IoT Projects, ESP8266, Makers

Programming the ESP8266 with the Arduino IDE in 3 simple steps

The ESP8266 is a low-cost WiFi module built by Espressif Systems. Its popularity has been growing among the hardware community thanks to it’s nice features and stability, to the point that it can be easily programmed using your Arduino IDE.

In this post, we’ll learn how to program your ESP8266 using an UARTbee or Arduino UNO, and the Arduino IDE.


  1. An ESP8266 module.
  2. Arduino UNO, UARTbee or any UART to the USB device.
  3. Jumper wires.
  4. Arduino IDE version 1.6.6 or higher.

Wire up!

First, we’ll need to identify the pinout of ESP8266.

To set the ESP8266 in programming mode you need to connect its wires like this:

ESP8266 UARTbee Arduino UNO
GPIO2 ——- ——-
VCC 3.3 3.3V
RST ——– ———–
CH_PD 3.3V 3.3V

NOTE: If you are using an Arduino UNO you will need to set Arduino RST to GND. Please be careful with the VCC of the ESP8266, it works only with a 3.3V supply.

Setup the Arduino IDE

  1. Download Arduino IDE.
  2. Open your IDE and click on File -> Preferences".
  3. In “Aditional Boards Manager URLs” add this line and click on “OK”:

4.  Go to “Tools -> Board -> Boards Manager”, type “ESP8266” and install it.

5.  Go again to “Tools -> Board” and select “Generic ESP8266 Module”.

Flash your code!

Now you’re ready to use your ESP8266 as a stand-alone module without needing an external micro-controller. Check out more ESP8266 resources here to learn how to build IoT products and projects using this amazing module.

Moving Forward

With the ESP8266 setup and able to send data to an IoT platform,we are biased, but we recommend using Ubidots to make your data values.To begin solving problems with the Internet of Things today, simply create an Ubidots account and effortlessly send your data to the Ubidots IoT Application Development Platform to develop, visualize, and deploy your Problem Solving Application today!

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About Mateo Velez