Find and Install Third Party Instrument Drivers

Updated Jan 23, 2020

Reported In


  • LabVIEW
  • LabWindows/CVI

Issue Details

I have a third-party instrument that I want to use with LabVIEW or LabWindows™/CVI™.  Where do I find the appropriate drivers?



Downloading Drivers through LabVIEW:
  1. You can find instrument drivers by going to Help » Find Instrument Drivers....  
  2. You then have to login using your username and password, as seen in the image below: 
Note: Connecting to the internet via a proxy server prohibits access of the National Instruments Instrument Driver Network through the Find Instrument Drivers tool. It will give an error that says, "NI Instrument Driver Finder has encountered problems connecting to the instrument driver network. Please verify that your computer is connected to the internet and try again.” To access those instrument drivers, you must either connect directly to the internet or download the drivers directly from the Instrument Driver Network.
  1. You will then be able to search for an instrument driver by selecting the manufacturer and typing the model of your instrument in the Additional Keywords field. You can also view all the instrument drivers from a specific manufacturer by leaving the Additional Keywords blank.
  2. The instrument drivers available will be displayed on the next screen.  You can select which version of the driver you want to install and then click on the install button to complete the process.  The specific VIs will be located within LabVIEW functions palette at the following location: Instrument I/O » Instrument Drivers » XXXX , where XXXX is the instrument's name.
Downloading Drivers Online:
  1. Another way to find and install third party instrument drivers is by going to the Instrument Driver Network, then click browse driver and type the name of your instruments in the search field.
  1. You will then have a list of drivers to download.  Not all the drivers have been fully tested by National Instruments and therefore are not officially supported. The tested drivers will have a Yes in the NI Certified field.
  2. Select the driver that fits your application.  A new page will open with more details on this driver.  If you have problems accessing this page, make sure you are logged in with your user name. This detail page has a required software section. It is important to make sure you have all the required software installed on your system.  Select the correct version of the driver for your system and download it to your hard drive. If the computer needing these drivers does not have access to the internet, you can put this downloaded file onto a flash drive from a computer with internet and then place it on the hard drive of the computer without internet. 
  3. Once the file is downloaded and placed on the appropriate computer, extract the folder to Program Files\National Instruments\LabVIEW\instr.lib if you are using LabVIEW. Then, close and restart LabVIEW. You will now be able to use the VI's from LabVIEW function palette from the following location: Instrument I/O » Instrument Drivers. 


  1. Follow steps 1-3 above for Downloading Driver Online for LabVIEW.
  2. Once the LabWindows/CVI driver is downloaded, extract the folder to \CVI\instr. 
  3. In LabWindows/CVI go to Instrument » Load...  Navigate to Program Files\National Instruments\CVI\instr folder and select the .fp file that corresponds to your instrument.  You will now be able to use the driver.

Additional Information

  • In the case of an unsuccessful search for your instrument in the Instrument Driver Network, it is advisable to contact the manufacturer of your instrument directly. It is often the case where instrument manufacturers make instrument drivers for LabVIEW and CVI available on their websites. 
  • If neither the Instrument Driver Network nor the instrument manufacturer has the instrument driver you need, you can submit a driver request. These requests are monitored by the Instrument Driver group at National Instruments and are developed according to popular demand. When all else fails email the manufacturer of the instrument and enquire about the possibility of a future driver.  
  • Keep in mind that it is always possible to create your own instrument driver. On the Instrument Driver Network website there are many helpful documents that discuss how to create your own driver. These drivers can then be submitted to the Instrument Driver Network for the benefit of others. Please see the below links for more information.

Note 1:  If you are looking for a LabVIEW 6.0 instrument driver and are unable to find it in the Instrument Driver Network, you can email
Note 2: The newer versions of these drivers have been bulit with NI Package Manager. These drivers need internet connection to get them installed. Currently there's not offline installers available.