Serial Ports Missing in NI MAX

Updated Jan 24, 2019

Reported In


  • Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX)



Issue Details

  • In NI MAX the serial ports are not available or missing from the Devices and Interfaces heading, or I’m unable to create a new serial interface.
  • When I open MAX, I am unable to see my computer's serial COM port.
  • I was able to see my serial ports previously on this computer, but after OS updates, I can no longer see them.
  • I cannot select a serial port as a VISA Resource in LabVIEW.
  • My serial device is missing in NI MAX.


This issue is generally caused by an improper installation of the NI-VISA driver.
You must install NI-VISA 4.1 or later to solve this problem

To check if you have NI-VISA installed, open NI MAX, expand the Software tab, and check to see if NI-VISA appears as part of your installed software.

If you do not have NI-VISA installed, or you have a version earlier than 4.1, you can install the latest version of NI VISA from here .

If you have NI-VISA 4.1 or later installed, try repairing NI-VISA from the Control Panel >> Uninstall Programs options. If that does not have an effect, try upgrading to the latest version of VISA that is compatible with your operating system

Additional Information

Without NI-VISA installed, MAX is unable to access or create serial, GPIB-VXI, or TCP/IP interfaces.

Note: Installing the NI-VISA Run-time Engine alone will not allow you to access or create serial interfaces in MAX; only the full version of NI-VISA will provide this functionality.

If you have tried these troubleshooting steps and are still unable to see your device, try force re-installing your VISA driver or connecting to your device through a different computer.


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