Android: Downloading adb without the SDK

A lot of Android guides refer to a program called "adb", which comes from the Android software development kit.

The development kit contains all tools and software required to begin creating your own Android applications.

However, it is roughly 30mb in size and that's a whole heap of useless junk if you're only after "adb", which is 3 files and 718kb in size.

  • Firstly, you'll need a program that can partially download contents of zip files from the internet.
  • Once that's set up, go to the SDK download page and grab the link to the SDK.
  • In the zip file, navigate to "android-sdk-windows\tools"
  • From there, select only "adb.exe", "AdbWinApi.dll" and "AdbWinUsbApi.dll"
  • Download.
  • That's it!

I'm making this post so people can learn how to do this themselves, rather than rely on others to post up zip files on sites like MediaFire (which may or may not take it down in a year's time).

The usual case of teach a man to fish.


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