While there has been talk of Microsoft doing away with the Control Panel, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Some important settings can only be found in the classic Control Panel on Windows 10 – they are not in the Settings app. Here are 13 ways you can open the Control Panel.
Search in the start menu
You can search any application on your PC using the Start menu search function, also known as Windows Search. Type ̵
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Pin it to the taskbar
Windows allows you to pin apps to the taskbar for quick access. You can start Control Panel using any of the methods in this article and then pin it to the taskbar.
To do this, launch the Control Panel, right-click on the icon in the taskbar, then select “Pin to Taskbar” to keep it there permanently. You can then drag and drop the shortcut icon to move it wherever you want on the taskbar.
Click on the Start menu
There are three ways you can open the Control Panel from the Start menu. The first is from the Apps list. Click the Start button (or press the Windows key), scroll down the list of apps, click “Windows System” to open the folder and click “Control Panel”.
You can also add a shortcut to the pinned tile area to the right of the Start menu. To do this, open the Start menu, type “Control Panel” in the search box (or search for it in the apps list), right-click the Control Panel shortcut in the search results, then click “Pin to Start”.
The Control Panel shortcut tile now appears in the pinned tile section of the Start menu. Click on it to open the Control Panel.
If your PC has a microphone, you can ask Cortana to open File Explorer. To do this, click on the Cortana icon (the circle) in the taskbar.
The voice command for Control Panel is a bit different. To open an app via Cortana, you normally say “Open.” [app name]. But if you say “Open Control Panel” you will get an error.
To launch Control Panel with Cortana, click the microphone icon and just say “Control Panel” – don’t say “Open” first. Cortana will launch the control panel.
If you don’t have a microphone, just type “Control Panel” in the Ask Cortana text box.
Use the search box for settings
You can find Control Panel with a search in the Start menu, but you can also search for it in the Settings window, if you happen to have the Settings window open.
In Settings (which you can also access by pressing Windows + i on the keyboard), click the search box at the top of the window, type “Control Panel” and click the search result “Control Panel”.
Make a shortcut on the desktop
For faster access to the control panel, you can create a shortcut on the desktop. To do this, click the Start button in the lower left corner of the screen.
Scroll down the list of apps and click on ‘Windows system’. In the submenu, click and drag “Control Panel” to the desktop. You can also drag and drop Control Panel from the pinned app tiles on the right.
Use the File Explorer address bar menu
You can also open the command prompt from the File Explorer address bar. First, open the Explorer. You can press Windows + E to quickly open it. Click the arrow to the left of “This PC” in the address bar at the top of the window and select “Control Panel” from the menu.
Add a toolbar to your taskbar
You can also add a desktop menu (“toolbar”) to your taskbar. To do this, right-click in an empty space on the taskbar, move your cursor over “Toolbars” and then click “Desktop” in the submenu.
The desktop toolbar now appears on the right side of the taskbar, to the left of the system tray icons. Click the icon with two right arrows, then click “Control Panel” in the menu to open Control Panel.
Run the exe file from the control panel
By default, Windows saves the Control Panel EXE file in C: Windows System32.
To find it, launch File Explorer and navigate to C: Windows System32. Find “control.exe” in the long list – you can click in the right pane and start typing its name to get to it. Double-click the shortcut to open the Control Panel.
Run it from Task Manager
Task Manager is not only for closing apps or monitoring processes and performance, it can also launch apps from it. To start the Control Panel in this way, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc or right-click on the taskbar and select “Task Manager” to open Task Manager. Click on ‘File’ and select ‘Run New Task’.
The Create New Task window is displayed. Type “Control Panel” in the Open box and click “OK” to open Control Panel.
Use the Run window
You can also start the Control Panel from the Run window. Press Windows + R to open the Run window. Type “Control Panel” in the Open box and click “OK” to open it.
Run a command in the command prompt
You can start almost any app on your PC, including the Control Panel, from the command prompt. To do this, type “cmd” in the Windows search box and then select “Command Prompt” from the search results to open it.
Type this command in the command prompt and press Enter:
The control panel will open.
Run a command in PowerShell
You can also start Control Panel from PowerShell. To do this, type “PowerShell” in the Windows search box and then select “Windows PowerShell” in the search results to open a PowerShell window. (You can also press Windows + X or right-click the Start button and select “Windows PowerShell” to open it.)
In PowerShell, type the following command and press Enter to open a Control Panel:
Windows 10 is packed with different ways to perform common tasks. For example, there are many different ways to start File Explorer, open a Command Prompt window, or lock your PC. Explore all the options to find the ones that best suit you and your workflow.