Missing NI-IMAQ or NI-IMAQdx Functions Palette in LabVIEW

Updated Dec 20, 2023

Reported In


  • LabVIEW


  • NI-IMAQdx
  • Vision Acquisition Software

Issue Details

  • I have installed the NI Vision Acquisition Software, but the NI-IMAQdx and/or NI-IMAQ API (application programming interface) does not appear in the LabVIEW block diagram function palette.
  • I don't have the IMAQ or IMAQdx functions under Vision and Motion; my palettes are empty. How can I access the NI-IMAQdx/NI-IMAQ functions?
  • When I open a VI, it complains that I am missing VIs from IMAQ or IMAQdx.  Additionally, those functions in the VI show up as question marks on the block diagram.


In order to access the NI-IMAQ and NI-IMAQdx driver APIs from within LabVIEW, the Vision Acquisition Software (VAS) must be properly installed and activated on the development machine.

To resolve this, try the following troubleshooting steps:
  • Ensure that LabVIEW has been installed before installing Vision Acquisition Software
    • If you have installed LabVIEW successfully on the machine, the LabVIEW API installation options should be visible when running the Vision Acquisition Software (VAS) installer (as seen in the image below). If the Vision Acquisition Software (VAS) is installed before LabVIEW, these options may not be visible. 
  • Verify that the version of the Vision Acquisition Software (VAS) you are installing is compatible with your version of LabVIEW. Note: If you install another (newer) version of the Vision Acquisition Software, it will override the older version. 
    • You can find the compatible LabVIEW versions in the readme file for the version of VAS you are using.
    • For example, look in the Application Software Support section for VAS 2018 to see what LabVIEW versions are compatible.
  • Ensure that the Vision Acquisition Software (VAS) has been successfully activated on the computer, or that the product evaluation period has not expired by checking its status in NI License Manager.
    • The NI-IMAQdx API is a licensed product, and the associated NI-IMAQdx VIs will not be visible within LabVIEW if the Vision Acquisition Software (VAS) has not been activated or the trial period has expired.
  • If you have Vision Acquisition Software that was installed without NI Package Manager, complete the following steps and check that LabVIEW Support was included. Note: This feature is unavailable if you installed NI-IMAQ or NI-IMAQdx using NI Package Manager. To modify or repair your software, use Installing, Updating, Repairing, and Removing NI Software documentation
    1. Open Control Panel on Windows.
    2. Choose Programs and Features.
    3. Select National Instruments Software.
    4. Select Uninstall/Change.
    5. In the dialog box, find NI-IMAQ and choose Modify. The installer will launch, and you will be able to modify the installation. 
  • If you used to have the NI-IMAQ and NI-IMAQdx palettes and VIs but they no longer appear in the palettes, you can:

Additional Information

NI Vision Acquisition Software (VAS) is the NI driver software used for acquiring, displaying, logging, and monitoring images from a wide range of different camera types. Installing these drivers results in added function palettes in the LabVIEW development environment corresponding to each subset of the driver API. 

Note 1: If you are using Vision Acquisition Software August 2015 and do not activate that software at the time of install or during the trial period, you will not be prompted to activate if you attempt to use the NI-IMAQdx VIs later on. The NI-IMAQdx VIs will not appear on the palette and VIs using these functions will be broken. To fix this, activate the software in NI License Manager.

Note 2: The NI-IMAQ driver (used for NI Camera Link frame grabbers only) does not require activation.