NVIDIA graphics cards are widely used all over the globe. They’re powerful, affordable and bring lots of customizable options for users. However, some NVIDIA users have reported that the control panel for their graphics card is missing on Windows 10.
Today, you can learn how to fix this issue in the most efficient way. It’s important that your NVIDIA Control Panel is always in working condition. It’s the only way to change the properties of your graphics card, improve performance or graphics. Without it, you might not get the best-looking output or experience lag due to bad optimization.
What causes this error?
At the moment, there is no direct cause of this error. However, there are multiple possible causes of the NVIDIA Control Panel missing on Windows 10. Here are the most common ones you might be facing:
- Graphics card driver issues: Something might be wrong with your graphics card driver. This can mean an out-of-date driver, corrupted driver files or compatibility issues. Something you can do is update your drivers. Continue reading our article to find out how!
- Windows update: Have you recently updated or upgraded to Windows 10? If yes, your graphics card driver might not be compatible with your system anymore.
- Missing or incorrect Registry entries: The registry is used for controlling many settings on your PC. If entries are missing or incorrect, it can cause the control panel to not appear on your computer. Fixing this requires you to use the Registry Editor.
- Corrupt NVIDIA Control Panel: It’s possible that the NVIDIA Control Panel itself is corrupt. One way this can be fixed is by reinstalling the control panel altogether.
- Other errors: Some general Windows 10 errors and bugs are capable of making the NVIDIA Control Panel missing.
Now that we’ve identified the possible causes, we can get into troubleshooting. Here are five methods to help you fix the NVIDIA Control Panel missing on Windows 10.
Note: For some of our solutions, you might be required to have a local account with administrator permissions. If you don’t know how to set up an admin account on Windows 10, we recommend watching this video by StormWind Studios.
How to Unhide the NVIDIA Control Panel
It’s a common mistake to hide the NVIDIA Control Panel, causing it to go missing from your system tray. It’s also possible that Windows or a third-party application automatically hid the control panel.
You can easily and quickly fix the issue by unhiding it. Follow these steps:
- Use the search function in your taskbar and look for Control Panel. Launch the application from the matching results.
- Change the view mode to Large icons.
- Scroll down and click on NVIDIA Control Panel.
- Once the NVIDIA Control Panel is open, click on the Desktop menu on the top. Make sure there’s a checkmark next to Add Desktop Context Menu and Show Notification Tray Icon. If there isn’t, simply click on them.
- Close the NVIDIA Control Panel and try opening it by right-clicking on your desktop or using the system tray.
Restart NVIDIA services
A huge number of services are constantly running on your computer to keep apps and features running. Sometimes, NVIDIA services might need to be restarted in order for the control panel to re-appear.
You can restart these services by following the steps below:
- Press and hold the Windows key on your keyboard, then press R. This will launch a utility called Run.
- Type in services.msc and hit enter or click on the OK button.
- Scroll down until you see the following NVIDIA services:
- NVIDIA Display Container LS
- NVIDIA LocalSystem Container
- NVIDIA NetworkService Container
- NVIDIA Telemetry Container
- Right-click on each of those four services and choose the Restart option.
- After you restarted all four of the NVIDIA services, check if you can see the control panel in your system tray or desktop context menu.
Open the NVIDIA Control Panel manually
You might be able to force the NVIDIA Control Panel to show up by opening it manually first. You can do this by following these steps:
- Open the Task Manager by right-clicking on your taskbar and selecting Task Manager. Alternatively, you can use the Control + Shift + Esc shortcut as well.
- You should be on the Processes tab by default. Scroll down until you see a process called NVIDIA Container. (There might be multiple ones, this is normal.)
- Right-click on one of the NVIDIA Container processes and choose Open file location from the context menu.
- Your File Explorer will open the following location: C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\Display.NvContainer.
- Click on NVIDIA Corporation to go back one folder.
- Double click on the Control Panel Client folder, then find nvcplui.exe.
- Right-click on nvcplui.exe and choose Run as administrator. If prompted, enter your account password.
- Check if the NVIDIA Control Panel shows up in your system tray or desktop context menu.
If none of the methods above worked, we have two more solutions that might just do the trick. These are more general troubleshooting tips, however, they often help the most.
Update your graphics card driver
It’s extremely important that your graphics card driver is always up-to-date. Especially after major Windows 10 updates, compatibility issues can appear and cause all sorts of errors.
Here are three ways to update your graphics card driver easily and quickly:
Download the driver manually
You can manually update your graphics card driver by downloading the latest updates from NVIDIA’s official website.
Tip: Never download drivers from a third party website - these files can be malicious and might harm your computer. Always ensure that the URL address of the website you’re downloading from matches the official website.
- Check the exact type of graphics card you’re using:
- Press down the Windows and R keys on your keyboard to launch the Run application.
- Type in dxdiag and press OK.
- Switch to the Display tab.
- Under Device, read the name of your card.
- Go to the NVIDIA manufacturer website and find your graphics card. Once found, download the latest drivers.
- Install the driver by double-clicking on the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions.
Make sure that you’re always downloading the correct driver that matches your graphics card. If you’re unsure, you can always search on Google or contact the NVIDIA customer support.
Update drivers automatically from Windows
In this method, we will be using the Device Manager to find a new, updated driver.
- Press and hold the Windows key, then press R. This will launch the Run application.
- Type in devmgmt.msc and hit OK to bring up the Device Manager.
- Expand the Display adaptors section by clicking on the arrow icon.
- Right-click on your graphics card driver and select Update Driver.
- Click on Search automatically for updated driver software.
- If Windows can find an updated driver, it will automatically download and install the update to your computer.
- Restart your PC and test if you can connect to the internet.
Update your drivers with a third-party app
You can also find and download third-party updater tools such as Driver Booster, DriverHub or DriverPack Solution. These three tools are all free and easy to use, but you can always look around the web for more advanced apps.
Note: Always make sure that the app you’re using is trustworthy. Many applications that promise to fix or update your drivers contain malware, adware or spyware. We recommend searching the name of the product and reading reviews made by real people.
Don't overclock your GPU
Overclocking your GPU can be very helpful if you’re looking for performance gain. However, it can also lead to many errors happening on your PC. There are numerous stories of entire computers breaking down due to overclocking - make sure you always stay within limits.
An overclocked GPU might be the reason why you experience the NVIDIA Control Panel missing. While the direct cause is unknown, many users have reported that disabling the overclock on their GPU made the NVIDIA Control Panel re-appear.
We hope this article was able to help you fix the NVIDIA Control Panel missing on Windows 10! Now you can customize, tweak and optimize your graphical settings quickly and easily.
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