Fix NVIDIA Control Panel is not compatible with installed NVIDIA Driver In Windows 10

After installing the latest Nvidia graphics card driver updates for my Windows 10 laptop, suddenly the context menu option for NVIDIA control panel disappeared. I tried to find the control panel from the Start Menu but it gave me the following error:

Application is not compatible with installed NVIDIA Driver.

To open the compatible application, right click on desktop and select NVIDIA Control panel in the menu.

NVIDIA Control Panel error message
NVIDIA Control Panel error
NVIDIA Control Panel error

Finally, I have resolved the issue and documenting the solution here so that everyone else having the same issue can fix it themselves.

The short answer to the issue is to download the NVIDIA device driver from the official website, uninstall the already installed driver and install the newly downloaded one.

Let’s understand the whole process before coming to the solution.

Why and when does Nvidia Graphics Driver Not Compatible error occur?

From Windows 10 Version 1803 onwards, Microsoft has introduced a new universal Windows driver format, Microsoft DCH. DCH or Declarative Componentized Hardware can be distributed through Windows Update and directly from the Microsoft Store.

While more and more hardware manufacturers are using DCH for their latest device drivers, it comes with a disadvantage. Hardware manufacturers can’t bundle their own control panels with DCH drivers. Instead, the control panels need to be offered through Microsoft Store separately.

As a solution, NVIDIA silently installs its control panel from the Microsoft Store after installing or updating its device drivers. This results in NVIDIA control panel missing from the context menu. The control panel can only be accessed from the Start Menu. This is where the problem lies.

When you open NVIDIA control panel from the start menu, it will show the above mentioned incompatibility error.

How do I fix the error NVIDIA Control Panel Is Not Compatible With Installed NVIDIA Driver?

The solution to this problem is simpler than I expected. We will need to download and install the GeForce Game Ready driver instead of the standard DCH driver for Windows 10.

There are two ways to download the latest device driver for your system.

  1. Download it manually from NVIDIA drivers downloads. The disadvantage of this is that you will need to manually select the product before downloading the driver.
  2. Or you can download GeForce Experience app that will automatically detect, download and install the appropriate drivers for your system. The downside of this is that you will need to register an account with NVIDIA (which is free).

Both steps are covered in detail on our NVIDIA drivers download page.

As per standard recommended practice, always backup your device drivers before updating or reinstalling.

I will use the second method here as it is simpler and there is less chance of getting it wrong.

  1. Download and install GeForce Experience app.
    NVIDIA GeForce Experience app preparing to install
  2. Once installed, the app will automatically restart the system.
    NVIDIA GeForce Experience app restarting the system
  3. When you open GeForce Experience for the first time, it will ask you to login. You can login or create an account if you don’t have an account with NVIDIA. It is totally free.
    GeForce Experience
  4. Once you have logged in, go to the Drivers tab. This tab will show you if a new driver update is available. If an update is available, press the Download button to download and install the new update.
    Download the new GeForce driver
  5. If the update is not available, click on the three vertical dots beside the installed driver and select Reinstall.
    Reinstall driver
  6. After the installation is complete, the NVIDIA Control Panel option will start showing in the context menu again and the control panel will open without any issues.
    NVIDIA control panel context menu item

Hopefully, this will fix issues like NVIDIA control panel not opening or this application is not compatible with the installed operating system.

What is your experience with the latest NVIDIA driver update? Did you experience any issues? How did you fix the issues?

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