Customize and Automate Installation of a Single NI Installer

Updated Nov 16, 2023



  • TestStand
  • LabVIEW
  • Developer Suite
  • VeriStand


  • NI-DAQmx

Operating System

  • Windows

  • I have a single installer for NI software such as LabVIEW or TestStand, as opposed to a suited installer like NI Developers Suite. I may be interested in a silent installer or doing a massive install, upgrade or deployment. How can I customize and automate the installation of NI software? 
  • I want to silence certain parameters, such as the "install the license step", during the installation.

Note: If your installer is not an exe or msi file but uses NIPM packages instead, refer to Automating an Installer.

You can automate the installation of a single NI installer through the Windows Command Prompt. With a Command Prompt window open, change the working directory to the location containing the installation setup.exe file by entering the command cd <Path to the directory containing installation file>.

Once in the correct working directory, you can view the installer options at any time by entering the command setup /h.

Supported Installation Modes:
  • Silent: Lacks dialog box, GUI configurations, and a progress bar.
  • Basic: Silent Installation with a progress bar.
  • Basic Full: Lacks pre-install GUI, but shows a progress bar and post-install GUI elements such as the NI Activation Wizard. 
  • Customized: See the Customizing Installations section below.
To start one of these special modes, enter the corresponding command shown below:
  • Silent: setup /q /AcceptLicenses yes
  • Basic: setup /qb /AcceptLicenses yes 
  • Basic Full: setup /qf /AcceptLicenses yes
You may also choose to suppress or force rebooting your computer upon the completion of an installer in silent mode using the command line arguments listed below:
  • Suppress final reboot: /r, /r:n 
  • Force final reboot: /r:f

Customizing Installation:
NI installers use a configuration file, called a spec file, as a replacement for the configuration dialogue. This spec file contains information about the user, serial number, which features to install or not install, etc.
  • Creating a spec file:
    The installer can be run in a spec file generation mode. In this mode, you can enter in user information, the serial number, and select each feature that you would like to have installed or not installed. You can also leave fields to a default value.
    1. You can run the installer in spec file generation mode using the following command: 
      setup /generatespecfile <spec file name>.
    2. The installation dialog will appear.
    3. Instructions on the fields in each dialog exist at the bottom of the user interface.
    4. Once you walk through all of the dialogues, a spec file will be created which you can use to install the software silently.
    Note: The spec file does not need to exist in advance. Please see Automating the Installation of NI Installers Version 2.4x and Lower.
  • Running the installer with the spec file:
    • The installer can be run with the spec file by using the following command:
      setup /applyspecfile <spec file name> /q /AcceptLicenses yes
    • To see a list of available options in the command prompt, run setup.exe -help

Additional Information

This KnowledgeBase article covers single product installers, such as LabVIEW. For suited installers, such as Developer Suite or Software Platform Bundle, please refer to the guide titled Customize and Automate Installation of a Suited Installer. Silent installations can automatically disable the Windows Fast Startup feature. For more information, refer to Hardware Not Detected After Upgrading to Windows 8, 8.1, or 10

Product Notifications: 
Installers whose setup.exe is version of 2.7 or greater (Right-Click » Properties » Details) will contact the NI server to check if a known issue will occur upon installation. If an issue will occur, the Installer will notify you and allow you to abort installation. You can modify the notification behavior by the following command-line flags:

/confirmCriticalWarnings This allows the installer to continue if critical warnings are found. This option does not allow installation to continue if fatal conditions are found. This command line argument is valid only when the silent installation option is used; otherwise it is ignored.

This disables checking for product notifications.