ESP32 Troubleshooting Guide | Random Nerd Tutorials (2023)

The ESP32 has a few common problems,speciallywhen you are trying to upload new sketches or install the ESP32 add-on on the Arduino IDE. This guide is dedicated to the ESP32 when programmed with Arduino IDE. Here, we provide a compilationwithsome of the mostcommon problems with the ESP32 and how to fix them.

Important: make sure you have the latest Arduino IDE installed. Using a different Arduino IDE version might cause other unexpected problems and errors.

ESP32 Troubleshooting Guide | Random Nerd Tutorials (1)

Note: Espressif found some silicon design errors in the ESP32 which might be responsible for some unexplained errors/behavior. The errors are detailed in the following document:

Of particular note are 3.1 (relating to power up and deep sleep wake-up) and 3.4 (relating to not restarting on brownout). The old v0 and v1 chips were used in modules labelled ESP32-WROOM-32. The errors are fixed in modules ESP32-WROOM-32E and any other ESP32 designations ending in E.
Seehttps://www.espressif.com/en/products/modulesfor full details. So, to avoid getting issues with your ESP32, we recommend searching for the ones labeled ESP32-WROOM-32E.

1. How do I install the ESP32 add-on for the Arduino IDE?

There’s an add-on for the Arduino IDE that allows you to program the ESP32 using the Arduino IDE and its programming language. Follow one of the next Units to prepare your Arduino IDE to work with the ESP32 in your operating system:

  • Windowsinstructions – ESP32 Board in Arduino IDE
  • Mac and Linuxinstructions – ESP32 Board in Arduino IDE

2. I can’t see the ESP32 boards in the Arduino IDE Tools menu (Windows PC)

If you still don’t see the boards in the Arduino IDE, make sure you click on the small arrow (highlighted in the figure below) to scroll all the way down through the boards:

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If at this moment you can’t find your ESP32 board name, we recommend repeating the installation process from scratch.

  • Windowsinstructions – ESP32 Board in Arduino IDE
  • Mac and Linuxinstructions – ESP32 Board in Arduino IDE

3. C:\\Users\\ User\\Documents \\Arduino\\ hardware\\ espressif\\ esp32/tools /xtensa-esp32-elf /bin/ xtensa-esp32- elf-g++”: file does not exist

After installing the ESP32 add-on, if you open the Arduino IDE and it fails to compile code to your ESP32 board, we recommend re-running the Arduino IDE ESP32 add-on intallation.

(Video) Getting started with esp32 in HINDI

Note: Windows PCs often have multiple Arduino IDE versions installed (portable and local installations). Make sure you are running the Arduino IDE where you installed the ESP32 add-on.

4. A fatal error occurred: “Failed to connect to ESP32: Timed out…Connecting…”

When you try to upload a new sketch to your ESP32 and it fails to connect to your board, it means that your ESP32 is not in flashing/uploading mode.

Having the right board name and COM por selected, follow these steps:

  • Hold-down the “BOOT” button in your ESP32 board
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  • Press the “Upload” button in the Arduino IDE to upload a new sketch:
ESP32 Troubleshooting Guide | Random Nerd Tutorials (4)
  • After you see the“Connecting….” message in your Arduino IDE, release the finger from the “BOOT”button:
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  • After that, you should see the “Done uploading” message

That’s it. Your ESP32 should have the new sketch running. With those boards/with that setup, after uploading a new sketch, press the “ENABLE” button to restart the ESP32 and run the new uploaded sketch.

You’ll also have to repeat that button sequence every time you want to upload a new sketch. But if you want to solve this issue once for all without the need to press the BOOT button, follow the suggestions in the next guide:

  • [SOLVED] Failed to connect to ESP32: Timed out waiting for packet header

To be honest we’re not sure why that happens with the newer boards. We don’t have any ESP32 board with that behavior. We think there might be something different with your specific board or the Arduino IDE fails to send the right command sequence to put the ESP32 automatically in flashing/uploading mode.

