Install firmware on your keyboard

Step 1: Get your firmware

You can get your firmware from 4 different sources:

  1. Download from our Firmware pages.
    This is the recommended firmware and includes some unique IDOBAO functions like Caps-Lock LED indicator, and support for some macOS keys.
  2. Self-compile from the QMK source code.
  3. Use the QMK Configurator.
    Note that this method will result in a firmware that does not support VIA. Also, these will not include some IDOBAO functions.
  4. Download from
    This pertains to the firmware in the VIA website section "Firmware" - these will not include some IDOBAO functions.

Choose the method most appropriate for your needs.

Step 2: Download QMK Toolbox

  • Download from QMK's Toolbox repo.
  • Select the "Releases" Tab
  • Make sure to select the most recent release.
  • Choose the file most appropriate for your needs.
    Currently only Windows and macOS is supported.
  • Save and/or install the file onto your system.

Step 3: Open QMK Toolbox

  • Navigate to where you installed or saved QMK Toolbox and open it.
  • Your operating system may give you a warning about opening this file.
    • In Windows you can just accept the dialog that appears, but you may also have Anti-Virus or corporate inhibitor tools that will need to be addressed.
    • On macOS you may need to [Option]+Click on the file and select "Open" it to allow you to accept this app running on your environment.

Step 4: Driver Installation

(On Windows Only)

This step is only applicable to a Windows environment, and only on the first time you run QMK_Toolbox.

  • When you first run QMK_Toolbox, it will prompt you to install drivers.
  • If you are not prompted to do this then you probably have what you need already, but if you have issues you can install the drivers manually by selecting "Tools" > "Install Drivers...".
  • Accept the warning dialog...
  • ...and allow the drivers to install.
  • The use of the Zadig tool is no longer recommended.
  • Once done it is recommended to restart the machine. Do this before progressing.

Step 5: Open the correct firmware file

  • Select the "Open" button and navigate to the file you downloaded or created in the
  • Be absolutely sure about the firmware file you're using.
    If you flash your keyboard with the wrong firmware it will most likely cease to function.

Step 6: Select the MCU

  • On the dropdown next to the "Open" button you will have an option to select an AVR® MCU that powers your keyboard.
  • Most of IDOBAO's keyboards are powered by the Atmel® ATMega32U3, so you can leave this selection at "atmega32u4".

Step 7: Reset your keyboard (Enter Bootloader Mode)

Bootloader Mode allows your keyboard to be flashed with a new firmware. There are 3 ways to do this, choose one that works for you.

  1. Use the keyboard's mapped "Reset" button. On IDOBAO keyboards this is usually the [Fn]+[Esc] (or the [Fn]+[Z]) button.
  2. Unplug your keyboard, and then press and hold the [Esc] key while plugging the keyboard's USB cable back in. Once the cable is secured, you can then release the [Esc] key.
  3. Disassemble the back plate from your keyboard and locate the reset SMD button. Briefly press this button while the USB cable is connected.

If done correctly the QMK Toolbox should pick up the MCU in bootloader mode and display its serial address in yellow text.

Step 8: "Flash"

  1. [Optional] If you're having issues with the keymap or settings then you should use the "Clear EEPROM" button to erase the map and settings storage location.
  2. Select the "Flash" button to start the flashing process.
  3. Please pay attention to the output screen and wait for the success indicator.
    Do not tamper with the keyboard or its USB cable at this stage, as terminating the flashing mid-process my irrecoverably damage the keyboard.
  4. When QMK Toolbox is finished flashing the keyboard it will automatically reset the board back to keyboard mode. You will see a message indicating that it's disconnected - this is the DFU mode that is disconnected - but it will be placed in keyboard mode.

You can now start using the keyboard.

See also