How to get ADB and Fastboot utilities without installing the Android SDK
Using adb and Fastboot to do things like flash an update or factory image to your Nexus or Pixel isn't that hard. But it still involves using a command line, and potentially making a bit of a mess. Google just made it a little easier.
Previously, you had two choices — install the Android SDK to your computer, or grab a copy of the necessary tools from somewhere else. The Android SDK is big and cumbersome for anyone not using it to develop Android apps, so this led most people to do the latter and get a copy from somewhere besides Google. These could be out of date, incomplete or, worst case, have dodgy stuff added to it. Not a good situation at all.
Here's the fix: Google software engineer Elliot Hughes let us know that Google is now hosting current versions of the Android platform tools for Windows, macOS and Linux as standalone downloads. Grab the correct file, unzip it somewhere on your computer and everything is ready to run. It's just as simple as it was before, but better since we're getting the files directly from the source. Download links are below.
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Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.