How to Install the Android SDK (Software Development Kit)

Use it to manually update software or root your phone

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Google

The Android SDK (Software Development Kit) is a toolset used by programmers to develop apps for devices running Android. But to make use of the Android SDK, you’ll first need to install it on a computer running macOS or Windows.

A common misconception is this SDK is intended strictly for coders interested in creating apps, when it can also be utilized to manually install software updates or even root (also known as jailbreak) your smartphone or tablet.

How to Install Android SDK on a Mac

Follow the instructions below to install the Android SDK in macOS.

  1. Open a web browser and navigate to the Android Studio download page.

  2. Click DOWNLOAD ANDROID STUDIO.

    screenshot of Android Studio website
  3. The Android Studio license agreement will now be displayed. Click I have read and agree with the above terms and conditions.

    screenshot of Android Studio terms and conditions
  4. Click DOWNLOAD ANDROID STUDIO FOR MAC.

    screenshot of Android Studio user agreement
  5. A DMG file will now be download. Be patient, as the file is 700+ MB in size.

  6. Open the downloaded file either through your browser’s taskbar or double-click the file itself via Finder.

  7. An Android Studio disk image should now be visible. Click and drag the Android Studio icon into the Applications folder.

    screenshot of Android Studio macOS disk image
  8. A progress bar will briefly appear as the files are copied, disappearing once the process is completed. Double-click the Applications icon found in the disk image window.

  9. Your macOS Applications folder should now be open, with its latest addition positioned near or at the top of the list. Double-click Android Studio.

    screenshot of macOS Applications folder

    A warning message may now appear, noting Android Studio is an app downloaded from the internet and asking you if you’re sure you want to open it. Click Open to continue.

  10. The Import Android Studio Settings From dialog will now be displayed. Click Do not import settings, if necessary, then click OK.

    screenshot of Import Android Studio settings dialog in macOS
  11. You’ll now be asked if you’d like to allow Google to collect anonymous usage data while Android Studio is running. Choose whichever you’re comfortable with.

    screesnhot of Android Studio Data Sharing dialog
  12. The Android Studio Setup Wizard should now appear. Click Next.

    screenshot of Android Studio installer
  13. On the Install Type screen, click Standard (if necessary), then click Next.

    screenshot of Android Studio Setup Wizard
  14. Choose either the Darcula or Light user interface theme, then click Next.

    screenshot of Android Studio Theme selection
  15. The Verify Settings screen should now appear. Click Finish.

    screenshot of Android Studio Verify Settings screen
  16. The components necessary for installation will now be downloaded, unarchived and installed. Click Show Details if you’d like to view more information about the real-time processes while you wait.

    screenshot of Android Studio Downloading Components screen

    At some point during the process you may be asked to enter your macOS password so the HAXM installation can make changes. If this message appears, type the same password you use on your computer’s login screen, then click OK.

  17. Once the installation process is complete, click Finish again.

  18. Android Studio is now installed, along with the latest version of the Android SDK. Click Start a new Android Studio project. 

    screenshot of Welcome to Android Studio screen
  19. Select the Phone and Tablet tab, if necessary, then click Next to create a new empty activity.

    screenshot of Android Studio Choose Your Project screen
  20. Click Finish on the Configure your project screen. 

    screenshot of Android Studio Configure Your Project screen
  21. A new project interface will now appear, as shown in the accompanying screenshot. Click the SDK Manager icon, represented by a cube with a down arrow and located in the upper right-hand corner.

    screenshot of Android Studio interface
  22. The Android SDK Manager will now be displayed. Make the appropriate selections for the platform versions and tools you’ll need for your specific tasks, then click OK. The Android SDK should now be installed and configured with your particular settings.

    screenshot of Android Studio SDK Manager

How to Install Android SDK on Windows

Follow the instructions below to install the Android SDK on your PC.

  1. Open a web browser and navigate to the Android Studio download page.

  2. Select DOWNLOAD ANDROID STUDIO.

    screenshot of Android Studio download page in Windows
  3. The Android Studio user agreement should now be displayed. Select I have read and agree with the above terms and conditions.

  4. Select DOWNLOAD ANDROID STUDIO FOR WINDOWS.

    screenshot of Android Studio user agreement
  5. An EXE file will now be downloaded.

  6. Open the downloaded file either through your browser’s taskbar or double-click on the file itself via Windows Explorer.

  7. A User Account Control dialog will now appear, asking if you want to allow this app to make changes to your device. Select Yes.

  8. The Android Studio Setup application should now launch, overlaying your desktop. Select Next.

    screenshot of Android Studio Setup screen
  9. The Choose Components screen will now be displayed. Select Android Virtual Device if it isn't already selected, then select Next.

    screenshot of Android Studio Choose Components screen
  10. You’ll now be asked to choose a location on your PC’s hard drive to install Android Studio. We recommend the default option, but you can select Browse and choose a different folder path if you so desire. Select Next to continue.

  11. Select Install.

  12. The installation will now begin, with progress details displayed throughout. Select Show details to view advanced installation information in real-time. Once the process is complete, select Next.

    screenshot of Android Studio installation process
  13. You’ll now be asked if you’d like to import settings from a previous version or external file. Select OK once you're satisfied with your choices.

    screenshot of Android Studio Import Settings interface
  14. Next, you’ll be asked whether or not you’d like to allow Google to collect anonymous usage data. Select the option you’re comfortable with.

    screenshot of Android Studio Data Sharing

    Depending on your specific configuration, you may be required to answer additional questions at this point.

  15. A new Android Studio project window should now be displayed. Select the SDK Manager button, represented by a cube with a down arrow.

    screenshot of Android Studio interface
  16. The Android SDK Manager will now appear. Make the appropriate selections for the platform versions and tools you’ll need for your specific tasks, then select Apply.

    screenshot of Android SDK Manager in Windows
  17. Select OK. The Android SDK should now be installed and configured to your liking.