How to Install FTDI Drivers

Contributors: Paul Smith
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Windows - In Depth

Note: The screen shots in this tutorial are from Windows 7. The process should be very similar for other versions of Windows.
Note for Educators: You will most likely need to obtain administrative privileges from your network or IT administrator in order to install these drivers.
  1. Plug in your FTDI using a USB cable. Windows doesn't have the correct drivers, so let’s find them!

    No Drivers

  2. Navigate to the FTDI website, and choose the 'VCP' (Virtual Com Port) option near the bottom.

    FTDI site

  3. Now choose either the 32 bit version or the 64 bit version. Not sure which you have? The next steps will go over how to find that information. If you already know which version you are running, you may skip the next two steps.

    Pick OS Version

  4. Open the start menu, right-click on 'Computer,' and left-click on 'Properties'.

    Computer Properties

  5. Look under 'System type,' to see which version you have.

    OS Type

  6. Now go back to the FTDI site, right-click on the correct version, and save it to your computer. Remember where the files are saved. We'll need them in the next step.

    Save Drivers

  7. Navigate to the folder containing the files. They will be inside of a .zip file, so you'll need to extract them. Right-Click on the .zip file, and choose 'Extract All...' When the next window appears, as shown above, pay attention to where it is extracting the files. Make sure that 'Show extracted files when complete' is checked, and click 'Extract'.

    Extract Drivers

  8. When the extraction is complete, the folder is opened. Again, take note of this folder location. This is the one containing the drivers.

    Note the Folder Location

  9. We're almost there! Open the start menu, right-click on 'Computer', and left-click on 'Manage'. You will need administrator rights to do this. If you aren't an administrator on your computer, talk to the person who is and have them enter their credentials.

    Computer Manager

  10. Left-click on 'Device Manager' in the leftmost column. Here is where we see the offending hardware. It has an exclamation mark next to it.

    Select FTDI

  11. Right-click on 'FT232R USB UART,' and left-click 'Update Driver Software...'

    Update Driver Software

  12. Now choose 'Browse my computer for driver software'.

    Browse Computer

  13. Left-click 'Browse,' and navigate to the location of the extracted files. Choose the extracted folder. There is no need to search any further in the folder. Then left-click 'OK'.

    Choose Driver Folder

  14. Make sure 'Include subfolders' is checked (very important!), and left-click 'Next'.

    Include Subfolders

  15. After a moment, you will see a success message! Left-click 'Close'.

    Success #1

  16. The Device Manager page will refresh and you will see a new item with an exclamation mark named 'USB Serial Port'. You will need to install a second driver for the same device. Follow the steps 1-15, as before, and use the same driver folder too!

    Update Driver Software Again

  17. Once those steps are complete, you will see another success message! Left-click 'Close'.

    Success #2

  18. The Device Manager Page will refresh again and show 'USB Serial Port (COMxx),' where xx = some number. Congratulations, you now have the proper FTDI drivers and can begin to use your device!