Finding Android SDK on Mac and adding to PATH


I have installed Android Studio on my MacBook Air (OS Version 10.11 El Capitan) and have successfully written a small "hello, world" app and installed on device (Nexus 7) and ran on AVD. All I want to do now is be able to build the app and install it on device from the command line as opposed to Android Studio. I'm following the directions here:

and the relevant line is:

Make sure the Android SDK platform-tools/ directory is included in your PATH environment variable, then execute:

The problem is I can't find the Android SDK on my machine! I assume it's there because otherwise the program wouldn't compile and run through Android Studio? Perhaps that's a bad assumption? I'm new to Macs (I'm used to Windows) so I don't know the best way to search for the Android SDK. So my questions:

  1. How do I find Android SDK on my machine? Or prove to myself it's not there?
  2. If it's not there how do I install it?
  3. How do I change PATH to include Android SDK?
11/17/2018 9:43:50 AM

Accepted Answer

1. How to find it

  • Open Android studio, go to Android Studio > Preferences
  • Search for sdk
  • Something similar to this (this is a Windows box as you can see) will show

You can see the location there – most of the time it is:


2. How to install it, if not there

Standalone SDK download page

3. How to add it to the path

Open your Terminal edit your ~/.bash_profile file in nano by typing:

nano ~/.bash_profile

If you use Zsh, edit ~/.zshrc instead.

Go to the end of the file and add the directory path to your $PATH:

export PATH="${HOME}/Library/Android/sdk/tools:${HOME}/Library/Android/sdk/platform-tools:${PATH}"
  • Save it by pressing Ctrl+X
  • Restart the Terminal
  • To see if it is working or not, type in the name of any file or binary which are inside the directories that you've added (e.g. adb) and verify it is opened/executed
1/9/2020 8:12:50 AM

If you don't want to open Android Studio just to modify your path...

They live here with a default installation:


Here's what you want to add to your .bashwhatever

export PATH="${HOME}/Library/Android/sdk/tools:${HOME}/Library/Android/sdk/platform-tools:${PATH}"

Find the Android SDK location

Android Studio 
  > Preferences
  > Appearance & Behaviour
  > System Settings 
  > Android SDK
  > Android SDK Location

Create a .bash_profile file for your environment variables

  • Open the Terminal app
  • Go to your home directory via cd ~
  • Create the file with touch .bash_profile

Add the PATH variable to your .bash_profile

  • Open the file via open .bash_profile
  • Add export PATH=$PATH: [your SDK location] /platform-tools to the file and hit ⌘s to save it. By default it's:

    export PATH=$PATH:/Users/yourUserName/Library/Android/sdk/platform-tools

  • Go back to your Terminal App and load the variable with source ~/.bash_profile


  1. How do I find Android SDK on my machine? Or prove to myself it's not there?

When you install Android studio, it allows you to choose if you want to download SDK or not

  1. If it's not there how do I install it?

you can get SDK from here

  1. How do I change PATH to include Android SDK?

in Android Studio click in File >> Settings enter image description here


If Android Studio shows you the path /Users/<name>/Library/Android/sdk but you can not find it in your folder, just right-click and select "Show View Option". There you will be able to select "Show Library Folder"; select it and you can access the SDK.


The default path of Android SDK is /Users/<username>/Library/Android/sdk, you can refer to this post.

add this to your .bash_profile to add the environment variable

export PATH="/Users/<username>/Library/Android/sdk/tools:/Users/<username>/Library/Android/sdk/build-tools:${PATH}"

Then save the file.

load it

source ./.bash_profile