Target and Devices Option Missing When Adding a Real-Time Controller in LabVIEW

Updated Jul 23, 2019

Reported In


  • CompactDAQ Controller
  • CompactRIO Controller
  • Industrial Controller


  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module
  • LabVIEW FPGA Module
  • LabVIEW

Issue Details

I am seeing one of the following behaviors and I am not sure what to do:
  • When targeting a NI Real-Time controller, I try to add my device to my LabVIEW project in the Project Explorer.  However, I cannot add my target because I can not see the Targets and Devices option.
  • I can't add my R Series card to my LabVIEW project as the Targets and Devices option is not available under My Computer.
  • I can't add my CompactRIO, CompactDAQ controller or any RIO-related hardware to my LabVIEW project as it doesn't show up on Targets and Devices dialog box.
  • I don't see any Real-Time or RIO-related examples in the NI Example Finder.
  • I have multiple versions of LabVIEW on my computer. I can only see my real-time target on some of these LabVIEW versions.


There are a few scenarios which can explain the behavior you are seeing: 
  • ​Real-Time Module Not Installed for the Version of LabVIEW You Are Using

If the Targets and Devices... option is missing when you right-click on the project root in the LabVIEW Project, it might be due to an issue with the LabVIEW Real-Time Module. Make sure that your development system has the Real-Time Module installed or is within the allowed time trial period (if in evaluation mode). To check if you have the Real-Time module installed, open NI License Manager, then navigate to LabVIEW 20xx » Modules » Real-Time Module, as highlighted in the figure below: 

Verify that the Real-Time Development is fully activated or still within the allowed evaluation time period by checking the color of the license box. If the module is active, but you suspect that the installation is corrupt, run a repair on LabVIEW Real-time. The process for repairing a module is explained in Uninstall or Repair National Instruments Software or Drivers in Windows. Instead of selecting NI LabVIEW, as mentioned in the KB, select NI LabVIEW 20xx Real-Time Module.


  • NI CompactRIO Drivers not Installed or Incompatible

After clicking Targets and Devices, the Add Targets and Devices window will open. If you do not see a folder for CompactRIO Chassis in this window, the NI CompactRIO Device Drivers may not be installed correctly. Make sure that your NI-RIO or NI CompactRIO Device Drivers are installed and compatible with your version of LabVIEW by comparing the two versions see NI-RIO and LabVIEW Version Compatibility for more information.
If you do not see you CompactRIO Device Drivers model number after expanding the CompactRIO Chassis folder in the Add Targets and Devices window (even after selecting the New Target or Device), then the version of the CompactRIO Driver might not support your hardware target. Compatibility between the hardware target and driver version can be found on the Preventing Software Compatibility Issues for CompactRIO Systems.

To locate the versions of LabVIEW or NI CompactRIO drivers, open the NI Measurement and Automation Explorer (MAX) and look under the Software tab in the navigation pane on the left:


If NI CompactRIO Device Drivers were installed using installation disks, it is also possible that the NI CompactRIO Device Drivers installation disks were damaged, resulting in a corrupted driver installation.  If this is the case, the NI CompactRIO Device Drivers page for a download of the latest version.


  • Incorrect order of Installation

It is possible to install National Instruments Software in an order that could omit necessary files. The correct order of installation is documented in Installation Order for Multiple NI Software Products
If it is possible that software was installed in the wrong order, a repair or reinstall will be needed.


  • Multiple Versions of LabVIEW Installed

The Real-Time Module and LabVIEW FPGA Module are 32-bit software products. Therefore, it will only allow targeting RT controllers using LabVIEW 32-bit. When using LabVIEW 64-bit, you will not be able to see the Targets and Devices... option.
You might also have multiple major versions of LabVIEW installed on your computer (e.g. 2015 SP1, 2017). Be sure to use the version that corresponds with what support you installed on the RT target (cRIO). A mismatch between these versions can result in an inability to connect to the target in the LabVIEW Project.


  • In case of using a CompactDAQ Real-Time

If you are using a CompactDAQ RT, make sure that NI-DAQmx ADE is installed. To locate NI-DAQmx ADE, open the NI Measurement and Automation Explorer (MAX) and look under the Software tab in the navigation pane on the left, and search for DAQmx.
If it is, might be a software conflict and it is necessary to repair the installation.
  1. First, you will need to download the version of DAQmx;
  2. Next, you need to do the repair.


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