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How to Install the Android USB Drivers

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 by | Filed Under: Android, Smartphones

In most cases, when you connect an Android device to your computer for the first time, the drivers will automatically be installed. However, the phone will most likely be detected as a mass storage device, not as an Android device. This gives it similar properties as an external hard drive, and should be fine for most users, since you will still be able to copy files to and from your device.

However, if you need to “debug” your Android device (one of the requirements for rooting), you will need to make sure the computer recognizes it as an Android device. Since there is such a great variety of Android devices, there is no single solution for installing the drivers.  This guide should work for most devices, but might not work for all. 

Installing the drivers using the Android SDK (recommended):

1. Download the Android SDK.

Download Android SDK

2. Double-click the downloaded file to run it, and follow the on-screen instructions to install the SDK. Make sure you change the installation directory to “C:\android-sdk\”.

Installation of Android SDK

3. Run the SDK manager. You will be presented with the following screen:

Android SDK Interface

4. From here, select the following 3 items (and uncheck all others):

  • Tools/Android SDK Tools (might already be installed)
  • Tools/Android SDK Platform Tools
  • Extras/Google USB Driver Package 

5. Click on “install packages”. On the window that opens, click on “Accept All”, and then “Install”.

Package Installation

6. Make sure your Android device is in USB debugging mode (Settings -> Applications -> Development), and connect it to your PC. Hopefully the right drivers will now be installed.

7. To test whether the installation was successful, type the following text into notepad, and save as “test.bat”:
cd c:\android-sdk\platform-tools\
adb devices

Notepad Step 1

Notepad Step 2

8. Double-click the file that you just created. If the driver installation was successful, you should see the text “List of devices attached”, followed by a serial number. If this is not the case, you can try to install the drivers using PDANet. 

Installing the drivers using PDANet:

1. Download PDANet. Select either the 32-bit or the 64-bit version, depending on your computer’s operating system (read this article for more info).

2. Double-click the file and follow the on-screen instructions to install PDANet. If Windows prompts you with the message “Windows can’t verify the publisher of this driver software”, simply click “Install this driver software anyway” (you may be prompted more than once).

3. The drivers for your phone should now be installed (you can test with the same method as mentioned above). If you don’t need PDANet (it’s for tethering your phone) you can simply uninstall it. The drivers will remain installed.

~Jonas Mueller


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One Response to “How to Install the Android USB Drivers”

  1. Terry says:

    I tried to do this, but it would not work no matter what I tried. One thing: my Android phone does not have a Development setting in the settings.It is a Samsung Galaxy II.

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