Failed to Connect to the Target When Using a CompactRIO in LabVIEW

Updated Jun 17, 2019

Reported In


  • CompactRIO Controller
  • roboRIO
  • CompactRIO Single-Board Controller
  • PXI Controller
  • myRIO Student Embedded Device


  • LabVIEW
  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module


  • NI-RIO

Issue Details

  • I have a LabVIEW project containing a CompactRIO that I used to be able to connect to.  I moved the project to a new computer, and can no longer connect to the CompactRIO in LabVIEW, even though it is on the same network.
  • My NI Real-Time Target shows up under Remote Devices in NI MAX, but LabVIEW can't connect to it.
  • My NI roboRIO cannot connect to LabVIEW and I can't run or deploy my code.
  • My CompactRIO shows as Connected - Safe Mode (No software installed), and LabVIEW doesn't discover it when I add Targets and Devices to my project.
  • I'm developing an application using a CompactRIO which is detected correctly in NI MAX. The status shows as Connected - Running, and it doesn't show any problems. However, 
    • When I try to use it from LabVIEW, I can add it to my project but I can't connect or deploy to it
    • When I try to use it from LabVIEW by clicking Connect in the target, I see a message that displays one of the following errors:






  1. Make sure the device shows up in NI Measurement and Automation Explorer (NI MAX). If it does not show, or comes up as disconnected. Follow the guide to troubleshoot getting the device to show up in NI MAX: NI Networked Device Doesn't Show Up or is Missing in MAX.
  2. Make sure that the IP address in the LabVIEW project is the same as the IP address shown in NI MAX.
    1. If you are using a local address (for exampleMyDevice.local) to connect with the device, try exchanging it for its IP address (for example172.22.11.2 if connected by USB).
  3. Once you find your device in NI MAX, click on it and then look at the System Settings tab on the right. 
    1. Make sure that under the Startup Settings section, Force Safe Mode is not checked and LabVIEW Project Access is checked.
    2. Make sure that Status is showing Connected - Running
      • If it shows disconnected, go back to step 1.
      • If it shows Safe Mode, check again to make sure that Force Safe Mode is not selected and that if your cRIO controller has DIP switches that the Safe Mode switch is not in the on position. Power cycle your device and check again. Refer to the hardware's manual for more information regarding its Safe Mode.
  4. Check that you have the correct software installed on your computer: Preventing Software Compatibility Issues for CompactRIO Systems.
    1. Make sure that your version of the CompactRIO Driver installed is compatible with the version of LabVIEW you are using.  You can check for this information in CompactRIO Device Drivers and LabVIEW Compatibility or your CompactRIO Device Driver Readme file.
  5. It's likely that LabVIEW can't connect to your target because there is a problem with the software installed. Follow the article How Do I Format My Real-Time Target and Reinstall the Software?​ to fix this problem.
    1. Make sure the version of LabVIEW you are using matches the version installed on your Real-Time controller: NI-RIO and LabVIEW Version Compatibility. For example: If you are using LabVIEW 2017 (with its 2017 Real-Time Module), you would install LabVIEW Real-Time 17.0 from NI MAX.

​Image: Using NI MAX, install the corresponding NI LabVIEW Real-Time version that you will use in your target. It must be the same version of the Real-Time module (and LabVIEW version) that you will use to program it. You can access this window from the Software tab of the Remote Device in NI MAX.

Additional Information

Real-Time targets can be in safe mode for a number of reasons, including:
  • user forced software safe mode (via NI MAX)
  • user forced hardware safe mode (via DIP switches)
  • there is no software installed on the CompactRIO controller
  • the CompactRIO has crashed a number of times and has then booted into safe mode


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