This guide is old!  We no longer design products that require the PICStart Plus programmer.

The Microchip PICStart Plus is a simple low cost programmer for DIP IC's.

Ensure your PC is running the latest version of MPLAB IDE (not MPLAB X, may be downloaded from

  1. Connect the PICStart Plus programmer to your PC using its serial cable.
  2. From the menu select:- 'Configure' > 'Select Device' > Select the device you are programming (you can find this in the manufacture documentation, on the circuit diagram or by looking at the part number on the PCB).
  3. From the menu select:- 'Programmer' > 'Select Programmer' > PICStart Plus'
  4. From the menu select:- 'Programmer' > 'Settings'. Check the correct serial COM port is selected
  5. From the menu select:- 'Programmer' > 'Enable Programmer'
  6. From the menu select:- 'File' > 'Import' > Select the ROM firmware file to be used ([filename].hex).

Then for each IC to program follow the following procedure:

  1. Insert the IC into the PICStart Plus, ensuring pin 1 is at the top (marked on the IC with a dot or dimple at the pin 1 end)
  2. Press the 'Program Target Device' button in MPLAB.

  1. Watch the 'Output' window and wait for programming and verifying to complete.
  2. Remove the IC and fit on the target PCB.
  3. Verify the correct operation of the PCB using the new firmware

This guide isn't extensive and Microchip may have altered their software since it was written. If you run into problems please contact us.


We benefit hugely from resources on the web so we decided we should try and give back some of our knowledge and resources to the community by opening up many of our company’s internal notes and libraries through mini sites like this. We hope you find the site helpful.
Please feel free to comment if you can add help to this page or point out issues and solutions you have found, but please note that we do not provide support on this site. If you need help with a problem please use one of the many online forums.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *