PICkit™ 4 Setup Instructions

The MPLAB® PICkit 4 In-Circuit Debugger allows fast and easy debugging and programming of dsPIC® Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs), PIC®, SAM, and AVR® Flash microcontrollers at an affordable price point, using the powerful graphical user interface of MPLAB® X Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

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Package Contents

  • MPLAB PICkit 4 In-Circuit Debugger/Programmer
  • USB cable with Type A and Micro-B connectors
  • Warranty card
  • Two MPLAB PICkit 4 stickers

System Requirements

  • MPLAB X IDE version 4.15 or later
  • PC-compatible system with an Intel® Pentium® class or higher processor, or equivalent
  • Available USB port
  • Microsoft Windows® 7 or later, macOS® and Linux® operating systems
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The PICkit 4 is compatible with MPLAB X IDE version 4.15 and higher. However, you will need version 4.20 for selected SAM E70 device support and version 5.00 for other SAM and AVR device support.

The MPLAB PICkit 4 In-Circuit Debugger/Programmer supports many, but not all, devices at the time of this writing. The firmware is continually being upgraded to add support for new devices. See the "Support" section at the end.

To request priority device support or to report issues, go to https://www.microchip.com/support.

Getting Started

Step by Step


Download the MPLAB X IDE software and install it onto your computer. The installer automatically loads the USB drivers. Launch MPLAB X IDE.

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Connect the USB Type-A connector to a USB port on your computer. Connect the USB Type Micro-B connector into the PICkit 4 unit.

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Install the microcontroller in your development board.

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For dsPIC or PIC devices, connect the PICkit 4 to the Programming Port on your development board.
For SAM or AVR devices, you will need the AC102015 Debugger Adapter Board for demo board connectivity.

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Connect power to your development board.

The PICkit 4 can power a development board with limited current so it is recommend to power the board separately until you are familiar with the tool and the limitations of providing power through the PICkit 4.

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For documentation on the MPLAB PICkit 4, see the product page, Documentation tab:


To check supported devices:

In MPLAB X IDE, select Help>Release Notes and find the link to Device Support List - R/Y/G Tool Support. The PK4D column shows PICkit 4 debug support and PK4P shows PICkit 4 programmer support.

For MPLAB X IDE v5.00 and later, device and firmware support updates are available in device family packs (DFPs) and related tool packs respectively. Choose one of the following methods to update packs:

  • In MPLAB X IDE, select Tools>Packs to open the MPLAB Pack Manager to add and remove packs from the IDE.
  • On the web, go to https://packs.download.microchip.com/ to download packs to install in the IDE. Click on the pack name to see a drop-down list of devices supported.

For release information on the PICkit 4:

In MPLAB X IDE, select Help>Release Notes and find the link to Release Notes for MPLAB PICkit 4.

Release notes and other support documents are available in the MPLAB X IDE version installation folder under the docs subfolder.

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