NVIDIA SHIELD, the premier platform for Tegra 4 development, is the first platform to support the world-class Tegra Android development tools right out of the box. Experience the powerful GPU profiling and debugging tools, as well as CPU profiling and development tools, without having to root your device and install updated drivers.

This section describes the basic steps in setting up NVIDIA Shield for Android development on a Windows PC using the NVIDIA Tegra Android Development Pack.

Overview of Setup

At a high level, these are the basic steps to get your development PC and SHIELD configured, booted, and ready:

  1. Install the Tegra Android Development Pack (TADP) (see the product page for more information).
  2. While the download is in progress, unpack SHIELD from its box.
  3. Power on SHIELD for the first time.
  4. After booting, go to "Settings->About SHIELD->System updates" and select "Check now".
  5. Download and install "SHIELD Software Update 59" or newer and restart SHIELD.
  6. Complete TADP installation on development PC.
  7. Connect SHIELD to the development PC.
  8. Activate "Developer Mode" and "USB debugging" on SHIELD.
  9. Read the Tegra Android Development Pack documentation and start experimenting with the samples.

Software Requirements

The basic requirements for SHIELD development on a Windows PC environment are:

  • SHIELD running OTA update "SHIELD Software Update 59" or newer.
  • (Optional) Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 or Visual Studio 2012, including Visual C++ (for the Nsight Tegra Visual Studio plugin)

All other required software is installed by the TADP installer. This includes:

  • Android Development Components
    • The ADB USB driver
    • The Android SDK and NDK
  • NVIDIA DeveloperTools
  • Nsight Tegra, Visual Studio Edition for developing Android applications in Visual Studio
  • Tegra Development Documentation and Guides
  • Android Code Samples

Hardware Requirements

SHIELD hardware supplied in the box includes the following:

  • The NVIDIA SHIELD device
  • Power adapter and micro-USB cable
  • Starter's guide

Developer-supplied hardware includes:

  • A Windows PC (XP, Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8, x32 or x64) with an available USB port.
  • USB-A to USB-micro cable (may or may not be shipped with the development kit; this is not a custom cable. Standard USB-A to USB-micro cables   should work).

Update SHIELD Software OS

The retail units of SHIELD require an over the air (OTA) OS update to enable support for Tegra Developer Tools.

After turnning on SHIELD, go to "Settings->About SHIELD->System updates" and select "Check now" to check for available updates.

All SHIELD OS updates after "Update 59" are enabled for Tegra Developer Tools support. Select "Install and Restart" after downloading the update.

If the update prompted is lower than "Update 59", select "Install and Restart" to update the intermediate OS and continue to check for updates until receiving an update equal or newer than "Update 59". 

If your device OTA update was successful, you can skip to the "First Boot" section of the instructions.     

If your device is a SHIELD developer kit, the OS image may not be signed for OTA updates. Please contact your NVIDIA account manager for further instructions on obtaining an OS image with developer tools enabled.

To flash SHIELD back to its original retail OS image, proceed to Flashing the SHIELD Device for further instructions on how to place the SHIELD into recovery mode and manually flash the SHIELD OS. The original retail image is available here.

Install Tegra Android Development Pack

Tegra Android Development Pack (TADP) is a single installer package that installs all software tools required to develop for Android on NVIDIA’s Tegra platform. This suite of developer tools is targeted at Tegra devices, but can configure a development environment that will work with almost any Android device. TADP is available for Windows, OSX, Ubuntu Linux 32-bit and Ubuntu Linux 64-bit platforms. Learn more about TADP.

Download and install is simple.

  • Get the latest version at Tegra Resources.
  • Run the TADP installer.
  • Choose "Express" to download all necessary SDKs and tools for typical Android development.
  • Continue steps in installer.

Depending on your development PC OS, you may be prompted to install an untrusted driver. Please select "Install this driver software anyway".

To use Nsight Tegra, you must have Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 or Visual Studio 2012, including Visual C++ installed prior to running the TADP installer.

Note: If you are running a Windows 8 PC, the TADP installer may prompt further instructions to manually install the Windows USB driver. It is not necessary to follow these instructions since they refer to non-SHIELD devices only. The Windows USB driver for SHIELD is automatically installed by the TADP installer for all supported Windows platforms.

Connect SHIELD to the development PC via USB.

  • Connect the USB-A end of the USB cable to the development PC.
  • Connect the USB-micro end of the USB cable to the micro USB port on the rear of SHIELD.  

Configure SHIELD for Developer Mode

Once connected to the development PC, do the following to enable Developer Mode mode.

  • Enable the developer mode by going to Settings > About SHIELD, scroll to the bottom and tap "Build Number" several times.
  • Go to Settings > Developer Options and enable Stay awake in order to avoid the devkit turning itself off after some period of inactivity.
  • Enable USB debugging under Settings -> Developer Options and select "OK" to confirm.
  • It is also recommended that you go to Settings > Display and change the Sleep time to 30 minutes.

The device should be displayed when you run "adb devices" from command prompt. If is not displayed, the Windows USB driver install may have failed, refer to Getting Started with Tegra Android under the section "How to Install Drivers" to troubleshoot.


Now you are ready to develop on NVIDIA SHIELD using Tegra Android Development Pack tools. Please follow the instructions on how to use each product in the Tegra Documentation at Tegra Developer Tools Documentation.