How to Open Nvidia Control Panel

Manage display and gaming settings

This article provides instructions for how to open the Nvidia Control Panel.

How to Open Nvidia Control Panel

Nvidia's Control Panel is a utility found on nearly all desktops and lots of laptops with Nvidia graphics hardware installed. It can adjust resolution, refresh rate, color settings, and Nvidia-specific features like G-Sync.

The Nvidia Control Panel is readily accessible on most Windows PCs with Nvidia graphics hardware. Here's how to open it.

  1. Right-click on any free space on the Windows Desktop.

  2. Click NVIDIA Control Panel.

    Windows Desktop right-click menu open with NVIDIA Control Panel shown as an option.
  3. The Nvidia Control Panel will now open.

An Alternative Method for Opening the Nvidia Control Panel

Can't find the Nvidia Control Panel by right-clicking on your desktop? This slightly more complex alternative may help.

  1. Search for Control Panel in Windows Search. Click Control Panel in the search results. You can also search for Control Panel in Windows Settings.

  2. The Control Panel will open. Click Hardware and Sound.

  3. NVIDIA Control Panel should appear at the end of the listed options. Click it.

    Windows Control Panel with NVIDIA Control Panel highlighted

Why Can't I Open Nvidia Control Panel?

Problems with an Nvidia driver installation can cause the Nvidia Control Panel to disappear or refuse to open.

This issue is typically the result of a missing, incomplete, or improperly installed Nvidia driver. You can fix the problem by installing the latest Nvidia drivers. Read our guide to installing Nvidia's graphics drivers for more information and download locations.

Installing the latest Nvidia drivers works with most Windows PCs, but it may fail if your PC's manufacturer uses a proprietary version of Nvidia's drivers.

If this is true, the Nvidia driver installation will show an error message warning the driver download isn't compatible with your device. You'll need to download new drivers from your PC manufacturer's support website instead of from Nvidia.

What's the Difference Between Nvidia Control Panel and Nvidia GeForce Experience?

You can adjust most Nvidia video card settings through one of two apps: Nvidia Control Panel and Nvidia GeForce Experience. Both are installed alongside Nvidia's drivers. It can be confusing as it's not always clear when you should use each app.

Nvidia Control Panel is primarily used to control system-wide settings, including the following features:

  • Resolution
  • Brightness, contrast, gamma, and color
  • Display rotation
  • HDCP and digital audio
  • Nvidia G-Sync
  • Multiple displays
  • Global 3D quality settings

There's some overlap between the Nvidia Control Panel and Windows settings. You can use either to change resolution, brightness, display rotation and configure multiple displays.

Nvidia GeForce Experience is used for game-specific settings. It includes a library of games installed on your PC and a settings overlay you can summon at any time (even in-game) by pressing Alt+Z. Features found in Nvidia GeForce Experience include:

  • Game library with optimized settings
  • Driver update installation.
  • Multi-frame Sampled Anti-aliasing
  • Nvidia Ansel
  • Nvidia Gamestream
  • Nvidia Freestyle
  • Performance monitor

If your computer has Nvidia Control Panel but is missing Nvidia GeForce Experience, you can download GeForce Experience from Nvidia's website.

  • How do I open the Nvidia Control Panel if I'm running Windows 7?

    For Windows 7 PCs, you can also right-click on an open spot on the desktop, then select Nvidia Control Panel. Alternatively, navigate to the Control Panel, select Additional Options, then select Nvidia Control Panel.

  • How do I open the Nvidia Control Panel on a Mac?

    Power on your Mac, then select the Nvidia icon (looks like an eye) from the menu bar on the home screen. Select Nvidia Web Driver or Open Nvidia Driver Manager Preferences.

  • How do I limit FPS (frames per second) in the Nvidia Control Panel?

    After you right-click the Windows desktop and select Nvidia Control Panel, select Manage 3D Settings and select the Global Settings tab. Toggle on Maximum Frame Rate and then select your maximum frames per second.

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