5. Error compiling WiFiScan sketch

If you try to upload the ESP32 WiFiScan.ino sketch provided in the ESP32 Getting Started guide:

(Video) Control ESP32 and ESP8266 GPIOs from Anywhere in the World

ESP32 Troubleshooting Guide | Random Nerd Tutorials (6)

And it fails to compile with a similar error message:

In function ‘void setup()’:ScanNetworks:52: error: ‘class WiFiClass’ has no member named ‘firmwareVersion’String fv = WiFi.firmwareVersion();

It looks like your Arduino IDE is compiling the WiFi library for the Arduino board (instead of using the ESP32 WiFi library).

Note: you’ll probably never use any WiFi shield with your Arduino board, right? If you don’t use it, you need to remove that folder/those folders from your Arduino IDE (move it to your desktop, for example).

The WiFi library is located, in a similar path:

C:\Users\ruisantos\Downloads\arduino-1.8.7-windows\arduino-1.8.7\libraries\WiFi

And/or at:

C:\Users\ruisantos\Documents\Arduino\libraries\libraries\WiFi

After removing the entire WiFi library folder from one location or both locations, restart your Arduino IDE and try to compile the code again.

If you plug your ESP32 board to your computer, but you can’t find the ESP32 Port available in your Arduino IDE (it’s grayed out):

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It might be one of these two problems: 1.USB drivers missing or 2.USB cable without data wires.

(Video) ESP32 and Arduino Installation | ESP32 Arduino Fatal Error | Silab210x | Latest Guide | Tutorial

1. If you don’t see your ESP’s COM port available, this often means you don’t have the USB drivers installed. Take a closer look at the chip next to the voltage regulator on board and check its name.

The ESP32 DEVKIT V1 DOIT board uses theCP2102 chip.

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Go to Google and search for your particular chip to find the drivers and install them in your operating system.

ESP32 Troubleshooting Guide | Random Nerd Tutorials (9)

You can download the CP2102 drivers on theSilicon Labswebsite.

ESP32 Troubleshooting Guide | Random Nerd Tutorials (10)

After they are installed, restart the Arduino IDE and you should see the COM port in the Tools menu.

2. If you have the drivers installed, but you can’t see your device, double-check that you’re using a USB cable with data wires.

USB cables from powerbanks often don’t have data wires (they are charge only). So, your computer will never establish a serial communication with your ESP32. Using a a proper USB cable should solve your problem.

(Video) An ESP32 walks into a bar - Jokes web API MicroPython tutorial

7. Arduino IDE Serial Monitor “doesn’t work”

If the ESP32 is only printing weird text or gibberish messages in your Arduino IDE Serial Monitor, make sure you have the right COM port selected and set the right baud rate as shown below. In most examples, we’re using 115200 baud rate.

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8. Error: “Brownout detector was triggered”

When you open your Arduino IDE Serial monitor and the error message “Brownout detector was triggered” is constantly being printed over and over again. It means that there’s some sort of hardware problem.

It’s often related to one of the following issues:

  • Poor quality USB cable;
  • USB cable is too long;
  • Board with some defect (bad solder joints);
  • Bad computer USB port;
  • Or not enough power provided by the computer USB port.

Solution: try a different shorter USB cable (with data wires), try a different computer USB port or use a USB hub with an external power supply.

9. I can’t make the ESP32 add-on work with Arduino IDE

If you’ve followed all the troubleshooting tips and the ESP32 add-on doesn’t work with the Arduino IDE, we recommend experimenting programming the ESP32 with Atom text editor and PlatformIO IDE. Follow this post: Atom text editor with PlatformIO IDE to program the ESP32.

Wrapping Up

We hope you’ve found this guide useful. If you encounter any other issues, please post them in comments belowand we’ll try to help you solve your problem.

We have other tutorials with ESP32 that you might like:

  • ESP32 with Multiple DS18B20 Temperature Sensors
  • ESP32 Data Logging Temperature to MicroSD Card
  • ESP32 with DC Motor and L298N Motor Driver – Control Speed and Direction

We hope you’ve found this tutorial useful.If you like ESP32 and you want to learn more, we recommend enrolling inLearn ESP32 with Arduino IDEcourse.

