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ADB AppControl User's Manual

last changed on October 15, 2021

First steps
Beginning of work
Working with the program
Additional features
Tools
Debloat Wizard
Extended Version
Troubleshooting (FAQ)

System requirements:

Computer (hereinafter PC) under control OS Windows 7/8/8.1/10 with installed .NET Framework 4.6.2 or above (already installed in most modern Windows), and Device running Android 7.0 and above. Support for older Android versions is possible but not guaranteed.

Links:
.NET Framework 4.8 for Windows 7 SP1, 8.1 or 10
.NET Framework 4.6.2 for Windows 8 and 7 without SP1
Visual C++ (Optionaly, if you have an error)

0. First steps

Download the archive with the program and unpack it to any place on the disk of your PC. For example, in D:\ADB_AppControl.
Important! Do not place the program in system folders like C:\Program Files\

If you do NOT have Windows 10, you may need to install the ADB driver, without which the program will not be able to see your device. All the information you need to solving driver problems HERE.

Enable debugging on your device
Go to your Android device (hereinafter simply the Device) to Settings - About and tap several times on the Build (Build Number), until a message appears that you have become a developer. Look in the settings for Developers options (usually in the general settings list, or in the About menu).

Additional
If the settings for developers have the following options - turn them on:
USB debugging (Security settings), Debugging over the network, Installing applications via ADB, etc.

1. Beginning of work

Run the ADB AppControl program.
Connect your device via a USB cable to your PC (TVs via usb do not need to be connected!). The status will change to WAITING for allow debug. On the screen of your device, allow debug permission in the popup window and turn on the Always Allow option (recommended). The program will automatically connect to the device.

Enable network debugging: in the program window, click Enable Network Debugging (if you plan to connect to the device over the network). The message on the screen will show the IP of your device and connecting port.
Debugging over the network only works until the device is rebooted.

Connection by IP address: (requires network debugging enabled!)
Disconnect the usb cable from the device.
Make sure your device and PC are on the same local Wi-Fi network.
Enter the IP address of your device and click connect. You can also select the IPs you previously connected to from the dropped-down list.

The IP address is automatically detected when the button is pressed Включить отладку по сети. You can also find it in the device settings (for examle 192.168.0.1):
For smartphones: Settings - System - About - Status - IP address.
For Android TV: Settings - About Device - Status - IP Address.

Installing the ACBridge service application
When you connect the device for the first time, the program will prompt you to install a service application that allows you to get the full names of applications and their icons. Make sure your device is not in sleep mode (unlocked screen). After installation, the data will be updated automatically every time the device is connected. Important: ACBridge only works on devices with Android 6 and above.

2. Working with the program

After connecting to the device, the program will show you a list of installed applications. You can switch between lists by selecting the desired filter ●○.

  • All – shows all applications installed on the device EXCEPT disabled.
  • System - shows only applications installed as system ones. Disabling some system applications may make the device inoperable and require a factory reset.
  • User – pre-installed or user-installed applications. Disabling and uninstalling such applications is completely safe and will not affect the operation of the device.
  • Disabled – this list contains all disabled applications on the device. They do not appear in any other list. They cannot be launched, they do not work in the background, but all their data (photos, videos, settings, etc.) is saved. If such an application is enabled, it will be functional again as it was before it was disabled. On some devices (Samsung), applications placed in "Deep Sleep" will also be on this list.
  • Deleted - previously deleted system applications are shown here and can be restored (Android 8+ is required).
  • Mark the required applications with checkboxes (they will be highlighted in a different color). After that, right-click on the list and select one of the actions from the menu (or on the left panel):

    • Disable – disable (freezes) marked applications without losing data and settings. You can always find them in the Disabled list and re-enable.
    • Enable – enable disabled applications
    • Save – saves apk (and apks splits) files of marked applications to the \downloads folder (application data is not saved!).
    • Uninstall – deletes the selected applications along with their data. If you want to keep the data and application cache on the device, select the Keep data option (applies to all deleted applications!). Important: when "uninstalling" system applications, they are actually removed only from the list of installed in the system and cease to function (as if disabled), but physically remain on the device. Their complete removal without root access is impossible.
    • Restore allows you to restore a previously deleted system application. Requires Android 8 or higher (may not work on all devices!).

    To quickly find the applications you need in the list, use the Search. The search is carried out only on the selected list (All, System, etc.). Start typing part of the name of the application you are looking for and all matches will instantly appear in the list.

    Installing Applications
    Click Install to go to the apps installation section. Click Quick Install button to open file dialog, select the apk file on the disk and install it. You can also place your files in the \Install folder (or drag and drop them into the program window) so that they appear in the list. In this case, you can install more than one application at a time.

    NB! Use the context menu (right click on the application) to control single app and access to additional features (Permission Manager, Data Cleaning, and others).

