Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about Atmel Studio.

What is the Atmel USB Driver?
The Atmel USB Driver is a cumulative installer that bundles the required USB drivers for all tools.
I get an error during installation of the Atmel USB Driver Package.

During installation of the Atmel USB Driver Package, you might get the error 0x800b010a - A certificate chain could not be built to a trusted root authority. This means that the certificate that signs the installer could not be validated using the certificate authority built into Windows.

The reason for not being able to validate the certificate is because the certificate chain needs to be updated through Windows Update. Make sure that you have received all updates so that Windows is able to validate the certificate.

If you are not able to update your computer due to the computer being offline or restricted in some way, then the root certificate update can be downloaded from

Will Atmel Studio work in parallel with older versions of Atmel Studio, AVR Studio, and AVR32 Studio?
Yes, it will work side-by-side between major and minor versions. Side-by-side installation with different build numbers is not possible. If you are uninstalling AVR Studio 4.0 or AVR32 Studio be careful when you manually delete folders or registry entries after uninstall, as there might be other keys and folders deployed by Atmel Studio inside the Atmel folder and registry paths. Note that drivers may be incompatible between versions.
Atmel Studio cannot find any debuggers or programmers when Norton AntiVirus is running.
Atmel Studio might not show any connected tools if Norton AntiVirus is running. To make it work make sure Norton AntiVirus allows atprogram.exe to communicate with Atmel Studio by adding atbackend.exe as an exception in the Norton AntiVirus allowed programs. This is the same with any anti-virus program that by default blocks ports.
Windows shows a message box with the following message when attempting to run Atmel Studio installer: 'Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item.
This might be caused by an anti-virus program blocking the installation of the Atmel Studio. We have seen this with the Sophos antivirus package. Temporarily disable the Sophos service running on the machine (or any corresponding anti-virus service), and attempt installation.
Atmel Studio takes a very long time to start but runs well in a VM environment.
The Visual Studio shell (and thus Atmel Studio) does a considerable amount of processing during start-up. Parts of the operations are WPF operations which benefit greatly from updated graphics libraries and drivers. Installing the latest graphics driver may give a performance boost both during normal operation and during start-up.
Verification and programming often fail with a serial port buffer overrun error message when using STK500.
This is a known issue. Due to DPC latency, serial communication can have buffer overruns on the UART chipset. A workaround which works for most systems is to use a USB to serial adapter.
When launching from a guest account, the following error is displayed when starting Atmel Studio: 'Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation'.
Atmel Studio neither installs under a guest account nor runs under it.
Can install and run Atmel Studio from within a Virtual Machine?
Yes, with simulator there should be no issues. However, with physical devices like debuggers and programmers, the VM must offer support for physical USB and Serial port connections.
How can I reduce the start-up time of Atmel Studio?
  • Make sure you have uninstalled unwanted extensions
  • Disable Allow Add-in components to load:
    1. 1.Go to Tools, Options, Add-in/Macro Security.
    2. 2.Then, uncheck the Allow Add-in components to load option.
  • Disable the start-up page:
    1. 1.Go to Tools, Options, Environment, Startup, At Startup.
    2. 2.Select the Show empty environment option.
How to improve studio performance for any supported version of Windows?
  • Make sure your system has the latest version of the Windows Automation API
  • Exclude the following directories and files from your antivirus scanner:
    • The Atmel Studio installation directory, and all files and folders inside it
    • %AppData%\Roaming\Atmel directory, and all files and folders inside it
    • %AppData%\Local\Atmel directory, and all files and folders inside it
    • Your project directories
  • Visual Studio Shell requires a lot of swap space. Increase the paging file. Also, put the system to maximize performance. Both options are found in the System, Properties, Performance, Settings menu.
Should I install the latest Windows Automation API 3.0?
Yes, if your OS is any of the following:
  • Windows Server 2008
How can I make sure my system has the latest Windows Automation API 3.0?
Your system has the latest Windows Automation API if you have Windows 7 or Windows 8. Only Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008 have the old version of the API. Find the UIAutomationCore.dll file in your system (normally found in the windows folder) and compare the version number of that file. The version should be 7.X.X.X. for the new API. The latest API can be found at
My Project is large and it takes a long time to open. Is there any option to avoid this delay?
Visual Assist X parses all the files when we open the existing project. You could disable this option:
  1. 1.Go to VAssistX, Visual Assist X Options, Performance.
  2. 2.Uncheck the Parse all files when opening the project.
I have a limited RAM size in my system and I work long hours in the same instance of Atmel Studio. After some time, Atmel Studio becomes slow on my system.
Press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+F12 twice to force Atmel Studio to garbage collect.
How can I make my projects build faster?
You can enable parallel build Option from Tools, Options, Builder, GNU Make, Make Parallel Execution Of Build. This option will enable the parallel execution feature in the GNU make utility. This option may cause the build log to be displayed unordered.