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Graphics Compatibility - Common Problems and Solutions

FlexSim requires modern graphics support to run well. Most modern computers from the last few years have no problem running most FlexSim models, but sometimes there are graphics configuration issues that keep FlexSim from working properly.

Common symptoms

  • The model 3D view is black or blank. You should see the model view default to a 3D grid.
  • The 3D grid appears, but does not respond to user interaction. You should be able to click and drag the grid to pan (left-click-drag) and rotate (right-click-drag) the view. Click the grid to select it then scroll your mouse wheel - this should zoom the 3D view in and out.
  • Unable to drag an object onto the grid. You should be able to click and drag an object from the Library and drop it onto the 3D grid. It should appear at the location of your mouse.
  • Unable to interact with objects in the 3D view. You should be able to double-click an object to bring up its properties window, or single click to highlight, or click and drag to move it about the 3D grid.
  • Conveyors or other objects are not drawing to the view.
  • Unable to create connections between objects.
  • User interface elements and other GUIs are not displaying correctly.


If you are experiencing any of these issues, it is most likely a graphics compatibility issue. Here are common steps you can take to solve the problem:

  1. Open FlexSim's default workspace to reset any potentially corrupted view windows.

    To do so, from FlexSim's main menu, go to View > Open Default Workspace.

    Any open windows will be closed and the default 3D view and tool panels will be opened. This could clear up potential issues with 3D or Process Flow views, tools panels, or properties windows.

  2. Check that your computer meets FlexSim's minimum system requirements. Review FlexSim's minimum and recommended system requirements. Check this article for an in-depth explanation of hardware considerations.

  3. Update your graphics driver to the latest version. This almost always solves graphics issues and is the preferred solution whenever possible. It enables the maximum performance from your graphics hardware and eliminates bugs and glitches in previous drivers. Check out's article for a primer on updating graphics drivers.

    Always go directly to your graphics manufacturers website ( Intel, AMD, or Nvidia) to get the latest drivers for your graphics hardware. Do not trust that Windows Update always gives the latest graphics drivers - in fact it rarely does.

    Not every user has the proper administrator privileges on their computer necessary to update drivers, so you may need to contact someone in your IT department for help.

  4. Try a different graphics driver. If the graphics aren't working correctly and you downloaded the latest driver for your hardware directly from Intel, AMD, or Nvidia, try instead using the latest driver from the computer manufacturer such as HP/Dell/Lenovo/Asus/Acer, etc.

    If you are already using the latest driver from your computer manufacturer, try using the latest driver from the graphics card manufacturer: Intel, AMD, or Nvidia.

  5. Try starting FlexSim with higher permissions by right-clicking the program icon and choosing Run As Administrator. If you don't have admin rights, you will be prompted to enter credentials with admin rights. Enter the proper credentials and the software should start with elevated permissions. Does this solve the problem?

    Some users have reported certain linked libraries used by FlexSim are blocked by default, but can run properly when FlexSim is started with elevated privileges.

    If you find this is the case for you, work with your IT group to determine how to unblock the DLLs required by FlexSim.

  6. Try turning off Shadows by going to File > Global Preferences > Graphics tab, and uncheck the option Use Shadows. Click the Apply button, then close. Restart FlexSim to see how it responds with this changed setting.

  7. Try switching to a different OpenGL Context by going to File > Global Preferences > Graphics tab, and make a new selection for OpenGL Context. Hit Apply, then close. Restart FlexSim and see how it responds.

    Start with Recommended, then try Core Profile (3.3). If Core Profile (3.3) still doesn't work, try Generic.

    The Generic context is the last resort option, and is equivalent to the Compatibility mode option in versions of FlexSim previous to 2017. Compatibility mode/Generic Context is not intended for long term use. Revert to this mode only if you must use a computer that doesn't meet FlexSim's minimum system requirements.

  8. Test with other 3D applications. Your computer hardware or operating system may have an underlying problem that is causing your graphics issue. You may be able to test this by starting different 3D-accelerated applications or games on your computer. Do other applications besides FlexSim have graphics issues? If so, and you have already tried upgrading your graphics drivers as described above, you may need to contact your IT department or your computer's manufacturer for support. You may have hardware or other issues that prevent your 3D graphics from working properly.

  9. Contact FlexSim to let us know that
    1. your computer meets FlexSim's minimum system requirements
    2. you have installed the latest drivers for your graphics card
    3. other 3D-accelerated applications on your computer work just fine
    4. but your FlexSim installation still has graphics issues.

  10. If this is the case, there may be a software problem in FlexSim that should be addressed.

    When contacting us about your graphics problem, please include the following:

    • Describe your symptoms in detail. Screenshots are very helpful.
    • For each of the troubleshooting suggestions above, what did you try? What was the result?
    • Please include a screenshot of your FlexSim installation's About FlexSim popup (from FlexSim's main menu > Help > About FlexSim...). This gives us info about your FlexSim version, your graphics hardware, and your graphics driver:

    • A screenshot of your Windows Device Manager, with Display Adapters expanded, is also helpful for our troubleshooting. This gives us additional information about your graphics hardware:

Special Cases

  • Nvidia Quadro cards have many different driver versions. We have had good success using the ODE driver (‘Optimal Drivers for Enterprise’).

  • Another option that sometimes improves Quadro compatibility with FlexSim is to open your Nvidia Control Panel and change 3D settings to "3D App - Game Development":

  • Your laptop may have both Intel Integrated graphics and Nvidia/AMD accelerated graphics, and the ability to automatically switch between them depending on the application's 3D requirements. This is a great feature and helps to maximize your battery life. FlexSim should be automatically recognized as a program that should use discrete graphics acceleration, but in case it is not, you may need to set it manually within the Nvidia or AMD Control Panel.

    Here is the Nvidia Control panel. You can specify an acceleration profile for FlexSim under 3D Settings, Manage 3D settings, Program Settings tab:

    Click 'Add' and browse to the flexsim.exe executable (default install path is C:\Program Files\FlexSim <version>\program\flexsim.exe). You then have the ability to tweak any and all settings for your FlexSim graphics. The defaults are usually fine, but feel free to play around to tweak things to your liking.
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Majedah A avatar image Majedah A commented ·

Thank you Thank you Thank you ................................................................................

Could not select the objects or access their properties until I did the following step:

* Switching to a different OpenGL Context: The Generic context

I have been searching and trying to reinstall different Windows OS (Using Parallel for Virtual Machine) and reinstall Flexsim and trying older versions and trying to solve the problem of not allowing older versions

And it turned out only a matter of changing the sittings !!!!

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Ben Wilson avatar image Ben Wilson ♦♦ Majedah A commented ·

Hi @Majedah A, thanks for sharing your experience.

You can get more background in running FlexSim on virtual machines here:

If you're not already, please consider upgrading to the latest version of Parallels. It supports a higher version of OpenGL that should allow you to turn on hardware graphics acceleration in FlexSim. @Jon Abbott may be able to share some tips for using FlexSim in Parallels.

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phil.bobo contributed to this article ben.wilson contributed to this article paul.t contributed to this article