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How-to: Successfully Install Kinect on Windows (OpenNI and NITE)

, 3 Dec 2013 CPOL
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How-to: Successfully install Kinect on Windows (OpenNI and NITE).

UPDATE: For more Kinect blog posts, consider visiting my new website The website will always be up-to-date with the latest SDKs and sensors.


Playing Kinect games is a really great experience. Programming for Kinect is even greater! Browsing the web, you can find many cool "hacks" (CLNUI, OpenKinect) which allow Kinect be used by a PC rather than an XBOX. Via these hacks, we gain access to Kinect's cameras (color and depth), LED, accelerometer and motor. Obtaining both the raw and the depth image, it is easier to build Machine Vision applications. But the main problem remains: Kinect magic is its software and the device simply cannot give us all those body-tracking algorithms by itself.

Fortunately, PrimeSense, the company behind Kinect, released OpenNI framework and NITE middleware. This means that we can now have access to features such as real-time skeleton tracking, gesture recognition, wave detection and much more!


OpenNI and NITE installation can be painful if not done properly. Let's do it step by step:

Step 0

Uninstall any previews drivers, such as CLNUI. Look at the end of this post if you want to see how you can have multiple drivers installed.

Step 1

  • Download Kinect Drivers and unzip. 
  • Open the unzipped folder and navigate to Bin folder. 
  • Run the msi Windows file.

Drivers are now installed in your PC.

Step 2

Download and install the latest stable or unstable OpenNI Binaries from OpenNI website.

Step 3

Download and install the latest stable or unstable OpenNI Compliant Middleware Binaries (NITE) from OpenNI website.

During installation, provide the following (free) PrimeSense key: 0KOIk2JeIBYClPWVnMoRKn5cdY4=

Step 4

Download and install the latest stable or unstable OpenNI Compliant Hardware Binaries from OpenNI website.

Both stable and unstable releases have worked for me. If you have trouble installing the unstable releases, just try the stable ones.

Step 5

  • Plug in your Kinect device and connect its USB port with your PC.
  • Wait until the driver software is found and applied.
  • Navigate to the Device Manager (Control Panel). You should see something like the following:

Kinect in the Device Manager window

Step 6 

Navigate to C:\Program Files\OpenNI\Samples\Bin\Release (or C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenNI\Samples\Bin\Release) and try out the existing demo applications. Try the demos found in C:\Program Files\Prime Sense\NITE\Samples\Bin\Release (or C:\Program Files (x86)\Prime Sense\NITE\Samples\Bin\Release), too. If they work properly, then you are done! Congratulations! 

Step 7 

You have successfully installed Kinect in your Windows PC! Read the documentation and familiarize yourself with the OpenNI and NITE API. You'll find the proper assemblies in:

  • C:\Program Files\OpenNI\Bin (or C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenNI\Bin) and
  • C:\Program Files\Prime Sense\NITE\Bin (or C:\Program Files (x86)\Prime Sense\NITE\Bin)

OpenNI is the primary assembly you'll need when developing Natural User Interfaces applications.

C# tutorials on using the managed libraries can be found in this blog, so stay tuned Wink | ;-) .

User tracker Kinect application

Update June 12, 2011: Troubleshooting

  • If you are running a version of OpenNI older than, then you need to replace the XML files found under Program Files\OpenNI\Data and Program Files\PrimeSense\NITE\Data with the corresponding ones found here.
  • If the demos do not run, then navigate to the Control Panel and open the Environment Variables panel. Under "System variables", find OPEN_NI_BIN variable and replace C:\Program Files\OpenNI\bin with C:\Program Files\OpenNI\Bin (uppercase "B"). 

Installing Multiple Drivers 

Thanks to my friend George Karakatsiotis (@erevodifwntas), you can now have various Kinect drivers installed concurrently. Here's how to achieve this: 

  • Open Device Manager 
  • Right click Kinect Camera under PrimeSensor.
  • Select "Update driver software"
  • Select "Browse my computer for driver software" and "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer".
  • Select the driver of your preference (e.g. CLNUI).
  • You are done!  


