Working With Hardware Tools in MPLAB® Xpress

Last modified by Microchip on 2024/01/29 18:12

The new MPLAB® Xpress supported hardware tools currently are:

Preparing to Use the USB Bridge Tool

To prepare to program your code using a hardware tool:

If you have been using MPLAB X IDE, close this application. Its drivers can interfere with bridge operation.

Ensure your MPLAB Xpress project builds without errors.

If you will be using MPLAB Snap, MPLAB PICkit 4, or MPLAB PICkit 5, ensure the debugger is connected to a target.

Connect your hardware to the PC using a USB port.

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Starting the USB Bridge Tool

MPLAB Xpress needs a program called USB Bridge to connect to your local USB port. This allows MPLAB Xpress to send a compiled HEX file to a supported hardware tool.

Open the Manage USB Bridge Window

Click on the Project Properties Dashboard icon on the dashboard.
Click on your hardware tool under Debug Tool. Text and a link will appear below.

Click on the here link.

Project Properties window

Select the USB Bridge Installer

Follow the instructions on the Manage USB Bridge window to download a ZIP file containing the USB Bridge installer.

The Safari® browser requires a secure WebSocket connection, which can be downloaded by clicking the Here link on the dialog.

Manage USB Bridge window

Run the USB Bridge Installer

Unzip/extract the contents of the downloaded ZIP file. Then find and run the following file(s):

Linux® *




If using the Safari browser, import (double click) the certificate file xpress-bridge.cert (in figure), found in, to keychain access. Then *.


If NOT using the Safari browser, *.

Safari Browser Files

* We recommended running it with administrative privileges.

The running USB Bridge Tool application will appear as shown:

MPLAB Xpress USB Communications Bridge Application

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Connecting to the USB Bridge Tool

To connect to the USB Bridge Tool, click on the Connect to USB Bridge Connect To Running Bridge App icon.

You can see that the tool is connected to the USB Bridge Tool application.

MPLAB Xpress USB Communications Bridge Application

Open the Project Properties dialog again to see that the specific debug tool is available.

Project Properties dialog

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Programming and Running Your Application

Select the MPLAB Xpress Make and Program Device program target icon icon.

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Other Resources

For tips on connecting and debugging, click on the Hardware Debug Tips hareware tips icon icon on the toolbar.

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