USB Driver Installation Instructions

For use only with CH Instruments hardware. If you are not installing a CH Instruments potentiostat, please contact the manufacturer for the appropriate drivers for your device.


System Requirements

  • Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
    • Experimental support for Linux and (Mac) OS X is described on a separate page.
  • Administrative privileges on your computer (please consult your system administrator for details)
  • CH Instruments Software version 12.04 or newer (Help > About)
    • If you are using an older version of our software or Windows, please visit our Legacy Downloads page.


Driver Installation

  1. Do not connect the instrument to the computer yet.
  2. Download and run (double-click) the file "CP210x_latest.exe" from the link above.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions, accepting all default options in the affirmative.
    • Make sure the "Launch the CP210x VCP Driver Installer" option is checked, when it appears.
    • This should install files in two locations.
    • Restart your computer if prompted to do so.
  4. Finally, power on and connect your instrument to your computer. Windows should now recognize the instrument automatically.
  5. Please note that the latest driver requires our software version 12.04 or newer.

Instrument Installation

  1. First complete the USB Driver installation procedure above.
  2. Disconnect the instrument from your PC, if applicable.
  3. Connect the instrument to your PC and turn the power on.
  4. Wait for any automatic system installation tasks to complete.
  5. Open Device Manager (right-click [My] Computer > Manage > Device Manager).
  6. Double-click the category "Ports (COM & LPT)" to display:


  7. Locate "CP210x USB to UART Bridge Controller" or a similarly named device to verify successful installation.


This completes instrument installation.


Take note of the COM port number (COM5 in the example above). Assign this number in your instrument software, using the System command under the Setup menu, and then run the Hardware Test command under the Setup menu to confirm that the instrument and computer are communicating properly.



Driver Uninstallation

To uninstall any previously installed drivers, right-click on the device in Device Manager and click Uninstall. You may need to do this not only for the COM Port, but also a USB Composite Device.

  1. Right-click on the CP210x COM device in Device Manager and click Uninstall (check "Delete the software driver for this device" when prompted).
  2. If present, you will also need to do this for a "Cygnal USB Composite Device" or "CP210x USB Composite Device" under the Universal Serial Bus Controllers category as shown here.
  3. To confirm that the USB driver is fully uninstalled, disconnect and reconnect the instrument to your computer and make sure that the CP210x device is now listed under Other devices as shown here. The Cygnal or CP210x composite device should also no longer be installed.
  4. If at this point a COM port is still assigned, you may also need to uninstall the driver from Control Panel > Programs and Features and repeat the procedure above.
  5. Rebooting your computer immediately after uninstalling drivers may also help, especially in Windows XP and earlier.




  • The USB driver needs to be installed only once on your computer. Multiple instruments can be connected to the same computer, and Windows automatically assign them to different COM ports.
  • The COM port number assigned to your instrument may vary from computer to computer, or even on the same computer (rarely).
  • You can double-click on the "CP210x USB to UART Bridge Controller" item in Device Manager to display various status information: driver version number, whether the driver is functioning correctly, etc.
  • USB communication is achieved using a USB-serial port converter chip built into the instrument; the driver for this chip, courtesy of Silicon Labs, is what is installed in this section.
    • As a result, the instrument software will behave as if this device is connected to a serial port, even though the physical connection is by USB. Thus, you need to use Device Manager as described above to determine what serial port number is assigned to this device.
    • USB communication therefore provides no specific advantages over a native serial port besides the difference in physical connectivity; if you have a free serial port available on your PC, we recommend its use over a USB port.
    • We include USB support because most computers sold today lack an onboard serial port, and it may be impractical or impossible to add a serial port card.



For use only with CH Instruments hardware. If you are not installing a CH Instruments potentiostat, please contact the manufacturer for the appropriate drivers for your device.

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