Failed to Connect to Real-Time Target Error for cRIO in LabVIEW Project

Updated Jul 10, 2018

Reported In


  • CompactRIO Controller
  • PXI Controller


  • LabVIEW
  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module


  • NI CompactRIO

Issue Details

  • I am using a CompactRIO (cRIO) and when I try to connect to the cRIO from my LabVIEW Real-Time project, I am getting the following error:  Failed to connect to real-time target.
  • I am trying to connect to my RT PXI system in my LabVIEW project, and it is failing.  What can I do?


This means that your LabVIEW project is not connecting properly with your cRIO target. There are a few items that could be causing this behavior.  Follow the steps below to troubleshoot this error:
  1. Make sure that the cRIO is not connected to another LabVIEW project that is currently open.  If you are the only user of the cRIO and it was previously connecting, power cycle the cRIO and try to connect again.
  2. Launch NI Measurement & Automation Explorer (NI MAX) to see if you can find your cRIO under Remote Systems.  If you are not able to find your cRIO in NI MAX, go through the steps outlined in Why Does My Networked Device Not Show up in Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX)?
  3. Make sure that the IP address in the LabVIEW project is the same as the IP address shown in NI MAX.
  4. Once you find your cRIO, click on it and then look at the System Settings tab on the right. 
    1. Make sure that under the Startup Settings section, Force Safe Mode is not checked and LabVIEW Project Access is checked.
    2. Make sure that Status is showing Connected - Running
      • If it shows disconnected, go through the steps in Why Does My Networked Device Not Show up in Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX)? 
      • If it shows Safe Mode, check again to make sure that Force Safe Mode is not selected and that if your cRIO controller has DIP switches that the Safe Mode switch is not in the on position.  Power cycle your cRIO and check again.  If it continues to show Safe Mode, proceed to the next step.
  5. Expand your cRIO in the system tree on the right side of NI MAX so that you can see the Device and Interfaces section as well as the Software section.
  6. Expand the Software section to make sure that there is software installed.  If expanding the Software section does not show any software, you will need to install software on your cRIO.
  7. Make sure that your version of CompactRIO Driver installed is compatible with the version of LabVIEW you are using.  You can check for this information in CompactRIO Device Drivers and LabVIEW Compatibility or your CompactRIO Device Driver Readme.

Additional Information

CompactRIOs can be in safe mode for a number of reasons:
  • user forced software safe mode (via NI MAX)
  • user forced hardware safe mode (via DIP switches)
  • there is no software installed on the cRIO controller
  • the cRIO has crashed a number of times and has then booted into safe mode


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