Everything You Need To know About Control Panel In Windows

Written by John Harris, Updated on October 11, 2023

The Control Panel is a core component of the Windows system. This graphical user interface allows Windows users to view, control, and configure the system settings.

Every component in the control panel is called the control panel applet. This applet lets users:

  • Troubleshoot issues
  • Manage User Accounts
  • Change Accessibility settings
  • Access Network Settings
  • Take Backups Using the Backup and Restore option
  • Modify User Settings
  • Set up Parental Control
  • Uninstall Applications
  • View Power Management settings
  • View System Information

Availability of Control Panel

Control Panel is available on all Versions of Windows OS. Including the latest Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows ME, Windows 2000, and all other older versions.

How To Access Control Panel?

Now, coming to the accessibility of the control panel, it depends on the operating system you are using.

Windows 11: Click or tap the Start button and type control panel in the search box. Then, click or tap on the Control Panel app.

Windows 10: Click the Start button, and type "control panel" in the search box. Select Control Panel from the list.

Windows 8.1 and 8: Move your mouse to the screen's bottom-left corner to open the Start menu. Right-click on the Start button and select Control Panel.

Windows 7: Click on the Start menu, and the Control Panel option will be displayed in the right options margin.

Windows XP: Click on the Start menu, and the Control Panel option will be displayed in the right options margin.

Windows Vista: Click on the Start menu, and the Control Panel option will be displayed in the right options margin.

List of Most Commonly Displayed Applets and Their Functions

Applets are the individual components of the Windows Control Panel. Each applet is a miniature program that can be used to configure settings for a specific area of Windows.

Here is a list of some of the most common Control Panel applets and their functions:

  • Action Center: View alerts and notifications from your computer.
  • Administrative Tools: Access a variety of advanced system administration tools and options.
  • Appearance and Personalization: Change Windows desktop background, themes, and fonts.
  • Clock and Region: Set the date, time, and time zone for your computer, and change how dates and numbers are displayed.
  • Devices and Printers: View and manage all devices connected to your computer, including printers, scanners, and other devices.
  • Ease of Access Center: Make changes to your computer's settings and features to make it easier for people with disabilities.
  • File Explorer Options: Change how files and folders are displayed in File Explorer.
  • Firewall and Network Protection: Manage your computer's firewall and other network security settings.
  • Internet Options:Manage your internet connection and browser settings.
  • Keyboard: Change your computer's keyboard settings, such as the keyboard layout and typing speed.
  • Mouse: Change your computer's mouse settings, such as the pointer speed and double-click speed.
  • Network and Sharing Center: View and manage your computer's network connections.
  • Power Options: Change your computer's power settings, such as when it goes to sleep and turns off.
  • Programs and Features: Add or remove programs, view installed Windows updates, and turn optional Windows features on or off.
  • Recovery: Create and restore system backups and create recovery drives.
  • Sound: Change your computer's sound settings, such as the volume and speaker configuration.
  • System and Security: View information about your computer's hardware and software and manage your computer's security settings.
  • Time and Language: Set the date, time, and time zone for your computer, and change how dates and numbers are displayed.
  • User Accounts: Create, manage, and delete user accounts on your computer.

Note: Settings done on the control panel will instantly come into effect; thus, if you are making any changes, then make sure you have the correct knowledge of it because any improper setting can cause a drastic loss of data on your computer.

Applets can also be accessed by using a command prompt. The commands used in the command prompt will vary for every applet and operating system being used. Some commonly accessed applets can be accessed using command prompts quickly and easily; thus, here are a few commands that can help you.

First, press the Windows button + R to run a command prompt and then press cmd or get into the command prompt, also available in the Start menu. (Below mentioned commands will only work in Windows 7 and 8).

  • control /name Microsoft.ActionCenter can be used to get Action Center, where you can set backup, change settings of Windows Update, and check resolution for unreported problems.
  • control /name Microsoft.AddHardware can be used to add hardware devices such as printers, cell phones, routers, etc.
  • control /name Microsoft.ColorManagement is used to get Color Management; here, you modify and perform settings of color according to your requirements.
  • control /name Microsoft.DeviceManager is used to call Device Manager, where you can do many things such as partitioning, deletion of partitions, etc.
  • control /name Microsoft.FolderOptions to get folder options.
  • control /name Microsoft.Fonts to obtain font options.
  • control /name Microsoft.GameControllers to obtain game controller settings.

However, while using the Device Manager option, be careful and ensure you have proper knowledge of using it. If not, a small mistake can lead to the deletion of your data or corruption of your partition, leading to the loss of huge amounts of data. In such cases, Remo File Recovery Software can easily recover data.

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