Setting Up the Arduino IDE to Program ESP8266




ESP8266 are widely available low cost Wi-Fi modules. They consist of single chip CPU with GPIO, Analog channel, Serial channels, I2C, SPI, and most importantly on chip Wi-Fi. Initially marketed as a low cost Wi-Fi modules for Arduino, and Raspberry Pi boards, they also can be programmed as stand alone boards with the Arduino IDE. To do this, you need first to install the ESP8266 libraries and tools in the Arduino IDE.

In this Instructable I will show you how you can install the ESP8266 libraries and tools, and start programming your ESP8266 modules in the Arduino IDE.

The libraries and tools are available on gighub here:

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Step 1: Add the ESP8266 Boards Manager Link to the Arduino IDE Preferences

  1. From the Menu select |File|Preferences| (Picture 1)
  2. For the “Additional Boards Manager URLs”, in the "Preferences" dialog (Picture 2) set one of the following:
    If you want to use the stable release of the ESP8266 libraries:
  3. If you want to use the latest staging version of the ESP8266 libraries:
  4. Click the OK button.

Step 2: Install the ESP8266 Board Libraries and Tools

  1. From the Arduino IDE Menu select |Tools|Board:......|Boards Manager...| (Picture 1)
  2. In the text box of the Boards Manager dialog type ESP, then select the “esp8266 by ESP8266 Community” and click on the Install button (Picture 2)
  3. When the installation finishes, clock on the “Close” button (Picture 3)

Step 3: Test the ESP8266 With Arduino Project

  1. Connect with USB cable your ESP8266 module to the computer.
  2. You can test with an empty sketch or a small sketch such as Blink.
  3. In the Arduino IDE from the menu select the type of the board type that you have. In my case this is “NodeMCU 0.9 (ESP-12 Module)” (Picture 1)
  4. Also from the Arduino IDE menu, select the Serial Port to which the module is connected (Picture 2)
  5. Click on the Upload button to compile and upload the sketch (Picture 3)

Congratulations! Your Arduino IDE is ready to support ESP8266 modules.

In the following Instructables I will show you how you can program the ESP8266 with Visuino and how you can connect multiple ESP8266 modules together to create IoT projects.

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    6 Discussions


    2 years ago


    I have trying to install the ESP8266 module without success, each time I try it I got the error message "CRC does not match", I have tried with Arduino IDE 1.6.12, 1.8.1 and 1.8.1 in win 10, what can I do?, thanks.

    arduino IDE.JPG
    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Hi AlcidesA4,

    I just set up the ESP8266 on Arduino IDE 1.8.2.

    In Arduino IDE > Tools > "Reset Method" > select "nodemcu".

    Hope it helps. Let me know if it helps. Thank you.


    3 years ago

    Nice instructable. I was thinking to build `wifi managed electrical shuko sockets` with this standalone module & central controller on Pi for smart home project.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you! Cool! Actually I am building a 2 room self contained thermostat at home with 2 ESP8266, one of them as AccessPoint :-) . Will post Instructable when ready :-)

    Giovanni Lodato

    3 years ago

    good everything very clearly explained very simply, everyone should write so!

    1 reply