CircuitPython is a derivative of MicroPython designed to simplify experimentation and education on low-cost microcontrollers. It makes it easier than ever to get prototyping by requiring no upfront desktop software downloads. Simply copy and edit files on the CIRCUITPY drive to iterate.
Follow this step-by-step to quickly get CircuitPython working on your board.
Click the link above and download the latest UF2 file.
Download and save it to your desktop (or wherever is handy).
Start with your Pico W unplugged from USB. Hold down the BOOTSEL button, and while continuing to hold it (don't let go!), plug the Pico W into USB. Continue to hold the BOOTSEL button until the RPI-RP2 drive appears!
If the drive does not appear, unplug your Pico W and go through the above process again.
A lot of people end up using charge-only USB cables and it is very frustrating! So make sure you have a USB cable you know is good for data sync.
You will see a new disk drive appear called RPI-RP2.
Drag the adafruit_circuitpython_etc.uf2 file to RPI-RP2.
The RPI-RP2 drive will disappear and a new disk drive called CIRCUITPY will appear.
That's it, you're done! :)
If your Pico W ever gets into a really weird state and doesn't even show up as a disk drive when installing CircuitPython, try installing this 'nuke' UF2 which will do a 'deep clean' on your Flash Memory. You will lose all the files on the board, but at least you'll be able to revive it! After nuking, re-install CircuitPython