Nvidia Control Panel is key in managing the properties of your graphics card and having it go missing can be cause for panic. However, it really shouldn’t be – as you’ll see, the fix is relatively easy.
You are likely used to right-clicking on your desktop and being able to access the Nvidia Control Panel from the drop-down menu, but at some point it might’ve gone missing. If you’re wondering how to bring it back, just keep reading. Before getting to some of the standard troubleshooting steps, let us explain the reason for this issue in the first place.
There are several reasons why your Nvidia Control Panel is nowhere to be found and the most frequent one is the graphics card driver getting an update. It’s possible that, upon the installation, something was moved, which caused the normal flow to be disrupted.
A registry subkey might’ve gone missing or a value was displaced, and then there’s also a bunch of random errors that can happen. Luckily, all of these issues can be fixed if you follow these instructions.
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Missing Nvidia Control Panel: Step-by-Step Fix
As mentioned earlier, there are several possible reasons as to why the Nvidia Control Panel is missing and we’ll go through some of the more common ones.
Restart Nvidia Services
If the Nvidia icon is also missing from the desktop tray, you might want to try this method.
- Press Windows key + R to open the ‘run’ window and then type in services.msc and press Enter.
- Once the services window opens, look for the items that have the ‘Nvidia’ name before it. Right-click each of the items and then select Restart.
If the services are not running, make sure you select it and click ‘Start‘.
If you happen to get the Error 14109 message, right-click the ‘Start’ button and then select ‘Device Manager’. From there, find your graphics card’s name (in the ‘Display adapters’ section) and right-click it. Then choose ‘Uninstall Device’. Don’t worry, this won’t remove your GPU, but will remove all the faulty drivers. Restart your PC and re-install the drivers.
Manually Launch The Nvidia Control Panel
Just to preface this part – this is not a permanent solution. It will work in the short term, but it’s likely that there’s a bigger problem underneath that needs to be fixed and sometimes having access to the Control Panel will help you figure it out quicker.
- Navigate to the C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\Control Panel Client location on your PC. The Nvidia Corporation folder might also be in the Program Files (x86) folder.
- Right-click the nvcplui file and choose the ‘Run as administrator’ option.
Unhide NVIDIA Control Panel
This is probably the best and the silliest outcome as it is quite possible that the Control Panel was simply hidden. To get this fixed, do the following:
- Access your computer’s Control Panel by pressing Windows key + R and typing in ‘control‘.
- Once the Control Panel opens, look at the upper-right corner and change ‘View by’ to ‘Large icons’. You can also choose ‘Small icons’, but that’s neither here nor there.
- Double-click the Nvidia Control Panel.
- Select the ‘Desktop’ option from the top menu and then check both the ‘Add Desktop Context Menu’ and ‘Show Notification Tray Icon’.
After doing this, make sure to check if that was the issue by either right-clicking your desktop or checking the tray.
Use Nvidia’s Official Solution
Apparently, this issue has grown large enough for it to require the attention of Nvidia. It’s official solution goes like this:
- Navigate to C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\NvContainer and copy the nvcontainer file.
- Go to C:\Users\(Your Username)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup and paste it.
- Afterwards, right-click the nvcontainer file and select ‘Properties’.
- Navigate to the ‘Compatibility’ tab and check the ‘Run this program as administrator’ option.
- Apply the settings and restart your PC.
This method will ensure that the app is run on Windows startup.
Reinstall The Drivers
If the issue in question is indeed a driver issue, then a fresh install should probably do the trick. The best way to do this is by using the GeForce Experience. It’s usually located in the system tray and can be accessed with a double-click. After its window shows up, you should do the following:
- Click on the Drivers tab.
- On the right-hand side, you’ll notice three dots letting you know that there are additional options. Click it and choose ‘Reinstall drivers‘.
A different method would be to use Windows Device Manager and uninstall the drivers from there.
- In the ‘Display Adapters‘ menu, right-click your GPU and select ‘Uninstall the device‘.
- Restart your PC.
- Navigate to Nvidia’s website in your browser.
- Select your graphics card and operating system and download the driver.
- Run the setup wizard and follow the instructions.
Even the manual reinstallation of the drivers is straight forward, which probably makes this solution the easiest one and the one that will most likely get you the best result.