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How to troubleshoot PICkit 3 errors?

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How to troubleshoot PICkit 3 errors?
1.    “Target Device ID (0x0) is and Invalid Device ID. Please check your connections to the Target Device.”
a.    If you have another working PICkit3, you could try to manually reprogram the faulty unit.
b.    Check that the PGC, PGD lines are okay and check you made the proper connection PICkit3 user's guide recommended.
c.    Verify ICSP pin connection:
d.    Check if all the required pins specified in the device's Programming Specification document are properly connected - e.g. AVDD to VDD, AVSS to GND.
e.    Verify the tool with CISAR:
More details can be found on the MicrochipDeveloper webpage here:

2.    “Target device was not found.”
a.    It could be that the device is not powered. The PICkit3 can provide power to the target, for this go to “Project Properties” -> Select PICkit3 -> open window “Power” from “Option Categories” -> enable “Power target circuit from PICkit3”
b.    Verify the tool with CISAR:
c.    There are more information on Microchip:

3.    How to manually update the firmware
a.    Go in MPLAB X and make a new project selecting the PICkit3 as Programmer.
b.    "Project Properties" select "PICkit3" and from "Option categories" select "Firmware".
c.     Uncheck "Use Latest Firmware" box and click on "Press to browse for a specific firmware version".
d.     Select the .jam file that appears in "Firmware Files" and apply it. Read or program device to activate the change.
e.     More information you can find here:

4.    “Failed to program device”
a.     Update the firmware (see point 3)
b.     Verify the tool with CISAR:
c.     Verify that VDD and VSS to be correctly connected.
d.     Verify that on the PGD and PGC not to have a resistor on it. There are internal pull-ups

5.    “Failed to properly connect to PICkit3”
a.     Try to update the firmware.
b.     If there is an older version of MPLAB, try to install the newest version of MPLAB X.
c.     Make sure the connection between the PICkit3 and the PC is not made through an USB Hub
d.     Use the supplied USB cable.

6.    “PK3Err0040: The target device is not ready for debugging.”
a.     Set the PICkit3 as debugger: Debugger -> Select tool -> PICkit3
b.     Set the Debug mode
c.     Build the project: Project -> Build all (you should receive BUILD SUCCEEDED)
d.     Program the device: Debugger -> Program (you should receive PROGRAMMING / VERIFY COMPLETE)
e.     Start debugging: Debugger -> Run (in the Output tab should appear Running...)

7.    “The overcurrent” error
a.    Verify the tool with CISAR:

8.     When encountering fail in communication or freeze while firmware update:
a      Remove all USB devices that use power (except mouse/keyboard) and retry.

9.    When changing the version of the MPLAB and the programmer seems to be broken ("Updating firmware, bootloader.... ")
a.     Go to MPLAB IDE -> Help -> About
b.     There are "User directory" and "Cache directory". Change the name of the last folder. The MPLAB X will create others, without the old information.

10. Reset the tool
a.     In MPLAB X IDE, right click on the project you are working on (make sure the PICkit3 is selected as programmer), then click Properties.
b.     Project Properties dialog box will appear. On the left side under Categories choose PICkit3.
c.     Upon clicking PICkit3 a "Reset" button will appear on the right side. Then proceed to the reset.
d.     After resetting, go to Window tab in the Menu bar, then click Reset windows.



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