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Installation Order for Multiple NI Software Products

Updated Jan 9, 2019

Reported In


  • LabVIEW
  • NI Device Drivers


  • NI-DAQmx

Issue Details

  • I just purchased multiple National Instruments hardware and software products.  Is there a preference for the order of installation of National Instruments software and hardware drivers?
  • I need to install an older version of LabVIEW (or LabWindows™/CVI) on a computer that has a newer version of LabVIEW (or LabWindows™/CVI) installed already.  Are there any issues with installing an older version on top of a newer version?  Is this possible?
  • After upgrading to a newer version of LabVIEW some of my VI's are broken. What could be a reason for this happening?
  • I just installed NI-DAQmx and LabVIEW, but the DAQ functions, are not available in LabVIEW. What's wrong?


There are three common installation scenarios. Choose the scenario that best matches your configuration and use the installation process below as a guideline.
  • New Installation: Installing to a computer with no National Instrument software products installed.
  • Upgrade: Installing newer versions of National Instruments software.
  • Older Software: Installing older National Instruments software to a computer that has newer versions of National Instruments software already installed.


New Installation

The installation process begins with the application development environment (ADE) software (LabVIEW or LabWindows™/CVI), followed by modules, toolkits, and the drivers.

Install your application software in the following order (if applicable): 
  1. LabVIEW Development Environment
    • If you require multiple versions to be on your computer, install from the oldest to newest version.
  2. LabVIEW Add-on Modules (e.g. LabVIEW Real-Time Module)
    • If you require multiple versions to be on your computer, install from the oldest to newest version.
  3. LabVIEW Toolkits (e.g. Sound and Vibration Toolkit)
  4. Other application software (e.g. Measurement Studio, NI TestStand, DIAdem, NI VeriStand).
  5. Hardware drivers
    • Note:  National Instruments drivers usually support the latest four versions of LabVIEW. If the driver no longer supports your older hardware, installing the driver will remove that hardware support for all applications on your computer. If the newer driver no longer supports your older version(s) of LabVIEW, installing the newer driver will completely remove support for the older version(s) of LabVIEW.
  6. After installing the software and drivers, add/install the necessary hardware to the system. The operating system should recognize and install the hardware automatically.


To upgrade National Instruments software, verify the upgrade behavior, then install as with the New Installation process. 

Verify existing hardware and the oldest installed version of LabVIEW are still supported with the new hardware drivers by reviewing the driver README (available on the Driver Download and Updates page). After reviewing the above and, if satisfied with the upgrade behavior, review the LabVIEW Upgrade Guide document and install the software as in the New Installation scenario.


Older Software  

When NI drivers are installed they include support for existing installations of LabVIEW. For example, most drivers include both low level hardware support, and API's to support an Application Development Environment like LabVIEW.

Install your application software in the following order (if applicable):
  1. Install the older version of the LabVIEW Development Environment (Optionally from an older version of the LabVIEW Platform DVD).
  2. Install the older version of any LabVIEW Toolkits or Modules.
  3. Either install a newer version of the hardware driver, or run a Modify install of hardware drivers that you wish to use with the older version of LabVIEW. To run a Modify install of the hardware drivers:
    1. Launch the National Instruments uninstaller (Start » Control Panel » Programs and Features in Windows 7 and choose to Add/Remove the National Instruments entry).
    2. Navigate to the specific driver, and choose the Modify button.
    3. Follow the installer prompts to complete the installation.

Additional Information

If the install order was not followed correctly, some products may be missing features such as configuration settings or example files. If you experience these behaviors, it is best to repair the install on the products that were installed first (i.e. LabVIEW, TestStand, DIAdem). Refer to How Do I Uninstall or Repair National Instruments Software? for more help on how to complete the repair.

If you uninstall and reinstall LabVIEW, you will also need to reinstall the modules, toolkits, and drivers following the above installation order, otherwise some products may be missing features.

Note regarding multiple versions of LabVIEW: The LabVIEW Development Environment and all toolkits will install side-by-side with previous major versions. The Driver installer will upgrade previous versions of the driver and add support for any supported Application Development Environment (e.g. LabVIEW) installed on the computer.

Note regarding upgrading device drivers: All driver installers since 2001 use a meta installer which has the ability to check for a previously installed version of the driver. If an older driver is found, it will uninstall it before installing the latest version. If it detects that the latest driver is already installed, it will do nothing. If you are working with driver installers created before 2001, uninstall the older driver before upgrading to the newer version.

Note regarding the result of installing out of order:  If a driver is installed before LabVIEW, LabVIEW will not have the API level components required to use the driver. To resolve this issue, you can upgrade to a later version of the driver (after verifying that your existing hardware and the oldest installed version of LabVIEW are still supported by reviewing the driver README), or run a Modify install of your current driver version.


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