Connect Your Arduino to the USB Cable

All the drivers for the USB port to recognize the Arduino are installed when the IDE is set up. When the USB cable is plugged into the Arduino, you might hear the “happy sound” of a device being recognized by the USB port.

In addition to the physical connection with the USB cable, we need to adjust two settings under the Tools menu.

The first setting is selecting the board. Under Tools/boards you will see a list of boards. If you have a Uno, select it, as shown in the figure below.

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Here you will find all the boards that can be programmed with the IDE. If a board is not listed, it can be added, but more about this feature later. If you have one of the common Arduinos like the Sparkfun Redboard, or Uno, it will be found here.

The second setting is the port on which the Arduino is connected. This is found under Tools/Port:. If the Arduino is connected and the drivers are installed, you will see a selection of COM ports available. If there is only one, select it, as shown below:

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If there are multiple COM ports listed, you may have to try each one sequentially to find the right one.

If the com port is greyed out, like shown below, we have some troubleshooting to do.

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If you see this problem it means the computer does not see your Arduino.  Here are the six common fixes to this problem. Try each one, one at a time and check the Tools/port setting until you are able to click on a port:

  1. If the power light on the Arduino board is off, try unplugging and plugging back in the Arduino USB cable and check the cable connection to the computer.
  2. If the light is still out, try another USB cable, another USB port on the computer or another Arduino board.
  3. Even if the power light is on, try unplugging and plugging back in the Arduino USB cable
  4. Close the Arduino IDE completely and re-start it.
  5. Try another USB port
  6. Reboot your computer

These usually fix the problem If they do not, you might try these instructions from Sparkfun..

Once the com port is selected, you are ready to test the connection with the Arduino.