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How do I download the Android SDK without downloading Android Studio?

Posted by: admin March 10, 2020 Leave a comment


As of the moment, I am running a Windows 8.1 PC that does not have the storage or the RAM for a IDE like Android Studio or Eclipse. I want to download the Android SDK tools, without the IDE. How can this be accomplished?

How to&Answers:

You can find the command line tools at the downloads page under the “Command line tools only” section.

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These are the links provided in the page as of now (version 26.1.1):

Be sure to have read and agreed with the terms of service before downloading any of the command line tools.

The installer version for windows doesn’t seem to be available any longer, this is the link for version 24.4.1:


Navigate to the “Get just the command line tools” section of the android downloads page, and download the tools for your system.

For Windows:

Extract the contents to C:\Android\android-sdk

Navigate to
C:\Android\android-sdk\tools\bin and open a command line window
(shift + right click)

Run the following to download the latest android package:

sdkmanager "platforms;android-25" 

Update everything

sdkmanager --update

Other operation systems
Do pretty much the same, but not using windows directories.

The sdkmanager page gives more info in to what commands to use to install your sdk.


Command-line approach

mkdir android-sdk
cd android-sdk
wget https://dl.google.com/android/repository/sdk-tools-linux-*.zip
unzip sdk-tools-linux-*.zip
tools/bin/sdkmanager --update

When executing the above commands, make sure that you replace * with an appropriate version number which you could find in the download page.

Installing packages

You can also use the sdkmanager to list and install the packages needed.

tools/bin/sdkmanager --list
tools/bin/sdkmanager “platform-tools” “platforms;android–27” “build-tools;27.0.3”


sdk-tools-linux-*.zip only includes the command-line tools. This extracts content to a single directory named tools, like:

+- android-sdk
    +- tools

To get the SDK packages we could run:

tools/bin/sdkmanager --update

The sdkmanager accepts the following flag:

--sdk_root=<sdkRootPath>: Use the specified SDK root instead of the SDK 
                          containing this tool

But if we omit this flag, it assumes tools parent directory as the sdk root, here in our case android-sdk directory.

If you check the android-sdk folder after running tools/bin/sdkmanager --update it will be like:

+- android-sdk
    +- tools
    +- emulator  
    +- platforms  
    +- platform-tool

If needed, also set ANDROID_HOME environment variable like:

export ANDROID_HOME=/path/to/android-sdk


What worked for me on Windows:

  1. Downloaded command line tools from https://developer.android.com/studio/index.html
  2. Put the whole tools folder from the ZIP archive to C:\Program Files (x86)\Android SDK\
  3. Launched tools\android.bat as administrator, which opened the usual SDK Manager window
  4. Installed required components. The files were downloaded to ...\Android SDK\ directory (that is build-tools, platforms, platform-tools, etc. directories appeared alongside tools inside ...\Android SDK\)
  5. Opened the Android project in Intellij IDEA, navigated to File->Project Structure->SDKs, and added Android SDK by directing to ...\Android SDK\ directory


This tutorial is a just step by step for installing Android SDK (Software Development Kit) assuming the user is starting from scratch.

There are just a couple of prerequisites to note:

  • Java runtime environment (or JDK) at Oracle website (and download the correct version (32- or 64-bit) for your computer).
  • A good internet connection (needed for downloading system images etc)

I recommed using the offline SDK installer for installing the essential tools namely SDK and AVD manager: The last version of he installer is found here: SDK Installer_r24.4.1 (for windows), SDK Installer_r24.4.1 (for linux) or SDK Installer_r24.4.1 (for macos)

For this guide I was using windows:

Here is the workthrough:

  • Depending on your choice download the appropriate SDK package from above links (but for this example I will be using the manual method)
  • After downloading the package, begin installation (and choose the desired installation folder to proceed or just leave the default %USERPROFILE%\android-sdk):

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  • When done leave the option to download system images “checked”:

enter image description here

Now we’re in business…

  • The SDK manager window will appear, now you need to update/download other sdk packages (i.e platform-tools, system-images, platforms etc according to API levels)

enter image description here

Note: I recommend downloading x86 images as they’re much faster tham arm counterparts, also get intel HAXM (hardware accelerated execution manager) driver to significantly increase your emulator speed

  • All set, now you just need to create and configure an Android virtual device matching your target Android version and tweak desired settings.

  • To do this click on the Tools tab in SDK manager and select manage AVDs, then in the following window click Create you’ll see a similar screen as below:

enter image description here

  • After that boot the newly created virtual device.

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  • Install applications and test as you wish ..


Command line only without sdkmanager (for advanced users / CI):

You can find the download links for all individual packages, including various revisions, int the repository XML file:

(where 12 is the version of the repository index and will increase in the future).

All <sdk:url> values are relative to https://dl.google.com/android/repository, so


can be downloaded at https://dl.google.com/android/repository/platform-27_r03.zip

Similar summary XML files exist for system images as well:


Sadly, straight from google, which is where you will want to download if your company firewall blocks other sources, Release 1.6 r1 September 2009 is the latest SDK they have.


I downloaded Android Studio and installed it. The installer said:-

Android Studio => ( 500 MB )

Android SDK => ( 2.3 GB )

Android Studio installer is actually an “Android SDK Installer” along with a sometimes useful tool called “Android Studio”.

Most importantly:-
Android Studio Installer will not just install the SDK. It will also:-

  • Install the latest build-tools.
  • Install the latest platform-tools.
  • Install the latest AVD Manager which you cannot do without.

Things which you will have to do manually if you install the SDK from its zip file.

Just take it easy. Install the Android Studio.

****************************** Edit ******************************

So, being inspired by the responses in the comments I would like to update my answer.

The update is that only (and only) if 500MB of hard disk space does not matter much to you than you should go for Android Studio otherwise other answers would be better for you.

Android Studio worked for me as I had a 1TB hard disk which is 2000 times 500MB.

Also, note: that RAM sizse should not a restriction for you as you would not even be running Android Studio.

I came to this solution as I was myself stuck in this problem. I tried other answers but for some reason (maybe my in-competencies) they did not work for me. I decided to go for Android Studio and realized that it was merely 18% of the total installation and SDK was 82% of it. While I used to think otherwise. I am not deleting the answers inspite of negative rating as the answer worked for me. I might work for someone elese with a 1 TB hard disk (which is pretty common these days).