How Do I Install an Older Version of the LabWindows/CVI Run-Time Engine?

Updated Oct 24, 2023

Reported In


  • LabWindows/CVI

Issue Details

Only one version of the shared LabWindows/CVI Run-Time Engine can be installed at a time. It is not possible to install the LabWindows/CVI Run-Time Engine on a system that has a higher version installed. I cannot uninstall the higher version of the Run-Time Engine without also uninstalling other NI Software that depends on it. How do I downgrade to an older version of the Run-Time Engine?


If NI Package Manager is Installed

New versions of NI are installed through NI Package Manager and are distributed as packages. For this reason, it is not possible to remove just the Runtime. If an older version is required after installing newer one, consider using a separate computer or a Virtual Machine.


If NI Package Manager is Not installed

Applicable only if both LabWindows/CVI versions were not distributed using NI Package Manager.

The NI Installer Framework version 3.0 and later allows you to uninstall NI software without also uninstalling software that depends on it. This capability is not available through Add/Remove Programs in Windows XP or Programs and Features in Windows Vista/7. To uninstall software with this feature enabled, run the following command from the Windows command line:

For 32-bit Windows:
  • “C:\Program Files\National Instruments\Shared\NIUninstaller\uninst.exe” /IgnoreDependents
For 64-bit Windows:
  • “C:\Program Files (x86)\National Instruments\Shared\NIUninstaller\uninst.exe” /IgnoreDependents
Once the higher version of the Run-Time Engine is uninstalled, you can install an older version. It can be downloaded from here. If the required version is not in the download list, contact NI Support.

This capability is only available with the NI Installer Framework version 3.0 and later. To determine which version of the framework is installed on your system, locate the following file on your system and view the Details tab of the file Properties:

For Windows XP:
  • C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\National Instruments\MDF\BinRTE\MdfCommon.dll
For Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/10:
  • C:\ProgramData\National Instruments\MDF\BinRTE\MdfCommon.dll

Some applications may not work with an older version of the LabWindows/CVI Run-Time Engine. National Instruments only recommends downgrading to an older version of the LabWindows/CVI Run-Time Engine if you are sure that none of the applications that you use require that version of the Run-Time Engine.

Additional Information

Beginning in LabWindows/CVI 2012, the Run-Time Engine can be installed by distributions in a side-by-side configuration. This allows the system to have multiple versions of the Run-Time Engine installed on the same system and for applications and libraries to be bound to a specific version. Refer to the help topic LabWindows/CVI Help: Binding Executables and DLLs to Side-by-Side Run-Time Engines for more information.