Fix: Nvidia Control Panel Won’t Open

A lot of NVIDIA graphics card users have made reports on the Control Panel not opening. This issue has spanned across several Windows versions from Windows 7 to 10. All attempts to open the NVIDIA Control Panel from the Start menu proves futile. Also, checking Windows Update shows that your drivers are up to date, when they’re really not.

In this article we’ll suggest a couple of fixes to this problem. We’ll try updating and reinstalling to the newest graphics card drivers on the website, which worked for most people. We’ll also try checking the NVIDIA Display Driver Service, updating .net framework, restarting the NVIDIA control panel process and a couple more fixes.

Be sure to try out all the methods in the article, one-by-one. Also, Nvidia Control Panel missing issue is different for some people.

Troubleshoot NVIDIA Control Panel

Method 1: Reinstalling NVIDIA Drivers

The first thing to do is to uninstall Nvidia drivers and remove Geforce Experience aswell. After that, we will be reinstalling the drivers by downloading from the website. For that:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys, type devmgmt.msc. This opens up the Device Management Console.
  2. In the Device Manager, expand the Display adapters, right-click on your NVIDIA Adapter under this category and click Uninstall and check Delete the driver software for this device, and then OK to remove the drivers.
  3. Visit the NVIDIA Driver page and search for your graphics card drivers under the Option 1: Manually find drivers. You have to provide your graphics card type, OS, and other relevant information and then click the Search After you are provided with the latest driver for your card, download it.
  4. Go to the download location of the driver and launch the installer. While installing, select Custom Options, and select Clean Install. This will further wipe previous installations and install the latest working version.
  5. Restart your PC and try to launch the NVIDIA control panel to verify if it works well.

Alternatively, you can update directly from the device manager by:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys, type devmgmt.msc. This opens up the Device Management Console.
  2. In the Device Manager, expand the Display adapters, right-click on your NVIDIA Adapter under this category and click Update Driver Software and then click Search automatically for updated driver software.
  3. After the drivers finish updating, restart your PC try to launch the NVIDIA control panel to verify if it launches.

Method 2: NVIDIA Display Driver Service

The NVIDIA Display Driver Service is responsible for launching the control panel. Since it’s a dependency, you should try getting it up if it’s down or restarting it to fix the issue.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard to open the run prompt. Type services.msc and hit Enter to open the Services console.
  2. In the Services window, search for NVIDIA Display Driver Service and double-click it. Set the Startup type to Automatic and then start the service if it’s been stopped. .
  3. Repeat this for other NVIDIA-related services you can see.
  4. Try opening the NVIDIA control panel now to confirm if it opens this time.

Method 3: Restarting the NVIDIA Control Panel Process

Similar to the method above, the control panel may open but may fail to launch until the process is stopped and re-run again. Let’s try using the steps below.

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to launch the Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details and select the Processes Under this tab, search for the the NVIDIA Control Panel Process called nviplui.exe. Right-click on it and select End Task.
  3. Try this for other processes like NVIDIA User Experience Driver Component (nvxdsync.exe), which you may see in the Task Manager.
  4. Head over to your Desktop or Start Menu and launch the control panel again. This time, it should work

Method 4: Set Highest Resolution

A user fixed this issue by changing his resolution to the maximum. It’s probable NCP won’t launch in a lower resolution. Here’s how to adjust your display’s resolution.

  1. Right-click on your Desktop and select Display settings.
  2. In the Display settings, change the resolution of your PC and set it to a higher value. Usually, a recommended value will be indicated, which you can choose.

  1. Right-click on the Desktop and select Screen Resolution. Or press the Windows Key + R, type cpl and press Enter. You’ll be taken to the resolution settings.
  2. Click on the field next to Resolution to display drop-down list. On Windows 7, it’s a vertical slider that allows you to drag a button up or down or increase or decrease the resolution.
  3. Choose the highest resolution for your computer’s screen.
  4. Click on OK and keep the changes when you’re asked.

Try to launch the control panel again to see if it works now.

Method 5: Registry Fix

If by now you’ve not found a fix, you should try this registry fix. As always, be careful while modifying your registry. It’s advised to backup your registry before proceeding with this method.

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run prompt. Now type regedit and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor. If you’re asked to grant access via a UAC prompt, accept it.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\ContextMenuHandler
  3. Locate NvCplDesktopContext, right-click on it and select Delete.
  4. Now navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell.
  5. Right-click on Shell and add a New > Key with the name Nvidia Control Panel.
  6. Right-click on Nvidia Control Panel and add a New > Key with the name command.
  7. Double-click on the default value, provide the key C:\Windows\System32\nvcplui.exe and click OK.
  8. Restart your PC and try launching the control panel, which you now can do by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting Nvidia Control Panel.

Method 6: Updating .NET Framework and VC++ Redistributable

NVIDIA applications run on .NET Framework and VC++ Redistributable. You can grab and install the latest version of .NET Framework from here and the latest version of Visual C++ from here.

Alternatively, you can run a Windows update by pressing the Start button, typing Windows Updates and pressing Enter and finally clicking Search for Updates.

Method 7: Turn off Quick Boot

UEFI-based firmware has a quick boot feature which aids the PC to start up quickly. This can also cause some 3rd party drivers and services like NVIDIA’s to skip boot and hence cause the control panel not to work.

Enter your PCs BIOS settings and turn off Quick Startup/Quick Boot. You can access the BIOS using the either of the following keys: Esc, Delete or F2 to F8, F10 or F12.

Method 8: End Nvidia Display Container Process

In some cases, the error might be shown because the Nvidia Display Container process has been glitched. Therefore, in this step, we will be ending the Nvidia Display Container process from the task manager. For that:

  1. Press “Ctrl” + “Alt” + “Del” to open the Task Manager.
    Opening Task Manager
  2. Click on the “Processes” tab above and scroll the list to find the “Nvidia Display Container” process.
  3. Click on the process once you find it and select the “End Task” button.
    End Task in Task Manager
  4. Now, try to open the control panel and check to see if the issue persists.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Fix: Nvidia Control Panel Won’t Open

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