How to install Android ADB and Fastboot drivers on a MAC [Guide]

If you own and Android device and you also happen to be a power user of Android you must have heard of this term “Android ADB and Fastboot”. ADB stands for Android debug bridge that acts as a bridge between your phone and your computer whenever you are going to establish a connection while Fastboot is the term used to perform operations in your phone’s bootloader and load custom recoveries, custom kernels and flash other similar things.  The device is booted up in “Fastboot” mode and then it gets connected with the PC to perform the Fastboot operations.

Alright, I guess that was enough to start with. Setting up Android ADB and Fastboot on a windows pc is pretty much easy, but you may get confused when you own an Android smartphone and your computer is a MAC. While there’s a serious conflict  between Apple and it’s greatest rival Google because of the mainstream products iOS and Android, it may seem impossible for a while, but wait. That’s actually possible and easy as well. I just got a chance to setup Android ADB and Fastboot on my MAC recently and I’m going to cook up the detailed guide provided by the screenshots in the following post. In case you’ve been looking for ADB and Fastboot for MAC, you may have spotted the right place. Let’s go ahead and install the drivers now.182081-androidandapple

 How to install Android ADB and Fastboot drivers on a MAC

  1. First of all, make a new folder on your MAC’s desktop or anywhere else where you can easily locate it and name it as “Android”.ADB And Fastboot_MAC_OSX (14)
  2. Download this Android SDK tools  for MAC or ADB_Fastboot.zip (if you don’t want complete tools).ADB And Fastboot_MAC_OSX (4)
  3. As soon as the SDK download ends, extract the data from adt-bundle-mac-x86 to the “Android” folder you created on your desktop.ADB And Fastboot_MAC_OSX (6)
  4. Once the  folder is extracted, find a file named as “Android”, it should be a Unix executable file.ADB And Fastboot_MAC_OSX (12)ADB And Fastboot_MAC_OSX (5)
  5. When the Android file opens up, you need to check that Android SDK and Android SDK Platform-Tools are selected.
  6. Click on the install package now and wait for the download to finish.ADB And Fastboot_MAC_OSX (16)
  7. Once the download is finished, go to the “Android” folder on your desktop and open the platform-tools folder within it.
  8. Now in platform-tools select “adb” and “fastboot”, copy both these and paste into the root of your “Android” folder.ADB And Fastboot_MAC_OSX (1)ADB And Fastboot_MAC_OSX (10)
  9. That’s all with the ADB and Fastboot installation. We are going to test the drivers now if they are working properly or not.
  10. To do so, enable USB debugging mode on your device. You can do so by going to settings > developer options > USB debugging. In case you don’t see the developer options, you will have to enable these. To do so, go to settings > about device > tap the build number for 7 times and find the developer options in settings then.
  11. Now connect your Android device to your MAC. Make sure that you’re using original data cable.
  12. Now open Terminal Window on your MAC form Applications > Utilities.
  13. Type cd and then the path where you saved your Android folder, as shown below

    .cd/Users/<yourusername>/Desktop/Android

  14. Press enter key now so that it access the “Android” folder.
  15. Now you need to enter the “adb” or a “fastboot” command to verify the proper functionality of your newly installed drivers. You may type the following command:

    ./adb devices 

  16. This will list the devices connected with the MAC. To perform the Fastboot commands you will first boot your device into Fastboot mode and perform your desired function.
  17. As soon as you press enter after typing the above command, you will some logs running in the command terminal. If it states as “daemon not working, starting it now on port 5037 / daemon start successfully”, that means the drivers are working perfectly.ADB And Fastboot_MAC_OSX (13)
  18. It will also show your device’s serial number in the command terminal.
  19. Although the ADB and Fastboot drivers are completely functional now, but using “cd” and putting a “./” before every fastboot and adb command may seem annoying at times. We’ll add it to the path so that we don’t have to type both these before the adb and fastboot commands.
  20. Open the Terminal Window once again and issue this command now

     .nano ~/. bash_profile

  21. Issuing this command will open a nano editor window.
  22. Now you need to add a line containing the path to your Android folder in the Terminal Window. That should be like this

    export PATH=${PATH}:/Users/<yourusername>/Desktop/AndroidADB And Fastboot_MAC_OSX (8)

  23. Once added, press CTRL + X on your keyboard to close the nano editor now, and then press Y to confirm the editing.
  24. Once closed nano editor, you may close the terminal window now.
  25. To verify that the path is successfully added or not, open the terminal window again now and issue the following command
  26. adb devices
  27. You will find that it will list the connected devices while you didn’t type any cd or ./ before the command.ADB And Fastboot_MAC_OSX (15)
  28. Boom!  That’s all. You’ve successfully installed Android ADB and Fastboot drivers on your MAC.
  29. You may get your desired .img files, that you will flash in the fastboot mode. The commands will be followed by “fastboot” instead of adb, and the .img files will be placed in the root folder or in the platform-tools folder, it depends on what directory your terminal is accessing for the fastboot commands.

You may checkout the useful ADB and Fastboot commands on our site as well now.

That was all. In case you’re confused with something or you’re having some difficulties regarding this post, make sure that you drop your words in the comment box below. We will get back to you as soon as possible.


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Usama M

+Usama M: Ex Farmviller | Android Fanatic | Software Engineer,Founder - TechBeasts.com
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  • GrandMaster

    Great tutorial however my phone does not come up when i do ./adb devices

    • @theHaag1:disqus please let me know what OS you are using so that I can assist you further.

  • Thanks for the excellent writeup. I don’t know how others are or aren’t getting over this issue especially on OSX el capitan. While adb devices works perfectly fastboot devices doesn’t. Almost every solution I’ve looked up so far is for windows or linux. I’m a mac newbie so most of my linux experience is useless to solve problems if not to understand once i get the solution though.

    Fastboot used to work perfectly before. But when I connected my Moto G3 [Osprey] no reaction although still adb devices worked. So I uninstalled & reinstalled them using but to no avail.

    Please help if you have solved it.

    • @TheeAamAadmi:disqus Enable OEM unlocking and USB debugging on your Moto G3 and try connecting it again and then use the commands. Let me know if this works for you or not?

      • Oh thanks for the quick reply. Done that already. No effect. in fact even windows is giving me the same result.

  • On my other phone which has a SD650 both adb devices & fastboot devices work even when the phone is not in fastboot mode but running android marshmallow. But on my moto G3 after putting it in fastboot mode via adb reboot bootloader now fastboot devices is responding as expected. Is this the desired behaviour or should I try/revert to other drivers?

    P.S. – Thanks for the quick reply & sorry for the confusion all the same.

    • @TheeAamAadmi:disqus If booting into fastboot using adb and then fastboot is working, then it is working fine I guess. You should be okay with that as long as it is doing what you want it to.

      • You rock & you are amazing mate. Thanks a ton. For a mobile development newbie like me…nothing short of phenomenal! Thanks again!

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