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Paste text on Android Emulator

Posted by: admin March 10, 2020 Leave a comment


Is there an easy way to copy/paste (desktop’s) clipboard content to EditView on Android Emulator?

(just for the sake to ease development/test)

How to&Answers:

With v25.3.x of the Android Emulator & x86 Google API Emulator system images API Level 19 (Android 4.4 – Kitkat) and higher, you can simply copy and paste from your desktop with your mouse or keyboard.

This feature was announced with Android Studio 2.3

Copy and Paste with the Android Emulator


In a terminal, type adb shell input text 'my string here. With some characters escaped like \$ that'

Note that an alternative method for including spaces in the text is to substitute %s for each space character.


I usually send the text I want to copy as an sms message through telnet and then copy the text from the sms message. Here’s how:

Connect through telnet:

  • Syntax: telnet localhost <port>
  • Example: telnet localhost 5554

(5554 is the default port. The title bar of the emulator shows the port that is being used, so you can see if it’s different).

Send message:

  • Syntax: sms send <senders phone number> <message>
  • Example: sms send 1231231234 This is the message you want to send

(You can just make up the senders phone number)

This works really well for links as the message is automatically converted into a hyperlink which you can click without having to copy / paste it into the browser.

Once the emulator receives the message you can copy it and paste it wherever you like.


Just copy from wherever, click and hold on the emulator phone’s edit text where you want the text to go (kind of like you would press and hold to paste on an actual phone), the PASTE option will appear, then PASTE.


Not sure if that’s useful, but, if you need a long URL from desktop browser to be opened in mobile browser, you can send SMS with that URL and open directly from message app.

enter image description here


If you are using Android Studio on a Mac, you may need to provide the full path to the adb executable. To find this path, open:

Android Studio > Tools > Android > SDK Manager

Copy the path to the SDK location. The adb executable will be within a platform-tools directory. For me, this was the path:


Now you can run this command:

~/Library/Android/sdk/platform-tools/adb shell input text 'thetextyouwanttopaste'


maybe a little bit tricky, but you could send an sms to the emulator by using the emulator control. then you do not have to retype all the text if it is longer and can copy-paste it in the emulator.

another way: connect to emulator via “telnet localhost PORT”
and then use hardware event sending to send a text input event to the emulator (needs to be UTF-8). look at this


You can do this without workarounds too. Just click and hold for a bit in the input field till the paste notification appears and then click on paste. That’s it!


I got tired of this problem so I just made this alias to handle it:

alias ap="pbpaste | xargs adb shell input text"

Then when you open a new terminal window, typing “ap” will paste whatever is on your clipboard into the emulator’s actively selected text field.


Simply add this to your profile (for most users that’s ~/.bash_profile for zsh users that’s ~/.zshrc) to make the alias available everywhere. Alternatively, if you’re a bash user (the default for MacOS), then you can run the following command in the terminal to set it up for you:

echo "alias ap='pbpaste | xargs adb shell input text'" >> ~/.bash_profile && source ~/.bash_profile


On Linux this will paste text directly from the clipboard

adb shell input text "'$(xclip -selection c -o)'"

Also it very useful to create global keyboard shortkey with this command for example Ctrl+Shift+Super+V


Only For API level >= 24

Copy any text from your local machine and then simply run this command

adb shell input keyevent 279

Make sure In Android Emulator Settings the Enable Clipboard Sharing options is enabled


Have you looked at C2DM? chrome2phone and fox2phone can send links and clipboard text and automatically copy it on the phone.
Also, try using the adb shell. There’s a service command (/system/bin/service) which can use services (service call clipboard …). The transaction codes are 1, 2, and 3, for getClipboardText, setClipboardText, and hasClipboardText respectively.


Using Visual Studio Emulator, Here’s my method.

First Mound a virtual sd card:

  1. Use the Additional Tools (small >> icon) for the emulator and go to
    the SD Card tab.
  2. Select a folder on your computer to sync with the
    virtual SD card.
  3. Pull from SD card, which will create a folder structure on the selected folder.

Set up a text file to transfer text:

  1. Use Google Play Store to install a text editor of your choice
  2. Create a text file containing your text on you computer in the download directory of the virtual sd card directory you created before.

Whenever I need to send text to the clip board.

  1. Edit the text file created above.
  2. Go to Additional Tools (small >> icon) and chose Push To SD Card.
  3. Open the text file in the text editor I installed and copy the text to the clip board. (Hold down the mouse when the dialog opens, choose select all and then click the copy icon)

Once set up it pretty easy to repeat. The same method would be applicable to other emulators by you may need to use a different method to push your text file to emulator.


(converting comment discussion to answer)

only solution on windows: https://github.com/gcb/AdbPaste

wrote it in a couple hours to work around this problem. I am now back on 100% linux, so feel free to join it as a contributor or maintainer!


Write command: adb devices (it will list the device currently connected)
Select Textbox where you want to write text.
Write command: adb shell input text “Yourtext” (make sure only one device is connected to run this command)


Made this Windows application that allows users to copy paste to Android emulators or connected devices from a visual interface.

enter image description here


I came here looking for a solution to the same problem, and ended up writing an Android application to solve this problem. You can download it at http://www.box.net/shared/6203bn441bfltkimajmk. Just give a URL via Preferences menu to point to a place where you can change the Web response easily. The first line of the Web response will be copied to your emulator’s clipboard for you. More details can be found at http://agilesc.barryku.com/?p=255.


For Mac and Linux try this function in your aliases_bash file (located in /etc/aliases_bash for Mac folks, be sure to use sudo vim /etc/aliases_bash)

function adbtx {
  userinput="$(sed 's/ /%s/g' <<< $1)"
  adb shell input text "${userinput}";
export -f adbtx

Then in the command line enter:

adbtx 'Your text to emulator input'

Your text to emulator input‘ will be input on the emulator text field.

Kudos to Eliot for his substitution string for sed.