PICKitCommandLine Application

For PICkit2 and PICkit3 programmers .




PICKitCommandLine is a new application that provides support for the latest generation of Microchip microcontrollers and EEPROMs.  The software is feature rich and easy to use via the Windows command line.

PICKitCommandLine application is the replacement application for the existing Microchip PICkit2 command line application and the MPLAB PICkit3 command line application. 

The intent of PICKitCommandLine  is enable operations using either a PICkit2 or PICkit3 programmers via the Windows Operating System command line.  Command line arguments are passed to the software to configure the operation of write, reading, verify.  The software capabilities are shown in the table.

PICKitCommandLine supports nearly 1000 different types of microcontrollers and EEPROMS. 

  • PIC10F, PIC12F, PIC16F, PIC18F, PIC24.
  • dsPIC30 and dsPIC33 family.
  • A wide range of EEPROMs.
  • MCP2502X/5X & HCSxx.
  • EEPROM 11LCxx, 24LCxx, 25LCxx and 93LCxx, M25Px and FL127x.
  • See here for the full list of supported parts.

New functionality

  • Manages Microchip HEF and SAF memory with automatically merge of HEF/SAF memory into target part.
  • A wide range of Windows operating systems (32bit/64bit): Windows XP ,Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Embedded 7, Windows 8, Windows 10.
  • New programming protocols to support for new classes of Microchips  microcontrollers.
  • Simple of command line arguments.
  • Part type, revision and family displayed during read operations.
  • Reset of Bandgap.
  • Updated and managed database for Microchip and other EEPROM devices.
  • Automatic programming of programmer firmware.

PICKitCommandLine features:

  • Supports the standard Microchip PICkit2 and PICkit3 programmer firmware.  PICKitPlus does not require an update to the Microchip PICkit2 and PICkit3 programmer firmware.
  • Supports multiple voltages within constraints of physical programmer - noting that some clone programmers do not support voltage control.
  • Read/write program and data memory of microcontroller.
  • Erase of program memory space with verification.
  • Supports IDEs with hold-on-exit.
  • Write/Read and Verify options.
  • Control power on and off independent of programming state.
  • OSCCAL support

Safe Usage Enhancements

  • Generation of log file.
  • Generation of error log file.
  • Internet connection not required.


  • Single user license.
  • One year software/maintenance.
  • Free updates the parts database.

What is the difference between the PICKitCommandLine and other Microchip command line programming software?


The table below compares the capabilities.

  PICKitCommandLine  Other Microchip software

Hex File Operations

  • program
  • extract and save
Same capability Same capability

Device Family - microcontrollers and EEPROMs

  • select part
  • recently used
  • supports legacy and recent Microchip microcontrollers
  • display list of supported parts
Legacy parts and latest parts

PICKit 2 software limited to legacy parts.

PICKit 3 supports legacy and latest parts via MPLAB-X Java interface. 

Programmer Operations

  • manage Progmem/Config/UserID
  • manage EEPROM
  • read/write/verify/erase/blank check
  • verify on write
  • manage power
Same capability Same capability
  • display device ID and revision
Yes Partial
  • select specific name PICKit 2 or PICKit 3 programmer as target programmer for operations
  • exit delay
  • support specific ISCP frequency
Yes No
  • HEF&SAF merger management
  • reset Bandgap
  • reset OSCCAL
  • errorlog support
  • logfile support
Yes No

Tool Operations

  • install firmware to programmer
  • change MPLAB and MPLAB-X modes
Yes No
Operation features of the programmers PICKit 2 PICKit 3
  • maximum current draw

25 mA or lower

30 mA or lower


  • vdd 

Large VDD
capacitances should not be permitted.

Allowed VDD rise time is 500 us or less.

Large VDD
capacitances should not be permitted.

Allowed VDD rise time is 500 us or less.

  • vdd supply from PICkit

range of 2.5v to 5.0v

range of 2.5v to 5.0v

  • operating limits from external VDD

maximum external VDD is 5.0 v

minimum external VDD  is 2.5v

maximum external VDD 5.5 v. 

minimum external 1.8 v