ADB stands for Android Debug Bridge and it is a utility that you can install on your computer to perform actions on your Android device If you’ve ever looked for any customization options for your Android device, you’ve probably heard of this utility as it is also used to customize Android devices.
In most cases, ADB is used over a USB connection to send and execute commands from your computer to your Android device. However, it also works over a wireless connection. It’s really strange that not many people talk about this useful utility feature.
By using ADB wirelessly with your Android device, you don’t need the clutter of cables, and you can do a variety of things, including taking screenshots, installing apps, uninstalling apps, and more, directly from your computer wirelessly.
Use ADB Wirelessly with Android Devices without Root
If you haven’t rooted your Android device, or don’t know what it is, there is an extra step to take before you can use ADB wirelessly.
You need to first connect your device to your computer with a USB cable and then start the ADB server. The reason is that ADB wireless mode often does not start the server needed to connect your computer to the device.
Run ADB installation over USB
- Go to the ADB website, download and extract the package to your computer.
- Launch the Settings app on your Android device, click Developer Options and enable USB Debugging. This is an option that allows you to connect your computer to Android via ADB
- Connect your Android device to your computer using a USB cable.
- Launch a Command Prompt window (Windows) or Terminal window (Mac) in the ADB folder you just extracted from the package. Type the following command in the window and press Enter.
adb devices (Windows)
./adb devices (Mac)
- A prompt appears on your device screen asking if you want to enable USB debugging. Select the Always allow from this computer check box and click OK.
- In the Command Prompt window, you will see your Android device. Type the following command and hit Enter. There will be no output for this command.
adb tcpip 5555 (Windows)
./adb tcpip 5555 (Mac)
You have successfully configured ADB service on port 5555.
Finding the IP address of the Android device
Also, make sure your device is connected to the same wireless network as your computer.
- Launch the Settings app on your Android device and click About Phone at the bottom.
- On the next screen, click on the “Status” option, which will allow you to see the details of your network.
- Scroll down the next screen and you will find an entry with an IP address. This is the address you will be using, so write it down somewhere.
- Return to the Command Prompt window, type the following command and press Enter. Be sure to replace IP with the actual IP address of your Android device.
adb connect IP
- If all goes well, the command line will display a message stating that you are connected to the specified IP address.
- Go to the Google Play Store, download and install the Terminal Emulator app on your device.
- Run the following command and give the app SU permissions on your device.
- Enter the following command one by one and they will initialize everything needed to connect ADB
setprop service.adb.tcp.port 5555
- Run the following command replacing IP with IP -address of your device in the command prompt window of your computer. It will connect to your device via ADB
adb connect IP
- Reboot device – adb reboot
- Send file to device – adb push source target
- Get file from device – adb pull source target
- Install app – adb install app-name.apk
- Uninstall app – adb uninstall package_name em>
- Take a screenshot – adb shell screencap -p /sdcard/capture.png and then use adb pull /sdcard/capture.png to drag the screenshot to your computer
Now that you know where your device is on the network, it’s time to establish a connection between your two machines.
Connect wirelessly to your Android device using ADB
Now you will send a request from your computer to the device asking to establish a connection. Since your computer is already one of the authorized computers for USB debugging, you will not receive a request or anything similar asking for your permission.
Use ADB Wirelessly with Rooted Android Devices
If you have gained root access on your device, then the server initialization process is not required to connect to it from a computer. This means you don’t need to connect your device with a USB cable first.
However, you will need the IP address of your device.
Now you can run any commands on your device. Also, since your device is rooted, you can even run commands that require superuser rights.
What ADB Commands to Try First
If you’ve never run any commands in ADB before, there are some useful commands that you can run the first time and get everything done on your device.
When finished, run adb disconnect to disconnect from your Android device.