Archived:Download and Install LabVIEW Plug and Play Instrument Drivers in LabVIEW NXG

Updated May 1, 2023

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With LabVIEW NXG, you can acquire and visualize data from virtually any I/O device, whether from NI or a third party. Plug and Play instrument drivers simplify control of and communication with your third-party instruments.

Learn how to download and install LabVIEW Plug and Play instrument drivers to automate third-party instruments using LabVIEW NXG with this tutorial.

Note: The final release of LabVIEW NXG was LabVIEW NXG 5.1 in 2021. LabVIEW NXG is not recommended for new projects. For more information about the change in the LabVIEW NXG life cycle, refer to the announcement in the LabVIEW Forum.


There are multiple ways to find the third-party instrument drivers for LabVIEW NXG: utilizing SystemDesign for automatic device detection, or searching for drivers on either NI Package Manager or IDNet. Each method relies on NI Package Manager for installation. Before beginning, ensure that you have NI Package Manager and LabVIEW NXG installed on your machine.

Find Instrument Drivers With SystemDesigner

SystemDesigner in LabVIEW NXG automatically detects USB and GPIB instruments. LabVIEW NXG then points to the latest instrument driver download in NI Package Manager.
Note: If the instrument you’re using is not automatically detected, check the alternative methods at the end of this tutorial for downloading instrument drivers.
  1. Using the right cable for your communication port, connect your instrument to your host PC.
  2. Power on your instrument and allow time for initialization.
  3. Launch LabVIEW NXG.
  4. On the LabVIEW NXG Welcome Screen, select Use Your Hardware.
  5. SystemDesigner opens with an overall view of your system. Select the Live tab to see all hardware currently connected to your system. The procedure for detecting your device depends on the bus being used.
    • USB: USB devices are automatically detected.
    • GPIB: Select your GPIB interface in SystemDesigner. From the Configuration tab on the left, scroll down to the installed drivers section to find and install the NI-488.2 drivers. After the NI-488.2 driver is installed, return to the Configuration pane and go to the Advanced section to click Launch NI MAX. Within Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX), select the GPIB interface and click Scan for Instruments. The instrument is then detected.
  6. When the instrument appears on the Live view in SystemDesigner, select the device on the diagram and click Find and install drivers on the Item tab to install the instrument driver. This opens NI Package Manager and points you to the required driver to install.
  7. Select Install to download and install the driver from NI Package Manager.
  1. Restart LabVIEW NXG.
  2. Verify that the instrument drivers have been installed correctly by opening the diagram and checking the Hardware Interfaces » Instrument Drivers palette.
The instrument driver is now installed and ready to use. Look for examples installed with the instrument driver in Examples » Hardware Input and Output » Instrument Driver Examples.


Find Instrument Drivers Using NI Package Manager

For instruments that do not appear on the Live view in SystemDesigner, search for your instrument's vendor and model number in NI Package Manager to find and install its instrument driver.

  1. Open NI Package Manager and select the Drivers tab on the left.
  2. Use the search bar at the top right-hand corner to search for your instrument’s vendor and model number.


  3. Select the wanted result to open the driver page.
  4. Select install to begin the download and installation process.


Search Online Using the Instrument Driver Network (IDNet)

Using the Instrument Driver Network at , you can search online for third-party instrument drivers that NI hosts and supports. Selecting the download link for a LabVIEW NXG driver on IDNet opens NI Package Manager to then finish the download and installation process.

  1. Navigate to the Instrument Driver Network (IDNet).
  2. Enter the instrument manufacturer and model into the search field and click Search
  3. Click the model name in the search results to display the list of available drivers.
    • The instrument model page will display the available driver types and supported Application Development Environments (ADE) for the instrument.
  1. Check the supported versions to make sure this instrument driver is supported in LabVIEW NXG. Select Download Driver Now to start the download process and automatically open NI Package Manager.


  2. NI Package Manager automatically points you to the wanted instrument driver download. Select Install to download and install the instrument driver.