Set up your device and install the Azure Sphere SDK

Before you can develop or deploy applications for Azure Sphere, you must first set up your device and install the software.


  • An Azure Sphere Development Kit
  • A PC running Windows 10 Anniversary Update or later
  • An unused USB port on the PC
  • Visual Studio 2019 Enterprise, Professional, or Community version 16.04 or later; or Visual Studio 2017 version 15.9 or later. To install Visual Studio, select the edition to install and then run the installer. You can install any workloads, or none.

Connect the Azure Sphere device

Connect your device to your PC through USB. When plugged in, the device exposes three COM ports.

The first time you plug in the device, the drivers should be automatically downloaded and installed. Installation can be slow; if the drivers are not installed automatically, right-click on the device name in Device Manager and select Update driver. Alternatively, you can download the drivers from Future Technology Devices International (FTDI). Choose the driver that matches your Windows installation (32- or 64-bit).

To verify installation, open Device Manager and look for three COM ports. The numbers on your COM ports may be different from those in the figure.

Device Manager with three COM ports

If other errors occur, or if you see fewer than three COM ports, see Troubleshoot Installation for help.

Install the Azure Sphere SDK Preview for Visual Studio

The Azure Sphere SDK Preview for Visual Studio includes:

  • A custom Azure Sphere Developer Command Prompt, which is available in the Start menu under Azure Sphere

  • The azsphere command-line utility for managing devices, images, and deployments

  • Libraries for application development

  • Visual Studio extensions to support Azure Sphere development

Azure_Sphere_SDK_Preview_for_Visual_Studio.exe installs the complete Azure Sphere software development kit (SDK).

To install the SDK:

  1. Download the Azure Sphere SDK Preview for Visual Studio from Visual Studio Marketplace if you have not already done so. Save the downloaded file on your PC. The SDK requires Visual Studio 2017, version 15.9 or later, or Visual Studio 2019, version 16.04 or later.

  2. Run Azure_Sphere_SDK_Preview_for_Visual_Studio.exe from the download to install the SDK. Agree to the license terms and select Next.

    Developer Tools setup box

  3. Click Install to begin installation.

    TAP install reminder)

    The message "No product to install SDK on" may appear if the installed version of Visual Studio is too old, or if you have just installed Visual Studio for the first time. If you see this message, either update your Visual Studio installation if necessary or restart your PC and return to this step.

  4. Accept the elevation prompt if one appears.

  5. When setup completes, restart your PC if the setup application requests it. The SDK is installed to all compatible editions of Visual Studio on your PC.

If the installer returns errors, try uninstalling and then reinstalling the tools. To uninstall the tools, rerun the installer or use Add and Remove Programs in Settings.

Next Steps