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Set Up USBTMC Instrument Communication in Windows

Updated Nov 5, 2019

Reported In


  • LabVIEW



Operating System

  • Windows

Issue Details

I have a USB instrument that uses USBTMC communication. How do I set up communication with LabVIEW?


VISA is the recommended API to program USB Test & Measurement Class (USBTMC) instruments. Follow the steps below to set up communication between your instrument and LabVIEW.

  1. Install a compatible version of the NI-VISA driver. Confirm compatibility with your operating system and LabVIEW version.

NI-VISA will detect USBTMC devices automatically, so no additional configuration is necessary after installing the driver. The device will be installed as a USB Test & Measurement Class Device. 

  1. Confirm the instrument is detected in Measurement and Automation Explorer (MAX) under Devices and Interfaces >> USB Devices.
  2. Test communication with NI-VISA Interactive Control
  3. Once you have confirmed communication, you can use NI-VISA API to communicate with your instrument

Additional Information

For more information about USB and VISA, refer to NI-VISA Help: USB and VISA Background.

It is important to note that not all USB devices are USBTMC compliant. The device manufacturer has to add the support in the device firmware to support USBTMC. Traditional instruments with USB ports are most likely to support USBTMC. Refer to the instrument's documentation to determine if it is USBTMC compliant.