What Is LabVIEW?

LabVIEW is a graphical programming platform that helps engineers scale from design to test and from small to large systems. It offers unprecedented integration with existing legacy software, IP, and hardware while capitalizing on the latest computing technologies. LabVIEW provides tools to solve today’s problems—and the capacity for future innovation—faster and more effectively. It is available in English, French, German, Korean, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese.

LabVIEW Availability

The University has a LabVIEW site license for faculty, students, and staff for research and teaching.  Students affiliated with a lab – either working under a faculty member, or employed by the lab as a research assistant, research associate, graduate research assistant, or staff – may use the software at the facilities or download a copy on their personal devices.

Students may now download LabView directly from

LabVIEW is available on the following platforms: Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. The Mac OS X version of LabVIEW has very limited functionality. It contains a subset of the analysis capabilities of the Windows version, with no device drivers for controlling instruments, receiving data from specialized interfaces, and other functionality found in the Windows version of LabVIEW. The Linux version is better as it includes device drivers and compatibility with several distributions, but it does not provide full compatibility across all components.

Note: If you are located outside the United States or a national of a country embargoed by the U.S. government (currently and subject to change, Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan, North Korea, or Syria), you may not use this software.”

LabVIEW for Students

  • The Student Install Option is basically a Serial Number that appears on the order; this means students can install LabVIEW Professional, and a large set of LabVIEW add-ons. The complete list of software included can be found here. Students can download the software  here.
  • Students can activate the software using the Student Install Serial Number and the NI Activation Wizard. The activation details can be found here.

LabVIEW Installation for Faculty/Staff Windows

  • Please download the program files directly from NI.Com. This will be the Base, Full, Professional Version.
  • After downloading the program files run the installer.  You may be prompted for permission to install Microsoft .NET if you don’t already have it. (.NET installation can take a while.)

When at the screen prompting you to enter serial numbers, leave all entries blank to install the software in evaluation mode.  Accept the license agreements, and click “Next” a few times until installation begins.  Depending on the products selected, installation can be lengthy and you may be prompted for additional disks.

  • After performing these steps you will have a fully functioning copy of LabVIEW.  The software will work for a period of SEVEN DAYS ONLY unless you register your copy as follows:

LabVIEW Windows Registration 

  • Click “Start”, “All Programs”, and the “National Instruments” folder. Run the NI License Manager.
  • Click “Display Computer Information” to see the Computer Name and Computer ID.
  • Select “Options” (top left of the window), then “Preferences”, then “Use Volume License Servers”. Enter “,” (without the quotes) and click “OK”.
  • Exit the License Manager.
  • Email with the following information:
    • Computer Name
    • Computer ID
    • Department
    • Your UVA computing ID (e.g., mst3k)

LabVIEW Help

National Instruments provides several methods for accessing help for the LabVIEW software. The main online Support portal for LabVIEW is here.  This page contains links to the latest manuals, updates, and other support resources for all of your NI software and hardware.  The Introduction to LabVIEW site includes the Technical Manual that introduces the concepts used in LabVIEW> Their Knowledge Base houses thousands of answers to frequently asked questions, troubleshooting tips for common errors and other support documentation written by NI applications engineers.  The NI Community Forums are another source of help for both beginners and advanced LabVIEW users.  Search the forums for similar questions or post one of your own and learn from the collective wisdom of LabVIEW users worldwide. NI applications engineers also monitor the forums to ensure that all questions are answered.

To post to the forums and access licensed content and services, you’ll need an NI account. MyNI is the account name and it helps you to manage your NI content.  To create an account, go here.  After the account is created, you’ll see your dashboard. From there you can access the NI Community forums, support requests and available content.  Support requests are the preferred way to talk to an NI LabVIEW engineer about a problem.  You are provided with a request code that will expedite your request for assistance when you call their service number.

Be sure to register LabVIEW by adding it to your My Profile page under My Products.  If you are asked for the serial number contact res-consult

Our site license includes free training for LabVIEW.  After you have registered your products in MyNI (they may take up to 72 hours to activate) you’ll see a dropdown menu called Product Actions on your My Products page. Select Access Online Training, which will take you to the NI Online Training portal.  If you have purchased additional training for components not covered by the UVa site license you will enter them on this page.  Click on the Access Training button to see the list of training content available to you.

LabVIEW Updates

After you have installed LabVIEW, you will want to check for updates.  We have enabled the licensing server to allow for the downloading of critical updates and patches.  Launch LabVIEW, click on “Help”, click on “Check for Updates”.  You will see a warning informing you that we have partially disabled the NI Update Service.  You cannot download or install upgrades and service packs, but you can download and install Critical Updates and patches.  Click OK to launch the NI Update Service.  You can also see the recent Available Critical and Security Updates for NI Software by visiting their website.  You can find out additional information about them, and there will be a link to the update which you can download.

NI distributes security information through their Security-Announce mailing list. You can subscribe via their communications preferences page and opt out at any time. Download the program, accept the 2 license agreements, and it will auto-install.  A restart is required.

LabVIEW for Mac OS X

The Mac OS X version of LabVIEW does not have the full functionality of the Windows version. Please read the Install NI Academic Software for Mac OS X and Linux document for information about the Mac compatibility issues. It contains only a subset of the analysis capabilities of the Windows version, with no device drivers for controlling instruments, receiving data from specialized interfaces, and other Windows functionality. For these platforms, LabVIEW should not be downloaded from the vendor, because after a 30-day trial period, a purchase is required. The version distributed by Research Data Services has no built-in expiration, and can be used indefinitely. It is not necessary to configure a license manager or obtain an activation key.

LabVIEW for Linux

The Linux version of LabVIEW does not have the full functionality of the Windows version, but some components are fully functional. You will need to read the LabVIEW and Linux OS Compatibility document to determine if it will work for your distribution. Other useful documents include the LabVIEW 2020 Readme for GNU/Linux document, the How Do I Install LabVIEW on Linux? , and the NI Linux Device Drivers site.

LabVIEW Community version

The Community versions of LabVIEW are free for non-commercial use.  Please read the LabVIEW Community Edition Usage Details to determine if you should use this edition. It is only available for Windows 32-bit. The LabVIEW Readme for Windows. You can download it directly from the NI website.  The LabVIEW NXG Community version is only available for Windows 64-bit. The LabVIEW NXG 5.0 Readme. You can download it directly from the NI website.

Questions? Email


Last updated: 10/26/21