How to Install Android Studio and SDK Tools on Windows

The Android SDK (Software Development Kit) is an important and powerful tool that is essential if you are looking to get started in Android app development. It also serves several other purposes, such as using the command line to sideload apps on your Android phone.

There are quite a few details and things to consider while installing the Android SDK on your Windows PC. The following guide should help you navigate the process.

Install the latest version of Java

If you don’t want to use Android Studio and just want the command line version of the Android SDK, you need to download and install Java first.

  1. On the official Java Downloads page, scroll down and click on the “Windows” tab.
Install Android SDK Studio Windows Download Java
  1. The available downloads will then be displayed. Select and download the “x64 MSI Installer”.
  2. Go ahead and install the latest version of Java on your PC. You will be able to find it in C:Program FilesJavajdk-18.0.1.1 (or whatever version number you have installed – 18.0.1.1 being the version number).
Install Android SDK Studio Windows Java Location

Install SDK command line

Android Studio is a space-intensive app, and while we think its user interface (UI) makes it a very accessible way to manage your development tools and packages, some people prefer the command line.

  1. On the Android Studio download pageselect the Windows option under “Command Line Tools Only”.
Install Android Sdk Studio Windows Get Sdk
  1. The SDK tool package will be downloaded to your PC as a .zip file. Extract the zip file. You should see a “cmdline-tools” in the extracted folder.
  2. In your C: drive, create a new “Android” folder.
  3. In the Android folder, create a new “cmdline-tools” folder. And in this “cmdline-tools” folder, create a “tools” folder.
  4. Finally, move the contents of the extracted file into the “Tools” folder.

Get started with the SDK command line

  1. Run the command prompt as an administrator.
  2. Next, cd in the “bin” folder:
cd C:Androidcmdline-toolstoolsbin
  1. Type the following command, which will show you a list of installed and valid packages, as well as those that can be updated.
Install Android SDK Studio Windows SDKmanager
  1. To install the platform tools, enter the command:
sdkmanager "platform-tools" "platforms;android-33"

After installation, you should find the new “platform-tools” folder inside the “Android” folder. In this folder you will find adb.exe, fastboot.exe and several other executables.

Install Android Sdk Studio Windows Platform Tools

This will give you access to the adb and fastboot commands, which are great if you like to load stuff on Android and dabble in recovery options.

Install Android Studio

Alternatively, if you want to take advantage of all the modern features, conveniences, and UI elements of Android Studio, it’s pretty straightforward.

  1. On the Download Android Studio page, select “Download Android Studio” and follow the instructions. When installing, however, there are a few things to consider.
Install Android SDK Studio Download Android Studio
  1. The installer will offer to install an additional feature called Android Virtual Device, which creates an emulated environment for testing various features and apps. Confirm if you want to install this feature. (You’ll be asked again later if you want to install it, so it doesn’t matter if you skip it here.)
Install Android Sdk Studio Windows Android Virtual Device
  1. Once you have done this and selected an installation directory, Android Studio will begin installing. It’s a big program that can take a while, depending on your hardware.
  2. Once Android Studio is installed, open it. It will ask you if you want to import your existing Android Studio settings.
Install Windows Import from Android Sdk Studio
  1. After that, click “Next” to follow the wizard, then click “Custom” to install custom components (if desired).
  2. If you need Java with your Android Studio projects, navigate to your Java directory when prompted. In our case, it’s “C:Program FilesJavajdk-18.0.1.1”.
Install Java Android SDK Studio Windows Folder
  1. Select your theme, then choose the additional components you want to install. We recommend that you check the “Performance” box to improve Android emulation according to your processor, and you can choose Android Virtual Device again if you think you will use it.
Install Android Sdk Studio Windows Performance
  1. Keep clicking “Next” and then “Finish” when you’re done.
Install Android Sdk Studio Windows Download Completed
  1. Once Android Studio is fully installed, open it and you’re away.
  2. Click on “Create a new project” and feast your eyes on the large selection of templates.
Install New Android Sdk Studio Windows Project
  1. Or click “More Actions” from the Android Studio main screen.
Install Android Sdk Manager Options Sdk Studio Windows
  1. This will open a drop-down menu with options like SDK Manager and Virtual Device Manager. Below you can take a look at SDK Manager.
Install Android Sdk Studio Windows Sdk Manager Overview

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I check my current Java version?

You may not need to install the latest version of Java on your PC before installing your command line tools. Checking your version of Java is easy, just type the following command in the command prompt: java -version. Cmd will immediately display the version you are using.

I get an error “sdkmanager is not recognized as an internal or external command, usable program, or batch file”. How can I solve this problem?

You should review the part of the tutorial where you configure environment variables. Be sure to follow the steps to unzip the command line tool. It is important. Check if you copied the right path from the source folder and pasted it in the right place.

My Android Studio download got stuck. What can I do?

If you are experiencing a download hang, it may be due to high CPU usage or internet issues, which may have caused the download to be interrupted. To counter the latter, we recommend that you close all running programs/applications at this point to prevent the Internet from being consumed by other processes. In case of high CPU usage, here is a list of fixes to help you fix this problem.

Image credit: Zain Ali via Pexels

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