Pico Toolchain

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Note: Using Raspberry Pi Pico with Windows 7 or 8 is not officially supported. To build Pico projects you will need to install the following tools:

ARM GCC compiler
Build Tools for Visual Studio 2022
Python 3

Installing ARM GCC Compiler

Download the Windows Installer from:


Pico Toolchain1.png

During installation, you should tick the box to register the path to the ARM compiler as an environment variable in the Windows shell:

Pico Toolchain2.png

The command prompt that the installation opened can be closed.

Installing CMake

Download the Windows CMake3.20.5 Installer from: https://cmake.org/files/v3.20/

During the installation add CMake to the system PATH for all users:

Pico Toolchain3.png

A PC reboot is recommended after installing CMake.

Installing Build Tools for Visual Studio 2022

Download the Windows Installer from:


When prompted by the Build Tools for Visual Studio installer you need to install the C++ build tools only.

You must install the full "Windows 10 SDK" package and leave the path as the default value:

Pico Toolchain4.png

At around 21% completed its takes a little while to continue, this is normal

Installing Python 3

If you already have Python 3 installed on your PC (for example if you have already installed the ESP toolchain) skip this section and do not re-install Python.

Download Windows Installer from: https://www.python.org/downloads/windows/

Look for version 3.9.6:

Pico Toolchain5.png

Ensure that it’s installed 'for all users' and add Python 3.9 to the system PATH:

Pico Toolchain6.png

Disable the MAX_PATH length limit when prompted at the end of the Python installation:

Pico Toolchain7.png

Installing Git

Download the Windows Installer from: https://git-scm.com/download/win

When installing Git you should have Only show new options unselected.

There is no need to change any default setting for all the checkboxes

Ensure that you change the default editor away from vim, for example if you have notepad++:

Pico Toolchain8.png

Ensure you tick the checkbox to allow Git to be used from third-party tools:

Pico Toolchain9.png

Don't select any NEW! options, leave options as default. Select "Checkout as is, commit as-is":

Pico Toolchain10.png

Select "Use Windows' default console window":

Pico Toolchain11.png

Leave all the defaults Ticked

Check "Enable experimental support for pseudo consoles" during the installation process:

Pico Toolchain12.png

Installing the Pico SDK

Use Git to download the Pico SDK to a location on your PC.

For example, install to your user Downloads directory:


Run a command prompt (type "cmd" at the start search box) and run the following commands: cd Downloads

git clone -b master https://github.com/raspberrypi/pico-sdk.git

cd pico-sdk

git submodule update --init

Setting up Flowcode for use with the Pico toolchain Copy the location of the Pico sdk (e.g. C:\Users\YourName\Downloads\pico-sdk) into the

Global Settings > Locations tab or if you have a project loaded

File > Global Settings > Locations tab:

Pico Toolchain13.png

Programming The Pico

The Pico is a free target device.

Run Flowcode & Select New Project

Either right-click on any target & select Search... and enter pico, then select Find Next:

Pico Toolchain14.png

Or Go to the Free targets section, expand Free targets and scroll down and select Raspberry_Pi_Pico

Select New <Raspberry_Pi_Pico> Embedded Project:

Pico Toolchain15.png

Sending Your First Program

Before sending your flowchart to the Pico, you must first enable boot mode.

To do that, make sure the pico is not connected to your PC.

Hold the BOOTSEL down and plug the Pico into your PC.

If you hear the USB connected sound and you also get a popup like this:

Pico Toolchain16.png

Then your Pico is ready to be programmed.