How to Program your Touch Board with the Arduino IDE

How to Program your Touch Board with the Arduino IDE

Upload new sketches to transform the functions of your Touch Board

The Touch Board is based on the Arduino Leonardo and works with Arduino's integrated development environment (IDE) software. The board comes pre-installed with the "Touch_MP3" code, but if you want to change or modify its code, you need to use the Arduino IDE. This tutorial takes you through the Arduino IDE setup step by step and shows you how to upload an Arduino sketch to the Touch Board.

We love it when you share your projects! Post your project on Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter, and make sure to tag @bareconductive or use #bareconductive. You can also send your videos and photos to so we can post them on our site for the world to see.

You will need:

1 x Touch Board

1 x USB Micro B to USB A or USB C (depending on your computer’s USB port type)
1 x Computer running Mac OS, Windows or Linux

Step 1 Install the Arduino IDE

First, download the Arduino IDE from the Arduino website. Make sure to use the latest Arduino version. Once you've downloaded the Arduino IDE, please save it to your Applications folder on macOS or run the installer on Windows. The Touch Board doesn't work with the Arduino web editor.

Please note that for Windows, the Arduino IDE needs to be installed from the Arduino Website and not from the Windows App Store.

Open the Arduino IDE once and close it again, creating the necessary Arduino folders in your Documents folder.

Step 2 Download the Touch Board Installer

We have created an installer that will add the required Touch-Board-specific files needed to the Arduino library. You can download the correct installer for your operating system from the links below:

Windows installer

macOS installer

Linux 32-bit installer

Linux 64-bit installer

Step 3 Run the Installer

If you have the Touch Board plugged into your computer, please unplug it before continuing. Locate the installer that you have downloaded, unzip it, and double-click to run the installer.

For macOS users, this is a straightforward process. You do not need to take any special steps, apart from giving permission access.

Windows users may need to approve the program to run when they first double-click it, and then later approve the installation of a small driver so that Windows understands how to talk to the Touch Board.

Linux users will have to enter their password to approve the addition of a rule to ensure that the operating system does not accidentally try to use the Touch Board as a USB modem. If you are a Linux user, you will also need to restart your machine after completing the installation.

Step 4 Upload the Code

Open the Arduino IDE and select the Arduino project "Touch_MP3" from

FileSketchbookTouch Board ExamplesTouch_MP3

Then, connect your Touch Board to your computer and turn on your board. On Windows, you may see a message pop up telling you that a driver is being installed. Your computer may alert you that the installation has failed, but it will work correctly once the installer is complete. Please wait up to two minutes before proceeding. 

In the Arduino IDE, select the Touch Board from


Additionally, select the board from


Search for the ports labeled "Bare Conductive Touch Board". There may be several options available on Linux and Mac machines. Choose the one with "CU" in the name. In Windows, there should be one COM port labeled "Bare Conductive Touch Board" – choose this.

With the board selected twice, click on the upload button. Please give it up to a minute to upload. When the upload is complete, the Arduino IDE will report "Done uploading." You can also tell by checking the Touch Board. Once the LED stops flashing, the Touch Board has uploaded the code.

On Windows machines, you may now see another attempt to install a driver, which most likely will appear to fail, and the upload will fail too. Again, please wait up to two minutes and try again. This failure will only happen the first time you reprogram the Touch Board.

Step 5 Next steps

Now that you know how to upload projects to the Touch Board, you can explore the whole range of example code we provide or write custom code to transform the Touch Board into your next project!

If you want to learn about the serial monitor or if you run into any issues, click here for the Touch Board troubleshooting guide. If you get stuck, contact us on

We also want to thank BitRock for their support, who make the excellent InstallBuilder, which we used to create our installer for you. Even better, they generously gave us a free license for it because we distribute open source software!