Thanks for reading.

(Video) ESP32 Publish Data to Cloud without Wi-Fi (TTGO T-Call ESP32 SIM800L)

FAQs

Why is my ESP32 not working? ›

This error is usually caused by one of the following reasons: Using bad quality USB cable. Sometimes breadboards can short the SPI flash pins on the board and cause this kind of problem. Try removing your development board from the breadboard.

How do you solve a fatal error occurred failed to connect to ESP32 timed out waiting for packet header? ›

Press the "Boot" button as soon as you get the red message "Serial port Com 5" You can release the button as soon as it starts to upload. If this doesn't work,try plugging into another USB port. The Reset button only resets the uploaded sketch to re-initialise and has nothing to do with the uploading.

How do I know if my esp32cam is working? ›

Weak Wi-Fi Signal

If your ESP32-CAM AI-Thinker has no Wi-Fi connection or poor connection, it might have the external antenna enabled. If you connect an external antenna to the connector, it should work fine. Check if the jumper 0K resistor by the antenna connector is in the proper position for the desired antenna.

How do I factory reset my ESP32? ›

Now press and hold the boot button down in your esp32. Board press and release the reset or rst

Can ESP32 work without Wi-Fi? ›

The ESP32 doesn't need to have access to a router via Wi-Fi, because we'll connect to the internet using a SIM card data plan. What is this? In a previous project, we've created our own server domain with a database to plot sensor readings in charts that you can access from anywhere in the world.

What IDE should I use for ESP32? ›

If you're looking for a more advanced IDE to write your applications for the ESP32 and ESP8266 boards, VS Code with the PlatformIO IDE extension is a great option.

How many times can ESP32 be flashed? ›

The ESP32 flash memory can handle a minimum of 100,000 program/erase cycles. You can read from flash memory as many times as you want.

What is fatal error in ESP32? ›

That error means that your ESP32-CAM is not in flashing mode when uploading code.

How do I reset my ESP32 firmware? ›

Standard ESP-WROOM-32 module soldered to the ESP32-DevKitC board. Reset button: pressing this button resets the system. Download button: holding down the Boot button and pressing the EN button initiates the firmware download mode. Then user can download firmware through the serial port.

How do I connect to esp32cam? ›

1) Go to Tools > Board and select AI-Thinker ESP32-CAM. You must have the ESP32 add-on installed. Otherwise, this board won't show up on the Boards menu. 2) Go to Tools > Port and select the COM port the ESP32-CAM is connected to.

What is the difference between ESP32 and ESP32 CAM? ›

Using the ESP32-CAM is similar to using the ESP32 modules we looked at previously, with one major difference. The ESP32-CAM board has no USB port, so you can't just connect it up to your computer and start loading programs. Instead you will need to add an external FTDI adapter.

How do I connect my ESP32 camera to my computer? ›

Esp32-Cam MB Micro-USB programmer is a shield for a standard Esp32-Cam board that adds a Micro-USB port. You just need to plug your board into the shield. Once paired, as in the photo above, you only need a USB-micro-to-USB-A cable to connect to your PC or Mac and upload the code. That's it.

What is the use of reset button in ESP32? ›

It's the same thing as pressing the on-board reset button. So, you can connect a pushbutton to the GPIO labeled as EN. You should wire the pushbutton so that when it is pressed, it connects to GND. This way, when you press that button the ESP32 will reset.

How do you reprogram ESP32? ›

STEP 1: Connect your ESP32 board to your computer through the micro-USB cable. Make sure the red LED goes high on the module to ensure power supply. STEP 4: Go back to Arduino IDE and under Tools -> Port select the Port to which your ESP is connected to.

