How to Fix NVIDIA Control Panel Not Opening in Windows 11 PC

Are you currently dealing with the frustration of the NVIDIA Control Panel not opening on your Windows 11 PC? This common issue might be attributed to outdated drivers, Windows updates, or lingering processes. The NVIDIA Control Panel, a crucial tool for managing graphics card settings, becomes inaccessible, potentially impacting customization and performance optimization at a system level.

For users relying on NVIDIA-branded graphics cards, the Control Panel is indispensable. The inability to access it could mean missing out on optimization opportunities, customization features, and potential performance gains. This situation may also indicate underlying problems with NVIDIA installations or the system itself.

In this article, we’ll explore effective solutions to address the widespread problem of the NVIDIA Control Panel not opening on Windows 11. By implementing these fixes, you can ensure the seamless functioning of your graphics card and maintain an optimized system.

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How To Fix NVIDIA Control Panel Not Opening/Working?

If the NVIDIA Control Panel is not opening in Windows 11, don’t fret. Here’s how to get it working again.

Unhide the NVIDIA Control Panel

If you mistakenly hid the NVIDIA Control Panel, making it disappear from your system tray, or if a third-party application or Windows 11 itself hid the icon, you can easily unhide it:

  1. Go to the Windows 11 Control Panel.
    • Change the view mode to “Large icons.”
    • Click on “NVIDIA Control Panel” from the items.
  2. In the opened NVIDIA Control Panel, click on the Desktop menu at the top.
    • Ensure there’s a checkmark next to “Add Desktop Context Menu” and “Show Notification Tray Icon.” If not, click on them to add the checkmarks.
  3. Close the NVIDIA Control Panel.
  4. Try opening it again by right-clicking on your desktop or using the system tray.

Restart the NVIDIA Control Panel

If the NVIDIA Control Panel fails to open, try quitting the task and reopening the application.

  1. Right-click on a space in your taskbar and select “Task Manager.”
  2. In the Task Manager, find and select the “NVIDIA Control Panel.”
  3. Click the “End task” button in the bottom-right of the window.
  4. Wait for a few seconds, then attempt to open the NVIDIA Control Panel again.

Restart NVIDIA Display Container Service

When facing issues with the NVIDIA Control Panel not opening, it may be due to a disabled NVIDIA Display Container service. To resolve this, ensure that essential NVIDIA services are enabled and running by following these steps

  1. Open Windows 11’s file search utility.
  2. Type “Services” into the search box and launch the app.
  3. Locate and double-click “NVIDIA Display Container LS” in the Service window.
  4. In the Startup type menu, select “Automatic” if it’s set to a different option.
  5. Click “Start” in the properties window to initiate the service if it’s stopped.
  6. Apply the changes to save settings.
  7. Select “OK” to exit the NVIDIA Display Container LS Properties window.
  8. Repeat steps three to seven for the “NVIDIA LocalSystem” and “NetworkService Container” services.

Repeat the step above for the following services: NVIDIA LocalSystem Container, NVIDIA NetworkService Container, and NVIDIA Telemetry Container.

Repair the NVIDIA Control Panel App

To address the issue of the NVIDIA Control Panel not opening, you can utilize Windows 11’s standard Repair and Reset options for apps. Follow these steps to access these troubleshooting options in Windows 11:

  • Press Win + I to open the Settings app.
  • Navigate to Apps > Installed apps in the Settings menu.
  • Scroll through the list of apps and locate the NVIDIA Control Panel. Click on the three horizontal dots on the right and choose Advanced options from the menu.
  • In the Advanced options, scroll down to the Reset section. Alternatively, you can attempt to repair the Windows app without losing any data by following the steps outlined in the guide on repairing apps on Windows.
  • If repair doesn’t resolve the issue, click the Reset button.
  • Confirm the reset by clicking Reset again in the pop-up window.

Update your NVIDIA Graphics Drivers

If you’re encountering issues with the NVIDIA Control Panel, consider updating your PC’s NVIDIA graphics driver, as this action also updates the associated control panel app.

To try this potential solution, follow the steps outlined in our guide on updating NVIDIA GPUs. Keeping your graphics driver current may resolve problems caused by outdated versions.

Install Missing Visual C++ Redistribute Packages

If the NVIDIA Control Panel isn’t opening, a potential cause might be the absence of a required Visual C++ Redistributable package on your PC. You can address this issue by ensuring that the necessary Visual C++ packages are up-to-date.

Here’s how to install a missing Visual C++ Redistributable in Windows:

  1. Click here to open the Microsoft Visual C++ download page in your web browser.
  2. Click on the X64 link corresponding to the latest Visual Studio 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2022 packages.
  3. Once the download is complete, double-click the downloaded VC_redist.arm64.exe (Visual C++ installer) file.
  4. Follow the installation process prompted by the installer.

Edit Windows Registry

If the NVIDIA Control Panel isn’t opening, you can create a new context menu option using a Windows Registry tweak. Before proceeding, it’s crucial to back up the Windows Registry.

Follow these steps to apply the fix:

  1. Open Registry Editor by pressing Win + R, typing “regedit” in the Run dialog, and clicking OK.
  2. Input the following key location in the registry address bar and press Return: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Directory\background\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers
  3. Right-click the NvCplDesktopContext subkey and choose Delete. Confirm by selecting Yes to delete the NvCplDesktopContext key.
  4. Erase the current path in the registry bar, and input the new location: Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell
  5. Right-click “Shell” and select New. Click Key to add a subkey, naming it “Nvidia Control Panel.”
  6. Right-click the new subkey, select New and Key, and input “command” as the subkey’s title.
  7. Double-click the (Default) string in the command subkey, input the following path in the Value data box: C:\Windows\System32\nvcplui.exe Select OK to save the string value.
  8. Reboot your Windows 11/10 PC to apply the changes.

This Registry edit creates a new context menu option for opening the NVIDIA Control Panel, potentially resolving the issue. Always exercise caution when editing the Registry and ensure you have a backup before making changes.

Reinstall the NVIDIA Control Panel

If you’re still facing issues with the NVIDIA Control Panel, consider reinstalling it as the app may have corrupted or missing files. Follow these simplified steps:

  1. Uninstall the NVIDIA Control Panel:
    • Open Settings.
    • Go to “Apps” or “Apps & Features.”
    • Find the NVIDIA Control Panel and click “Uninstall.”
  2. Restart your PC after uninstallation.
  3. Go to the NVIDIA Control Panel Microsoft Store page.
    • Click on “Get” to open the Microsoft Store.
  4. Click “Get” again to reinstall the app.

Disable Fast Startup in Windows 10

Users on Reddit suggested that Fast Startup settings may cause the NVIDIA control panel not to open. Follow these steps to reload the necessary files and services to fix this issue.

  • Press the Windows + R keys then type in control and press Enter to open the Control Panel.
  • Click on the Hardware and Sound
  • Click on the Choose what the power buttons do link
  • Here click on Change settings that are currently unavailable.
  • Make sure that Turn on Fast Startup is unchecked, then click the Save Changes button.
  • Restart your device and see if the NVIDIA Control Panel not working issue is resolved.

Disable the Antivirus Temporarily

Most of the time NVIDIA control panel does not work issue arises if you have installed third-party antivirus software on your PC. You need to disable it from running in the background.

The Windows Defender can also be the culprit so you also need to disable it on your PC.

  • Click the Start button, type security, and click on Windows Security from the results.
  • Select Virus & Threat Protection.
  • Now, if you don’t have a third-party antivirus installed, you can deactivate the protection of Windows Defender. If you do, you can select Open app and disable your antivirus from its menu.