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Adding and Programming ESP8266 from Arduino IDE
July 21, 2018

ESP8266 is a low cost Wi-Fi chip originally developed by Espressif from china. It has various versions of implementations by Espressif themselves and from Ai-thinker. You can get more info about the ‘ ESP’ in their wiki page hereArduino is the most user-friendly programming platform for both the students and makers around the world and with support for programming ESP family chips from arduino IDE itself will make our life so much easier.

In today`s post, We are going to know:

  • How to add esp family support for arduino ide
  • Basic hardware connections for uploading an arduino sketch to esp8266 chip.
  • How to enable & use debugging options to test our web-connections.

Hardware Requirements:

  1. ESP8266 chip
  2. USB-to-UART Converter with cable
  3. ESP8266 base board (or) Any Arduino board (*Optional for 3.3V power supply)
  4. Jumper wires

Software Requirements:

  1. Arduino IDE
  2. Usb-to-UART Drivers

Step-1:(Skip if you have already arduino ide installed)

Download the latest version of arduino ide by going here.


Arduino ide doesn’t have support for ‘ESP8266‘ family of devices by default. So, add support for them:

Open Arduino Ide > File menu > Preferences.

Add below line at ‘Additional Boards Manager URLs:’

Now select ‘OK’  and the esp8266 boards package url will be added to our board sources list.


Open ‘Tools > Board > Boards Manager’

This will open our board manager window. In the search bar type ‘ESP8266’. If you have already esp support, it will show an installed library to update or remove. Else, it will show available boards package to install. Select ESP8266 package and click install.

Note: If you have to select between available versions, always choose most updated version.


After downloading and installation is completed, we can confirm it by checking the list of boards available to select in the ‘Tools > Boards > Scroll down’.


Now we can select between various versions of esp8266 family of boards. After selecting the required board, observe the following three things carefully.

  1. Selected board will be shown at bottom right corner along with port number it was connected to.
  2. Various debugging & programming options available with our selected/connected board.
  3. Examples available to our selected board in ‘File Menu > Examples > Scroll down’.



That’s it. We have successfully added esp family to our arduino arduino ide and all is well to start programming with our new Wi-Fi family devices. You can find more posts on how to use them in projects here. If you want ot get started with some project ideas, you can browse our projects lists here.

Please drop your comments below to help us in creating next posts. Thank you all & happy making.