What Causes the Failed to Probe OpenGL Error in Cura? (How to Fix?)

Even though they can be annoying at times and even cause us to lose our work, we are all accustomed to software errors as computer users since no software ever runs perfectly without any issues at all times.

While software errors aren’t too common in Cura, there is one particular one that many members in the community have trouble with at times, which is the Failed to Probe OpenGL error that pops up as soon as you launch Cura, entirely preventing Cura from starting.

So, what causes the Failed to Probe OpenGL error in Cura?

The Failed to Probe OpenGL error in Cura is a result of Cura not being able to access the OpenGL 3D graphics drivers that are necessary for it to run.

While the primary reason behind Cura not being able to access these drivers is the drivers not being installed at all, there are other, more uncommon reasons, such as the graphics card not supporting OpenGL, that can also be the culprit.

Moving on, we will look at all the potential causes for the Failed to Probe OpenGL error in greater detail and discuss the most optimal fix for the issue, depending on what is causing it.

What Causes the Failed to Probe OpenGL Error in Cura?

Even though the error message itself may not make a lot of sense if you have never heard of OpenGL before, this particular error actually has a straightforward explanation.

In a nutshell, the Failed to Probe OpenGL error message in Cura refers to the fact that Cura cannot access the OpenGL 3D graphics drivers that it requires to function, which prevents it from operating and forces it to shut down.

To make things more understandable for everyone, let’s start with a quick summary of what OpenGL is:

Without going into too much detail, we can describe OpenGL as a programming interface that allows the rendering of 2D and 3D graphics by interacting with the graphics card.

Since some software, such as Cura, use the OpenGL library to render the application, the OpenGL drivers are necessary for the code to run and successfully conduct the rendering process.

For the majority of the cases, Cura cannot access the OpenGL drivers because of the simple fact that the graphics card drivers don’t exist at all on the system, as all modern graphics cards and their drivers support OpenGL and include them in their drivers.

In more rare cases, the issue of Cura not being able to access the OpenGL drivers can also be due to the factors we have listed below:

  • The graphics card does not support OpenGL.
  • There are problems with privileges that deny Cura from accessing the OpenGL drivers.
  • The OpenGL drivers you have installed are outdated.
  • Cura is trying to use the wrong graphics processor that doesn’t have OpenGL support. (Common for laptops to have two graphics processors – where one is a dedicated graphics card and the other is an integrated graphics processor.)

While the factors above are not as common as the primary factor we have mentioned earlier – it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on them to ensure that you can locate the problem.

How to Fix the Failed to Probe OpenGL Error in Cura?

As what causes the error is pretty much set in stone, there aren’t more than a few possible solutions to solving it, making the process of fixing a rather effortless one in most scenarios.

The primary way to fix the Failed to Probe OpenGL error that stops Cura from launching is to do a clean reinstall of the graphics drivers and ensure that you’re installing the latest version.

While the OpenGL drivers are a part of the graphics drivers in almost all cases, ensuring that your operating system is up-to-date can also be helpful to ensure that everything is in order.

If updating the drivers did not resolve your issue, here are some other things you can try:

  • Log in as an administrator and run Cura with administrator privileges.
  • Run Cura on the dedicated graphics processor instead of the integrated one. (Especially pay attention to this if you’re using a laptop, as the operating system may be running applications on the integrated graphics processor by default)
  • Run Cura on a different operating system, such as Linux, if you’re on Windows, and vice versa, as the graphics card drivers can differ between separate operating systems.

If the graphics card you’re using is legacy, remember to confirm that it supports OpenGL before spending your time debugging an issue that is impossible to fix, as there is nothing to do if the card itself does not have OpenGL support.

OpenGL Issues with Running Cura on Windows Remote Desktop

Running Cura through Windows Remote Desktop is one of the particular situations that can cause the Failed to Probe OpenGL Error due to the relationship between OpenGL and the RDP software.

Up until Windows 10 (where it’s still inactive by default), the Windows Remote Desktop application did not support GPU rendering, essentially meaning that the OpenGL drivers cannot run on a Windows Remote Desktop instance.

Since Cura needs the OpenGL drivers to function for Windows to render it to the screen, it’s practically impossible to run Cura over older RDP versions.

Fortunately, on Windows 10 and further, it’s possible to enable GPU rendering on Windows RDP, allowing the OpenGL drivers to function as well.

To learn more about enabling GPU rendering on Windows 10, we recommend going to the Microsoft Forums.

Wrapping Up

While the Failed to Probe OpenGL error message isn’t the most descriptive piece of text if you aren’t too familiar with computers, it’s usually a result of a simple problem that shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to fix.

To quickly summarize, the Failed to Probe OpenGL error message in Cura tells us that the Cura software can’t access the OpenGL 3D graphics drivers that it requires to run.

The most common fix to this issue is to ensure that the OpenGL drivers are present in the system by making a fresh install of the newest graphics card drivers, which should be sufficient in most scenarios.

Happy printing!