    3. Additional features.

    ACBridge
    Requires andoid 6 or higher. Compatibility with older versions may be limited.
    This is a service application for Android to provide data exchange between the device and ADB AppControl on a PC. It must be installed in order to be able to display application icons and their names, instead of their packages names like com.android.app. Data auto-refresh will start after the device is connected and may take some time depending on the connection method and performance. It is recommended that when connecting, make sure that the device is not in sleep mode, turn on the screen and unlock it. You can also always update the data manually by clicking the Refresh Application Data button.
    Important! If your device is connected via a network, in sleep mode, or in power saving mode (the screen is locked), this may noticeably affect the update time of applications. For optimal performance, use a USB cable connection. ACBridge after installation does not appear in the launcher applications menu and does not have a user interface. You can remove it through the application manager.

    Upload files to device
    In the Extended Version, you can send multiple files at once!
    After clicking the button, you can select the files you want to download to your device. The files will be downloaded to the Downloads directory of your device.

    Auto-Permissions
    There are many applications that require special permissions that can only be granted through ADB. With this option you will be able to grant such permissions automatically. Click the button, select the required application from the list (app must already be installed) and click the Grant Permissions button. Supported Apps List HERE.

    Permission Manager
    Right-click the required application and select Permissions from the context menu. The Application Manager will allow you to grant and revoke permissions. IMPORTANT: Not all permissions can be granted, and only manually granted permissions by the user can be revoked.

    Clearing app data
    Right-click on the application and select Clear data from the context menu. All data, cache, and settings for the selected application will be deleted. Only the cache clear is not possible.

    Working with presets:
    A Preset is a text file containing a list of applications. To create a preset, select the required application in the list and click the Save preset button. In the window that appears, enter a name for the preset and add your comment (for example "Preset of useless applications by Vasya") and click the save button. Your preset will appear in the presets folder.
    You can also Load a preset - select an existing preset file and all applications recorded in it will automatically become checked in the list. The message after that will show how many applications are in the device list / of how many applications from the preset have been marked. Optimally apply the preset on the All list. You can also apply several presets in sequence.

    Console:
    On the Console tab, you can enter any adb commands. Use ctrl + mouse wheel to zoom in / out the console window. You can use the Quick Commands menu - to add a command to your favorites, write it in the console and press + to add it to the list. Fast commands are stored in the adb\fastcmd.cfg file.

    • Copy console log - copies the contents of the console to the clipboard. Use to insert into a forum post.
    • Clear Console - Clears the console screen.
    • Logcat - hover the mouse to open the logging menu.Check the boxes you need to make the logcat template appear on the command line. Double click the logcat button for quick launch. To stop logging, click Stop logcat - the log will be saved to a file, and the device is disconnected from the network. Use the logcat command without redirecting output to a file (>) to open it in a separate window in real time.
    • Press ☼, to change the contrast of the console.
    • Click on > to hide the sidebar and expand the console
    • SHELL - the program supports the shell command in a separate window - press the Shell button or write 'shell' in the console.

    4. Tools

    Controlling the device via Scrcpy.
    The third-party application Scrcpy allows you to control your device remotely. Click Screen Control button and follow the program instructions. During installation, the Scrcpy application will be unpacked to the \scrcpy folder. You can update the application yourself in this folder by replacing its files. On Xiaomi devices in the developers settings you need to enable the Debugging via usb (security settings) option. Important: scrcpy may not work with some devices and with landscape screen orientation. You can pass on your suggestions and comments to developer.

    Изменение разрешения экрана
    Снижение разрешения экрана может повысить производительность и автономность вашего устройства.

    Скрыть значки в статус-баре
    Программа позволяет скрывать некоторые значки в статус-баре.

    Перезагрузка устройства
    Нажмите на кнопку и выберите нужный вам режим перезагрузки в выпадающем списке. System - обычная перезагрузка, Power off - выключить устройство

    5. Debloat Wizard

    The new and effective feature will allow you to get rid of most of the unwanted apps and bloatware on your device.
    This feature is still under further development and is available as part of open testing.

    Why disable apps?
    Everyone knows such "monsters" as Facebook, but there are many other applications on your devices that run in the background, are badly optimized and send your personal data somewhere. By disabling unwanted applications, you can achieve the best result of the autonomy of your device, free up RAM and protect your personal data.

    How does it work?
    The Wizard works based on statistics of the disabled applications and uses special algorithms to provide you with several cleaning steps. You need to select the desired level to get a list of applications that are recommended to be disable on your device. After that, you will be able to choose which applications you wish to disable/remove. The application databases will be regularly updated, and the algorithms will be improved to maximize the effectiveness of the Wizard.

    6. Extended Version

    What is the Extended Version and how to get it

    How to activate with a key

    Interface settings
    The Extended Version settings menu allows you to customize the appearance of the program for yourself. Now, you can adjust the transparency, font size and icon size. In the future, based on user feedback, new, popular settings will be added. The settings will be applied after clicking the Save Settings button.

