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Port Trouble: Finding an Elusive Arduino IDE Port

If you are having trouble establishing which port is the one connected to your board in the Arduino IDE, or you cannot see one at all, this is for you!

General tips

  • Confirm the hardware power switch is turned to ‘ON’ – check the white silkscreen on the hardware PCB.
  • Make sure the Micro USB cable you are using is capable of data transfer. Some manufacturers sell and distribute cables that only have power wires to charge or power a system. You can check that your cable is capable of data transfer by trying to send pictures or other data from a device to your PC using the same cable. Otherwise, we recommend testing a few different cables.
  • Try putting the board you are using into bootloader mode to bring up a programmable port, you can try toggling the bootloader mode during other troubleshooting steps:

  • Make sure you followed all the steps in the 'Getting Started' tutorial for the processor you are using.

  • Close all Arduino windows, unplug everything, and restarting your computer may help – sometimes background devices like a mouse or keyboard can interrupt your computer’s ability to ‘speak’ to an Arduino device. This is a commonly seen problem with MacOS systems.

Windows-specific tips

Check out which of your ports you are using by searching for and opening your “Device Manager” in your windows menu. Once there, expand the Ports tab and try disconnecting and reconnecting your USB cable to see which port your computer is recognizing as being plugged in and unplugged.

Mac-specific tips

The Port will look pretty different from Windows! Mine reads as: /dev/cu.usbserial-DMS00S18.

  • To make sure your Mac is noticing the Micro USB and/or hardware, go to (Apple Logo)-> About This Mac -> More Info... -> System Report…
  • You should then be able to find your computer's USB connections that may look similar to the ones listed below! (You may have to close out of this window and reopen it if you are identifying your USB by unplugging and plugging it back in)

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