Installation of Visual Micro for Arduino

The following section helps you in setting up your software environment for Arduino development.

Light Bulb IconBefore starting off, read here how the various software tools work together.

First, you must install the IDE (development environment) that your hardware vendor provides.

Note Icon Note:

Installing an Arduino IDE has become optional since Visual Micro 1702.25 (25th Feb 2017).
After installation of Visual Micro, hardware and libraries can be installed using the Manage Boards and Manage Libraries tabs in the Visual Micro Explorer.
Alternatively, configuring Visual Micro to use an installed Arduino IDE provides access to built-in hardware (such as AVR and Teensy), help/references and libraries. (tip: In most cases the same hardware and libraries can be installed using Manage Boards without need for Visual Micro to find an installed Arduino IDE)
To configure Visual Micro to use an IDE click the 'Configure' button on the Visual Micro Explorer.
When locations for one or more Arduino IDE versions have been configured they will appear in the Micro Applications combo box on the tool bar and menu. The default micro-application name will show as "Visual Micro". Drop down the list and select a different application such as "Arduino 1.6/1.8". The choice will become the default in your global settings. Projects will remember the choice when made with a project open.

Note Icon Arduino IDE Note:

Ensure the Arduino IDE Installed is the Desktop version, not the Windows App store Version.

Visual Micro
always tries to support the newest versions of the Arduino software. In order to find out which version of the Arduino software is supported, check the Release History page.

1. Install either Microsoft Visual Studio or Atmel Studio

Visual Studio and Atmel Studio are IDEs, Integrated Development Environments, that offer a powerful editor and integrated tools for compiling and uploading your code.
After installing one of these IDEs, we will later install Visual Micro as an extension module to these IDEs. The Visual Micro extension enables Visual Studio and Atmel Studio to compile and upload Arduino code, using the original tools in the background that you have installed in step 1.

If you are not sure which IDE to choose, read this article: Which is the right IDE for me?

  • Download the IDE of your choice (Visual Studio or Atmel Studio


Warning 16 Note:

In case of Atmel Studio:
Start Atmel Studio once before you proceed.
This performs some initial tasks with Atmel Studio that are required for a successful installation of Visual Micro in the next step.

Supported Versions:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 and higher
  • Atmel Studio 7.0


Warning 16 Note:

Workload Check

Ensure you have the C++ Workload selected for install in Visual Studio before installing Visual Micro to avoid potential issues.

This can be done as part of the setup process, and accessed from Tools > Get Tools and Features.


Warning 16 Note:

Language Check

Ensure you have the English language pack installed, to prevent potential issues with debugging and crashes.

This can be done as part of the setup process, and accessed from Tools > Get Tools and Features > Lanugages


Newer versions of these IDEs will be supported by Visual Micro soon after they are released. Check the Release History page for the newest information.

2. Install Visual Micro

Visual Micro is an extension to Visual Studio or Atmel Studio.

  • Download Visual Micro from here
  • If Visual Studio/Atmel Studio is running, then close it
  • Install Visual Micro by doubleclicking on the "vsix" icon of the downloaded file.

Note Icon VSIX Installation Note:

If you have multiple Visual Studio Versions Installed, and have installation problems, set the program to Open With the VS Version Selector as below:


Now you have successfully installed all required programs. Continue now on the "Setup" documentation page to set up your environment.

If you had any problems installing these programs, view the forum to find helpful information