Connecting to your Camera

ControlMyNikon connects to Nikon DLSR”s via a USB cable.

Check out this tutorial about connecting.


ControlMyNikon doesn’t require any custom drivers supplied by Nikon or ControlMyNikon.  Just plug in your camera via USB to your Windows PC and it works.  It has been this way since Windows XP.   Some other camera control apps require third-party USB drivers like WinUSB via the Zadig utility.  These drivers can cause connection attempts with ControlMyNikon or any other app that uses the offical Nikon SDK to fail.


  • Nikon cameras can be very picky about the cables used. Be sure to use the cable that came with the camera.
  • You can try to use non-Nikon cables, such as long active USB cables for remote tethered shooting, but this may not be recommended by Nikon or may affect your Nikon warranty. Consult your Nikon documentation for more information. – Tetherscript cannot be held responsible for any connection issues or damage caused by incorrect cabling.
  • Ensure that the camera-side connector is seated properly in the port. It is a small connector and can become loose.
  • Try not to run cables through USB hubs as they may not provide enough power to the camera and cable.
  • USB cables must not be longer than 14 feet or else signal degradation will occur. For cable runs longer than that, an ‘active’ USB cable is required.

Can Windows see your Camera?

  • With the camera powered on and connected to the computer, find the camera in Windows Device Manager. If is not listed (usually under Portable Devices), then Windows can’t see the camera. Try a different USB port, and if that doesn’t work, try a different USB cable. Try rebooting the computer, and make sure that the WIA (Windows Imaging Acquisition) service is running on your computer.
  • If it is listed in the Device Manager, right-click on the camera and uninstall it. Then try a different USB port, then power up the camera. It should be detected and installed so it is visible in the Device Manager.
  • It can take up to five! minutes for Windows to install the drivers, so give it time.
  • The camera usually has a green LED that should flicker a bit when you power it on while connected to the PC. The flickering is caused by Windows communicating with the camera.
  • Once Windows can see the camera, you can try connecting to it in ControlMyNikon.

Connecting and Disconnecting

  • Start ControlMyNikon, select the camera from the list, and click on the ‘Connect’ button.
  • If it connects successfully, you will see the battery indicator in the lower-left corner of the screen.
  • To disconnect, click on the ‘Disconnect’ button. The battery indicator will no longer be visible.
  • In the Preference screen, Misc tab, you can set ControlMyNikon to automatically connect to your camera on startup, specify a connection attempt timeout, and set whether live view should be auto-launched after connecting.

Windows 10

If you have done the auto-upgrade to Windows 10, the camera may be listed in the device manager twice. Uninstall both in the device manager, then try to get Windows to detect the camera again. Trying a different USB port often helps.

Windows 10/8/8.1

Versions of Windows newer than version 7 can have problems with some older Nikon bodies. Try setting ControlMyNikon to run in Windows 7 compatibility mode by right-clicking on the ControlMyNikon shortcut, selecting properties from the menu and then go to the compatibility tab.

Taking forever to connect?

For reasons unknown, having a large amount of images on the memory card can cause the connection to take up to several minutes, making it look like the program has locked up. Try removing the images from the card, and try again. It should be faster.

Try a Camera Factory Reset

As a last resort, you can try resetting the camera to it’s factory settings (the camera manual has instructions on how to do this). We have seen this fix some connection problems, but we don’t know exactly which setting on the camera being reset is fixing the problem. It could be a hidden setting. We’re not sure.

Other Ideas

  • If you have installed the third-party USB driver WinUSB (via Zadig utility), this causes a problem with Nikon SDK camera communication as this is a bit of a USB driver hack.  You will need to unistall this third-party USB driver before you can use ControlMyNikon.
  • Try a different USB port on your PC.  Some ports have less power(current) available than others.
  • Make sure you have selected the correct camera model from the drop down list.
  • Ensure that the cable is firmly connected to the camera and computer. If you see the green LED on the camera flicker during the connection attempt, then you have a good connection. If it flickers for a long time (more than 5 seconds), you may have too many images on the memory card. Remove these images for a faster connection.
  • Make sure the camera battery is sufficiently charged or connected to AC power. If the battery level indicator is low and flashing on the camera lcd display it does not have enough power to connect.
  • ControlMyNikon requires that cameras be in the PTP USB mode. Newer cameras are always in this mode and do not need to be set and the setting is not visible in the LCD menu, however older cameras have two modes: PTP and Mass Storage. You need to set it to PTP.
  • If you are using a D40, D40X, D80 or D200 on Windows 7, set the program compatibility mode to Vista SP2.
  • Try powering off the camera, then powering it on. A windows application should detect the camera and launch a camera viewer applet. If this does not appear, then the ‘Digital Still Camera’ drivers have not been installed on your computer. Normally these install automatically when you plug in your camera to your PC, however the installation of drivers may have failed. Try installing these drivers again. These drivers are provided by Microsoft.
  • Your computer’s ‘Windows Image Aquisition’ service may not be running or has crashed. Nikon drivers require this to be running. You can restart the service by clicking on the ‘Restart WIA’ menu item in the File menu. A reboot of the computer does the same thing, but just restarting the service is enough.
  • If all else fails, power off your camera and reboot your computer and try again. Sometimes many rapid or failed connection attempts can confuse the USB driver for the camera and a reboot is necessary.
  • Go to the Windows Device Manager (in the control panel) and uninstall the body (it’s under Portable Devices’). Wait 10 seconds, then turn on your camera and it should detect the camera and install the drivers that come with Windows (no Nikon driver download needed). Then try connecting to it in ControlMyNikon and it should connect just fine. Note: DO NOT press the ‘Scan for hardware changes’ button as this will often fail to install the driver correctly.
  • And if rebooting fails, try reinstalling ControlMyNikon, this time as administrator. The installer includes Microsoft Visual Studio libraries which may not be installed if your user account has been locked down tightly by your administrator.
  • If you are unable to connect to your body with USB 3.0 (on USB 3.0 supported bodies, such as he D800), do #10 above, and be sure to plug it in on the USB 3.0 port. If you go back to using USB 2.0, you may need to do this again.
  • Some laptops provide insufficient power on their USB ports when not on AC power. This can cause connection problems. Try plugging in the laptop and see if it helps.
  • Sometimes, Windows power saving settings can try to power down a USB port that it deems to be inactive. Turn this feature off in Windows control panel, power saving settings.
  • With the camera powered on and connected to the computer, find the camera in Windows Device Manager. Right-click and open up the Properties/Power Management screen. Make sure to disable the ‘Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power’ option.