In our experience, the NVIDIA control panel missing issue is common among Windows 10 users. While it’s annoying, it’s nothing that will break your computer or cause significant problems. There are several different ways to fix the issue, or if you’re feeling lazy, there are easy ways to work around it. In the guide below, we’ll go over a few of these workarounds and solutions.
For most users, it seems like the cause of the control panel failing to start is Windows Update (of course), but since we can never know for sure, a bit of trial-and-error is required to find the proper fix. If one of the below methods doesn’t work for you, don’t quit just yet – just move on to the next one!
Evidently, something that Windows Update has done causes the system to hide the NVIDIA control panel. To get it back, all you need to do is unhide it, and everything should be back to normal. Begin this fix by navigating to the control panel in your computer. You can do this by typing “control panel” while the Start Menu is open.
Next, click the drop-down menu next to View by: and chose Large icons. From here, choose NVIDIA Control Panel.
When you have the NVIDIA Control Panel open, click on the Desktop tab, then select Add Desktop Context Menu. Make sure Show Notification Tray Icon is checked while you’re there, too.
This should make it so that your NVIDIA Control Panel is accessible by right-clicking on your desktop. It should also show up in your system tray if it’s running.
Sometimes, outdated drivers can cause the NVIDIA control panel to function abnormally. While this is a pain – and, let’s face it, it happens all too often – it’s an easy problem to fix. To begin updating your drivers, pull up the Device Manager. To pull up the Device Manager, type “device manager” while Start is open, just like we did with the Control Panel.
Under the Device Manager, open the Display Adapters tab. Then, right-click on your graphics card and choose Update Driver.
Afterward, choose Search automatically for updated driver software. Windows should search for and download any necessary software and install it for you. Alternatively, you can download the drivers you need from NVIDIA and select Browse my computer for driver software instead.
Fresh Driver Install
If all else fails, doing a full reinstall of your NVIDIA drivers should solve your control panel issue. However, do note that this method is a bit complicated, so it’s best to attempt it if you’re an experienced user only.
To begin, you will need to boot your computer in safe mode. Navigate to your Windows Settings by searching for Settings under the start menu. From there, choose Update & Security, then Advanced Startup under the Recovery tab. Click on Restart now and boot your computer in safe mode.
After you’ve rebooted your computer, find your NVIDIA folders on it and delete them. These should be in the C: drive by default. Next, pull up the Device Manager again. Under Display Adapters, choose Uninstall device for your NVIDIA graphics card.
When this is done, restart your PC in normal mode. Then, download the drivers for your graphics card from NVIDIA. Make sure to choose the Custom installation option and perform a clean install when installing the new drivers. Restart your PC again to see if this fix has solved your issue.
Missing Control Panel Workaround
If your NVIDIA control panel is missing and you’re just looking for a quick fix, manually opening the program should fix the issue until your computer is restarted again. To do this, navigate to your NVIDIA folder wherever it’s installed (by default, this is installed in the C: drive under Program Files).
Open the Control Panel Client folder, then run nvcplui.exe as administrator. This should open your NVIDIA control panel.
There are many different fixes for the NVIDIA control panel issue out there, so if none of these fixes worked for you, don’t give up hope! Sometimes, strange programs or corrupted files can be the culprit for malfunctioning software, so it just takes a bit of luck and persistence to find the right fix. We wish you the best of luck in fixing your issues, and be sure to leave a comment below if you found a different solution that worked for you.
Rose has been combining her love for gaming with her passion for writing for years. She enjoys tinkering with PCs, scoping out the latest games, and whiling away the hours at her computer – usually by writing about her findings.