The ‘Control panel extension is incompatible with driver version’ error appears whenever the user tries to access their Mouse Settings, while others report that they see it during every system startup. Although the issue is much more common on Windows 10, it’s also encountered on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
What’s causing the ‘control panel extension is incompatible with driver version’ error?
Here’s a short list of scenarios that most commonly lead to the apparition of this issue:
- Incomplete Synaptics driver – As it turns out, one of the most common scenarios that might create this issue is an improper Synaptics driver. In most cases, this will occur after a botched WU update. In this case, you should be able to resolve the issue by using Device Manager to retry the operation. In other cases, you will only be able to fix the issue by reinstalling the Synaptics driver completely.
- 3rd party interference – Several affected users have confirmed that this problem can also occur due to some type of 3rd party interference that cannot be identified so easily. If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to resolve the issue by using System Restore to restore your machine back to a healthy state.
Method 1: Updating the Synaptics driver via Device Manager
Since the number one cause that will cause this ‘Control panel extension is incompatible with driver version’ error is an incomplete Synaptics driver, you should start this troubleshooting attempt by trying to force the driver to update via Device Manager.
Several affected users have confirmed that this procedure has finally allowed them to open get rid of the error and modify their mouse settings with no issues. Here’s what you need to do:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialogue box. Next, type ‘devmgmt.msc’ and press Enter to open up Device Manager. If you get prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant administrative privileges.
- Once you’re inside Device Manager, scroll through the list of installed devices and expand the drop-down menu associated with Mice and other pointing devices. When you’re inside, right-click on the Synaptics driver and choose Update driver from the newly appeared context menu.
- Wait until the next menu appears (it might take a couple of seconds). Once you see it, click on Search Automatically for updated driver software.
- If a new driver version is found, follow the on-screen prompts to install the new version, then restart your computer and see if the issue is resolved at the next system startup.
If you’re still seeing the ‘Control panel extension is incompatible with driver version’ error when you try to open the mouse settings, move down to the next method below.
Method 2: Reinstalling the Synaptics driver
As apparent by the title of the error window, this error is somehow connected with the Synaptics driver. It’s likely that the default touchpad driver that’s currently in use is the Synaptics driver. According to affected users, in most cases, the ‘Control panel extension is incompatible with driver version’ error will occur due to the fact that Windows Update has recently tried to upload the Synaptics driver but only managed to do so partially.
A lot of affected users that were struggling with this issue have reported that they finally managed to resolve the problem by reinstalling the latest touchpad drivers on their PC using the Apps & Features screen.
Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:
- First things first, start things off by disabling your wireless card. In order to do this, click on the wireless icon in the bottom-right section of the screen, then click on the box associated with Wi-Fi to disable your wireless card.
- Once you manage to disable the wireless card, press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘appwiz.cpl’ and press Enter to open up the Programs and Features window.
- After you manage to get inside the Programs and Features screen, scroll down through the list of installed applications and locate the Synaptics driver. Once you see it, right-click on it and choose Uninstall.
- Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the uninstallation. After you manage to uninstall the Synaptics driver, restart your computer.
- After the next startup sequence is complete, visit this link (here) and download the latest version of the Synaptics driver. Once the download is complete, double-click on the installation executable and follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation of the latest driver version of Synaptics.
Note: Once the installation is complete, restart your computer manually if your computer doesn’t do this automatically. You can also use the device manager to perform these actions.
- When this last startup sequence is finished, enable your wireless card back on (using the task-bar icon) and see if the issue is now resolved.
If you’re still encountering the ‘Control panel extension is incompatible with driver version’ error when trying to open your Mouse settings, move down to the next method below.
Method 3: Using a System Restore
If the first two methods didn’t work in your particular case, it’s very likely that a recent change that you enforced on your computer has ended up affecting your mouse drivers. If the ‘Control panel extension is incompatible with driver version’ error only started to appear recently, System Restore should allow you to revert the change.
Since it’s virtually impossible to compile a list with all potential culprits that might end up causing this problem, your best bet in fixing this issue is to rely on System restore.
In this case, you should use System Restore in order to revert the interference. Keep in mind that by default, all recent Windows versions are configured to create new restore points regularly. If you haven’t modified this behaviour, you should find one that’s closer to the date in which you started to encounter this issue.
Here’s a quick guide on using System Restore to resolve the ‘Control panel extension is incompatible with driver version’ error:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialogue box. Once you’re inside the Run box, type ‘rstrui’ and press Enter to open up the System Restore menu.
- Once you’re at the initial System Restore screen, click Next to advance to the next menu.
- At the next screen, start the operation by checking the box that’s associated with Show more restore points. After you manage to complete this step, start comparing the dates of each system restore point and select one that is dated prior to the apparition of the issue.
- Once the correct system is selected, click Finish to complete the setup. Several seconds after you do this, your computer will restart and the previous computer state will be mounted.
- After the next startup sequence is complete, repeat the action that was previously causing the ‘Control panel extension is incompatible with driver version’ error and see if the problem is now resolved.