How to Flash ESP8266 for using AT commands with Arduino IDE

How to Flash ESP8266 for using AT commands with Arduino IDE

IoT allows machine to machine communication which helps in increasing the system efficiency. ESP8266 is a cheap Wi-Fi SOC (system on chip) module works on 3.3V, manufactured by Espressif Systems, used to provide number of IoT solutions. ESP8266 module is integrated with TCP/IP stack and microcontroller capability.

ESP8266 has number of advance features which makes it unique from other available modules. ESP8266 Wi-Fi module uses less number of external components. ESP8266 allows the user to offload all the Wi-Fi networking function from another application processor.

ESP has number of applications in various domains like Home Automation, Industrial Wireless motor, IP cameras, and Security Systems.


ESP8266 Wi-fi Module

ESP8266 Wifi Module have eight pins, below is the pinout image of ESP266 Wi-Fi module:

ESP8266 Wi-fi Module


Features of ESP8266 Wi-fi Module

  • TCP/IP Protocol stack
  • High Durability, Compact size
  • 32-bit Tensilica Processor
  • Power Saving Architecture
  • Support Infrastructure BSS Station mode/SoftAP mode/Promiscuous mode


Specification of ESP8266 Wi-Fi Module

  • Operating Voltage: 3.3V
  • TCP Connection: 5 (maximum)
  • Can be used as Access Point and station
  • Current Consumption: 100mA
  • Input and Output Voltage: 3.6V (maximum)
  • Input and Output Current: 12mA (maximum)
  • Flash Memory: 512kB
  • LAN specification: 802.11 b/g/n supports (2.4 GHz), up to 72.2 Mbps
  • Low power integrated 32-bit CPU
  • Low standby power consumption (less than 1mW)


Now, you know what ESP8266 is, also its pinout, features and technical specification.

So, let’s move on, as we know that the ESP comes with a pre-loaded firmware, if you will use it with Arduino or any other microcontroller the firmware will be overwritten automatically. So, if you have a fresh ESP8266 you can directly use it for AT commands. If you have a used one, you have to follow this tutorial to learn How to Flash ESP8266 to use AT commands.


Circuit Diagram

Circuit Diagram for using ESP8266 with AT commands


Components Required

  • ESP8266 Module
  • FTDI Board (Set to 3.3V mode)
  • Perf Board
  • LM317- Voltage Regulator IC
  • Capacitor (0.1uf, 10uf)
  • Barrel Jack
  • Push Button
  • Bergstik Male and Female
  • 12V adapter


How to Flash ESP8266 Module?

Not only for AT commands but while getting started with ESP8266 we face number of problems and might want to flash the ESP8266. So, you can follow the same method to do the same. Design the circuit given above and set it to Arduino Mode and then follow the below mentioned steps.

Step 1:- First, you have to download the flashing tool and the firmware from here.


Step 2:- Unzip the folder and launch the Flashing tool from the folder, as shown below

ESP8266 Flashing Tool


You will see the window like the image below, after launching the Flashing tool.

Launch Flashing Tool for ESP8266


Step 3:- Now, a dialog box will open, as shown in the above image. You have to set the parameters and configure the download path before start flashing ESP8266.

  • Crystal Frequency – 26M
  • SPI Speed – 40 MHz
  • SPI Mode – QI0
  • Flash Size – 8-bit
  • Baud rate - 115200
  • Select the COM Port (mine is ##)

Now, for configuring the download path include the files with the given address from the firware folder in the given sequence.

File Name


File Location













Step 4:- Now, turn ON the adapter to power your designed circuit. And, set the hardware to Flash Mode. Press the reset button (pushbutton), then click on START to flash your ESP8266. Now, your ESP8266 start flashing and it will look as the below image:

Start Flashing ESP8266


Step 5:- As your flashing complete, the dialog box will look like the image below:

Flashed ESP8266 for AT Commands


So, you have successfully flashed your ESP8266.

ESP8266 is now ready to use in the AT command Mode.


Step 6:- Now, open your Arduino IDE software, and select the PORT on which your hardware is connected.

As, you open the serial monitor in Arduino and press the reset button, it will show ready with some garbage value, on the output screen, like as the image below:

ESP8266 connected with Arduino IDE for AT commands


Step 7:- To check your ESP8266 module is connected successfully or not.

Send ‘AT’ using the serial monitor, the ESP will respond with output ‘OK’, as shown in the below image.

ESP8266 Ready to Use for AT commands


Hence, we have successfully flashed ESP8266 for using AT commands with Arduino IDE.


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