartphone. The option to do that can be found under Developer options. First, turn on the Developer Options from the Settings menu.

After that, you have to enable USB debugging from the Developer options.

    • Open Settings and then tap on the System option.
    • Then, tap on Developer options.
    • Just scroll down and now under the Debugging section, then you will find the setting for USB debugging. Simply toggle on the switch and you guys are good to go.
  • Last but not least, you have to download and install ADB on your computer. We will discuss this in the next section and also guide you through the whole installation process.

Download and Install ADB on Windows?

As mentioned earlier, ADB is actually a part of the Android SDK and thus, you have to download the whole setup package for the tool kit. Follow the steps given below in order to download and install ADB on Windows 10:

  • Tap on here to go to the downloads page for Android SDK platform tools.
  • Now, tap on the “Download SDK Platform-Tools for Windows” button. You can choose the other options as well relying upon the operating system that you are using.
  • Just agree to the Terms and Conditions and tap on the Download button.
  • When the zip file is downloaded, then extract it at a location where you guys want to save the tool kit files.

You guys will be able to see the ‘ADB’ present in the folder along with other tools. The installation process is now complete as well. We will now be moving to the next step that is also using ADB in order to install APK on your device.

Use ADB to install APK on your device?

Before you guys proceed to install APK using ADB commands. You then have to make sure that ADB is set up properly. And the device connected is being detected properly as well.

  • In order to do this, connect your Android device to the computer and then open the folder containing the SDK platform-tools as well.
  • In this folder, hold down Shift and then right-tap. From the menu, just choose the “Open Command window here” option. If the option to open the command window is not available, then just tap on the “Open PowerShell window here”.
  • Now, in the Command Prompt window/PowerShell window, you have to type the following code: “.\adb devices” and press Enter.
  • This will show the name of your device in the command window.
  • If it does not, then there is also a problem with the device’s driver.
  • There is actually a simple solution to this problem. Head to the search bar on your computer and then open Device Manager.
  • Your Android device is also in the list there. Right-click on it and then just simply click on the update driver option.

 Install ADB Commands

  • Next, tap on the option to look for Drivers online. If there are any new drivers available then they will automatically download and install on your PC.
  • Now, head back to the command prompt/PowerShell window and then type the same command provided above and click on Enter. You guys will now be able to see the name of the device displayed on the screen.

Further |  Install ADB Commands

This basically confirms that ADB has been successfully set up and your device is connected properly. You can now perform any operations on your phone via the ADB commands. These commands have to enter in the Command Prompt or PowerShell window. In order to install an APK on your device through ADB, you have to have the APK file saved on your computer. Let us also assume that we are installing the APK file for the VLC media player.

Just follow the steps given below in order to install the app on your device:

  • The first thing that you have to do is move the APK file to the folder containing the SDK platform tools. This will make it easier when you guys would not have to type the whole path for the location of the APK file separately.
  • Next, open the command prompt window or PowerShell window and then type in the following command: “adb install <app name.apk>” where the app name is basically the name of the APK file. In our case, it will be “VLC.apk” actually
  • When the installation is complete, then you will be able to see the message “Success” displayed on your screen.


Well, That is all from my side. If you want to know more about this article or have any queries. Then feel free to ask me anything in the comments section below.

Have a Good Day!

Also See: Facebook Messenger Photo Recovery – User Guide

About the author

Kelly Houstan

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