Installing Arduino Software and Drivers in Windows 10

There are some choices to be made when installing Arduino software and drivers in Windows 10. Arduino offer two ways of installing the Arduino IDE on a Windows PC — Windows installer file and a Windows zip file. Windows 10 will also install a default driver when an Arduino is plugged into the USB port of a PC. This driver can be replaced by the Arduino driver that comes with the Arduino software.

Arduino Software and Drivers

Installing Arduino software using the Windows zip file is the simplest method of installing the software. It is just a matter of copying the folder out of the downloaded zip file into the desired location on the PC. This allows the software to easily be removed by deleting the folder.

When Windows 10 installs a driver automatically, the Arduino just looks like a COM port in Windows Device Manager. It is not recognized as an Arduino, although it will work properly and code from the Arduino IDE can be loaded to it. After installing the Arduino driver that comes with the Arduino software, the Arduino will be shown as an Arduino on a COM port in Device Manager. The difference is shown in the image below.

Windows Default COM Driver and Arduino Driver

Windows Default COM Driver and Arduino Driver

As can be seen in the image, with the default Windows 10 driver installed, the Arduino appears as USB Serial Device (COM4) (left), but after the Arduino driver is installed the same Arduino appears as Arduino Uno (COM4) (right).

Full instructions on installing the Arduino IDE software and updating the Arduino driver can be found in the article on how to install Arduino software and drivers on Windows 10.

USB to RS232 Serial Port Converter Cable Driver Installation

Having a RS-232 serial port on a PC can be very useful when working with microcontroller boards and other embedded systems. It allows the PC to send information to the board and receive information from it. This can also be used when debugging a board.

Modern laptop computers no longer come with fixed RS-232 ports. The solution to this is to add a RS-232 port by using a USB to RS-232 converter cable such as the US232R cable from FTDI Chip.

This article on installing the drivers for an FTDI Chip USB to serial port converter cable shows how to install drivers for the cable on a Windows 8 PC.

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