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8 Ways to Open Control Panel on Windows 10 & 11

While the Settings app is the mainstay on Windows 10 & 11, the Control Panel is still required to access some of the most useful and advanced options of Windows. Since it is such an essential application, learning how to open the Control Panel is an essential skill. In this article, we’ll show you eight ways to open Control Panel on Windows 10 & 11. Let’s get started.

Note: The below methods are tested to work on Windows 10 and 11.

How to Open the Control Panel

1. Open the Control Panel from the Start menu

While it’s not front and center, the Control Panel is still available via the Start menu.

  1. Open the Start menu by pressing the Windows key.
  2. Search for Control Panel.
  3. Click the top result to open the Control Panel. search for Control Panel in the start menu

As soon as you click on the result, the control panel tool will be opened instantly. If you are opening it frequently, you can pin it to the Start menu by right-clicking on the Control Panel result in the Start menu and selecting Pin to Start.

2. Use ‘Control Panel’ Run Command

As with most built-in applications, you can use a run command. Here’s how:

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open Run.
  2. Enter control panel in the Run window.
  3. Click OK or press the Enter key.
    use run command Control Panel

As soon as you click on the button, Windows instantly launches the Control Panel window.

3. Open Control Panel from File Explorer

Just like any other application, Control Panel too has an exe file. That means, double-clicking on it will launch the Control Panel window.

The location of the Control Panel’s exe file in the File Explorer is C:\Windows\System32.

These are the steps you should follow.

  1. Open File Explorer by pressing Windows Key + E.
  2. Navigate to the C:\Windows\System32 folder.
  3. Find the control.exe file and double-click on it.
    double-click on the control.exe file to open Control Panel

As soon as you double-click on the file, the Control Panel will be launched just like any other program.

4. Launch Control Panel using the Settings App

You can also open the Control Panel Windows directly from the Settings app. I know, it seems odd but it works.

  1. Open the Settings app by pressing Windows key + I.
  2. In the search bar, type Control Panel.
  3. From the list of results, click on the Control Panel option. search for Control Panel in the settings app's search bar

That is it. As soon as you select the option, the Settings app will launch the control panel on your behalf.

5. Add Control Panel Desktop Shortcut

For those who need quick and easy access, you can also create a desktop shortcut for Control Panel.

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Go to the Personalization > Themes page.
  3. Click on the Desktop icon settings option. click on desktop icons option
  4. Under the Desktop icons section, select the Control Panel checkbox.
  5. Click the OK button.
    select Control Panel checkbox to open Control Panel

That is it. The control panel shortcut will be added to the desktop. From now on, you can just double-click on the desktop shortcut to open Control Panel.

6. Pin Control Panel to Taskbar

Just like you can add a desktop shortcut to open the Control Panel tool, you can also pin the Control Panel to the taskbar. This makes it easy to open the Control Panel whenever you need it.

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Search for Control Panel and open it.
  3. Right-click on the Control Panel result.
  4. Select the Pin to Taskbar option.

That is it. As soon as you select the option, the Control Panel icon is pinned to the taskbar. clicking on it will launch the Control Panel.

7. Open Control Panel using Command Prompt or PowerShell

Like most things in Windows, you can use a simple command in the Command Prompt or PowerShell window to access the control panel.

  1. Right-click on the Windows logo on the taskbar.
  2. Select the Terminal or Windows PowerShell option.
  3. In the command-line window, type control panel, and press Enter.
    Control Panel command

As soon as you execute the command, the command line tool will launch the control panel.

If you want to open the control panel as an administrator then open the terminal or PowerShell window as admin and then execute the control panel command.

8. Launch Control Panel using Task Manager

  1. Right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager.
  2. Navigate to the Processes tab.
  3. Click on the Run new task option.
  4. Type Control Panel in the run task window.
  5. Click OK.

This action will instantly open the Control Panel with administrator rights.

And there you have it! Using any of the methods shown above, you can easily open the Control Panel tool whenever you need. If you like this article, check out the Run commands to open individual control panel applets or tools.

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