Let's talk about FTDI drivers. These drivers are vital to getting many of our products up and running. Some parts that use these drivers include the FTDI basic, Sparkfun Redboard and other Arduino boards that make use of a FTDI chip. And that's just to name a few.

alt text

Install Drivers

To get started on a Mac, follow along with these steps.

note : My Mac is running Mac OS 10.9.5, however these steps should apply to all modern OS versions. There is a different driver version for Mac 10.3-10.8 and Mac OS 10.9 and above. Make sure you select the proper one for your OS.

When working with most of our FTDI products you are going to be using the FTDI as a "Virtual Com Port" or VCP. This is important to note when looking at the FTDI driver download page. We will NOT be installing any D2XX drivers.

  • Head over to the FTDI Chip drivers page
  • Scroll down a little to find the table of download links. Find your computer operating system in the list and select the appropriate download link
  • Download the driver to your computer
  • Open the installer DMG file
  • Open the FTDIUSBSerial.pkg file. This will open an installer dialog box. Click continue through the main windows, and agree to terms of software license agreement to install

** note : ** This operation will require Administrative access.

  • Enter your admin password
  • Click Install Software
  • Wait while install processes
  • Installation should be successful

Congratulations you have installed your FTDI drivers!

Confirm operation

Now let's make sure your device is showing up when it is plugged into your Mac.


  • If you are using Arduino, we can simply plug the device into your computer.
  • Watch for a LED to blink to confirm some life.
  • Open Arduino
  • Look under Tools/Serial Port/ and we should see DEV/tty.usbmodem as well as DEV/cu.usbmodem

note : If you are curious, the numbers after the usbmodem is generally the device's serial number. You can use this to identify specific FTDI devices if you are using multiple units.

  • If we unplug the FTDI device, these options should disappear.

alt text


If you are not using Arduino, for this step we will be using about this Mac.

  • Click on the Apple Menu
  • Click on about this Mac
  • Then click on System Report
  • One the left side of this window you will see a Hardware list. Find USB and click on it
  • Look for the FT232 USB UART in the list
  • If you click on it you can see more information about the device.
  • If this is in the list, your device is up and running properly! alt text

For more information on installing FTDI drivers on a Mac, check out the official FTDI Mac OSX install guide