How to install the Android SDK on Windows, Mac and Linux


Download Android Studio and SDK tools

Android SDK or Android software development kit, someone could be interested in this term for several reasons. Maybe, Somebody wants to design apps for Android or just want to gain root access to their Android device. For the first one, the Android SDK itself is not the only requirement. However, for rooting an Android device, one requires only the Android SDK which is a part of the larger sized Android Studio whereas the SDK takes only a few chunks of storage on your PC.

We would like to acknowledge you that tinkering with your device by using Android SDK could lead to your device becoming non-functional and it can void your warranty. Proceed with caution.


In this guide, We will teach you how to download and install the Android SDK for your Windows, Mac or Linux machine. So without wasting anymore time, let’s get started with the complete guide.

Some preliminary steps:

The Android SDK requires java to be installed on your machine in order to be fully functional. Both open Java and Sun Java from Oracle can be used.

  • To download and install Java for Windows, open this website and download Java according to your machine’s configuration (32 or 64 bit).
  • On the California Giant’s Mac OS machines, Java comes pre-installed so you don’t need to do it again unless you have manually uninstalled it. If so, you can download it from here and reinstall.
  • On Linux, you can download the java installer from this link. Make sure that you select the appropriate download according to your build, i.e. 32 bit or 64 bit.
  • We will be setting the PATH variable for the execution of a command from a terminal. We will learn more about this later as this is different for all the operating systems.

Note for Linux users: Some 32-bit libraries will be required on 64 bit systems. Ubuntu or any other Debian variant users will need to install ncusrses5 and std++6 by using the terminal and entering the below command:

sudo apt-get install lib32ncurses5 lib32stdc++6

Before getting into the Operating system specific part, I would like you to head to this link and scroll to the command line tools only section and download the SDK tools package according to your operating system.

SDK tools package


Now, I assume that since you are getting into installing Android SDK, you have basic knowledge of using the Windows operating system, if that’s not the case, maybe you should not try SDK on your device because it can have severely adverse effects like your mobile becoming a brick.

Now let’s get started.

  • Step 1: Extract the downloaded package into the root of the Windows drive, generally C. We refer to the first location as soon as you open the drive as root here. If you cannot understand this, just put C: into the address bar of explorer and hit enter.
  • Step 2: Rename the extracted folder to “Android”, this is just for your convenience.
  • Step 3: Now, on to the PATH variable we discussed earlier. I assume you are using Windows 10.
    1. Open the start menu by pressing the windows key on your keyboard.
    2. Search for Environment
    3. Click on “Edit the Environment Variables”.
    4. Click on Environment Variables in advanced.
    5. Now, in the Environment Variables window, select the PATH line and click on edit.
    6. Now add the paths to Android SDK tools and Android SDK platform-tools in the edit box by separating them with a semicolon.
      Below are snaps of the above steps for further assistance.