    Dark theme
    Paints the interface in dark colors that will delight your eyes in the evening.

    Accurate application sizes (Android 8 or above required)
    After enabling this option, the sizes of applications will be downloaded using the AcBridge application, each time the data is updated. You need allow the PACKAGE_USAGE_STATS permission to the ACBridge application (you can do this via ADB AppControl).

    Auto update data
    Disable this option if you DO NOT want to wait for the program to automatically receive application data via ACBridge when the device is connected. This is convenient for users who work a lot with different devices, or for those who have connection problems. In all other cases, it is recommended to leave this option enabled.

    Show application icons
    Disabling this option will hide the icons in the application list. Since the icons will no longer be downloaded from the device, the data update rate will increase.

    Saving the icon cache
    This is a special mode of operation of the program with application data, which is fundamentally different from the work of the basic version. If this option is enabled, then when the device is connected for the first time, the icons of all installed applications are downloaded to the PC and saved to the cache. Each time you connect this, or other devices, the program will load only those icons that are not in the cache. This allows you to noticeably increase the speed of the program while connecting to a device, but may lead to the fact that the program displays icons from different devices that differ in style and shape. If cache saving is disabled, the program works normally, loading icons for all applications every time you connect - it takes more time, especially over the network, but the appearance of the icons always matches the connected device. This option is disabled by default and it is recommended to enable it only if you are need working fast, or experiencing problems with the speed of connecting devices and updating application data.

    History of IP addresses
    The program will remember the IP addresses and names of the connected devices and you can quickly connect to them by selecting the one you need in the drop-down list, without the need for manual typing (click on the history icon next to the IP address). This is very convenient if you have more than one Android device. The history can always be deleted by clicking the Clear History button.

    Use system adb (from %PATH%)
    The program will use adb installed on the system. Do not enable this option unless you know why.

    Stop adb when exiting
    If this option is disabled, the program stops the adb server on shutdown. Can only be enabled if the Use system adb option is active.

    Silent mode (no confirmation)
    Advanced users can disable warning and confirmation windows before operating an action on applications.

    Sorting
    Click on a column heading in the list to sort applications by name, package name, or size (if available). Press M to show the marked applications.

    Other possibilities
    You will be able to send more than one files when using the Send File function. You will also be able to add and apk to the installation list by dragging the file onto the program window. And, of course, you will no longer see donation reminders.

    7. Troubleshooting

    The program does not start. .NET Framework required.
    Install the .NET Framework 4.8 for Windows 7 SP1, 8.1 и 10 or .NET Framework 4.6.2 for Windows 8 и 7 without SP1.

    The program cannot be started because api-ms-win-crt-string-l1-1-0.dll is missing on the computer.
    Install Visual C++ and this update (select the version for your OS).

    adb.exe - Application Error. The Application was unable to start correctly (0xc000007b)
    Install VC++ and the update from the previous answer.

    The program hangs while connecting. Error "The device does not respond for a long time".
    Your device may be in sleep or power saving mode. Try to unlock the screen and connect again.

    Problems connecting the device.
    Try to revoke the USB debugging authorizations in Developer settings on the device.

    When the device is connected, the program does not respond. Always DISABLED status.
    You need to install ADB Driver.

    The screen control (scrcpy) does not work
    Check that all required options are enabled in the Developer Settings. On Xiaomi, you need to enable the USB debugging (security settings) option.

    ACBridge is not installed. [Error]: Cannot to install ACBridge.
    If in the menu for the Developers of your device there is an item Install applications via ADB - enable it. If that doesn't help and the rest of the program functions (disabling, saving, etc.) work correctly, then copy the com.cybercat.acbridge.apk file from the adb folder to the device and try to install it manually through the file manager. In Settings - Applications, find ACBridge and give it permission to access memory. Restart the program. You don't need to run ACBridge.

    The program installs a service application on my device ... Is it safe?
    Yes, it is completely safe. ACBridge application does NOT have any permissions other than storage access. Even internet access. This means that this application cannot pose a threat to your device.

    Permission Manager. Can't grant/revoke permits. Why?
    You can only grant permissions that are allowed by the Android security policy. You can only revoke permissions that have been manually granted.

    The size of all applications is 0.
    Application sizes are not always displayed and not on each device. You can check it out by the console command: adb shell dumpsys diskstats. In the normal output must be present package names and many digits (sizes). If this is not, the command do not work and there will be no size. But you can use the Accurate Sizes option (in the Extended version) for Android 8+ devices, in this case the sizes of applications will be shown.

    Android TV. There is an error 10061 when trying connect over the network.
    Maybe this will help: enable usb debugging in the settings for developers. Reboot the TV. Enable the option debug via usb again.

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