If you own an Nvidia graphics card, you must have its official Control Panel application installed on your computer. When it comes to display-related settings, you can use the inbuilt Windows settings for managing quite a number of things such as fonts, DPI, and screen resolution. Windows even gives you the option to manage the display-related settings for individual programs individually.
But if you want much more powerful and enhanced control over your computer’s GPU settings especially related to game settings and other 3D settings, then you definitely need the Nvidia Control Panel. You will also need it in case you use 3D vision or when you have an SLI GPU configuration on your computer.
However, many times due to misconfiguration or operating system update Nvidia control panel gets deleted or damaged, and because of that you can neither access nor fully harness the processing power of your video card.
Below I am listing out a few of the most common reasons behind the missing Nvidia control panel on your computer.
- It might happen if you have recently upgraded your Windows OS to the latest build.
- Many users have also complained that the panel goes missing when they wake up their computer from sleep mode.
- Many peoples have also complained that after manually updating the graphics driver, Nvidia’s panel is not visible in the Windows Control Panel even when it’s installed on the computer and its folder is visible inside the C:\Program Files directory.
There can be dozens of other reasons, and I know that all of them can be really frustrating, but the good news is that this issue can be fixed.
3 Ways To Fix Missing NVIDIA Control Panel Issue in Your Computer
The Control Panel menu option can be restored in quite a few ways. We will take a quick look at a few of them ranging from the most straightforward solution that might work for you to something that is more time-consuming.
1. Hidden Panel Restoration
The Windows OS sometimes hides the Nvidia Control Panel in case you upgrade Windows to a newer version or change the graphics settings. If that is the case, you can quickly restore it using the native Windows settings. Below I have listed out the steps you need to follow.
1. To open the Control Panel, you will need to press the Windows key and R simultaneously. If you do not have the Windows key on your keyboard, you need to search for the term “RUN” in the Windows search bar as shown in the image below.
2. A dialogue box with ‘Run’ at the top will appear.
3. Use the keyboard to type in ‘Control’ in this dialogue box and click the ok button.
4. This will bring up the Windows Control Panel.
5. Now click on the “Category” button and from the dropdown menu choose the “large icons” option. This option is available in the ‘View By’ drop-down list that should be in the top right corner. For reference, please check the image I have attached below.
6. A bunch of icons will appear, and you will need to choose the NVIDIA option, and if you can locate it, you can use the search bar available at the top of the screen.
7. Now your next step is to create a shortcut on your desktop for easy access.
8. Right-click on the icon and then choose the “Create Shortcut” option. You will get a warning with the message “can’t create shortcut here”. You need to choose the option “Yes”.
9. Minimise all windows and head back to the desktop and you will be able to see your Nvidia control panel shortcut.
2. Graphics Driver Updated Or Restored
There are times when the driver of your dedicated GPU gets into the problem when you install another software, update your operating system or when you perform a system restore. In such case, the only option you have is to update your video card’s driver manually, and to do that you will need to follow the steps, in sequence as listed below.
1. Open the Windows Control Panel using the steps provided in the 1st section.
2. Find and then click on the Hardware and Sound option.
3. In the next window, click and open your system’s Device Manager.
4. From the list of installed and recognized hardware, you need to click on the Display Adapter icon. The list will expand with more sub-sections detailing your GPU.
5. Now note down the name of your video card. The name usually starts with the term “NVIDIA GeForce” followed by some additional letters and numbers such as GTX 1060 6GB, GTX 980, etc.
Note: If the name of the graphics card installed on your computer starts with AMD or ATI, then, unfortunately, this guide is not meant for you.
6. Now there are two ways to update your driver. The first one is to do it automatically and the second one is to do it manually.
7. If you choose to go with the first method, then you need to right-click on your graphics card name and then select the “Update driver” option. You will get a new dialogue box, and you again need to choose the first option that says “Search automatically for updated driver software”.
8. If you choose the second option of a manual update, then you need to go to the official website and then have to search for your model. Actually, it’s quite simple but still, I have attached an image to help you correctly understand this step.
9. Once you are done selecting all your options, click on the “Search” button. Within 1-2 seconds you will get a list of all available official software downloads related to your GPU model. Click on the first link and wait for the download to start.
10. Once the software is downloaded, install it and then reboot your computer.
If everything goes on fine then after the system reboots you will be able to see your dedicated GPU’s control panel.
But, in case you aren’t able to install the newly downloaded driver software then you will need to follow four more steps.
- Install any uninstaller software like Revo or IObit.
- Open that uninstaller application and then uninstall the previously installed drivers of your GPU.
- You will get options to delete the registry entries, do it.
- Reboot your system and then follow the steps from 1 to 10 listed above.
Hopefully this time you will be able to install your downloaded driver, but in case you are still facing any problems, please share your question in the comment section and I will try to respond to you with a solution.
3. Using GeForce Experience
If you think that there is no problem with the graphics driver, but there is still a problem with the context menu on your desktop, you also have the option of accessing the NVIDIA Control Panel using the GE Force experience. You should be able to find its icon in the taskbar, if not, search for it and then right-click on the icon. From the list of options, click on the Control Panel option.
I have tried my level best to create all sorts of scenarios and provide you with a solution for each of them. But if any of the methods as mentioned earlier in this guide do not work for you, there is no need to lose hope as you still have the option of using third-party tools.
I will suggest you download DDU which is a short form of “Display Driver Uninstaller”. I personally use it and recommend using it. It’s a free application and the link which I have provided you is the link to the official website.
I use DDU as a last resort if all the steps I mentioned above don’t work for me. This application helps to find and then remove every file and registry related to any video card on your computer. Once your system is clean, you can retry installing your graphics driver, and hopefully this time it will work.
Written by Johnathan Abram