How to setup Android SDK on Windows & Mac

Setup Android SDK

Android SDK is an imperative part of Android, its platform-based developers and power-users, including you and me. So, installing it on your PC is as important. While there is no magic trick in the installation process, but we would still like to guide our users, who are completely new to the Android scene, or unaware of the process. Here, we are overlaying specific instructions for Windows and Mac OS X users to download, install, and easily setup Android SDK on their PCs or laptops.

If you’re only looking for fastboot and ADB binaries, you can get them directly from here.

Setup Android SDK on Windows and Mac

Download Android SDK

The Android SDK is an integrated part of the Android Studio. But the SDK tools are also provided in separate packages, for installation on different operating systems.

Downloading Android SDK

Android SDK requires JRE and JDK to use SDK components. So make sure that you have downloaded and installed JRE (Java Runtime Environment) and JDK (Java Development Kit) installed on your Windows or Mac PC.

JDK Installation on Mac OS X

Now, when you have installed the complete Java packages, you should reboot your PC once. This will help everything settle in, including the JAVA path variables.



The easiest method to set up Android SDK on a Windows PC is by downloading and installing the SDK executable. But, just in case it doesn’t work for you, you can follow the steps below for manual installation.

  1. Once you have downloaded the SDK package (Example:, extract its contents to your PC’s C:/ drive. So now, you will have a folder named android-sdk-windows‘.

    // Android SDK moved to C:/ drive on Windows PC
  2. Now that you have placed the SDK. Go to C:/android-sdk-windows, and double-click on SDK Manager.exe.
  3. SDK Manager will start now. By default, only Android SDK Tools come pre-installed in the SDK package, so make sure that they are updated to the latest version. As for Platform-tools, you will need to install them.
    setup android sdk
    // Android SDK Manager on Windows

    When the downloading and updating is done, you can close the SDK Manager window.

  4. Now that you have the complete Android SDK, the last step is to direct your PC the SDK path. In Windows, right-click on ‘This PC’ orMy Computer’, and go to Properties.
  5. In the left pane, click on ‘Advanced system settings. Now click on ‘Environment Variables’ and you should see a variable named – ‘Path’ under the ‘System Variables’ section. Edit its value, and add the path to the Android SDK Tools and Platform-tools directory.

    Setup Android SDK
    // Set Android SDK path in Windows
  6. After you have added the path, make sure to apply the settings and reboot your PC.


Mac OS X

  1. In the Finder window, open ‘Downloads’ or the alternative directory where the SDK package has been downloaded.
  2. Double-click on the SDK package file (Example: your downloaded.
  3. The resultant should be a new folder named – android-sdk-macosx. This is where the complete Android SDK resides, along with the development tools.
  4. It is a good practise to place the SDK in your Mac’s Home directory. So, copy the ‘android-sdk-macosx’ folder to the /Home directory.

    // SDK in HOME directory
  5. It’s time to start the SDK manager and download the latest version of Platform-tools. To do so, start the SDK manager using the Terminal.
    cd android-sdk-macosx/tools

    The SDK Manager should now start. Whilst in the window, make sure that you have the latest version of Android SDK tools and Platform-tools installed. Generally, you will need to update the Android SDK tools, since they come pre-installed with the package. And, install the latest version of Platform-tools using the manager.

    setup android sdk
    // SDK Manager on Mac OS X
  6. Once we have everything in place, we just need to add the Android SDK path to the bash profile. To do so, open Terminal from Launchpad and enter the following commands, one-after-the-other.
    export PATH=${PATH}:/Users/<your-username>/android-sdk-macosx/platform-tools
    export PATH=${PATH}:/Users/<your-username>/android-sdk-macosx/tools

    Replace “<your-username>” with your own username.

  7. So now, you have installed Android SDK, updated the tools, and defined the PATH variables for the SDK on your Mac.

It was plain and easy to setup Android SDK, right? You may now go ahead and make use of the SDK, either to develop apps, or to make modifications to your device partitions. For accessing ADB and fastboot commands, you will first need to enable USB debugging on your Android device.

If you have any issues installing or setting up the Android SDK, let us know via the comments.

  • Haruna Abu

    I downloaded the 300MB file, and extracted it into a created folder in drive C:, but can’t find the file, SDK Manager.exe.

    • Hi Haruna. For what purpose are you trying to install the SDK for? Developing apps/roms or just for device access over ADB and fastboot?