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Installing and Removing Android Apps on the Emulator

written by: hardiks•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/3/2011

This guide examines how developers can work with applications on the Android Device Emulator in order to test their games and apps prior to publishing. Learn how to easily install and remove in-development apps from the Emulator.

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    In this tutorial, I will show you how to install and remove applications (APK files) on the Android Device Emulator which is bundled as part of the SDK. If you are a developer, you may often want to install applications on the Android Device Emulator for testing before you publish them. You may also want to run certain applications on the emulator before installing them on your device.

    To install / remove applications on the Android Device Emulator, you need to download and install the SDK from http://developer.android.com/sdk/. After downloading the file, just extract the archive into any folder. You won't need Eclipse or any IDE.

    Before installing / removind apps on the emulator, you should also set the PATH environment variable to point to the tools directory in the Android SDK directory so that you can use ADB directly on the command line.

    To do so, go to My Computer - > Right Click - > Properties - > Advanced - > Environment Variables. Select the PATH variable from the System Variables and click Edit. Add the location of the tools directory to the existing string. Ex: C:\Android\Tools and save the changes.

    Installing APK Files on the Android Device Emulator.

    Now download the APK file you want to install and save it in the tools directory (preferably).

    Open Command Prompt by Start - > Run - > CMD and navigate to the tools directory.

    type: ADB INSTALL APKFILE.APK where APKFILE.APK is the name of the application you want to install.

    If there are no errors, then the application has been successfully installed. You can now just run the emulator directly to access it.

    Removing APK Files from the Android Device Emulator.

    To remove the installed APK files,

    Just go to Command Prompt by Start - > Run - > CMD and navigate to the tools directory.

    type: ADB SHELL RM DATA\APP\APKFILE.APK where APKFILE.APK is the name of the application you wish to remove.

    If there are no errors, the application has been removed.