I’ve been building a new project using an ESP32 microcontroller. Plugging the ESP32 into my Windows development laptop wasn’t showing up the com port for the device. Looking into Device Manager I saw the error below associated with the CP2102 USB to UART Bridge Controller. After some searching I found the CP210x USB to UART Bridge Virtual COM Port (VCP) drivers are required for device operation as a virtual com port to facilitate host communication with CP210x products. The Windows Universal Driver (along with drivers for other platforms) can be downloaded from Silicon Labs website here.
After extracting the archive I installed the driver by right clicking on the silabser.inf file …
… and selecting Install.
Following the installation of the CP2102 USB to UART Bridge Controller driver I was able to see the device under Ports (COM & LPT) along with the communications port number it had been assigned.
Hopefully this helps someone else as well as myself the next time I’ve got a laptop without the virtual com port driver installed.