How to Download and Install Baofeng USB Programming Cable Driver

Generally, when you plug your Baofeng USB programming cable into the computer, the driver for the cable will be installed automatically. But in some cases, the driver cannot be installed correctly. To make the radio work properly, you’ll need to download and install the driver on your own. In this post, you’ll learn how to download and install the Baofeng USB programming cable driver. It’s easy and quick.

You can download and install the driver manually or automatically:

Download and install the Baofeng USB programming cable driver manually
Download and install the Baofeng USB programming cable driver automatically

Download and install the Baofeng USB programming cable driver manually

Where to download and install the Baofeng USB programming cable driver

Each USB programming cable is using a chipset. Downloading drivers for a USB programming cable means downloading drivers for the chipset.

The Baofeng USB programming cable can use a USB-to-Serial chipset from one of these manufacturers: FTDI, Prolific, WCH or SiLabs. These manufacturers release and update the chipset driver on their website. That’s to say, you can go to these chipset manufacturer’s websites to download a driver for your Baofeng USB programming cable. 

How to determine what chipset your USB programming cable has

Usually, when you bought the cable, you would know what chipset the cable is using from the cable vendor or the product description. If not, you can determine it by checking in Device Manager.

Go to Device Manager, expand the category Ports (COM & LPT), then you can tell what chipset your cable has from the device name. For example, if the cable has a Prolific chipset, the device name in Device Manager will be displayed as Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port.

However, in some cases, you may not be able to tell from the device name directly. For example, when the device shows up under the category Other devices, the device name can be displayed as USB Serial Port. Whatever situation you’re in, if you can’t determine the chipset by the device name, you can determine it by checking the hardware ID of the device. Here’s how:

1) Open Device Manager.

2) Right-click the device and select Properties.

3) At the Details tab, select Hardware Ids from the Property drop-down.

4) Right-click on the first string and select Copy.

5) Open your favorite search engine, perform a web search for the hardware ID you copied. Then you should be able to find the manufacturer of the device.

Download and install the Baofeng USB programming cable driver from the chipset manufacturers

Once you determine what chipset your Baofeng USB programming cable is using, you can head to the chipset manufacturer’s website to download the driver.

  • For FTDI chipset, click this link to download the driver.
  • For Prolific chipset, click this link to download the driver
  • For WCH chipset, click this link to download the driver.
  • For SiLabs chipset, click this link to download the driver.

The downloaded driver file can be either a .zip file or a .exe file. If it’s a .zip file, you’ll need to extract the file first, then double-click on the executable file to install the driver. If it’s a .exe file, just double-click on the file and follow the on-screen instructions to install the driver.

Download and install the Baofeng USB programming cable driver automatically

Another way to download and install the Baofeng USB programming cable driver is using Driver Easy, a third-party driver update software that allows you to download and install drivers quickly and easily.

Driver Easy can scan your computer to detect any problem drivers for your devices, including the external devices and unplugged devices. If you plugged your Baofeng radio to your computer before, Driver Easy can detect if the USB programming cable driver is outdated or missing, and then provide you with a new driver. To download and install the driver, all you need is a few clicks.

Here’s how to use Driver Easy to download and install the Baofeng USB programming cable driver:

1) Download and install Driver Easy on your computer.

2) Launch the application and click Scan Now. Then Driver Easy will scan your computer for the problem drivers. The process can take a few seconds. After that, you’ll see a list of drivers that can be updated.

3) Click the Update button next to the USB cable driver, for example, USB Serial Port. Then the driver will be downloaded automatically. After the download is finished, you can install the driver easily by following the step-by-step guide from Driver Easy. 

Note Driver Easy Free is partly free. If you want the driver to install automatically, you’ll need to upgrade to the Pro version.

Final Words

Many programming cables supplied with the radios are not manufactured by Baofeng, even if they have the Baofeng logo on the USB cable. If you can’t install the driver for the cable, check if the cable is counterfeit. A counterfeit cable means a counterfeit chipset. In that case, the driver cannot install successfully.

Every time you buy a Baofeng USB programming cable, ensure the cable is genuine. It’s recommended you purchase a FTDI USB programming cable from the Baofeng company directly. 

Hopefully you find this article helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment below. I’ll get back to you ASAP.

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