[android] How to copy selected files from Android with adb pull

I'm attempting to use the adb pull command to copy only certain files (jpg) to my macbook. I tried "adb pull sdcard/mydir/*.jpg" but it apparently doesn't interpret wildcards. How can I get only the jpg files copied over? I have rooted the phone if that helps.

This question is related to android adb

The answer is

You can move your files to other folder and then pull whole folder.

adb shell mkdir /sdcard/tmp
adb shell mv /sdcard/mydir/*.jpg /sdcard/tmp # move your jpegs to temporary dir
adb pull /sdcard/tmp/ # pull this directory (be sure to put '/' in the end)
adb shell mv /sdcard/tmp/* /sdcard/mydir/ # move them back
adb shell rmdir /sdcard/tmp # remove temporary directory

Pull multiple files using regex:

Create pullFiles.sh:


for file in $(adb shell ls $DEVICE_DIR | grep $EXTENSION'$')
    file=$(echo -e $file | tr -d "\r\n"); # EOL fix
    adb pull $DEVICE_DIR/$file $HOST_DIR/$file;

Run it:

Make it executable: chmod +x pullFiles.sh

Run it: ./pullFiles.sh


  • as is, won't work when filenames have spaces
  • includes a fix for end-of-line (EOL) on Android, which is a "\r\n"

As to the short script, the following runs on my Linux host


while read MYFILE ; do
done < $(adb shell ls -1 "$DEVICE_DIR" | grep "$EXTENSION")

"ls minus one" lets "ls" show one file per line, and the quotation marks allow spaces in the filename.

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