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Vangos Pterneas
Product Manager LightBuzz
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Vangos Pterneas is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional in the Kinect technology. He helps companies from all over the world grow their revenue by creating profitable software products. Vangos is the owner of LightBuzz Software agency and author of two technical books.
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Comments and Discussions

QuestionInstalling Kinect for PC on Windows 7 PinmemberMember 769045420-Feb-11 23:49 
AnswerRe: Installing Kinect for PC on Windows 7 PinmemberVangos Pterneas21-Feb-11 5:40 
GeneralRe: Installing Kinect for PC on Windows 7 PinmemberMember 769045421-Feb-11 19:23 
GeneralWin7 Installation - Unable to get samples working [modified] PinmemberdBoyceMan4-Feb-11 12:17 
GeneralRe: Win7 Installation - Unable to get samples working PinmemberVangos Pterneas4-Feb-11 19:41 
GeneralRe: Win7 Installation - Unable to get samples working [modified] Pinmemberakapk7-Feb-11 15:10 
GeneralRe: Win7 Installation - Unable to get samples working PinmemberdBoyceMan18-Feb-11 5:09 
GeneralRe: Win7 Installation - Unable to get samples working Pinmemberakapk18-Feb-11 5:15 
GeneralRe: Win7 Installation - Unable to get samples working Pinmemberjunkankur9-Mar-11 6:19 
I am having the same issue, getting the demos to start and getting a blank black screen while running the demo NiViewer or NiUserTracker. Also, on the console window when I run NiViewer.exe it gives me a message saying
"Error: A timeout has occurred while waiting for new data!"
and when I run NiUserTRacker I just get a blank console window and another openGL window that is blank. In both cases the IR camera on the Kinect turns on and off when I run and exit my program respectively.
I checked in the device manager as akapk had written to ensure that the drivers are Kinect motor and Kinect camera for the motor and camera respectively. I have tried this on a XP pro, Vista 32 Bit and Win 7 64 Bit computers. On all machines the stable build gives this problem and the unstable build gives the problems that have been listed by akapk in the previous long post.
"One or more of the following nodes could not be enumerated:
Device: PrimeSense/SensorV2/ The device is not connected."
I tried both methods listed here. Still no luck. Anything you can advice.
Thanks in advance
GeneralRe: Win7 Installation - Unable to get samples working PinmemberDanielWerthen9-Apr-11 7:21 
GeneralRe: Win7 Installation - Unable to get samples working Pinmembertwerdster24-Mar-11 14:05 
GeneralRe: Win7 Installation - Unable to get samples working PinmemberCastrec25-Mar-11 5:11 
GeneralRe: Win7 Installation - Unable to get samples working Pinmember_Stephane_25-Mar-11 6:37 
GeneralRe: Win7 Installation - Unable to get samples working Pinmembertwerdster17-Apr-11 2:13 
GeneralSample-StickFigure PinmemberDuleKrtola3-Feb-11 2:09 
GeneralRe: Sample-StickFigure PinmemberVangos Pterneas3-Feb-11 3:15 
GeneralRe: Sample-StickFigure PinmemberDuleKrtola7-Feb-11 1:48 
GeneralRe: Sample-StickFigure PinmemberVangos Pterneas7-Feb-11 4:53 
General"App immediately closes" fix PinmemberDuleKrtola3-Feb-11 0:06 
GeneralRe: "App immediately closes" fix PinmemberVangos Pterneas3-Feb-11 3:20 
GeneralRe: "App immediately closes" fix Pinmemberruwan7ace1-Apr-11 19:02 
QuestionOperatingsystem Problems Pinmemberescapete1-Feb-11 3:21 
AnswerRe: Operatingsystem Problems PinmemberVangos Pterneas2-Feb-11 3:59 
GeneralRe: Operatingsystem Problems Pinmemberescapete9-Feb-11 20:58 

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