How do I restart ESP32 code? ›

To enter the bootloader:
  1. Press and hold the BOOT/DFU button down. Don't let go of it yet!
  2. Press and release the Reset button. You should still have the BOOT/DFU button pressed while you do this.
  3. Now you can release the BOOT/DFU button.
25 Nov 2021

How many connections can ESP32 handle? ›

The ESP32 AT supports a maximum of 16 TCP connections, which can be configured in menuconfig as follows: ./build.py menuconfig—> Component config—> AT—> (16)AT socket maximum connection number.

How many devices can be connected to ESP32? ›

[Connect] How many devices is ESP32 able to connect in AP mode? ¶ Up to 10 devices in AP mode. It is configured to support four devices by default.

Does ESP32 have GPS? ›

The OLED display has 4 terminals which we will connect with the ESP32 board. As the OLED display requires an operating voltage in the range of 3.3-5V hence we will connect the VCC terminal with 3.3V which will be in common with the ESP32 board.
...
ESP32 GPS Tracker Circuit Diagram.
ESP32 boardNEO-6M Module
TX2RX
GNDGND
2 more rows

Is ESP32 used professionally? ›

The ESP32 is a viable commercially made product and is widely used both by experimenters and in production of commercially made products. The ESP32 has quite a bit more functionality (i.e. BT and WiFi) than the bare STM32 but many variations of the STM32 may be less expensive.

Is ESP32 used in industry? ›

This ESP32 PLC it has been designed for Industrial applications. It allows the use of WiFi, Bluetooth LE, Ethernet IP protocol and other industrial Ethernet protocols like Modbus TCP and others.

Does ESP32 use C or C++? ›

Alright, it is confirmed that Arduino for ESP32 uses C++11 (with GNU extension) by default. So there should be no additional configuration needed for us to start writing in C++11.

Is the ESP32 more powerful than Arduino? ›

Is ESP32 More Powerful Than Arduino? Yes, the ESP32 is faster and more powerful than Arduino. The ESP32 is a powerful 32-bit microcontroller with integrated Wi-Fi, a full TCP/IP stack for internet connection, and Bluetooth 4.2. It has 10 internal capacitive touch sensors.

How long can a ESP32 last? ›

The Test Results

As expected, it takes several seconds for the ESP32 to wake up, connect to WiFi, get an IP address from the DHCP server and to connect and send the message over MQTT. 3.877 seconds, to be precise. Assuming a 2500mAh battery and ignoring self discharge such a node could run for 6.9 months.

Can I flash ESP32 over WIFI? ›

The OTA programming allows updating/uploading a new program to ESP32 using Wi-Fi instead of requiring the user to connect the ESP32 to a computer via USB to perform the update. OTA functionality is extremely useful in case of no physical access to the ESP module.

How do I fix a fatal error? ›

How to Fix a Fatal Error
  1. Search for the error code to find specific instructions. ...
  2. Update the software. ...
  3. Update the drivers. ...
  4. Uninstall any recently installed programs. ...
  5. Restore Windows to an earlier state. ...
  6. Disable unnecessary background programs. ...
  7. Delete temporary files. ...
  8. Free up space on the hard drive.
23 Jun 2022

Is ESP32 a security risk? ›

The Espressif ESP32 is perhaps one of the worst affected. Found in all manner of IoT devices, the ESP32 can be fooled into executing arbitrary code via this vulnerability, which can do everything from clearing the devices RAM to flipping GPIO pins.

What is baud rate for ESP32? ›

The default console baud rate on ESP32 is 115200.

How do I find my ESP32 IP address? ›

After uploading code, open serial monitor of Arduino IDE. you will see this message on a serial monitor which show you the IP address you assigned. This is the same IP address which we mentioned inside the sketch and local area network has assigned the same IP address to ESP32 board.

What is ESP bootloader? ›

An ESP contains the boot loaders or kernel images for all installed operating systems (which are contained in other partitions), device driver files for hardware devices present in a computer and used by the firmware at boot time, system utility programs that are intended to be run before an operating system is booted, ...

