Hello ADB - Cheat Sheet

Android Debug Bridge (adb) is a versatile command-line tool that lets you communicate with a device. The adb command facilitates a variety of device actions, such as installing and debugging apps, and it provides access to a Unix shell that you can use to run a variety of commands on a device. It is a client-server program that includes three components:

  • A client, which sends commands. The client runs on your development machine. You can invoke a client from a command-line terminal by issuing an adb command.

  • A daemon (adbd), which runs commands on a device. The daemon runs as a background process on each device.

  • A server, which manages communication between the client and the daemon. The server runs as a background process on your development machine.

Here is a list of adb commands and there usages.

ADB Basics

adb devices (lists connected devices)
adb root (restarts adbd with root permissions)
adb start-server (starts the adb server)
adb kill-server (kills the adb server)
adb reboot (reboots the device)
adb devices -l (list of devices by product/model)
adb shell (starts the backround terminal)
exit (exits the background terminal)
adb help (list all commands)
adb -s (redirect command to specific device)
adb –d (directs command to only attached USB device)
adb –e (directs command to only attached emulator)

Package Installation

adb shell install (install app)
adb shell install (install app from phone path)
adb shell install -r (install app from phone path)
adb shell uninstall (remove the app)


/data/data//databases (app databases)
/data/data//shared_prefs/ (shared preferences)
/data/app (apk installed by user)
/system/app (pre-installed APK files)
/mmt/asec (encrypted apps) (App2SD)
/mmt/emmc (internal SD Card)
/mmt/adcard (external/Internal SD Card)
/mmt/adcard/external_sd (external SD Card)

adb shell ls (list directory contents)
adb shell ls -s (print size of each file)
adb shell ls -R (list subdirectories recursively)

File Operations

adb push (copy file/dir to device)
adb pull (copy file/dir from device)
run-as cat (access the private package files)

Phone Info

adb get-statе (print device state)
adb get-serialno (get the serial number)
adb shell dumpsys iphonesybinfo (get the IMEI)
adb shell netstat (list TCP connectivity)
adb shell pwd (print current working directory)
adb shell dumpsys battery (battery status)
adb shell pm list features (list phone features)
adb shell service list (list all services)
adb shell dumpsys activity / (activity info)
adb shell ps (print process status)
adb shell wm size (displays the current screen resolution)
dumpsys window windows | grep -E 'mCurrentFocus|mFocusedApp' (print current app's opened activity)

Package Info

adb shell list packages (list package names)
adb shell list packages -r (list package name + path to apks)
adb shell list packages -3 (list third party package names)
adb shell list packages -s (list only system packages)
adb shell list packages -u (list package names + uninstalled)
adb shell dumpsys package packages (list info on all apps)
adb shell dump (list info on one package)
adb shell path (path to the apk file)

Configure Settings Commands

adb shell dumpsys battery set level (change the level from 0 to 100)
adb shell dumpsys battery set status (change the level to unknown, charging, discharging, not charging or full)
adb shell dumpsys battery reset (reset the battery)
adb shell dumpsys battery set usb (change the status of USB connection. ON or OFF)
adb shell wm size WxH (sets the resolution to WxH)

adb reboot-recovery (reboot device into recovery mode)
adb reboot fastboot (reboot device into recovery mode)
adb shell screencap -p "/path/to/screenshot.png" (capture screenshot)
adb shell screenrecord "/path/to/record.mp4" (record device screen)
adb backup -apk -all -f backup.ab (backup settings and apps)
adb backup -apk -shared -all -f backup.ab (backup settings, apps and shared storage)
adb backup -apk -nosystem -all -f backup.ab (backup only non-system apps)
adb restore backup.ab (restore a previous backup)
adb shell am start|startservice|broadcast []
-a e.g. android.intent.action.VIEW
-c e.g. android.intent.category.LAUNCHER
(start activity intent)

adb shell am start -a android.intent.action.VIEW -d URL (open URL)
adb shell am start -t image/* -a android.intent.action.VIEW (opens gallery)


adb logcat [options] [filter] [filter] (view device log)
adb bugreport (print bug reports)


adb shell permissions groups (list permission groups definitions)
adb shell list permissions -g -r (list permissions details)

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