LabWindows™/CVI™ Error "You Must Install Microsoft Windows SDK"

Updated Jun 22, 2020

Reported In


  • LabWindows/CVI


Windows SDK

Issue Details

I am using LabWindows/CVI, and I am getting the following error message when I build my application:

How do I fix this error?


  • This error prompt comes up when LabWindows/CVI can't locate the installed Windows Software Development Kit. This can be due to LabWindows being installed after the SDK is installed.
  • Run the sdksetup.exe file that is located at C:\Program Files (x86)\National Instruments\Shared\MSDTRedistributables\Bootstrappers\8.1. This executable should install the Windows SDK manually.
  • If the SDK is already installed running this executable will overwrite it with a fresh install and make sure that LabWindows/CVI can locate it.
  • If the above step does not work. Repair or perform an uninstall/reinstall or force reinstall of your LabWindows/CVI installation and then follow the above steps to install the SDK again.

Additional Information

CVI should install the Windows SDK by default, but it is possible that the SDK can install incorrectly or be removed after the install. The force reinstall will ensure that the SDK installs correctly.