This content is not available in your preferred language.

The content is shown in another available language. Your browser may include features that can help translate the text.

Force Reinstall Non-Working or Corrupt NI Software

Updated Jul 31, 2023



  • LabVIEW


  • NI-DAQmx
  • NI-488.2

Operating System

  • Windows

  • Some of my NI software, toolkits or drivers are corrupt, broken, or not working as expected, and I want to try reinstalling to fix it. I might be seeing crashes or hangs in my software, or some driver VIs may show up with question marks. I may have already tried to uninstall or delete the software, and it still didn't resolve the problem. Is there a way to force the NI installer to run fresh, and force a replacement of all components and files?
  • In Device Manager my devices show up as unknown devices, or Windows doesn't recognize the device drivers, but I know I installed the driver. How can I make sure the driver installed properly?
  • LabVIEW seems to be freezing when using the development environment. I have to go to the Task Manager to exit LabVIEW. 
  • My LabVIEW Property Nodes are missing properties when I try to configure them.
  • I receive various errors pointing to missing Application Builder VIs when I try to build a LabVIEW installer.

It is generally advisable to upgrade software or drivers if a corruption is suspected. However, if for compatibility or other reasons, an upgrade is not feasible, you can force all of the files in an installation to reinstall by running the setup.exe file from the Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell and using the /reinstall switch. You will need your original installation disc or installation files to do this. If you are missing installation files, you can search for them on our website.

Note: It is only possible to force-reinstall software that was installed through the individual product installers or suite installers. With software that was installed through NI Package Manager a repair process must be done. Alternatively, a process can be followed, for software installed through NI Package Manager, to uninstall NI software or drivers using NI Package Manager.

Complete the following steps to force reinstall your NI software:

  1. Navigate to the directory where your setup.exe file is located by one of the following methods.
    • Using Windows 7, 8, or 10, navigate to a directory in the Command Prompt by using Windows Explorer to navigate to a folder location, holding <Shift> and right-clicking empty space in that folder, and choosing Open command window here or Open PowerShell Here
    • If the file is on the C: drive, you can access it by typing cd "<path to software install directory>" and pressing <Enter>. An example command is as follows: cd "C:\National Instruments Downloads\NI-VISA\".
    • If the file is on a different drive, simply type the name of the new drive and press <Enter>. For example, if you are force reinstalling from a disk, and the disk is recognized as drive D:, you would type d: and press <Enter>.  You can then use the cd command to navigate to the proper folder.
Note: Since you can't use Ctrl+V to paste in command prompt, you can right click anywhere on in the window and select Paste to insert a long directory. Although you can use Ctrl+V to paste the directory into Windows PowerShell. 
  1. If you have entered a valid directory, you should see the directory change in the command prompt. In this example specifically, the user wishes to force reinstall NI-VISA driver whose installation files are located in C:\National Instruments Downloads\NI-VISA.
  2. Run the installer by typing setup.exe /reinstall or .\setup.exe /reinstall (PowerShell) and pressing <Enter>. The images below show how your command should look before you press <Enter>. This will reinstall all of the files instead of only ones that appear to be damaged or missing.

  • The directory C:\National Instruments Downloads\ is the default location used by the standard self-extracting executable to decompress software downloads. In addition to your installation discs, you will likely find most of your installation files in this directory, unless you deleted them or explicitly pointed the self-extracting executable to another location.
  • If you are using a suite installer, you will need to find the directory for the piece of software you are trying to reinstall. Each piece of software will have its own folder within the distributions folder. This command will not function if used to call a suite installer.
  • If you still get unexpected behaviors after the force reinstall, try running the command prompt or the PowerShell as an administrator.