Connect to a Raspberry Pi Zero W Via USB - No Mini HDMI Cable Needed




Introduction: Connect to a Raspberry Pi Zero W Via USB - No Mini HDMI Cable Needed

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In this Instructable, you are going to learn how to connect your Raspberry Pi Zero W to your PC without using a MicroHDMI Cable.

If you really enjoy this article, consider checking out my TechWizTime YouTube Channel.

And for an awesome source of Raspberry Pi Accessories, check out my Raspberry Pi Amazon List.

Let’s get started!

Step 1: What You'll Need

  1. 8GB MicroSD Card
  2. Raspberry Pi Zero W
  3. Etcher
  4. Latest Raspbian Image Flashed Into Your SD Card
  5. Putty
  6. Notepad++
  7. Bonjour (Windows Only)

Step 2: Allow the Usage of SSH

Open the "config.txt" file with Notepad++

Scroll all the way down to the bottom.

Type "dtoverlay=dwc2" in the last line and then add an extra line after that.

Save and close the file.

Open "cmdline.txt" file with Notepad++

Find a section after "rootwait"

Paste "modules-load=dwc2,g_ether" in said section.

Save and close the file.

Create a new file called "ssh"

Eject the MicroSD Card and place it on your Raspberry Pi

Step 3: Connect Your Raspberry Pi Via SSH

Power up your Raspberry Pi using a MicroUSB cable connected to the second port from left to right.

Open up "Putty"

Type "pi@raspberrypi.local" in the IP Address box

NOTE: To be able to connect to your Raspberry Pi using Putty in Windows, you need to have Bonjour installed, otherwise you'll get an error

Step 4: Enable WiFi Connection

Type "sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf"

Press "Enter"

Use your arrow keys to go to the very bottom of the text editor.

Type in "





Press "Ctrl X"

Press "Y"

Press "Enter"

Type "sudo wpa_cli reconfigure" to connect to your WiFi network right now.

You can check if it is connected by typing "ifconfig wlan0"

Congratulations, you’ve just connected your Raspberry Pi Zero W to your PC using a MicroUSB Card, enabled WiFi connection on your Raspberry Pi Zero W and that’s it for this Instructable.

If you enjoy this Instructable, consider checking out my TechWizTime YouTube Channel.

And for a good source of Raspberry Pi products, check out my Raspberry Pi Amazon List.

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    5 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Nice instructions, thanks. It almost got my Pi Zero W working, but I don't see an IPv4 address, which I need. You have one in the example, so something went wrong. After some fiddling about and searching on the internet I rebooted the Pi and it works fine. Turns out it wasn't looking for a DHCP server it was trying to get an IP address over the SSH connection.

    P.S. you failed to mention that the default password for the account pi is "raspberry". I mention this for anyone else who comes along later wondering how to log in.


    Question 2 years ago

    Hi Thanks for these instructions. I have a Pi ZERO W and was looking for the files you mention i.e. config.txt and cmdline.txt. They do not appear on my Raspbian image (using Noobs 2.7.0)


    Answer 1 year ago

    I couldn't get it to work with NOOBS. I had to install the Raspbian image and edit the files there. Apparently NOOBS boots you to a menu where you choose Raspbian, but you can't see that menu until you configure the Pi per this article, so you're stuck.


    Question 1 year ago on Step 1

    can you still use the HDMI? if so do you need to change anything?


    Question 2 years ago on Step 1

    I am using my work laptop for this and I'm not allowed to install Bonjour on it, I want to ask if there is a way around this, if I can access the raspberry pi zero through my work laptop without having Bonjour installed.