I have an older-model Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus calculator that was running the operating system that Texas Instruments loaded on it a few years ago. I never realized that it mattered which version of the operating system my calculator was running until we started doing logarithms in College Algebra class I needed to do calculus homework and my calculator was missing the change of base formula (logBASE) that’s found under the MATH menu on the TI-84 Plus calculator.
I then decided that I needed to update the operating system on my calculator. The problem, however, is that I couldn’t find a simple guide on the Internet to show me how. I figured out how to do it on my own and now I bring you this guide. It takes about 5 minutes and requires a mini USB cable and a computer running Windows or Mac OS X.
Step 1: Download OS from Texas Instruments Website
The first step to updating your Texas Instruments calculator is to download the operating system file. Visit the TI-84 Plus download page and download the TI-84 Plus family Operating System. As of the publication of this article, the current version is 2.55. Save the file on the desktop of your computer.
Step 2: Download and Install TI Connect
Step 3: Connect Calculator, Send to TI Device
Plug the calculator into your computer using a mini USB cable. Don’t have a mini USB cable? Buy one here. Then open up the TI Connect application and select Send To TI Device.
Click the Select Device button that’s found at the top of the TI Connect window. The computer should scan and find your TI-84 Plus calculator if it is plugged in. Once it finds your calculator, click Select. Now the top-left corner of the TI Connect window should say “Sending to TI-84 Plus.”
Click the Browse button at the top of the TI Connect window. Find and select the operating system file that you downloaded in step 1. Now click Send to Device to load that operating system file to your calculator. The computer will warn you that updating the operating system will erase all information stored in RAM. This includes any formulas in the Y= menu, stat plots, or any other temporary information you may have saved on the device (essentially it will revert your calculator to factory settings as if you just bought it from the store). If this won’t be a problem, click OK.
Step 4: Receiving Operating System
You should now see a dialog box on your computer that shows the status of the operating system update. In addition, your calculator should say “Receiving Operating System” and show the status.
Step 5: Check to Verify Update
After the update is complete, check to make sure it worked. Click the 2nd button, then click MEM (located on the “+” key). Select About. It should now show the current operating system version. Compare this number with the version number that you downloaded in step 1. I downloaded version 2.55 and now my calculator says 2.55 on the About page. The update worked.