TinyScreen+ Setup

by TinyCircuits Staff April 26, 2016

TinyScreen+ Setup

The TinyScreen+ is a multipurpose microcontroller and display, making it perfect for the application of tiny video games, minimal Internet of Things devices that can display information, and much more. 

Materials / Background



  • (steps for download are mentioned later in tutorial)
  • Arduino IDE (Where all programs will be written)
  • A Boards package for Tiny Circuit Boards (link included below)
  • Boards Manager (found under Tools/Board:):
    • Arduino SAMD Boards (32-bits ARM Cortex-M0+) by Arduino
    • TinyCircuits SAMD Boards by TinyCircuits
  • TinyScreen Library (In Library Manager of Arduino IDE)

That may all seem like a lot, but this will all be broken down into some easy steps. If you have any issues along the way there is a troubleshooting section included at the bottom to which you can refer!

  • Step 1: Configuring the Arduino IDE, so you have somewhere to write software that understands how to interface with your hardware
  • Step 2: Downloading all the extra software that is necessary for the TinyScreen+ board (it's just a library, so it's not a lot!)
  • Step 3: Connecting to the TinyScreen+ board. This should just be a simple connection with a USB cable, and a few selections made in the Arduino IDE to ensure you are programming the correct board-type through the correct port of your computer.
  • Step 4: Uploading your first program to the TinyScreen+. How exciting!
  • Troubleshooting/Bootloader mode: Reference this at any point throughout the tutorial if you are having issues. If this doesn't resolve your problems, you can look through past Forum posts, create your own Forum post, or email us for help at info@tinycircuits.com 

Step 1: Configure Arduino Software IDE

  • Download and install the latest Arduino Software (IDE) from the Arduino website. (On Windows click Yes/Install when it asks ‘Do you want to install this device driver/software?’. You can also select the check box ‘Always trust Arduino’).
  • Open Arduino IDE and go to File->Preferences (Windows) or Arduino->Preferences (Mac OSX).

  • Go to Tools->Board->Boards Manager.


  • Select and install Arduino SAMD Boards (32-bits ARM Cortex-M0+). This may take a few minutes.

  • On the same Board Manager page, scroll down to select and install TinyCircuits SAMD Boards.

Step 2: Install TinyScreen Library

  • Open the Arduino IDE and click Sketch->Include Library->Manage Libraries

  • Search for "TinyScreen"

  • Click 'Install'

If the above method does not work, you can manually download the library by following the three steps below:

  • Click here to download the TinyScreen library.
  • Unzip and copy the unzipped folder named TinyScreen.
  • Go to My Documents (Mac) or Documents (PC) folder in your Finder/Window Explorer and paste the copied TinyScreen library folder into Arduino->Libraries folder.

Step 3: TinyScreen+ Board Connection

  • Insert micro-USB cable to the TinyScreen+ USB slot gently, but firmly. Connect the other side of the cable to the USB port on your computer.
  • Windows 7/8 users click here for device driver installation instructions before proceeding to next step. Mac and Windows 10 and above users should be ready to proceed below.
  • In the Arduino IDE, go to Tools->Board and scroll down to select TinyScreen+.

  • In the IDE, go to Tools->Port and select the port showing TinyScreen+. e.g. on Mac it should show something similar to: “/dev/cu.usbmodem1411 (TinyScreen+)” and on Windows similar to “COM15 (TinyScreen+)”. The port numbers will probably be different on your computer.

Step 4: Upload Your First Program

  • Open the Arduino IDE and open File->Examples->TinyScreen->TinyScreenBasicExample

  • Once the program loads into the IDE, go to Tools -> Port and make sure the correct Port has been selected. (See help page on ports linked in previous section if you have issues)
  • Make sure the TinyScreen+ is plugged into the computer and the power switch is flipped to 'On'.
  • Click the upload button near the top left of the IDE to upload the program to the TinyScreen+ and watch the results!


Refer to the following if you are unable to connect to the TinyScreen+ from Arduino IDE or if you are getting errors while connecting or uploading.

First: Before proceeding, check your USB cable connection. Make sure it is inserted fully into the TinyScreen+ connector slot.

  • Port not showing / Unresponsive Board / Bootloader Needs:
    • If you were able to upload a sketch to the TinyScreen+ and now it does not respond, or you can't find the same port you used right before, you may need to put it into Bootloader mode.
    • To do this, power off the TinyScreen+ using the slide switch. Plug the USB cable into the TinyScreen+ and your computer. Then press and hold the button closest to the USB connector while sliding the switch to the ON position.
    • Once in bootloader mode, the TinyScreen+ will display "TinyScreen+ Bootloader Mode." Then you should see a PORT# available under Tools/Port.
    • Using the new port available, you should now be able to upload a program to the TinyScreen+. You may need to try this several times if it does not work the first time.

***This switch/button is the one that should be pressed to put the TinyScreen+ into Bootloader mode

Contact Us

As always, if you have any questions or feedback, feel free to email us at info@tinycircuits.com.

Show us what you make by tagging @TinyCircuits on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook so we can feature it!

Thanks for making with us!

TinyCircuits Staff
TinyCircuits Staff


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