Why Can't I Add a Simulated Device in NI MAX?

Updated Sep 14, 2020

Reported In


  • Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX)


  • NI-DAQmx

Issue Details

I want to add a new simulated device in NI Measurement and Automation Explorer (NI MAX), but when I right click the Devices and Interfaces section in NI MAX nothing shows up. I also don't see the Create New button in NI MAX. How can I fix this?


When you right click on Devices and Interfaces and do not see the Create New button drop down, then your version of NI-DAQmx may be corrupted.
  1. Make sure that the minimum required NI services are running, please refer to the following article to know what services are needed: Minimum Windows Services Set Needed to Run NI MAX ​​​​​. If the NI Services are not set to start automatically, change them to Automatic (Delayed Start) in the Windows Services. 
  2. Upgrade your version of DAQmx to the next available version that maintains system compatibility.
  3. If upgrading is not an option, you can repair your current version of DAQmx.
  4. Make sure you're checking the "NI-DAQmx Runtime with Configuration Support" option during the NI-DAQmx installation, as shown below:

Additional Troubleshooting Steps
Some devices such as switches may require additional drivers in order to simulate that device. Make sure you have the correct driver installed for the device you wish to simulate. To see which drivers you have installed, expand the Software section in the leftmost pane in NI MAX and look for the driver. If the correct driver version is installed and you are still unable to simulate a device, repair the driver.

It's also possible that the specific card you are looking to simulate doesn't have the ability to be simulated in MAX. If you can see other cards able to be simulated that use the same driver, it's likely that it wasn't included in driver. Try to simulate and use another card with similar functionality to the card you are looking to simulate, or try developing an IVI driver to simulate devices in LabVIEW or LabWIndows/CVI .

Additional Information

To learn more about NI-DAQmx Simulated Devices, read the following tutorial.
If the simulated device is a cDAQ or cRIO module, you'll need to first simulate a chassis (e.g. cDAQ-9174), and then you'll be able to add the module to it's configuration.