Connect your dev kit to a Windows PC and install a Windows SDK

To start using an Azure Sphere dev kit on Windows, you need to install the kit and an SDK. This topic describes both these procedures, as well as how to uninstall the SDK, in case that is necessary in the future.

Set up your dev kit on a Windows PC

Connect your Azure Sphere dev kit 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 Windows Installation for help.

Install an Azure Sphere SDK for Windows

Azure Sphere supports two SDKs for Windows:

  • Azure Sphere SDK for Visual Studio supports development on Windows using the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE). Azure Sphere requires Visual Studio Enterprise, Professional, or Community 2019 version 16.4 or later.

  • The Azure Sphere SDK for Windows supports development on the Windows command line.

You can use either SDK with VS Code. You cannot install both SDKs on the same PC.

Both SDKs include:

  • A custom Azure Sphere Developer Command Prompt, which is available in the Start menu under Azure Sphere. This custom prompt sets up the Windows command environment that is required to work with the azsphere command-line utility. Use this prompt any time you use the azsphere command.
  • The azsphere command-line utility for managing devices, images, and deployments. Issue azsphere commands only in an Azure Sphere Developer Command Prompt.
  • Libraries for application development.

Azure Sphere SDK for Visual Studio

The Azure Sphere SDK for Visual Studio includes a Visual Studio extension in addition to the standard SDK contents.

To install Visual Studio, select the edition to install and then run the installer. You can install any workloads, or none.

To install the Azure Sphere SDK for Visual Studio:

  1. Download the SDK from Visual Studio Marketplace. Save the downloaded file on your PC. The SDK requires Visual Studio 2019, version 16.4 or later.

  2. Run the downloaded .exe to install the SDK. Agree to the license terms and select Next.

    Developer Tools setup box

  3. Click Install to begin installation. Installation may take up to 10 minutes.

    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.

Azure Sphere SDK for Windows

The Azure Sphere SDK for Windows enables you to develop Azure Sphere applications on the Windows command line or with Visual Studio Code. Do not install this SDK if you plan to use Visual Studio; the Azure Sphere SDK for Visual Studio is the only SDK you need with Visual Studio.

To install the SDK:

  1. Download the SDK.
  2. Run the downloaded .exe to install the SDK.

To uninstall the SDK

When you're finished working with Azure Sphere, or if you want to install a different Azure Sphere SDK, here's how to uninstall the current SDK:

  1. Press Start, open Settings, and select Apps.
  2. On the Apps & features page, type "Azure Sphere" in the search window.
  3. Select the Azure Sphere SDK from the results, and click Uninstall.

Next steps