Most modern Windows computers have Synaptic drivers for the touchpad. However, when accessing mouse settings, users may encounter the “Control Panel Extension not compatible with driver version” error.
The “Control Panel Extension incompatible with driver version” error is neither new nor unusual for users. This error often occurs when a user tries to access mouse settings. In some cases, it also appears during system startup.
If you are also affected by this error, here are some troubleshooting tips to help you fix the “Control panel extension incompatible with driver version” error in Windows.
What is the cause of the “Control panel extension incompatible with driver version” error?
This problem is mainly caused by your old pointing device driver or an incompatible driver. If you have just updated your pointing driver, please restart your computer to see if the error goes away. If not, follow the instructions below to uninstall and reinstall the pointing driver.
Here are some other common causes of this error:
- Incorrect synaptic device driver.
- An old or incompatible pointing driver.
- Third-party interference.
How do I fix the “Control panel extension incompatible with driver version” error?
Updating your Synaptics driver via Device Manager
Since the main cause of the “Control Panel Extension incompatible with driver version” error is an incomplete Synaptics driver, the first thing to do if the problem occurs is to force a driver update via Device Manager.
Several affected users have confirmed that by following this procedure they were finally able to get rid of the error and change the mouse settings without any problems. Here’s how you should proceed:
- Press the Windows + R keys to open the “Run” dialog box. Then type “devmgmt.msc` and press the Enter key to open the Device Manager. When prompted for User Account Control (UAC), click “Yes” to grant administrator privileges.
- In Device Manager, scroll through the list of installed devices and expand the drop-down menu for mice and other pointing devices. In Device Manager, right-click on the Synaptics driver and choose Update Driver from the context menu that appears.
- Wait for the next menu to appear (this may take a few seconds). Once you see it, click Check for updated drivers automatically.
- When a new driver version is found, follow the instructions on the screen to install the new version, then restart your computer to make sure the problem is resolved the next time you start the system.
If you still see the “Control Panel Extension not compatible with driver version” error message when you try to open the mouse settings, go to the next method.
Installing the synaptic driver
As you can see from the error window header, this error is somehow related to the Synaptics driver. Most likely, the default driver for the touchpad currently in use is the Synaptics driver. According to affected users, the “Control Panel Extension not compatible with driver version” error occurs in most cases because Windows Update recently tried to load the Synaptics driver, but was only partially successful.
Many interested users who have had trouble solving this problem have reported that they were finally able to solve it by reinstalling the latest touchpad drivers on their computer using the Apps -> Features screen.
Here’s a quick guide on how to do it:
- First, you need to disable the wireless card. To do this, click on the wireless icon in the lower right corner of the screen, then click on the box associated with Wi-Fi to disable the wireless card.
- After successfully disabling the Wi-Fi card, press the Windows + R keys to open the “Launch” dialog box. Then type “appwiz.cpl” and press Enter to open the Programs and Features window.
- After successfully entering the Programs and Features window, scroll through the list of installed applications and look for the Synaptics driver. Once you see it, right-click on it and select Uninstall.
- Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the uninstallation. Once you have finished uninstalling the Synaptics driver, restart your computer.
- Once the following launch sequence is complete, go to this link (here) and download the latest version of the Synaptics driver. When the download is complete, double-click the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation of the latest Synaptics driver. Note: Once the installation is complete, restart your computer manually if your computer doesn’t restart automatically. You can also use the Device Manager to complete these steps.
- When this last boot sequence is complete, reactivate the wireless card (using the icon on the taskbar) and see if the problem is resolved.
If you still get the “Control Panel Extension not compatible with driver version” error message when you try to open the mouse settings, go to the following method.
Using system restore
If the first two methods didn’t work in your particular case, it’s very likely that a recent change you made to your computer affected your mouse drivers. If the “Control panel extension incompatible with driver version” error has recently appeared, you should be able to use system restore to undo the changes.
Since it is almost impossible to list all of the potential culprits for this problem, it is best to rely on system restore to resolve it.
In this case, you should use the system restore feature to resolve the problem. Note that all new versions of Windows are configured by default to regularly create new restore points. If you have not changed this behavior, you should find it closer to the date of the problem.
Here is a quick guide to using System Restore to fix the “Control panel extension incompatible with driver version” error:
- Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box. While in the Run window, type “rstrui” and press Enter to bring up the System Restore menu.
- While in the System Restore screen, click “Next” to move to the next menu.
- On the next screen, start the process by checking the “Show more restore points” box. Once you have completed this step, compare the dates of each system restore point and select the one that is dated before the problem occurred.
- After selecting the correct system, click Finish to complete the setup. A few seconds after this step, the computer will reboot and the previous state of the computer will be mounted.
- After the next boot sequence is complete, repeat the action that previously caused the “Control Panel Extension not compatible with driver version” error and make sure the problem is resolved.
Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog, techquack.com, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.