Download and install Mission Planner software
Download the Mission Planner installer — Filename “MissionPlanner-[version].msi”
Windows 7 , 8 and Vista: Native
Windows XP users: Your machine must be running the .dot Framework 3.5 get it here
Mac users : Dual-boot or run Windows virtually
Begin running the installation utility, it will install the necessary drivers.
Select “Install this driver software anyway”, if you get this warning.
Note: If you get a DirectX installation error, update it here.
Connect your board to your computer via the micro USB (Note: USB hubs may not provide adequate power, avoid using them).
Windows will recognize the APM and install the correct driver.
Note: If you get a message stating driver not found, help is here.
Open Mission Planner
Pay attention to the COM port and baud rate in the upper right corner, these come into play anytime you connect to your APM from Mission Planner.
Windows assigns a unique COM port number to each device the first time it is connected.
For connecting through USB- choose the port assigned to your APM and set Baud rate to 115200.
Before you hit “Connect” you must first load firmware onto your APM in the next step
Go to the Hardware tab and click on the airplane icon. This will download and flash the latest APM:Plane firmware on to your APM board. Once you have done this, you can hit Connect and go to the setup steps, described in the next section.
Note: if you want to load previous versions of the flight firmware, type Control-O in the firmware screen, and that will open a drop-down menu on the bottom right allowing you to select any previous version. The numbers refer to a Git version control hash number, but if you click on any of them it will bring up the version numbers under each aircraft icon so you can see what code versions they correspond to.
Once you have installed the Mission Planner, it will display a notice if an upgrade is available and update itself. It is not necessary to run the installation utility again!
Note: If you want to program APM using Arduino, you still can. Instructions here.