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I cannot find a complete, all-in-one program for Windows that allows me to:

  • view, install, uninstall (and possibly update) apps
  • backup contacts, app data and apps
  • move apps from phone memory to SD card
  • transfer pictures/files to and from the phone

So, is there a free program that does all the above? I need it to be wired because I might need to transfer a lot of pictures, and doing it wirelessly would takes ages.

  • Did you take a look at my site, and checked with Manage your Android Device from your Computer? I'm not a Windows user, so I cannot give a good answer here from my own experience – but I'd bet Droid Explorer would match your needs. Its dev is active over at Android.SE if you get in trouble or need advice with it :) Alternative, maybe: Moborobo. – Izzy Mar 28 '15 at 22:43
  • @Izzy I'll try Droid Explorer - screenshot looks good :) – ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Mar 29 '15 at 10:38
  • 1
    So does support. Let me know if I shall make that an answer – I know where to collect some details for that :) – Izzy Mar 29 '15 at 13:48
  • @ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Which is your Device and android version ? – w͏̢in̡͢g͘̕ed̨p̢͟a͞n͏͏t̡͜͝he̸r̴ Mar 31 '15 at 10:50
  • @unique_id jelly bean – ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Mar 31 '15 at 11:15
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Not very user friendly but you can do all of the above, and more, with the Android Debug Bridge (adb) command line tool. Note that you need to enable debug connections first.

The tool is part of the Android Developer Studio which is free and cross platform so will work on:

  • Microsoft® Windows® 8/7/Vista/2003 (32 or 64-bit)
  • Mac® OS X® 10.8.5 or higher, up to 10.9 (Mavericks)
  • Linux GNOME or KDE desktop

As a developer tool it can do just about anything, including potentially breaking your device so I would strongly recommend testing what you would like to do with one of the emulation packages before trying with your phone.

The good news is that as it is a command line tool you can write batch scripts to perform actions that you do regularly, e.g. backing up all contacts.

  • You can copy any file, or directory hierarchy, from and to the device including pictures, contacts, etc.
  • You can list installed software, uninstall it, install from .apk files, install to non-default locations - this will break some apps.
  • and of course you can start to develop your own apps.

Some examples, (all assuming that you have exactly one device connected via USB):

Tow install some app:

adb -d install C:\SomeDir\some_app.apk

Or to copy your music that is on your SD card to the local drive:

adb -i pull /storage/extSdCard/Music C:\Music

An introductory video is available here or at tutorial is here.

  • 1
    The correct answer. adb is your friend. – Deer Hunter Mar 29 '15 at 9:09
  • Could you give me an example of how to copy files to and fro and install/uninstall/move apps? Or a link to a 'beginners guide' if possible? :) – ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Mar 29 '15 at 10:36
  • Added a couple of brief examples and links. – Steve Barnes Mar 29 '15 at 11:35
  • Cool! I just need to try Izzy's suggestion now and compare the two :) +1 though – ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Mar 29 '15 at 11:39
  • Droid Explorer is probably a gentler start but adb has the power and the ability to automate regular operations. – Steve Barnes Mar 29 '15 at 11:40

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