Installing an Arduino Bootloader

Contributors: M-Short
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Heads up! This tutorial was written for AVR microcontrollers with an Arduino bootloader using ICSP pins. If you are using an ARM microcontroller with SWD pins, you will need a dedicated programmer (i.e. Atmel JTAG ICE 3 or Atmel-ICE) to connect to the SWD port. For more information, check out our ARM programming tutorial.

Do you have a bricked Arduino that won't accept code anymore? Or, maybe you wrote your own firmware and would like to upload it to your Arduino? Or, maybe you just want to learn more about the inner-workings of Arduino, AVR, and microcontrollers in general. Well, you're in luck! This tutorial will teach you what a bootloader is, why you would need to install/reinstall it, and go over the process of doing so.

AVR Programmers Connected to Arduinos

Suggested Reading

You may want to check out these tutorials before continuing down the bootloader path.

PCB Basics

What exactly IS a PCB?

Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI)

SPI is commonly used to connect microcontrollers to peripherals such as sensors, shift registers, and SD cards.

What is an Arduino?

What is this 'Arduino' thing anyway?

Installing Arduino IDE

A step-by-step guide to installing and testing the Arduino software on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Integrated Circuits

An introduction to integrated circuits (ICs). Electronics' ubiquitous black chips. Includes a focus on the variety of IC packages.

Pocket AVR Programmer Hookup Guide

Skip the bootloader and load your program directly onto an AVR with the AVR Pocket Programmer.