Android debugging on real device

This tutorial will show you how to debug Android application on a real Android-powered device (mobile phone).

Tools and environment in this tutorial :

  1. Eclipse IDE 3.7 + ADT Plugin
  2. Samsung Galaxy S2
  3. Windows 7

Summary steps to debug on device :

  1. Download Google USB Driver (if using Android Developer Phones (ADP))
  2. Download OEM USB Drivers (if using other Android-powered device, Samsung, Acer, HTC…)
  3. In your device, turn on USB debugging.
  4. Connect your device to the PC.
  5. Use “adb devices” to verify that your device is connected successfully.
  6. Change Eclipse “Deployment Target Selection Mode” to “Manual”, and select the device at runtime.
  7. Done.

In this example, we will use the previous “Hello World Android Example“, and debug or run on a real Android-powered device, Samsung Galaxy S2.

1. Download OEM USB Driver

Refer to this Android USB driver guide. If you are using Android Developer Phones (ADP) like Nexus One or a Nexus S, you should install the Google USB driver via “Android SDK Manager“.

With Samsung Galaxy S2, you need to install OEM USB driver, or Samsung USB driver, which included in the Samsung Kies software.

Refer to this “where to download Samsung Galaxy S2 USB driver” guide to get USB driver install on your PC.

get samsung USB driver

2. Enable USB Debugging

In your device, to turn on USB debugging : “Settings” -> “Applications” -> “Development” -> “USB debugging”.

See figure below :

enable usb debugging on Android

3. Connect device to PC

Connect Samsung Galaxy S2 to the PC, and verify it via command “adb devices“.

In commmand prompt, change path to “Android SDK/platform-tools“, type command “adb devices“, if you see something like “some-weird-number device“, it means your device is connected to PC successfully.

Figure – The “304D19665059DF6E device” is the Samsung Galaxy S2.

adb devices

4. Eclipse -> Android

Most people are stuck in this stage, beware.

Previously, you may created few “Android Virtual Devices (AVD)” for testing, and set “Deployment Target Selection Mode” to “Automatically“, however, this will caused the application failed to debug on your connected device and keep starting the AVD emulator.

2 solutions :

  1. In Eclipse right click on Android project, select “Run” -> “Run Configuration” -> “Android Application” -> “Target” tab -> “Deployment Target Selection Mode” -> set it to “Manual“, and you can select the device at runtime.
  2. Alternative, in “Deployment Target Selection Mode“, just deselect all the selected AVD.

Figure : Deployment Target Selection Mode

android eclipse deployment target

Figure : Select your device at runtime

select device at runtime

5. Start It

In Eclipse, run or debug your project as Android project, select your device at runtime and the project will copy to your Samsung Galaxy S2 and started automatically.

Figure : HelloWorldApp debugging on Samsung galaxy S2.

android hello world
android hello world


  1. Android developing on real device
  2. Android OEM USB driver
  3. Android debug on Samsung Galaxy S2
  4. Android hello world example
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About the Author

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  • http://com mfara012

    Thanx a lot very straight forward

  • Raghavendra

    Simply great work

  • JF Gagnon

    Sometimes it works but usually all my breakpoints are skipped. It drive me nuts.

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  • Leelavathy

    Iam using samsung galaxy W. When i try to look into the list of running applications in DDMS perspective to start method debugging the process list doesnt show up. Any suggestions are welcomed.


  • Ramachandran

    How to connect with out using usb cable.

  • Mahbub Siddique

    this is very helpful tutorial.Thanks a lot for your post…….

  • Mona

    Omg, this is awesome! So well-documented & thorough! Thanks a bunch!

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  • Andrey

    Is it noticeable faster to debug on a real device than on an emulator?

    • Adrian Mikeliunas

      Yes, is faster because you are not killing your RAM and CPU with the emulator…

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  • Srinu

    Great Tutorial.Thank you….

  • rasty

    Brilliant Gracias!!

  • tommy

    Thank you so much, now I am able to connect samsung galaxy ace plus and do development.

  • Mirko Ugolini

    Great tutorials

  • Ali

    For me everything works fine and Eclipse does show me that application has been installed but it does not launch that application and when i check my phone there is no app installed in the app area but when i go to “Manage Application” I can see my app installed. Its really annoying scenario and i really need help urgently. Thanks

    PS. I am using Galaxy Note.

  • arsalan ali

    thanku soo much ..:)

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  • khushbu

    thanks a ton !!!

  • Carlton

    Thanks, perfect

  • Fernando

    Great, now testing in s2 :) Thanks

  • Jørgen

    ‘Android debugging on real device’

    Excelent tutorial, just what I needed :-)


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