Install the Arduino IDE for PC

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We are going to download, install, and set some preferences for the Arduino IDE on a PC.

I’m running this on a computer that is a Windows 8 machine, maybe like 8.1 or something like that. Windows 10 is just coming out, and maybe by the time you are reading this, it is Windows 2000, but I’m thinking in most cases it’s going to be pretty similar from one Windows box to the next.

The first thing you want to do is jump on the internet with your favorite browser, and navigate to The website might look a little different than it does now, they change it from time to time, but you should be able to find a downloads tab.

Click on the downloads tab. That brings you to the “Download the Arduino Software” page.

Now you have got a couple of options here, you can download the Windows Installer or a Windows ZIP file, if you are a non administrator.

We are going to demonstrate the Windows Installer route, because I think that is in most cases what you are going to want.

The other option you would have is to get the kind of razor-sharp release of the Arduino IDE. That is down by the hourly builds section, so if you want the most recent thing that’s been updated, you can download that and use it.

We’re going to go with the Windows Installer option. Click on the Windows Installer link. It takes you to a contributions’ page. You can decide if you want to contribute to the Arduino cause. It is a great idea if you do, but I’m going to be cheap and just hit just download.

Next, it is going to ask you where you want to save the ZIP file. It really doesn’t matter where you save it. I’m just going to save it to my downloads folder, and it will start to download.

It is not too big of a file, it’s like 77.7 Megabytes for this current release, and I’ve got a normal cable internet connection, so it really will not take too long to download.

Once the file is done downloading, you can go ahead and double click on that executable file and it’s going to open up a couple of windows.

The first thing it is going to ask is dependent on whether or not you already have a older version of Arduino installed. If you already have an older version of Arduino installed, it’s going to say hey you’ve got this old version on, do you want us to uninstall it?

When you uninstall it, it is just going to get rid of that version, it is not going to get rid of your sketch folder. If you don’t even know what that means don’t worry about it. In other words, it’s ok just to install this new version.

Go ahead and click ok if this is the case for you, and it will run you through an uninstallation process. Once you have completely uninstalled it, you can click ok.

Then, you can close that uninstall box, agree to the new license, which basically says you owe Arduino your children, and then you can set some preferences. I usually just leave all these checked.

Finally, you select the install location. I put it into my programs folder. It will start extracting. That’s really it for the installation. It does take a little longer than I would expect, maybe a minute or two to install the whole package.

Once it is installed, we’re going to go ahead and open up your Arduino IDE. You can either use the desktop icon, or go to your programs folder and use the icon in there.

We’re going to set some Preferences. Go up to File, then Preferences. I want to talk about some of the Preferences that we can set.

Probably the most important thing to look at is the first line- the Sketchbook location. When we write a program in the Arduino IDE and save it, it’s called a sketch. All the sketches, that we write and save, end up in the Sketchbook.

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