Did you know that ADB, a tool made by Google, gives you a free hand to tweak or control your Android handset just by connecting it to a PC? Android Debug Bridge or ADB, as people like to call it, comes to the rescue for every Android user at some point of time in different use cases. Furthermore, enabling manual photography on your smartphone requires the authorization of Camera2 API on your device, and you probably might have guessed that it’s ADB that helps you do so. ADB comes into play in these situations, allowing you to access unearthed areas of your Android device with simple commands.
Be it unlocking your phone’s bootloader, installing GCam MOD, or performing a complete backup of your phone, ADB works like a charm, helping you customize and utilize your smartphone to its fullest potential in endless ways. Since the possibilities are countless, we will thus discuss the seven most fascinating ADB tricks making you an all-rounder in all aspects of using your Android device, giving you even more control.
What is ADB?
Android Debug Bridge is a tool developed by Google as a handy option for developers to tweak with Android smartphones. The developers can troubleshoot, debug, and check the device’s status all at one place with programmable commands that give access to perform many more cool tricks. Now, let’s check out the setup process of the developer tool on PC and mobile.
How to Set up ADB on your PC? How to connect your Android device via ADB on PC?
The foremost step for using ADB on a PC is downloading the official developer files from Google’s Android platform. These are specific drivers dedicated to the Android operating system, required to identify the handset’s connection. After the installation process is over, you need to follow the below steps for connecting a smartphone with your PC.
1. Download the Android SDK Platform tools for your respective OS and extract the files to any folder, preferably to a folder you can later navigate to.
2. Now, on your Android Smartphone, tap on the build number seven times to enable developer options in settings.
3. In the Developer options, enable the USB Debugging option and connect the smartphone to your PC using a USB cable.
4. On your PC, navigate to the folder where you have saved the installed files, and open cmd or PowerShell in the folder using shift + right-click menu, or typing cmd in the address bar and pressing enter.
5. Lastly, check your connected device by giving the “adb devices” command.
6. Allow USB debugging on your smartphone after connecting to the computer for authorization.
7 Fascinating Things We Can Do Using ADB
Removing Bloatware or Pre-installed Apps from your Android device
Unfortunately, most smartphones come pre-installed with unwanted apps, referred to as bloatware. While there isn’t a straightforward way to get rid of them, you can, of course, pull it off using ADB. Thanks to the developer tool, you can easily remove those applications all at once by following the steps given below. Open cmd or PowerShell from the ADB folder and enter the “adb devices” command.
1. Now, give the following command: adb shell cmd package uninstall -k NameOfPackage
2. In the place of “NameOfPackage,” enter the application’s package name and press enter. In case you don’t know what an application’s package name is, you can refer to an example in the image presented below.
3. That’s it; the application uninstalls, and you can follow the same to uninstall any other application on your smartphone.
Installing Single or Multiple APKs
Android installs files as applications in the APK format. Let’s check out a neat trick of installing one or many applications on your Android device at once. First, transfer those downloaded APK files into the previously downloaded folder.
1. Select the desired APK file or the files you want to install with the adb install <filename 1.apk>; adb install <filename 2.apk> command.
2. Give a single command with the filename of the APK for installing a single APK.
3. After giving the command, the application gets installed on your Android smartphone.
Capture Screenshots and Record your Android Screen
The usual screen recording options on the Android handset come with a floating bubble or overlay showing options, which sometimes interrupts the screen recording. Although Google has officially provided a native recording option on most devices, you can directly record the screen using the below command. You won’t find any obtrusion following this method while recording the screen.
1. Use the ./adb shell screenrecord <folder-path/filename.mp4> to start the screen recording.
2. In the place of folder-path, give the directory as /sdcard, which will directly save the recorded video on your smartphone.
3. To stop the screen recording, press Ctrl + C, and the recording saves to the directory folder.
Creating a Full Backup of an Android device
Having a backup of your smartphone comes as a handy feature and helps restore your device at any time in emergencies. This method can take a complete backup of your Android device and restore the smartphone as well.
1. Enter this command – \adb backup -all -f <folder path>\filename.ab
2. In the <folder path> and filename.ab, you can add an appropriate location and name for the backup file, respectively.
3. Now, you will receive a prompt page asking for a new password for the backup encryption.
4. Wait for the backup to complete, and the page on your smartphone will automatically close after completing the backup.
Back up a Particular Application data on your Smartphone
Many users lose their in-game progress, or maybe their search history, which is sometimes essential in their daily lives. You can opt for backing up a specific application instead of a whole backup of your handset.
1. You can check out the list of applications with the following command – “adb shell pm list packages”
2. Now, enter the adb backup -f <file-location-for-backup> -apk <package-name> command.
3. Here, enter your backup file location and package name the same way we did for backing up the full smartphone.
4. You can restore the backup file of the app data using the adb restore <backup-file-location> command.
Change the DPI of the Screen
In simple terms, known as the Dots Per Inch, DPI comes as a value for smartphone displays typically varying in the range of 480 dpi. You can change the DPI of your screen to the desired screen size using the below commands.
1. Check your current DPI using the command – adb shell wm density
2. Now, change the DPI to your desired value with the following command – “adb shell wm density <value>”
3. Give a value such as 280 or 180 in the <value> section.
Connect your Android device to your PC via Wi-Fi
Yes, you heard that right, although first, you need to connect your device with USB and give a couple of commands for connecting your device with Wi-Fi. Ensure that the laptop or PC you want to connect to has Wi-Fi connectivity.
1. Enter the given command to run the ADB in TCP/IP mode – adb tcpip 5555
2. Now, you need to enter the IP Address of your smartphone in the following command.
3. Refer to the IP Address of your Android device in the “About” section of your device’s settings.
4. Now, give the IP address in the adb connect <your ip-address> command.
5. Disconnect the USB from your smartphone and check for the adb devices.
6. You can see your device name if the command runs successfully.
Dive in and Explore Unique Features on Android using ADB
These were some of our best tricks and commands that you can try on your Android smartphone using ADB. You can consider ADB as a welcoming factor to the world of tweaking on Android. In addition, there are even more commands for ADB and tricks, which might come in handy if you want to explore further.