How many relays can a ESP32 control? ›

1, 2, 4, 8, 16 Channels Relay Modules

The number of channels determines the number of outputs we'll be able to control. There are relay modules whose electromagnet can be powered by 5V and with 3.3V. Both can be used with the ESP32 – you can either use the VIN pin (that provides 5V) or the 3.3V pin.

Does ESP32 work on 5V? ›

ESP32 Power Requirement

The ESP32 Board operates between 2.2V to 3.6V. But we supply 5V from Micro-USB port. For 3.3V there is already an LDO voltage regulator to keep the voltage steady at 3.3V. ESP32 can be powered using Micro USB port and VIN pin (External Supply Pin).

Can ESP32 run on 5V? ›

For the ESP32 you can go through its USB port (5V).

How do I reset my ESP32 firmware? ›

Standard ESP-WROOM-32 module soldered to the ESP32-DevKitC board. Reset button: pressing this button resets the system. Download button: holding down the Boot button and pressing the EN button initiates the firmware download mode. Then user can download firmware through the serial port.

Is ESP32 used professionally? ›

The ESP32 is a viable commercially made product and is widely used both by experimenters and in production of commercially made products. The ESP32 has quite a bit more functionality (i.e. BT and WiFi) than the bare STM32 but many variations of the STM32 may be less expensive.

How do I get ESP32 code? ›

How To Read from ESP32 - CLONE/BACKUP Everything

Is ESP32 faster than Arduino? ›

Yes, the ESP32 is faster and more powerful than Arduino. The ESP32 is a powerful 32-bit microcontroller with integrated Wi-Fi, a full TCP/IP stack for internet connection, and Bluetooth 4.2.

Can ESP32 run a Web server? ›

The HTTP Server component provides an ability for running a lightweight web server on ESP32.

Can I connect LED directly to ESP32? ›

It's possible, but it depends upon the supply voltage. Just divide the supply voltage - 1.2V or whatever the LED voltage drop is, by . 010 to calculate what value resistor you would need.

How many connections can ESP32 handle? ›

The ESP32 AT supports a maximum of 16 TCP connections, which can be configured in menuconfig as follows: ./build.py menuconfig—> Component config—> AT—> (16)AT socket maximum connection number.

How much RAM is available in ESP32? ›

The ESP32 chip contains 520KB of RAM. While it's sufficient for most projects, others may need more memory. To increase the capacity of the microcontroller, the manufacturer can add a memory chip to the board. This external RAM chip is connected to the ESP32 via the SPI bus.

How long will ESP32 last on battery? ›

As expected, it takes several seconds for the ESP32 to wake up, connect to WiFi, get an IP address from the DHCP server and to connect and send the message over MQTT. 3.877 seconds, to be precise. Assuming a 2500mAh battery and ignoring self discharge such a node could run for 6.9 months.

What is the use of reset button in ESP32? ›

It's the same thing as pressing the on-board reset button. So, you can connect a pushbutton to the GPIO labeled as EN. You should wire the pushbutton so that when it is pressed, it connects to GND. This way, when you press that button the ESP32 will reset.

How many times can you flash an ESP32? ›

Nearly all Espressif chips are made to work with at least 100,000 cycles, so you have to do some more flashing before breaking the board!

How do I find my ESP32 IP address? ›

After uploading code, open serial monitor of Arduino IDE. you will see this message on a serial monitor which show you the IP address you assigned. This is the same IP address which we mentioned inside the sketch and local area network has assigned the same IP address to ESP32 board.

Videos

1. ESP32 Web Server with BME280 – Mini Weather Station
(Rui Santos)
2. ESP32 IoT Shield PCB with Dashboard for Outputs and Sensors
(Rui Santos)
3. ESP32 Email Alert Based on Temperature Threshold (change values on web server)
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4. ESP32 DHT11/DHT22 Asynchronous Web Server (auto updates Temperature and Humidity)
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5. Introduction to ESP32 - Getting Started
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6. ESP32/ESP8266 Plot Sensor Readings in Real Time Charts - Web Server
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