Reset and Fix the NI Measurement & Automation Explorer Database File

Updated Jul 31, 2023

Reported In


  • Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX)


  • NI-DAQmx
  • NI-488.2

Issue Details

  • I want to reset my NI Measurement & Automation Explorer (NI MAX), how do I do this?
  • When I open NI Measurement & Automation Explorer (NI MAX), I get the following error message: 
The database file is corrupt. Refer to KnowledgeBase article 4GA9TOQA for information about how to fix or restore the database file.


NI MAX Database corruptions are rare but may be caused when a system reboots without being properly shut down due to a power loss or a system crash. If this problem occurs after installing a newer version of NI MAX, verify that you have already performed a reboot of your PC before attempting to reset the database.
Note: Use caution, as this procedure will delete all configuration data stored in NI MAX including NI-DAQmx Tasks, NI-DAQmx Global Virtual Channels, custom scales, and device configuration. However, it will not impact the hardware in any way. 

For NI MAX version 5.0 and newer

Starting in version 5.0, there is a Reset Configuration Data utility available from within NI MAX. You can check your version of NI MAX by going to Help » About. This utility allows you to automatically reset the NI MAX database back to default. 

Steps to use the reset configuration data utility in NI MAX:
  1. From within NI MAX, select Tools » Reset Configuration Data.
  1. Make sure to save any unsaved progress from any open programs. When prompted with the following dialog box, select Yes to restart your computer.

  1. After your system restarts, the NI MAX database will be set to default. 

For earlier versions of NI MAX

For versions previous to NI MAX 5.0, you can run the NI MAX Database Corruption Removal Tool, which is designed to automate the process of removing database corruption. To use this tool, log in to an account with Administrator privileges and run the downloaded executable. 
Note: If any errors occur while running the tool, go through the steps on Manually Resetting the NI MAX Database to make sure the process was completed. If you are unable to complete the following steps using normal system settings, please reboot your computer in Windows Safe Mode and attempt to complete the steps once again.

Additional Information

NI MAX maintains a backup copy of the database file, which can be used to restore the database to a known state. Resetting NI MAX configuration data will remove the database file and replace it with the default. This tool can be helpful in rare cases of database corruption, and in cases where the database is not corrupted but has entered a strange state. In those cases, resetting the database may be beneficial to return the system to normal operation.

If the problem periodically occurs even after resetting the NI MAX database, there may be a deeper software corruption. In this scenario, uninstall all NI software by following the instructions in Uninstall NI Software or Drivers Using NI Package Manager. After, reinstall the required software.