NVIDIA Control Panel is a key component in managing the properties of your graphics card and it can be worrying when the application goes missing. However, you shouldn’t worry as the fix is quite easy, which you will see in this article.
In most cases, you have probably been able to right-click on your desktop and access the NVIDIA Control Panel from the drop-down menu. At some point, it might have gone missing.
If you’re wondering how to bring it back, keep reading. Before looking at some of the standard troubleshooting options, we’ll explain the reason that this issue occurs in the first place.
There are several reasons why you might be unable to find your NVIDIA Control Panel and the most common one is your graphics card driver receiving an update. During the installation, something might have been moved, which then causes the normal flow to be disrupted.
A registry subkey might have gone missing or a value was displaced, and there are also numerous random errors that could occur. 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 why the NVIDIA Control Panel is missing. We’ll walk you 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, then type in services.msc and press Enter.
- Once the services window opens, look for the items that have the ‘NVIDIA’ name before them. Right-click each of the items and select Restart from the menu that appears.
If a service is not running, make sure you select it and click ‘Start‘.
If you receive the Error 14109 message, right-click the ‘Start’ button, then select ‘Device Manager’. From here, 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 it will remove all the faulty drivers. Restart your PC and re-install the drivers.
Manually Launch The NVIDIA Control Panel
Before proceeding, we should say that this is not a permanent solution. It will work in the short term but there is likely an underlying problem that needs to be fixed, and having access to the Control Panel can sometimes help you figure it out.
- 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 often the simplest and quickest outcome as it is entirely possible that the Control Panel was simply hidden. To fix this, do the following:
- Access your computer’s Control Panel by pressing Windows key + R and typing in ‘control‘.
- Once the Control Panel opens, go to the upper-right corner and change ‘View by’ to ‘Large icons’. Alternatively, you can choose ‘Small icons’, it’s entirely up to you.
- Double-click the NVIDIA Control Panel.
- Select the ‘Desktop’ option from the top menu and then tick both ‘Add Desktop Context Menu’ and ‘Show Notification Tray Icon’.
After doing this, check whether or not that was the issue by either right-clicking your desktop or checking your tray.
Use NVIDIA’s Official Solution
This issue has apparently become widespread enough to catch the attention of NVIDIA. The company’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 the file you copied.
- Afterwards, right-click the nvcontainer file and select ‘Properties’.
- Navigate to the ‘Compatibility’ tab and tick the ‘Run this program as administrator’ option.
- Apply the settings and restart your PC.
This method will ensure that the app runs on Windows startup.
Reinstall The Drivers
If the issue in question is indeed being caused by your drivers, a fresh install should usually do the trick. The best way to do this is by using GeForce Experience. This application is usually located in the system tray and can be accessed with a double-click. When its window appears, you should do the following:
- Click on the Drivers tab.
- On the right-hand side, you will see three dots showing that there are additional options. Click them and choose ‘Reinstall drivers‘.
Another method is 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.
Alternatively, you could try downloading NVIDIA Control Panel from the Microsoft Store.
Even the manual reinstallation of the drivers is straightforward, which usually makes this solution the easiest one and the likeliest to get you the best results.