It’s no secret that Microsoft is in the process of doing away with Control Panel altogether and migrating everything over to the Settings app. Personally, I dread the day when Control Panel is finally no more. The migration is proving to be a painfully slow process so, hopefully, that fateful day is still a long way off. While Microsoft does not provide an obvious method for quick and easy access to Control Panel, there are multiple ways to access it… here are four of the best.
Access Control Panel via Desktop Shortcut
Probably the most efficient method, in the long run, is to create a desktop shortcut:
- Right-click any blank space on the desktop and select Personalise
- Click on Themes in the left-hand panel and then click Desktop icon settings
- In the Desktop Icons Settings window, place a checkmark in the box next Control Panel, and any other items you want to create a desktop shortcut for. Then click OK:
Access Control Panel via Pin To Taskbar
Pinning a shortcut to the Taskbar is even more effective, providing one-click access. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is:
- Open/run Control Panel and right-click on the preview in the Taskbar
- From the menu that opens, click Pin to taskbar
These are the best two options for those who tend to access Control Panel fairly frequently. Here are two more options for more casual use:
Access Control Panel via Start Menu
This one is not all that well known:
- Open the Start Menu and scroll down the list of programs in alphabetical order until you reach the ”W” section
- Look for Windows System and expand that item
- Click Control Panel
Start Menu #2
- Open the Start menu and type control panel
- Click Control Panel in the results
- NOTE: If you right-click Control Panel in the results you will also get an option to Pin to taskbar.
There are other methods of course, including via PowerShell or Command Prompt, Run dialogue, Settings app, File Explorer, Task Manager, and you can even ask Cortana (if that’s your preference). However, the methods outlined in this article are what I believe to be the four easiest methods to access Control Panel.
In the next Windows 10 insider build, I believe Microsoft has done away with the System settings in Control Panel and migrated same over to the Settings app. While I can understand Microsoft wanting to have settings all in the one place, I do wish they would leave us with Control Panel which I find to be far more extensive and intuitive than the Settings app.
- Create Desktop Shortcuts In Windows 10
- Windows 10 Quick Tips – Control Panel
- Windows 10 Quick Tips – Hide Settings App