I am trying to test android deep link urls through adb to launch my app


When I type the command in adb:

./adb shell am start -W -a android.intent.action.VIEW -d "example:gizmos" com.myapp

I get this error:

Starting: Intent { act=android.intent.action.VIEW dat=example://gizmos pkg=com.myapp }
Error: Activity not started, unable to resolve Intent { act=android.intent.action.VIEW dat=example://gizmos flg=0x10000000 pkg=com.myapp }

But when I type the command in adb:

./adb shell am start -W -a android.intent.action.VIEW -d "example:gizmos" com.myapp.activity.DeepLinkActivity

Everything works fine and I get the message and I can see the activity launch on the phone:

Starting: Intent { act=android.intent.action.VIEW dat=example://gizmos cmp=com.myapp.activity.DeepLinkActivity }
Status: timeout
Activity: com.myapp.activity.DrawerActivity

My question is why do I need to get full path of my activity and not just package name? Because when the external apps or browser will try to deep link they will not invoke the activity in my app.

This is my AndroidManifest.xml

            <action android:name="android.intent.action.VIEW" />
            <category android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />
            <category android:name="android.intent.category.BROWSABLE" />

            <data android:scheme="example"
                  android:host="gizmos" />

asked on Stack Overflow Mar 2, 2015 by user3773337 • edited Mar 2, 2015 by user3773337

9 Answers


You don't need to specify full path to your activity, but if you want to test whether you react properly to URI in your app just specify app package:

adb shell am start -a android.intent.action.VIEW -d "example://gizmos" com.myapp

Also there is bug in command you provided - there should be example://gizmos not example:gizmos

answered on Stack Overflow Apr 13, 2015 by pixel • edited Nov 6, 2017 by pixel

The best solution for android studio is explained here: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-enable-deep-links-on-android--cms-26317

TLDR : Android Studio --> Run --> Edit Configurations

Change Launch in Launch Options to "URL" and enter in the text field URL the correct url: "something://"

answered on Stack Overflow Mar 24, 2017 by RoaflinSabos

As the other answer mentioned, it should be "example://gizmos" and not "example:gizmos"

Alternatively, instead of using adb, you can test deep links directly on android using deep link tester app:


No need to mention any package name or component name. Just type the deep link and fire.

I've found testing deep links through adb to be cubersome and difficult at times. Hence, I've built this small app to do it.

answered on Stack Overflow Mar 27, 2016 by Manoj Madanmohan

Here is the command

adb shell am start -d your-deep-link


adb shell am start -d rm://yoursettingpage/v1
answered on Stack Overflow Nov 7, 2019 by Farid Haq

Your command is incorrect because you are trying with an incorrect package name, Instead of com.myapp.activity.DeepLinkActivity you have to write only the package name specified in build gradle(Module: app) by 'application Id' e.g if your applicationId is com.companyname, then your command would be like this:

adb shell am start -W -a android.intent.action.VIEW -d  "example://gizmos" com.companyname
answered on Stack Overflow Aug 16, 2016 by Sandeep Sankla • edited Aug 16, 2016 by Kurt Van den Branden

Just in case someone else has the problem that I had, namely that adb shell am start ... does not work, if you have a file:///... or content://...URI in your intent filter that has a mime type specified, for example

  <action android:name="android.intent.action.VIEW" />
  <category android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />
  <category android:name="android.intent.category.BROWSABLE" />
  <data android:scheme="content" />
  <data android:scheme="file" />
  <data android:mimeType="text/plain" />
  <data android:host="*" />

You need to specify the mime type on the command line by using the -t parameter:

adb shell am start -W -a android.intent.action.VIEW -d "file:///sdcard/myfolder/myfile.txt" -t "text/plain" com.myapp

or else you get the same error message as the OP.

Based on the experience I just had I recommend using this list of available adb commands. It seems to be more recent than the help texts from the shell of my test device running Android 8.

answered on Stack Overflow Apr 11, 2019 by Nantoka

Try this:

adb shell am start -a android.intent.action.VIEW -c android.intent.category.BROWSABLE -d 'yourdeeplink'

-a android.intent.action.VIEW -> action  -c android.intent.category.BROWSABLE -> category -d 'deeplink' -> data 

and also you need to install the app first in order to register the deeplink.

answered on Stack Overflow Dec 13, 2019 by Amaury Ricardo • edited Dec 15, 2019 by nbk

The command

adb shell dumpsys package domain-preferred-apps

is also very helpful to print all active deep link handlers known to the system. If your app is missing here, there's obviously something wrong with your deep link setup.

answered on Stack Overflow Aug 17, 2020 by Lars Blumberg

Testing deep-linking by running adb shell command seems troublesome to me. So I tried an Easy Solution to reduce my task and time to test deep-linking multiple time using .bat file.

Step 1: First create a .txt file and paste here your ADB command -

adb shell am start -W -an android.intent.action.VIEW -d <Your URL> <Your Package>

and save the file changing .txt extension into .bat. Now you have just created your bat file to test deeplink. Try to use just one letter to name the bat file (Like I named d.bat , "d" for "deeplinking" for easy understanding) because it reduce your time of typing.

Step 2: Now open your terminal in Android studio and go to your bat file location and just type your file name (without extension) and press enter. For example cd your/bat/file/location/d here suppose "d" is your bat file name.

It will work spiffy!

answered on Stack Overflow Aug 22, 2020 by Gk Mohammad Emon

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