Some HEX files were not created in Microsoft MakeCode and cannot be opened by MakeCode. This includes our meet the micro:bit program that is pre-loaded onto new micro:bits. The micro:bit iOS app on iPads (and iPhones) currently only allows you to open and edit programs made in MakeCode. However, you can transfer other hex files to your micro:bit using the app by following the instructions below. 

HEX files created in MakeCode

If the HEX file you want to transfer was created in MakeCode, first open it in a web browser and then follow these instructions to transfer a MakeCode program into the micro:bit app and then download it to your micro:bit. 

HEX files not created in MakeCode

To transfer a HEX file from the web that was not created in MakeCode to your micro:bit on an iPad:

  1. First, you will need the micro:bit iOS app and the Chrome web browser installed on your iPad (or iPhone). 
  2. Find the HEX file on the web using your Chrome web browser (this will not work with Safari, please ensure you are using Chrome) and choose the download option (e.g. the 'Download the 'meet the micro:bit' .hex file' button in the example below).
  3. A message will appear at the bottom of the screen - select 'Download'. Screenshot showing a hex file that can be downloaded and the Apple system message confirming the users wish to download the file.
  4. 'Open in...' options will appear. In the second row (listing apps on the device), find and select the micro:bit app. If you do not see the micro:bit app listed, select 'more', scroll down and select the micro:bit app in the resulting list.Screenshot showing 'Open in...' options following download.
  5. The micro:bit iOS app will open and attempt to import the hex file into MakeCode inside the app. As this is not a MakeCode hex file, this will lead to an error message: 'Sorry, we could not recognise this file'.
  6. Choose the back arrow at the top left to return to the app's home screenScreenshot of micro:bit iOS app inside MakeCode showing the message 'sorry, we could not recognise this file.
  7. From the home screen choose 'My programs'.micro:bit iOS app home screen with 'My Programs' link highlighted
  8. The program you have imported into the app will be listed, alongside other MakeCode programs and sample programs in the scrollable grey box. Scroll to your program and choose 'Send to micro:bit'.My Programs screen in the micro:bit app, showing the Meet the microbit program listed and the Send to micro:bit button
  9. Follow the instructions on the screen to put your micro:bit in Bluetooth mode and so transfer the file to the micro:bit


  • If you struggle to send code to your micro:bit, try using a computer to transfer a fresh MakeCode HEX file onto your micro:bit before trying again with your iPad. This resets the micro:bit in case the current program on the micro:bit is causing a problem.
    • You can use the simple heart program suggested in Reset your micro:bit or write your own in MakeCode.
    • This can be necessary if your micro:bit has an error or previously had a project on it that was not written in MakeCode (e.g. a Python project).

  • Make sure you enter Bluetooth mode each time you are prompted to on the mobile device.

  • Low battery power can cause problems with the Bluetooth radio function. Even if your micro:bit appears to be working, if you’re using batteries to power your micro:bit, try replacing the batteries with fresh ones if you have problems.

  • When pairing using A + B + reset, make sure you hold down the A + B buttons long enough after pressing and releasing the reset button for all the LEDs on the display to light up.