CIRCUITPY Volume not visible for an Adafruit Circuit Playground Express on Windows 10 1803

I’ve just returned from the US and whilst there I picked myself up an Adafruit Circuit Playground Express. I plugged it into my computer and by all reports it should just appear as a removable drive on Windows 10. Alas that didn’t happen for me. I could get it into BOOT mode by pressing the Reset switch, but no matter what I did I couldn’t get the expected CIRCUITPY volume to be visible in File Explorer. Here’s how I got it working along with configuring VSCode as the editor.


  • Visual Studio Code
    • Python Extension (from Microsoft) for VSCode. Install through VSCode Extensions

Environment Configuration

    1. Install the Arduino IDE from the Microsoft Store
    2. Open VSCode and install the Arduino Extension (from Microsoft)
      • go to the Command Palette and open Preferences: Open User Settings
      • under Arduino: Pathadd the path to Arduino. It should be something like C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\ArduinoLLC.ArduinoIDE_1.8.21.0_x86__mdqgnx93n4wtt depending on the version you have
      • under Arduino: Additional Urlsselect edit in settings.json and add the following line and save the file
        • “
      • Open the Command Palette and select Arduino Board Config. Select Adafruit Circuit Playground
    3. Verify that the Adafruit Circuit Playground board is showing in the VSCode system tray along with the COM port is using on your computer.
    4. Update the Bootloader
      • Currently the latest bootloader is available from here
        • for Circuit Playground Express you are looking for the update-bootloader-circuitplay_m0-v2.0.0-adafruit.VERSION.uf2 file
      • Click the reset button (in the middle of the board) and you should see the CPLAYBOOT drive volume in your computer File Explorer
      • Drop the bootloader uf2 file onto the drive
    5. Update to the latest Circuit Python Release
      • That is available from here
        • Currently that is v3.1.2
      • Drop the updated Circuit Python .u2f file onto the CPLAYBOOT volume
    6. Restore the Demo Python Script
      • The demo is available from here
      • Unzip the download and drop the demo script ( and *.wav files)  onto the CIRCUITPY volume
      • It will restart and go through the neopixel demo (with startup sound)
    7. Using VSCode open the file from the CIRCUITPY volume
      • update the following line from False to True and save the file
        • TOUCH_PIANO =True


With that all done I was up and running.

Hopefully that helps someone else get quickly starting and avoid all the troubleshooting I went through to get up and running.