I just installed Android Studio. How do I get into root shell on my phone? Or do I have to download ADB separately?

4 Answers 4


Android Studio does not contain ADB, you need Android SDK for it (it is installed on first run of Android Studio 0.9.x and newer). ADB is located in sdk\platform-tools.

It's possible to add to PATH in Windows and use Terminal inside Android Studio only by command: adb shell and after use su get root shell.

  1. Locate the SDK platform tools folder (e.g. C:\android\sdk\platform-tools)
  2. Open Enviroment Variables in Windows (See http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000549.htm)
  3. Append the platform tools path (e.g. C:\android\sdk\platform-tools) to the PATH variable
  4. Reopen Android Studio
  5. Use Terminal with adb shell

Older Windows will maybe need to reboot after changing the PATH variables.

On newer Android Studio versions, the Android SDK is copied on a folder outside the Android Studio folder; it is downloaded after the first time you run Android Studio. For more information, see Android Studio 0.8.14 in Beta Channel.

  • I just installed Android Studio on Windows and there is no .\sdk folder in C:\Programs\Android Studio...
    – daaxix
    Jan 1, 2015 at 6:39
  • 1
    Actually, it was installed in userspace (user directory) instead, I haven't used ADB in awhile...
    – daaxix
    Jan 5, 2015 at 19:15
  • 17
    On Windows, running Android Studio 1.5.x, it installed to this path for me: C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Android\sdk\platform-tools\adb.exe
    – Joel B
    Jan 18, 2016 at 1:26
  • 1
    This answer is out of date. Please edit it or downvote it. The answer by B.Rossow is correct. Mar 18, 2019 at 19:18

WINDOWS: In the current version of Android Studio, ADB.exe is located in %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Android\sdk\platform-tools\. Earlier versions of Android Studio have it in %LOCALDATA%\Android\sdk\platform-tools instead.

MAC: Find the ADB executable in ~/Library/Android/sdk/platform-tools.

To open the ADB shell: Ensure Android Studio is installed. In the command line interface (CLI) for your platform -- Command Prompt for Windows or Terminal for Mac -- navigate to the location of the ADB executable as described above (you can copy/paste the strings as shown and don't need to type in your actual username) and do the following:

  1. Type adb devices and press Enter.
  2. Locate the name of your device in the list.
  3. Type adb -s XXXX shell and press Enter, replacing XXXX with the name of your device from the previous step.
  • 1
    The accepted answer didn't help with finding where ADB is installed. Newer versions install it on a per-user directory.
    – apaderno
    Nov 18, 2017 at 19:30
  • I expanded my original answer to include current and historic paths and multiple platforms. :)
    – B.Rossow
    Jan 8, 2018 at 16:22
  • 1
    You got the where, but missed the how. Put them together and its the superior answer.
    – Sn3akyP3t3
    Mar 22 at 20:18
  • 1
    @Sn3akyP3t3 Good point. I added the "how" as suggested and am open to further recommendations for improvement.
    – B.Rossow
    Mar 23 at 22:37

On a Mac Android Studio installs adb there:

/Users/<your username>/Library/Android/sdk/platform-tools

To use it in your shell, you can add it to your .profile file:

export PATH=/Users/<your username>/Library/Android/sdk/platform-tools:$PATH

Please open a fresh terminal window after you did that, or load the changes by typing this in your terminal:

source ~/.profile

Once you have Android Studio set up make sure you can connect to an emulator or a device where it will be listed in the AVD (Android Virtual Devices). If a physical device is connected confirm that debugging mode is enabled and access is allowed to Android Studio. A separate ADB is not needed as all the build tools are part of the IDE.

Now you are ready to access your device's shell!

  1. Access the terminal at the bottom of the IDE by selecting the Terminal button.

  2. In the terminal issue adb devices. This will list the all devices currently connected to Android Studio. Find and use your device's name for step 3.

  3. Now issue adb -s <device-name> shell. Now you are in your device's shell.

On a side note, if you want to access the shell of an emulator with root access installed from Android Studio, issue a adb -s <device-name> root before accessing the shell.

  • After "adb -s <device-name> root" how to exit then get in again with non-root user? Getting in again with shell the user is still root.
    – jw_
    Oct 22, 2019 at 4:44
  • 1
    @jw_ adb -s <device-name> unroot :)
    – NocTurn
    Oct 22, 2019 at 22:26

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