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.

LabVIEW Availability

The University has a LabVIEW site license for faculty, staff, and students for research and teaching.  Students must be 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 – to obtain the software through the site license.

Students who do not meet this criteria may purchase either LabVIEW Student Edition 2018 (NI SE), or LabVIEW Student Edition Software Suite 2018 (NI SESS), through Kivuto. Student Editions are not as full-featured as those available to faculty, staff and affiliated graduate students.   To install and activate the Student Editions, follow these instructions from NI.

LabVIEW is available on the following platforms: Windows (Windows 7, Windows 10), Linux, and Mac OS X. The Mac OS X and Linux versions of LabVIEW are very limited in their functionality. They contain 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.

Thinking of updating your Windows OS to Windows 10?  NI has published a white paper identifying potential problems and concerns.

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 Installation for Windows

  • Please download the program files directly from NI.Com. This will be the 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 

  1. Click “Start”, “All Programs”, and the “National Instruments” folder. Run the NI License Manager.
  2. Click “Display Computer Information” to see the Computer Name and Computer ID. Write these down or take a screen-shot.
  3. Select “Network Licenses” (top left of the window), then “Manage Volume License Servers”. Enter: “,” (without the quotes) and click “OK”.
  4. Exit the License Manager.
  5. Email with the following information:
    • Computer Name
    • Computer ID
    • Department
    • Your UVA computing ID (e.g., mst3k)

Please note: If you fail to contact with this information, you will not be able to run LabVIEW after the seven day time period has expired.

We have a small number of licenses available for those rare instances where a computer is not on the Internet and thus cannot contact the License Manager.   These licenses need to be renewed annually. Contact for details.

We have a library of previous versions of LabVIEW available on request.  Installation disks are only available through the 2014 version.  Later versions must be downloaded from the NI website.

LabVIEW Help

National Instruments provides several methods for accessing help for the LabVIEW software. The main online support portal for LabVIEW is  This page contains links to the latest manuals, updates, and other support resources for all of your NI software and hardware.  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.  This whitepaper explains what MyNI is and how it helps you to manage your NI content.  To create an account, go to and enter MyNI in the search box.  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 what critical and security updates are available for all 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 has released a new version of their desktop update software in July, 2016: Update Service 16.0. You will be required to install it prior to checking for available updates.

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 Installation for Mac OS X and Linux

The Mac OS X and Linux versions of LabVIEW are very limited in their functionality. They contain 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.