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8 Easy Ways to Open Windows 10 Control Panel (Verified)

Windows 10 gives you several different ways to open the Control Panel tool. Here are some most useful and easy to use methods.

Though Windows 10 does a good job of hiding the good old Control Panel in favor of the new Settings app, it is still one of the most valuable tools. Often, you can only access some Windows 10 settings using the control panel. Moreover, some settings require you to open the Control Panel even when using the new Settings app.

Since the Control Panel is not easily accessible, many Windows 10 users wonder where is the control panel? How do I get to the Windows control panel? What are the ways to open the Windows 10 control panel?

This post I will answer all those questions and show you several different ways you can open the Control Panel in Windows 10.

1. Open Control Panel from Start menu

The Control Panel is still available via the Start menu. This is how you can open the Control Panel from the Start menu.

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Search for “Control Panel“.
  3. Click on the control panel result to open it.
    Windows 10 control panel - start menu

As soon as you click on the result, the control panel tool will be opened instantly.

2. Use Control Panel Run Command

Windows 10 has a dedicated Run command which makes it quite easy to access the control panel when the Start menu search is acting weird.

This is the control panel Run command.

  1. Press “Windows Key + R” keyboard shortcut.
  2. Type “control panel” in the blank field.
  3. Click on the “Ok” button or press the “Enter” key.
    Windows 10 control panel - run command

As soon as you click on the button, Windows will automatically launch the control panel tool using the Run command.

3. Open Control Panel from File Explorer

Control Panel is just like any other tool. This means that you can find the exe file of the control panel and double-click on it.

This is the location of the Control Panel’s exe file in the File Explorer.


These are the steps you should follow.

  1. Open File Explorer with the “Windows Key + E” keyboard shortcut.
  2. Copy and paste “C:\Windows\System32” in the address bar and press “Enter“.
  3. Find the “control.exe” file and double-click on it.
    Windows 10 control panel - file explorer

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

4. Use the Settings App

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

  1. Open the Settings app with the “Win + I” keyboard shortcut.
  2. In the search bar, type “Control Panel“.
  3. From the list of results, click on the “Control Panel” option.
    Windows 10 control panel - settings

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

If you are opening the Control Panel frequently then it is a good idea to added the control panel desktop shortcut. Here’s how you can do it.

  1. Press “Windows Key + I” to open the Settings app.
  2. Go to the “Personalization → Themes” page.
  3. On the rightmost side or at the bottom of the page, click on the “Desktop icon settings” link.
    Windows 10 control panel - desktop icon settings link
  4. Under the “Desktop icons” section, select the “Control Panel” checkbox.
  5. Click on the “Apply” and “Ok” buttons.
    Windows 10 control panel - select cp

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

6. Pin Control Panel to Taskbar

Just like you can add a desktop shortcut of 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. After opening, right-click on the Control Panel icon on the taskbar.
  4. Select “Pin to taskbar” option from the list.
    Windows 10 control panel - pin to taskbar

That is it. As soon as you select the option, the Control Panel will be pinned to the taskbar. If you want to remove it, right-click on it and select the “Unpin from taskbar” option.

7. Use Command to Open Control Panel

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

  1. Right-click on the start menu and select “Search“.
  2. Search for “Command Prompt” and open it.
  3. In the command prompt window, type “control panel” and press Enter.
    Windows 10 control panel - cmd

As soon as you execute the command, the Command Prompt will launch the control panel.

If you want to open the control panel as an administrator then open Command Prompt as admin and then execute the “control panel” command.

8. PowerShell Control Panel Command

Just as with the Command Prompt, you can also use the PowerShell to open the control panel. In fact, the process is pretty much similar.

  1. Search for “PowerShell” in the Start menu and open it.
  2. In the PowerShell window, type “control panel” and press “Enter“.
    Windows 10 control panel - powershell

The instant you press the Enter key, PowerShell will execute the command and opens the control panel window.

That is all. I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible. If you like this article, check Run commands to open individual control panel applets or items.

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