Getting Started with Arduino and ESP32

Getting started with Arduino and ESP32 is much simpler these days, given that Espressif now supports it. Back in the day when ESP32 was a new chip in the market, Arduino IDE was not something we would have recommended for coding on the ESP32.
As of right now, there is good support and installation process is very quick and easy.

Here is how you can set it all up, very quickly.

Install Arduino IDE for ESP32

Installed Arduino IDE already? In that case:

  • Make sure it is updated.
  • If yes, skip this section

We are using a Windows 10 PC and here is how we installed the Arduino IDE:

download arduino ide for esp32
Download Arduino IDE for ESP32 development
  • DO NOT install the “Windows app” for Win 8.1 or Win 10. It has some limitations that are not resolved and you might run into trouble down the line.
  • We are using version 1.8.13 for this article, the download size is about 100 MB.
  • During installation, you can leave all installation options and paths to their defaults.
  • When installation is finished, you should launch Arduino IDE and proceed to installation of ESP32-specific files next.

Install ESP32 specific files

To help Arduino IDE locate the files that it needs to download to support ESP32, you need to point Arduino IDE to a JSON configuration file provided by Espressif.

  • Go to Preferences.
  • Find Additional Board Manager URLs and add a new one as shown here. Make sure you do not remove any URLs you had added before.
arduino esp32 add board package json link
Add ESP32 Board JSON Configuration File to Arduino IDE
  • Install ESP32 files from Board Manager by going to
    Tools > Boards > Boards Manager
  • Search for “ESP32” and install it. We are usning version 1.0.4, and we recommend that you install this version or newer.
install latest esp32 boards package on arduino ide
Install ESP32 Board Support Package into Arduino IDE

The download size is reasonably large, so you might want to grab some coffee while it installs everything for you.

  • Select an ESP32 board of your choice from the Arduino IDE Tools > Boards menu. You are all set!
select esp32 board in arduino ide
Select an ESP32 Board within Arduino IDE
  • You can now write and compile sketches and flash it on to your board by selecting the proper COM port  from Tools > Port.

That was all you needed to do for getting started with Arduino and ESP32!

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