Can I Set The Default Version of LabVIEW?

Updated Jan 5, 2018

Reported In


  • LabVIEW Full
  • LabVIEW Professional
  • LabVIEW Base

Operating System

  • Windows

Issue Details

I have installed multiple versions of LabVIEW onto my computer. I want to specify which version of LabVIEW opens with VI's I select from the file explorer. Can I define which version of LabVIEW is default?


Newer Versions of LabVIEW:

Windows uses a registry to know which program to launch for certain file extensions. Opening any version of LabVIEW directly modifies the registry to set itself as the default program for LabVIEW files. This means the last version of LabVIEW used will be called when opening VI's. 

To open files in a specific version of LabVIEW, first launch that version. Files opened from the file explorer will then be loaded into that instance of LabVIEW. 

LabVIEW 7.1 and Earlier:

The easiest way to alter which version of LabVIEW opens a particular VI is to change its default program. To do this, right click the VI and select Properties. With the General tab selected, you will notice a field that says Open With. Click the button that says Change, and you will be able to select the default program that opens the VI. At the bottom of this new window, there will also be a check box that reads, "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file." If you check this box, the default version of LabVIEW that you select will be applied to all VIs (or files with the .vi extension).

You can also access this same window via Windows Explorer by navigating to Tools >> Folder Options >> File Types. In some cases, your second version of LabVIEW will not appear in the Open With window. In this case, you may need to browse to the executable that launches the LabVIEW version you wish to use.

After going through the steps above, if your VIs continue to open with the wrong version of LabVIEW, you may need to temporarily delete the executable that launches the undesirable version. For example, if your VI continually opens with LabVIEW 7.1, and making changes in the Open With window does not have any effect, then you will need to delete the executable that launches LabVIEW 7.1 (usually located in the C:\Program Files\National Instruments\LabVIEW 7.1 directory). This will move the executable to the Recycle Bin. At this point, you can re-associate the VI file with your older version of LabVIEW using the Open With window. After you have done this, you can restore the deleted executable by right-clicking it in th