Knowledgebase: > ZBrush 4Rx
"Wintab service not available"
Posted by Matthew Yetter, Last modified by Matthew Yetter on 27 March 2018 04:21 PM

The "Wintab service not available" error upon launching ZBrush is triggered by a two step process:


  1. When ZBrush launches it checks with Windows to see if a graphics tablet is connected to the computer.  If Windows tells it that one is, ZBrush then asks for the Win Tab service which gives ZBrush the ability to use the tablet's advanced functions such as pressure sensitivity.  This service is not part of Windows; it's installed by the drivers for your tablet.
  2. When ZBrush asks for the Win Tab service, if something prevents that from launching correctly Windows will then reply that the service is not available, giving you the error message.
In short, this is NOT a ZBrush error.  It is a Windows error.  It can be caused by the Win Tab service not even being on the computer (such as if you never installed the tablet's divers), but it can also be caused by Windows incorrectly telling ZBrush that there's a tablet.  This is an issue on Windows Vista and 7 that tablet manufacturers are aware of and attempting to work around.
Put another way, imagine the WinTab service as being a toolbox.  The toolbox is provided by your tablet manufacturer as part of the drivers.  ZBrush interacts with your tablet using the tools in the toolbox.  The problem that causes this error is that something has locked the toolbox so that ZBrush can't open it!


Here are ways that will usually resolve this error:


  • If you have a graphics tablet connected to your computer:  Simply go to the manufacturer's website for your particular tablet to download and install the most current drivers.  This will resolve the error, and allow you to use your tablet within ZBrush.
  • If you have previously had a graphics tablet connected to the computer but have unplugged it:  Make sure that you have the most current drivers for your tablet, then plug the tablet into the computer and launch ZBrush.  After ZBrush has fully launched, unplug the tablet and wait a minute before you do anything else.  Windows should then successfully identify that the tablet is no longer available and remove it from your hardware list.  Any time you unplug your tablet you will need to make it a point to wait a minute before doing anything so that Windows can update the hardware list correctly.
    • If the above does not work, you will need to manually remove the tablet.  Open your Start menu and right-click on Computer.  Choose Manage from the context menu.  In the Computer Management window that will open, choose Device Manager.  You will normally find the tablet listed under the "Mice and other pointing devices" category.  Right-click on it and choose to either Disable or Uninstall it.  You may also need to go to the Windows Control Panel > Remove Programs and uninstall anything that you see there having to do with a graphics tablet.  Some people have reported that this list shows multiple copies of their old tablet drivers installed.
  • If you have never had a graphics tablet connected to the computer:  This is the trickiest because Windows is seeing something that's connected to your computer as being a graphics tablet.  Unfortunately, there's no way other than guess work to figure out what it might be.  The best place to start is by checking the "Mice and other pointing devices" part of your Computer Management window as described above to see what is listed there other than your mouse.  Try disabling those items to see if that resolves the problem.  If the only thing listed is the mouse, check the mouse manufacturer's site to see if there are any drivers that should be installed for your model of mouse.  You may also need to do this with the "Human Interface Devices" section of the Device Manager.


Unfortunately, due to the fact that this is a Windows error and not a ZBrush error there is only so much that we can do to assist with this issue.  The advice above should resolve it for you, but if it does not then there is something truly unique about your installation of Windows and the devices connected to it.  That makes it impossible for us to help troubleshoot.  Knowing why this error occurs may help you find the problem, though, which is why we provided the detailed explanation at the start of this topic.

Comments (4)
27 March 2010 02:41 PM
This alone does not solve the problem. If you are on Windows 7, go to Control Panel, Programs, Activate or Deactivate Windows Resources. UNCHECK the Tablet PC Components. Restart the machine. Done!
James Gibson
07 May 2010 09:21 AM
All you have to do is unplug your graphics tablet. Kill zBrush manually using CTRL+ALT+DELETE control options. Wait a minute or so and then plug your tablet back in. Win7 will recognize the table being replugged and should pop a little panel in the lower right hand corner that says "Tablet Input Device USB detected...drivers installed" or something to that nature. Now restart zBrush. I think the problem is with Win7 not properly starting the correct set of drivers for the tablet. I actually had the most updated version of drivers for my Wacom Bamboo tablet just installed last week and the program and tablet were working fine. But all at once I started getting that WinTab message and zBrush wouldn't start. I also noticed multiple reboots wasn't fixing the problem, nor was reinstalling zBrush or the driver. Nothing worked till I unplugged the tablet and replugged and apparently that reset Win7's drivers for it I guess. Who's knows. Anyway, here's a simpler method to try and fix it. I think the buy is Win7 though or maybe the Wacom drivers. I don't think it's Z or the reloads and reboots would fix it...and it doesn't.
16 March 2011 05:00 PM
I just got this problem fixed and thought I would share an observation or two.
I had been using a cheaper brand of tablet when I got my Wacom, and didn't bother to uninstall the drivers for it before I installed the Wacom drivers. Zbrush had 'Use Tablet' activated (the button was orange) but it was greyed out and inaccessible. Also, I was getting the 'Wintab services not available' error. The older non-Wacom tablet still worked fine when I plugged it in and fired up ZBrush. So, I shut down ZBrush and went into Device Manager and uninstalled the driver for the old tablet, while the old tablet was plugged in and active. Then, I manually stopped and then restarted the 'TabletServiceWacom' and 'WinTab Service' services, using the 'services.msc' utility. I restarted ZBrush and everything works fine. No error message, tablet options are not greyed out, and I have pressure sensitivity again.
The support article alludes to removing tablet drivers, but I first read it as meaning the Wacom drivers only. I think there was a conflict between the tablet drivers for the two brands of tablets that I had installed, so removing the unused driver fixed the problem for me.

Hope this helps someone else.
10 May 2011 12:27 PM
I fix it with removing default Microsoft Tablet driver from Windows/System 32/WinTab32.dll
If you have installed your original Wacom drivers - it works perfectly.
Just in case - remove it to some backUp folder.